First batch question

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individualimage

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Juiced several different apple varieties and about three pounds of pears and got just shy of two gallons of juice. Added one cup of brown sugar and champagne yeast and set to ferment.

I totally forgot to check gravity before pitching the yeast. It hasn't made a bubble in several days (it has been about 14 days) so I was going to filter all the sediment and rack it into a new carboy, which I did.

I took a sample and got a reading of 1.000.. which, unless I am confused, means that somehow I have produced non-alcoholic cider that tastes EXACTLY like white wine. . .

So can someone explain what I did wrong and why I got this reading?

Also I have another batch going that had a reading of 1.090 before I started fermenting. Any idea of how this will come out % wise?
 

buMbLeB

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Juiced several different apple varieties and about three pounds of pears and got just shy of two gallons of juice. Added one cup of brown sugar and champagne yeast and set to ferment.

I totally forgot to check gravity before pitching the yeast. It hasn't made a bubble in several days (it has been about 14 days) so I was going to filter all the sediment and rack it into a new carboy, which I did.
OK, so some rough math - @bernardsmith has previously estimated the amount of sugars in plain old apple juice as 1.050 specific gravity (SG), which I generally accept, but here you've got unknown varieties plus pears, so let's say 1.040 to be safe. Then you added a cup of brown sugar to two gallons juice: 1 cup brown sugar is 0.4 pounds, or 0.2 lbs/gallon. 1lb/gallon = 40 points SG, so divided by 5 is 8, so you're probably back at around a gravity of almost 1.050 or so, maybe as high as 1.060.

I took a sample and got a reading of 1.000.. which, unless I am confused, means that somehow I have produced non-alcoholic cider that tastes EXACTLY like white wine. . .

So can someone explain what I did wrong and why I got this reading?
So yes, you're possibly confused :). Going from 1.050 to 1 gives an abv of around 6.5%, so that's pretty alcoholic for cider, though not so much for wine.

Also I have another batch going that had a reading of 1.090 before I started fermenting. Any idea of how this will come out % wise?
Just shy of 12%. But that's if it stops at 1.000 like it did for this batch, it could go a fair bit lower (ie dryer, with a higher abv), and probably will if you let it. At that point you really will have wine.
 

bernardsmith

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Hi individualimage - and welcome. So you forgot to take an hydrometer reading before you pitched the yeast and took one about 14 days after the yeast was introduced to the sugar? OK and the reading you got was that there was virtually no sugar left in the must - that is the gravity after two weeks was about the same as if the liquid was water? That means that your yeast did what you asked it to do and converted all the sugar (or almost all of it) to alcohol and CO2. In other words, SUCCESS!
I say that almost all the sugar was converted because alcohol is in fact less dense than water and so if there is alcohol mixed with water you would expect the reading to be less than 1.000 - perhaps .095.
A starting gravity of 1.090 tells me that you might expect a wine with about 12% alcohol (my rule of thumb is to multiply the starting gravity by 131 to get a good enough approximation to the total amount of alcohol by volume).
 

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