This is my first post at this site. It's great to see such a large site dedicated to the art and science of home brewing!
In any case, I have a few questions for the cider Guru's out there.
I have brewed several batches of beer, so naturally I am familiar with the process and have all the required equipment. I decided to try doing a hard cider batch, and this is the process I followed;
I purchased 4 gallons of unpasteurized, unpreserved cider from a local apple orchard in Windham NH. Its measured sugar content was 14% before I started. I brought the cider up to about 160 degrees in a stainless pot for a few minutes to kill off some of the natural yeasts and nasties that may have been present in the cider. I added this to a squeaky clean 6 gallon carboy, and pitched Red Star Champagne yeast when it cooled to 101deg. It has been going since Monday (10/18/10) with definite signs of fermentation and clearing.
All that being said, my questions are; I was looking at some of the recipes that people use for brewing cider (after I already started this batch
), and noticed most of them add some sort of supplemental sugar, and yeast supplements. What are the chances of my current cider coming out any good in a reasonable amount of time with out the supplemental sugar and yeast supplements? I used the champagne yeast because I wanted a dry high alcohol content cider. I assumed that apples being apples, there would be enough nutrients present in the cider to keep the yeast happy. Would it be prudent for me at this point to boil down some form of sugar, and add it along with yeast supplements to the batch that is currently fermenting?
Thanks in advance, any thoughts or suggestions you can provide would be very much appreciated!