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Old 01-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
elementfiftyfour
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Default Spice additives to my finished product

Okay so my first batch of Cider is done and I'm ready to keg and chill it down. I am going to back sweeten it a bit with some concentrate but I would also like to add some "Fall Flavored" spicing to it to give it a little extra interesting flavor.

Anyone have any suggestions on how much or what spices to add for an interesting cinnamon and/or ginger flavor to the cider?

Another option might be some of the Mulling Spices that came with some Mead but am hesitant to add them without a rough idea of the quantities.

My plan was to boil down the concentrate with the spices, separate any large cinnamon sticks or whatever needs to be removed and then pour it into the Keg with the already fermented cider.




On another note I wanted to ask what is, on average, a normal starting gravity of a hard cider? I see a lot of recipes that mention adding 3-6 cups of sugar to the 5 Gal carboy but no indication on what the starting gravity should typically be to get good fermentation with about 5-7% alcohol.


Thanks,

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Old 01-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
UpstateMike
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Originally Posted by elementfiftyfour View Post
On another note I wanted to ask what is, on average, a normal starting gravity of a hard cider? I see a lot of recipes that mention adding 3-6 cups of sugar to the 5 Gal carboy but no indication on what the starting gravity should typically be to get good fermentation with about 5-7% alcohol.
I guess that all depends on how you want the cider to finish, sweet, or dry. An OG of 1.065 will be about 10% ABV at a FG of 0.990 (real dry), 8.5% ABV at a FG of 1.000 (dry), or 6.5% ABV at 1.015 (sweet). Of course this doesn't take into account backsweetening with FAJC, which would decrease the ABV some.
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Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
elementfiftyfour
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This batch started at 1.058 and I checked it this morning and it barely gave a reading above 1.00 so it is pretty dry and hence the need for back sweetening. I expected it to get pretty low though since I used Red Star Premier Cuvee Champagne yeast. But since this is my first batch of Cider I was just wondering where a typical starting point is for the OG to determine how much sugar may be needed with different juice stocks.

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
UpstateMike
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Originally Posted by elementfiftyfour View Post
This batch started at 1.058 and I checked it this morning and it barely gave a reading above 1.00 so it is pretty dry and hence the need for back sweetening. I expected it to get pretty low though since I used Red Star Premier Cuvee Champagne yeast. But since this is my first batch of Cider I was just wondering where a typical starting point is for the OG to determine how much sugar may be needed with different juice stocks.
Ok, so you are currently about 7.7% ABV.

When I start with a fresh pressed cider, it usually starts about 1.040 - 1.045, depending on where I get it. When I buy apple juice from the local store, it is usually at 1.050.

Seems like most recipes for a 5 gallon batch say add about 2 pounds of corn sugar (Dextrose), or something similar. Depending on the juice I start with, this raises the SG to 1.066 -1.072, based on what I've seen this year. Brown sugar or honey will have a different effect on the SG of the juice.

I guess the best thing I can tell you is to add sugar until you get the SG you are looking for to attain the %ABV you want at the FG you want.

A couple formulas to calculate %ABV for you , results are slightly different, but in the ballpark...

Easy: % Alcohol = (OG-FG)*133

Complex: % Alcohol = (((1.05*(OG-FG))/FG)/0.79)*100
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Oh, and get a hydrometer. Psychic brewing is great and all, but hard numbers get rid of MUCH of the guess work.
"No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities." ~ 1 Timothy 5:23
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