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Old 05-18-2012, 12:13 AM   #1
k-trips
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Default Adding more sugar after/during primary.

Hi guys - my intro gives an indication of my noob--ness but just after a little bit of advice..

This thread answers most of my questions but I have a more specific request..
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/addi...tation-314880/

OK so I have made my a cider kit exactly as per the recipe - OG was 1.041 and FG is meant to come out 1.002 which gives me an alc% of around mid 5's.

I was not sure of the alc% I would end up until after I done the research and now I would like to bump it up a couple points if I can..

Some advice please. Firstly tell me if I should I just dam well leave it alone as its my first brew and I need to crawl before I walk.

However if its not too hard then to achieve an increased alc% am I right in the understanding I need to add more sugar to the brew?

Now the technical quiz (for me at least)
A: can I add "food" after the initial brew has started– if so, do I wait till the primary fermentation has finished or can I drop it in 24 hours after brew started?
B: do I also need to add more yeast at the same time?
C: what is the best way to add the sugar? stir in some honey, just add a pound of sugar/glucose, make a sweet mix and add the liquid to the brew?
D: if I wait till after the primary should I rack it to make a better result?

I don’t want a catastrophically strong brew – just 7-8% would be nice.

Another question - I assume some fermentation also happens in the bottle as a result of me adding the carbonation drops – how much does it increase the alc% from fermenter to bottle.
I guess I’m saying I don’t want to get 7-8% in the fermenter and then it pops up 2 more points in the bottle and knocks me on my arse..

Some pics of my setup







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Old 05-18-2012, 12:56 AM   #2
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Leave it alone and brew you next batch. Bottle carbonation alc% is pretty much min.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:04 AM   #3
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greetings fellow Wellingtonian

i'll try and answer some of your questions:

A: can I add "food" after the initial brew has started– if so, do I wait till the primary fermentation has finished or can I drop it in 24 hours after brew started?

yes. I've done it a few times. just boil your sugar in a little water to sanitize it, then let it cool and add to the fermenter

B: do I also need to add more yeast at the same time?

no

C: what is the best way to add the sugar? stir in some honey, just add a pound of sugar/glucose, make a sweet mix and add the liquid to the brew?

any of those will increase your abv but also dry out your beer

D: if I wait till after the primary should I rack it to make a better result?

you shouldn't need to use a secondary, just give it a bit longer in primary

if i were you i'd just leave it alone and get a few brews under your belt before messing around with it

hope this helps

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #4
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It is fine to add fermentables after you start the fermentation process. Some people do exactly that to up the gravity without overstressing the yeast. If I were in your position, I would add some frozen apple juice concentrate. Look for one that says "no preservatives" on the label, or one with no chemically-sounding words in the ingredients list. (Citric acid is OK). Thaw the concentrate and stir it into the fermenter when fermentation activity slows. There is no need for new yeast. This will increase the alcohol content slightly without changing the flavor too much. You could also add plain sugar or honey, but these could change the flavor of the finished cider.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:18 AM   #5
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Thanks heaps for the replies chaps.. thats some supreme advice..
I have 2 plans of attack to choose from now. Have from now until hometime to make up my mind

A: Leave it alone - prefered option as I don't want to stuff it up
B: Add preservative free apple concentrate once the fermentation slows down in a few days (you say frozen and then thawed - I assume you freeze it to kill any baddies before adding to the brew?)

Krazy Kripple - I would call you KK but thats my actual nickname so would be weird :-)
Whereabouts in Wellington are you? How long you been at this game? What do you brew?

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:32 AM   #6
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i'm in Tawa. I've been brewing beer about 2 and a half years with a couple of ciders and a mead thrown in along the way

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:36 AM   #7
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Magic - I'll keep an eye out for you - I may be asking a lot more questions in the future - most of them will be daft..

I apologise for them in advance.

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Old 05-18-2012, 01:38 AM   #8
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This is actually intentionally done with some high gravity belgians. The initial brew is at about 6-7% then enough sugar (usually candied) is added to bring the brew to 9% or more. It prevents the yeast from stressing and creating too many esters. As others said boil the sugar in enough water that it won't crystallize when cooled and add it to the fermenter. But do it when the Krausen drops so there are still enough yeast in suspension to do the job. Otherwise the last few points will be slow.

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Old 05-18-2012, 02:04 AM   #9
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Is the "krausen dropping" when the foamy head on top of the brew dissolves back into the brew?

I assume the krausen dropping is caused by the yeast having finished the glucose (more or less) and as such - no longer producing Co2?

I don't even know where I would get apple juice concentrate with no preservatives from - I can only find plain apple juice (made from concentrate) with no preservatives.

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Old 05-18-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k-trips View Post
Thanks heaps for the replies chaps.. thats some supreme advice..
I have 2 plans of attack to choose from now. Have from now until hometime to make up my mind

A: Leave it alone - prefered option as I don't want to stuff it up
B: Add preservative free apple concentrate once the fermentation slows down in a few days (you say frozen and then thawed - I assume you freeze it to kill any baddies before adding to the brew?)

Krazy Kripple - I would call you KK but thats my actual nickname so would be weird :-)
Whereabouts in Wellington are you? How long you been at this game? What do you brew?
What I mean is you can buy frozen apple juice concentrate at the grocery store (in the frozen foods section). Let that thaw, then pour that concentrated appley-sugary liquid into the fermenter. Sanitize the outside of the can before opening and pouring into the cider. Since there is already alcohol in the cider, and the yeasties are active, you should not need to sanitize the apple concentrate itself, just the outer container. This will add some sugar (and apple flavor!) into your cider, making it stronger without diluting the flavor.
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