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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Gravity fool.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
pappagio
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Default Gravity fool.

5 gallons fresh cider, 4lbs brown sugar, Nottingham yeast. Lightly heated one gallon to dissolve sugar, mixed in carboy and added yeast. I put it in my fermentary room(closet) cleaned my mess up and sat down. Realized 30 minutes later I never took a gravity reading. Afraid I would desturb something I left her alone. Racked a week later it was at 1.050 5 days later it was at 1.040. Is there any way I can figure up an approx starting gravity? I realize I cant get exact. Would just like to figure a ballpark number. Feel free to send me a hammer in the mail and I will smack my hand with it. Still semi new to brewing still making mistakes.


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Old 11-18-2011, 06:14 PM   #2
divi2323
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Did this myself once. I was greeted kindly by a local Guy tthat brews. He said 1 lb sugar in 1gal water equals 45 points of gravity. You had 4 lbs in 5 gallons. That should be 4/5 of 45 points or about 36 points added to your juices original gravity which is usually somewhere between 1.04 and 1.05. It could be estimated you are somewhere in the 1.075 and 1.085 range for og.

Hammer to the hand, don't worry about "disturbing anything " and take a reading next time.


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Old 11-18-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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You didn't want to disturb it 30 minutes after pitching to get an OG, but you've checked it twice since. I think you should have done it the other way around. You need an OG, but you don't really need the interim gravities.

I would not have racked at 1.050. Be patient. Your fermentation had barely started, so you shouldn't mess with it. I wait till fermentation is complete before I rack.

Also, a 40 point drop in 12 days is a very slow fermentation. I prefer a slow ferment, but yours is really slow. Your temp may be low or your cider may need nutrients.
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Old 11-18-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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if he started at the upper end of the crude calc i did above, that's about a .00375 drop per day over 12 days. I wouldnt call it a slow ferment, but then again my first batch took off like a rocket with a yeast starter and finished in less than 24 hours. 1.055 to .998 in a day. The temperature of the carboy was past 81F and warm to the touch for me.

Some people say you want a good slow ferment, others dont really care, they just want something drinkable. Me personally, i'd prefer a slower ferment because i'm planning on pasturizing at 1.015 after priming and bottling. I'm into sweet/sparkling cider, though some people like it dry and sparkling. different technique to be applied to different styles you're into.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divi2323 View Post
if he started at the upper end of the crude calc i did above, that's about a .00375 drop per day over 12 days. I wouldnt call it a slow ferment, but then again my first batch took off like a rocket with a yeast starter and finished in less than 24 hours. 1.055 to .998 in a day. The temperature of the carboy was past 81F and warm to the touch for me.

Some people say you want a good slow ferment, others dont really care, they just want something drinkable. Me personally, i'd prefer a slower ferment because i'm planning on pasturizing at 1.015 after priming and bottling. I'm into sweet/sparkling cider, though some people like it dry and sparkling. different technique to be applied to different styles you're into.

You are assuming that he started at the upper end of your calculation. If so, a 0.00375 drop per day will take over 3 weeks to ferment to dryness. We do know that he had a ten point drop in 5 days (1.050 to 1.040). That's 2 points a day. At that rate it will take approx. 3 more weeks to ferment to dryness or almost 5 weeks total. Either way, I do consider that a slow fermentation. A slow fermentation can be a good thing or a bad thing. It depends on why the fermentation is slow. Personally, I purposely ferment my ciders and meads cool so I get a slow ferment.


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