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VincenzaV

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Hi, I'm new here and already started a batch of cider. I know, I should have read up for a while before starting, but I did on Instructables, following someone else's lead. I think I missed a step.

I am making 2 one gallon carboys, with Whole Foods organic apple juice, red start champagne yeast, and a yeast nutrient the local brew show recommend.

I didn't know what the purpose of the hydrometer was until two days after I started the process, so I didn't get an initial SG reading. The shop measured it for me (I brought the set-up with me) at 1.050.

I just checked it today, the bubbles are less powerful, and it is at 1.010.

I totally forgot to get the sugar and add it before I started. Am I screwed? I definitely want alcoholic cider. Can I add sugar to it now and just extend the fermentation time? Or am I too late?

I plan on fixing my mistakes and learning how to do it right, I just need some help quickly as to not ruin this batch if at all possible.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

acemannw

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NO you can still add sugar, I would add it to some water and boil it to make sure there is not extra Bacteria hitching a ride with the sugar.
 

madscientist451

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Since you have two one gallon batches going, I'd add some sugar to one batch and let the other ferment with just the juice. You can then decide which flavor you prefer and can even blend some of each and get a third flavor profile.
 
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VincenzaV

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That is good news! I won't be able to grab some sugar until tomorrow around 2pm (I have class). I have seen you need about 1 cup of sugar per % of alcohol desired. Is that correct?

Is one type of sugar better for cider than another?

Add just enough water to "wet" the sugar?

Do I need to add more yeast or nutrient?

Also, racking means just taking all the cider above the sediment, and moving it to a sterilized carboy right?

How does the secondary fermentation happen? Thank you again for the help.
 

Nogud247

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That is good news! I won't be able to grab some sugar until tomorrow around 2pm (I have class). I have seen you need about 1 cup of sugar per % of alcohol desired. Is that correct?

Is one type of sugar better for cider than another?

Add just enough water to "wet" the sugar?

Do I need to add more yeast or nutrient?

Also, racking means just taking all the cider above the sediment, and moving it to a sterilized carboy right?

How does the secondary fermentation happen? Thank you again for the help.

Not sure about the % change. Brown sugar can leave you with only the bitter molasses taste so many use corn sugar or table sugar. You shouldn't need more yeast or nutrient I wouldn't think. Yes racking is siphoning off the cider to a second container leaving behind the sediment. If you add sugar (yeast food) you will produce more sediment so expect that. The secondary is a continuation of the first but with less action. The yeast clean up after themselves a bit. I may have gotten something wrong but I think this is pretty much what you asked.
 
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VincenzaV

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Thank you for your response Nogud247. Nope, I think that about sums it up for now.
 

ncfield

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When I add sugar, I make a simple syrup like you would for a cocktail. Equal parts sugar and water, boil until sugar is dissolved, let cool and then add. 1 lb of sugar per gallon should boost your gravity by .008. So assuming you were at 1.05 and added say two pounds of sugar, you would be at 1.066 SG. Take a FG reading when fermentation is complete and then work your formula for the ABV. I use the following which I believe is accurate:
OG - FG x 131. So if your SG was 1.05 and your FG was 1.00, that gives you a difference of .05 x 131 = 6.55% ABV.
 

Maylar

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I totally forgot to get the sugar and add it before I started. Am I screwed? I definitely want alcoholic cider. Can I add sugar to it now and just extend the fermentation time? Or am I too late?
Be aware that 1.050 starting SG is perfect for cider. You'll get 6.5 - 7% alcohol. Most commercial ciders are about 5%.
 

Tkeonce

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Do you need to do a secondary? Can the pectic enzyme go into secondary?
 
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VincenzaV

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But I'm was at 1.010 this morning.

What percentage was that?

I also only had a single packet of sugar I added to it (just for giggles) until I can get more sugar after class. The single packet made it bubble like CRAZY!

This got me thinking, how the heck can I add a pound or more of sugar to it without creating a geyser?

Wouldn't it just shoot out?

I know what the SG means, but what about OG or FG?

What about the yeasty smell? Will that go away after secondary?

I just checked both 1 gallon batches, before I add sugar.

