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Old 06-29-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Pushing the limit

The other day one of my brewing buddies and I where playing with his new hydrometer, when I decided to push some cider to it's limits.

The plain apple juice I started with had a gravity of 1.042, but after adding 3 cups of sugar to a gallon of the juice, the new gravity was at 1.108, with a potential alcohol content of ~15%.

I was going to only make up ~ a gallon of the stuff to try it out, but I had all the stuff out, and the juice sitting right there, and I made up 4 gallons. And pitched a fresh 5 gram pack of Red Star Champagne yeast into the mix.

I have never done anything like this before, and have no idea how is will turn out. I'm curious though what you all think it will be like. Any guesses, theories, or similar stories?

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Old 06-29-2010, 10:26 PM   #2
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What type of sugar? Mine started at 1.102 but conked out at around 1.070 because of a stuck fermentation. It still tastes delicious, and is still sweet instead of being really bitter.

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Old 06-29-2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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I used just plain old white cane sugar. I hope it goes all the way, because I don't like sweet cider.

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:50 AM   #4
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You might experience a stuck ferment. Yeast don't exactly like to be dumped into a 1.100+ solution and ferment it all the way. My only experience with an "above 10%" beverage was the 10-10-10 Belgian Golden Strong. I incrementally fed the fermenter 1lb of sugar + yeast nutrient for 3 days after I reached 1.020. I also re-oxygenated on 2 of the 3 feedings. The beer was brewed in September and is still kind of hot. I did reach 1.000, which is where I intended to get. The real key to accomplishing 10%+ beers is the incremental feeding of extra sugar, a LOT of yeast (I pitched on a cake from a prior batch) and a LOT of oxygen.

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Old 07-01-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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I shake oxygen into my juice before I pitch yeast into it, but is there another way to oxygenate my must? Is there some way I could help this batch on its way if I added some energizer, and or nutrients? I'm not sure I want to yet, I kinda just wanna let it run its course, and see what I end up with.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:43 PM   #6
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Beano? Amylase Enzyme? would this stuff work with cider/ wine the same as it does with beer?

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Old 07-03-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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I wouldn't see much of a point. Enzymes break down the unfermentable dextrins left in wort after the mash. Apple juices are nearly 100% fermentable. Beano might further break down some of the sugars. That still doesn't get around the fact that the sugar load might just be too much for the yeast.

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Old 07-03-2010, 08:20 PM   #8
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It should ferment out completely, as Red Star is good for 18+% ,you don't need to do anything else, but it will be a relatively slow ferment.

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Old 07-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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I made a 5 gal batch of cider once with 7 pounds of table sugar and it fermented out all the way.

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Old 07-05-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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similar story here. I just made a 3 gallon potion with really no idea what I was doing. I just stirred in close to 3 gallons of apple juice (no preservatives)a yeast nutrient that I cooked up from raisins, 2.5 cups of brown sugar, 2.5 cups of regular table sugar, a few Cinnamon sticks, 1/4 cup of vanilla and 5 atomic fireballs (the hard candy). mixed that all together in a 3 gallon carboy, pitched my yeast and put airlock on. did it fri night and sat morning its bubbling quite nicely. trying to get an apple pie type flaver, hope it turns out ok

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