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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Sweetening with sugar
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Old 12-09-2008, 04:48 AM   #1
Dougan
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Default Sweetening with sugar

Worked this equation out today, figured I'd share. At the advice of others in this forum, when making various ciders that need to be sweetened, when I rack the cider I take a sample, find the FG and then sweeten it until I like it and then find the gravity of that mixture. Then I have to figure out how much sugar to put into the entire batch (after stabilizing) to achieve this gravity:

[sugar (lb)] = ([volume(gal)] * (DG-FG))/.046.

In this equation, "DG" represents your desired gravity after sweetening, and FG is of course the gravity once fermentation is complete. The .046 comes from the specific gravity of 1 lb of sugar in 1 gallon of water (1.046).

So for example, if you have a 5 gallon batch of cider that fermented down to 1.001 and you've found that your cider tastes best when you add sugar up to 1.015,

sugar (lb) = 5*(.014)/.046 --> sugar (lb) ~= 1.56 lb.

This is probably not exact because I doubt that every form of sugar has the same specific gravity. However, for the level of accuracy I demand, I'm sure this will be fine.

Hope someone finds this helpful!

-Scott

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Old 12-09-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting that! I'm kind of slow in the math area, so I use a program (free online) called winecalc that does the math for me.

One thing I would mention to add along with your post for fellow wine and cider makers is to make sure that fermentation is indeed finished, and then use sorbate and campden to inhibit yeast reproduction before attempting to sweeten. Otherwise, fermentation will begin again and cause bottle bombs if the cider is bottled.

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Old 12-09-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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how long does it usually take for the yeast to die off, if I've had this cider sitting my my closet for close to a year, should i bother trying to kill the yeast?

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Old 12-09-2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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woooo Termeric... sitting in your closet for over a year??????? and it has not stopped fermenting???????? is that possiable?????? you dont have to let the yeast all die off befroe bottleing and drinking... in fact i dont think its possiable to actully have all the yaest natrally die off because they tend to just go dormant...and can be awakend by shaking or agitateing the cider... this is kinda shocking... I would sugest racking and priming with sugar and bottling... likely this stuff will be amazing... youve aged it a year... i would hope your fermenter wasnt plastic... you may want to look to see if you have any contamination... if you want to kill the yeast then either bring to above 135 degrees for a few minutes and then cool in water bath and then bottle as still cider, or force carb with CO2...

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Old 12-09-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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B-Jack
I'm curious anhave to ask you this because I assume that you have done this.
Are you pasturizng @135 in the bottle? How much does the heat effect the taste.

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Old 12-09-2008, 04:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Thanks for posting that! I'm kind of slow in the math area, so I use a program (free online) called winecalc that does the math for me.

One thing I would mention to add along with your post for fellow wine and cider makers is to make sure that fermentation is indeed finished, and then use sorbate and campden to inhibit yeast reproduction before attempting to sweeten. Otherwise, fermentation will begin again and cause bottle bombs if the cider is bottled.
Quick Question Yooper...

I was at a brew supply store the other day looking for No8 corks for wine bottles we have collected over the past few months. I read that no8's where what I should use. the guy at the store said use No.9 with a little glycerin. he said that 8's could come out in time.

I was skeptical because it seemed the 8's went in pretty tight and I assume that sitting the bottles on their sides they(the corks) would expand.

thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Thanks for posting that! I'm kind of slow in the math area, so I use a program (free online) called winecalc that does the math for me.
No problem, you helped me out a lot with my stabilization questions, so I'm just glad to return the favor.
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Old 12-09-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by termeric View Post
how long does it usually take for the yeast to die off, if I've had this cider sitting my my closet for close to a year, should i bother trying to kill the yeast?
Only if you want to sweeten the batch. If you want it sweetened, not stabilizing may cause fermentation to restart.

Now, when you stabilize with sulfite and campden, you don't kill the yeast. That just isn't possible. What these stabilizers do is to inhibit yeast reproduction so that fermentation can't restart. That means that any yeast still in there are alive, and simply dormant.

I've never tried heat pasteurizing wine/mead/cider, so I can't answer as to the other post. I would not apply heat to any of my beverages, so I don't have any experience in that area.

One thing maybe not mentioned is that if you are bottle carbing, you want the yeast alive and healthy, so we're talking about still ciders here.

I use #9 corks, as I think they work better over the long term. In the past when I had a hand corker, though, I used #8s with decent results.
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