One is at 1.002, the other at 1.008 SG.

Sorry for the newbie questions...
 

ncfield

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But I'm was at 1.010 this morning.

What percentage was that?

I also only had a single packet of sugar I added to it (just for giggles) until I can get more sugar after class. The single packet made it bubble like CRAZY!

This got me thinking, how the heck can I add a pound or more of sugar to it without creating a geyser?

Wouldn't it just shoot out?

I know what the SG means, but what about OG or FG?

What about the yeasty smell? Will that go away after secondary?

I just checked both 1 gallon batches, before I add sugar.

One is at 1.002, the other at 1.008 SG.

Sorry for the newbie questions...

You need your SG and FG to calculate your ABV (Use the formula).

OG = Original gravity
FG = Final Gravity

Can you fit a LB of sugar in those gallon carboys? You may not have enough headspace for that. If it's your first cider, nothing wrong with just going with what you have and not adding sugar.

I have a 5 gal batch going right now with 2 lbs of sugar added, no issues with blow off. Now, I'm also doing three 1 gal test batches using the same Whole Foods juice. Keeping one straight Apple juice. Added 1 cup of fresh pomegranate seeds to one carboy, then a pint of fresh raspberries to the last one. The one with raspberries went nuts! I've got a pink hued cider coming up through the air lock (it's now settling down). So I guess just play with it and have fun.

The yeasty smell should go away with time.
 

Bent-Brewer

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I just recently finished my first cider (first brew ever), didn't like the taste, and quickly made 2 more batches that are fantastic. A couple things I learned that you may find relevant:

If you're going with store-bought juice/cider, there really isn't much of a difference in taste. Make sure there's no preservatives, but the bulk of the flavor seems to be affected by the type of yeast you use. If you start with additional sugar, you will get a higher alcohol content at the cost of taste. Adding a lot of sugar can strip out the apple taste of cider in the finished product. I personally prefer to use Kirkland brand apple juice because it is cheap and preservative free, Nottingham yeast for the very neutral taste it imparts to the cider, and about 1 lb corn sugar (for a 3 gallon batch). I let it ferment down to about 1.005-1.010 and either stabilize it or stick it in the fridge before adding any other juices to flavor it. If you let the cider ferment dry (around 1.000), it may lose some of the apple flavor as well.

As for adding the sugar and getting a lot of foam like you had mentioned... When you ferment, you end up with small amounts of dissolved CO2 trapped in the liquid. Sugar (and anything else with a 'rough' microscopic surface) has a lot of nucleation sites. These essentially allow the CO2 to bubble out of the liquid - sort of like coke and mentos, just not as vigorous. By dissolving the sugar in water, you eliminate those nucleation sites. As mentioned before, boil the sugar/water to kill any microbes, stick a lid over it while it cools, then add it to the cider. Always remember to sanitize/sterilize.
 
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VincenzaV

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Thank you for your advice. I did add the simple syrup and I was expecting some massive bubbling. Nothing bubbled. Now after I read the rest of the responses, I guess it wasn't supposed. too. So in my impatience, I decided to flush it after tasting it. It tasted too dry. I'm going to read up on things again and do it right this time. Thank you again.
 

fmaurice

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But I'm was at 1.010 this morning.

What percentage was that?

I also only had a single packet of sugar I added to it (just for giggles) until I can get more sugar after class. The single packet made it bubble like CRAZY!

This got me thinking, how the heck can I add a pound or more of sugar to it without creating a geyser?

Wouldn't it just shoot out?

I know what the SG means, but what about OG or FG?

What about the yeasty smell? Will that go away after secondary?

I just checked both 1 gallon batches, before I add sugar.

One is at 1.002, the other at 1.008 SG.

Sorry for the newbie questions...
You only got to see this bc you added a fine powder (the packet of sugar) to something technically carbonated. Same thing would happen to anything else that was carbonated. Make a syrup and it won't do anything aggressive like that.

I'd leave it alone like others have said. I'm currently doing a batch of cheap AJ with no added sugar, and might even stop it early to attain a little more body. Doesn't hurt, plus, the lesser the quality of the AJ, and the more sugar you add, the less you'll be happy with the final product.
 
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