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Old 03-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
TVarmy
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Default Brown Sugar Apfelwein Final Gravity Question

Hi, I am fermenting a 5 gal carboy of apfelwein, and I used approximately 2 pounds of light brown sugar, for an OG of 1.086 (IIRC). Lately, the gravity is 1.010 to 1.009 over the past four days (It seems to be between 10 and 9 and I'm not sure if I'm so great at reading the hydrometer). The bubbling has also slowed down, and the carboy is clearing. This is about .010 higher than Edwort's recipe, so I want to know if this is right.

Considering that part of light brown sugar is molasses, and thus partly too complex to ferment, does this mean that mine is done? I'll probably give it another week before bottling just in case it's slow or stuck, but I think it's probably ready. It's starting to clear out, and I'm about 3 and a half weeks into the fermentation. It was dark brown from the beginning because of the sugar, but when it was cloudy, a light would not brighten the carboy. Right now, I can hold my keychain light up to the back, and it will make the carboy light up.

The taste of the samples are dry and boozy, with only a hint of apple flavor, but that's supposed to change with age.

I'm not in a rush to bottle, I just want to know if this sounds right. I don't want to go ahead with a stuck fermentation and end up with bottle bombs.

PS: I'm using Red Star Pasteur Champagne Yeast. It's in a 60 degree basement (that may get colder at night). It's in a carboy, so I can see tiny bubbles coming up, but I think they are just CO2 leaving the solution.


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Old 03-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Mhmm... Apfelwein with brown sugar, my favorite! I usually find that if I forget about my bucket of Apfelwein for a few (3-4) months and it always turns out great. Let it sit for another month, you won't be disappointed.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:46 PM   #3
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Champagne yeast can get up to 18% ABV in a happy ferment, so I would be willing to bet it's not done. Try to keep it in the mid-60s if you can, and check it in a couple of weeks to see if the gravity has dropped more. It should go pretty slow from here on out.
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