First time hydrometer user... what should i expect from this reading?

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CaptainCool

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I just started a new batch of cider and i'm about to pitch the yeast. i used a hydrometer for the first time.. It showed right on 1.070.. This means it should come out around 9 percent right? I'm using safale s-04 yeast. Will i be able to bottle carb after my secondary or should i add a little water to dumb down the sugar level a bit so it'll be more like 8% or something? it's just a 1 gallon batch.
 

Pappers_

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All the reading tells you is where your cider is starting, what we call your original gravity. The final gravity will tell you what your abv is. For example, if you have an original gravity of 1.070 and you let the cider ferment all the way to completely dry - 1.000 - then you will have an abv of 9.1%.

I don't know what alcohol level is too toxic for S-04 to thrive in - the Fermentis website might say?

Also, take a peek in the cider forum here, too.
 
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CaptainCool

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Ya i want to finish the fermentation.. and some sugar to bottle carb... s-04 can get up to 10% from what i've heard so i suspect that i'm at a good place and should go on and pitch the yeast...
 

Calder

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S-04 is advertized as 'Medium' for alcohol. That should be about 10%.

You should be fine.
 

BigB

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S-04 is fairly flocculant... don't expect it to get down to 1.000. I would expect it to crap out at about .015-.020. If you want to dry it out completely, go with a champagne yeast or at the very least, a high gravit yeast. S-04 is not it.
 
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CaptainCool

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ok... ya i actually Don't want to dry it out.. I've been using champagne yeast before and thats what i'm trying to get away from.. I just wanted to get it pretty strong but still be able to carb in the bottle... if it stops before it gets to 9%, like at 7 or 8% or something, than that would be good... This brings up another concern though... if it does stop early would I have to be careful about carbing? would i have to worry about bottle bombs? I've never had any bottle bombs using champagne yeast cus it dries out soo much.
 

Pappers_

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S-04 is fairly flocculant... don't expect it to get down to 1.000. I would expect it to crap out at about .015-.020. If you want to dry it out completely, go with a champagne yeast or at the very least, a high gravit yeast. S-04 is not it.
I've never had or heard of an ale yeast that wouldn't ferment cider out to completely dry. It might quit before its done if you add a lot of sugars to it because the environment gets too alcoholic for the yeast to thrive, but absent that, I think ale yeasts generally eat through the cider.
 

Calder

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I've never had or heard of an ale yeast that wouldn't ferment cider out to completely dry. It might quit before its done if you add a lot of sugars to it because the environment gets too alcoholic for the yeast to thrive, but absent that, I think ale yeasts generally eat through the cider.
Completely agree. These are all simple sugars, it's going to get down to somewhere around 1.000
 

the_bird

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Was going to post the same. There's nothing in the cider that the yeast are going to have trouble with, and you're not really that close to the alcohol tolerance for any of the yeasts we use. If you want the cider to be a little less dry, you're going to have to make some other changes (adding some kind of unfermentable sugar, for example).
 
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CaptainCool

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ok thats fine.. i have some rasberry wine extract and lactose sugar so i'll let it finish it's fermentation than i'll siphon to secondary and add the flavoring... and than bottle carb after a few weeks of secondary.
 

Tallmanbrewer

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Bottle bombs are due more from adding too much sugar when bottling rather than having too much (or too strong) yeast. In other words, if you add the correct amount of sugar when bottling, you do not have to worry about making bottle bombs (assuming your bottles are in good shape). Good luck!
 
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