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Old 09-04-2009, 01:08 AM   #1
MBM30075
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Default High FG on Cider?

I "brewed" a cider on 8/10.

Ingredients:
************
5 gallons Kroger store brand apple juice
1 tbsp. yeast nutrient
1 packet Nottingham yeast

Had a good fermentation that was vigorous and lasted a LOT longer than I expected. I did this fermentation in a 6 gallon carboy, so I could watch the whole fermentation process. I noticed bubbles coming up out of solution and yeast falling out of suspension for a good 2+ weeks.

I racked after 3 weeks. OG was 1.048. SG @ racking was 1.011.

Based on a lot of what I've heard about straight apple juice cider, I was expecting an SG of more like 0.995 to 1.000.

When I look in the BJCP style guide, though, I see this:

OG range: 1.045 - 1.065
FG range: 1.000 - 1.020

So, I'm kind of confused now. Do I have a stuck fermentation? I've been told to expect near 100% apparent attenuation. Is 77% apparent attenuation acceptable? I'd love that in a beer, but what gives here?

By the way, I did sample a small amount at racking. Taste was good, dry and apple-y. It was slightly raw, but I feel like a few more weeks of aging will result in a quality product. I'm kegging this batch but probably not priming it. I'm thinking about serving it still in a 50/50 ratio with 7Up or Sprite.

Does anyone have some thoughts about where I should go from here?


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Old 09-04-2009, 01:11 AM   #2
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All my ciders have finished below 1, but I use champagne yeast.


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Old 09-04-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
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That sounds about right for Notty, I think they advertise on their website that the strain normally attenuates to 75%-80% but the FG is pretty high at 1.011 even for Notty. I've stalled a cider and a high gravity brew with that yeast so I'd let it secondary for a while longer, the racking may have stirred up the yeast well enough to get a few more gravity points out of it yet...

The 50/50 idea is a good one. It'll be some pretty weak cider, even if it reaches 1.008 FG That's coming from a university student though ha ha ha. I'm planning on blending 11.5 liters of hard cider (~ 7.5% ABV) with 8 liters of unfermented cider for my Halloween party, so it ought to be around 4.5% at the end, which I consider a bare minimum...
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:58 AM   #4
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You have half of it right...

AJ is about 100% fermentable.

How much sugar gets converted to alcohol is the job of the yeast. Most yeasts are in the 75% range. Since you used a beer yeast 77% is good.

If you want more alcohol you should have added a couple lbs of sugar...corn sugar or table sugar, they both work. I made one batch with 5 gals AJ and 7 lbs of table sugar. It was over 12%, but you would need a yeast that could achieve 12+%

A champagne yeast will definitely take it down under 1.000. Of course, it'll be a higher alcohol percentage and dry.

When you use too many fermentables and your yeast peters out at 8-10% it's the residual sugar that keeps it sweet.
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Old 09-04-2009, 02:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
A champagne yeast will definitely take it down under 1.000. Of course, it'll be a higher alcohol percentage and dry.

When you use too many fermentables and your yeast peters out at 8-10% it's the residual sugar that keeps it sweet.
I actually like my ciders slightly sweet, but I kill off the yeast, back-sweeten and force-carbonate.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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Yeah I just bottled my first cider tonight. 1.000 FG dry as heck and a bit sour, which I hear is common from store bought juice. In my opinion count your blessings to have some residual sweetness.
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkarp View Post
I actually like my ciders slightly sweet, but I kill off the yeast, back-sweeten and force-carbonate.
I do the same sometimes, but never carbonate (keg). Still cider is fine by me.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:37 AM   #8
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I have not used Nottingham, my LHBS does not carry it.
I made up a cider on 20090816 with US-05, fermented at 62F, racked to secondary on 20090823 and set up a "side ferment" of two quarts.
Prompted by this I just took a reading today and a taste of my side ferment. SG 1.001, I mean it is right on the line, adjust for temp.
No off taste, the apple is very faint but I know that will start to come forward with ageing.
Best of luck, in any case you got yourself some cider to enjoy, just give it time.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:12 AM   #9
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1.011 is quite a bit of residual sugar. I would be worried about some other micro-organism getting in there and fermenting that sugar, you would have to keep it well sulphited and at an even temperature. If the temp rises it may set off a refermentation.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:24 AM   #10
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Are you sure of your temperature readings while you were using your hydrometer? Most cider I've measured is over .50


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