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Old 04-19-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
Jan 2009
Posts: 36

I've got some carboys of cider that had honey added to them after primary fermentation. They are slowly bubbling now. I don't know the starting specific gravity of the cider but I checked three of them yesterday and they are at a specific gravity of 1.026 and 1.016. . . . Can anyone help me make sense of these numbers. .. Can I tell how strong these are without knowing the beginning specific gravity? or is are my above specific gravity readings simply telling me how sweet the cider will be?



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Old 04-27-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
73Drvr's Avatar
Apr 2010
Posts: 74
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Well, you can use your FG reading to tell if it's done. If after a few reading a day or two apart each, the gravity remains the same, then it's done. But you'll never know the alcohol content using just a FG.

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Old 04-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
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If the reading are stable, then all they tell you is how sweet they are.
Remember one unassailable statistic, as explained by the late, great George Carlin: "Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

"I would like to die on Mars, just not on impact." Elon Musk

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Old 04-28-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
Mar 2009
Jacksonville Beach, FL
Posts: 38

Here is some brainstorm for you....

Most Apple Juice is about 1.050 OG

1 LB of honey will add about .007 SG point to a 5 gallon volume

1 LB of honey will add about about .035 SG points per 1 gallon volume

So if yo have 5 gallons of cider, with 5 LBs of honey you would have an estimated OG of 1.050 + (.007 x5 = .035) = 1.085 OG.

Most yeasts poop out some where in the 10-15% ABV range. Most ciders will finish at 1.000 FG as long as you dont max out the ABV threshold of th yeast. If you have a Cyser/Cider @ 1.085 and it finished at 1.000 that would be an ABV of 11.1%. That ABV is getting close to the max of any yeast if it actually finished at 1.000.

Keep in mind most cider finsih at 1.000. But you can finish alot higher than that (~1.020) if the yeast quits, gets tired or does not have enough nutrients.

I have had a malted cider finish as high as 1.029 from 1.070, I believe it may have been because I did not add any yeast nutrient.

Now I always add nutrient and regularly see my FG in the 1.000 - 1.005 range.

I use Nottingham Dry yeast and typically let it ferment in the primary for a minimum of 3 weeks at 62F ambient temp. I do not secondary, I bottle after 3 or 4 weeks in the primary. It is usually very clear after 3 weeks at 62F using Notty.

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
May 2008
Posts: 2,274
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Also with ciders, the fermentation can slow greatly towards the end, so I would take the SG measurements a week apart.
Usually once it starts to clear, the yeast are done, but even then I like to give the batch a couple more weeks just to be certain.
In Primary: Belgium Chimay clones.
In Secondary: Braggot, pale ale, end of the world white.
Conditioning: Mead, Cider, braggot, Belgium Wheat.
On Tap: Clones, Chimay Blue, Red, Porter, malted cider.
Bottles: Far, far, too many to list.

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