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Dompaintme 01-09-2013 03:47 AM

Newbie to Cider
5 gallons of pure Sonoma Apple Juice from the press.
2 pounds of White Sugar
2 pounds of Brown Sugar
1 cup of Blackstrap Molasses
1 Packet of Cote De Blancs - Red Star

1 month in primary
Racked to Secondary
1 month in secondary

Tonight I started to bottle. So here's my question.

I took 1/4 gallon to sample and tested with hydrometer. It is showing only 4% alcohol.... My question I suppose is how can it be so low in ABV, when I fully expected something around 10 to 13 percent?

I'm not an engineer or a English major but what the heck am I missing?

Thanks in advance

WilliamSlayer 01-09-2013 03:55 AM

What was your Starting Gravity reading/? Final Gravity reading? How did you come up with 4%?

Your recipie sounds fairly sound BTW, did you use Yeast Nutrient?

Dompaintme 01-09-2013 04:06 AM

Started at 1.06
Finished at 1.03

No nutrient

I have enjoyed about a pint. I now think.something is up with the hydrometer.

evolcoms 01-09-2013 04:12 AM

Best way is to take you OG before fermentation. After the cider has completed fermenting, take another gravity reading, this is your FG. Take the OG and minus the FG from it. Then take the total and times it by 131.25 and you'll get your ABV.

Edit: just saw your reply after I posted. To me it seems your still high in the gravity area. Your FG should be way lower.

Dompaintme 01-09-2013 04:13 AM

Side note it taste incredibly tasty.

I'm nervous because I have 15 additional gallons in various stages with slightly different ingredients.

evolcoms 01-09-2013 04:17 AM

What temp did it ferment at?

Dompaintme 01-09-2013 04:19 AM

Thank you evolcom.

Dompaintme 01-09-2013 04:21 AM

Started first 12 days at 70 degrees.

The last 48 at 62 degrees

LeBreton 01-09-2013 11:20 AM

Something is definitely up with the hydrometer. 4 pounds of sugar plus molasses in 5 gallons should be way higher than 1.060 and closer to 1.080-1.090 range.

alexroussos 01-09-2013 08:21 PM


Originally Posted by Dompaintme (Post 4763876)
Started at 1.06
Finished at 1.03

No nutrient

I have enjoyed about a pint. I now think.something is up with the hydrometer.

Sounds like you have a stuck fermentation. Before I started adding nutrient, I would often get stuck around this gravity. I've added nutrient after about a month and found that the yeast picked right back up but you might also want to think about re-pitching since your yeast may not be healthy after so long.

Your temperature sounds fine but that OG does sound suspiciously low given that most cider is 1.046 - 1.050 and you added a good amount of sugar. Maybe time to check the hydrometer (test that tap water is 1.000) or maybe the scale you weighed the sugar with is wonky.

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