I just finished bottling my first Cider (and am currently drinking a glass of it)! Got just shy of 2 1/2 cases out of my ~5.5 gallons (I actually got exactly the 58 bottles I calculated... Go figure).
Turned out pretty good! I dumped in 2 lbs. of light brown sugar before pitching S04, and let it sit in primary for roughly 2 months before bottling today. I dissolved about 3/8 of a cup of Splenda into it and mixed it in before bottling so back-sweeten a bit (didn't want to wind up with apple wine coolers, but it was a bit on the dry side), and used 4 priming tables (the small ones) in each bottle to bottle carb.
Right now, even after 2 months, it's got plenty of kick and is quite drinkable (no vinegar taste at all!), but tastes more "watery" and bland than I expected... Almost like watered down white wine... Will the apple and sweet/tart taste continue to strengthen over the next few months? FWIW, I started with UV-pasteurized-only (no heat) Cider, and I did not heat treat it or use camden or anything before mixing and pitching.
My hydrometer says I should have rougly 7.75% ABV right now. How much more should I expect the priming/carbing sugar to add as it ferments? I'm giving out quite a bit of this as Christmas Presents, so do you think I'm safe telling people it's around 8%?
Thanks for all your help guys! Couldn't have done it without this place!