Questions regarding primary to secondary...

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cloudbreak00

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So I am new to making cider. I am trying to make apple cider and this is what I have done so far. I mixed 2 gallons of apple juice pasteurized and 2 lbs of sugar mixed with red star champagne yeast. I was unable to obtain a S.G. in the beginning due to not having a device to hold enough juice to get the hydrometer to float. So it has been brewing for one week now and the airlock is starting to decrease in the frequency of bubbling. Does this mean the yeast is starting to stop fermenting?

We are wanting to siphon to a secondary. Do I take a specific gravity before I do this? Can I taste what is in the primary to see if I like it at all? When we siphon to the secondary, what do we need to add to clarify to cider? Do we add more sugar or leave it alone? Also, if we wanted to carbonate the drink what do we add to make begin carbonation?

Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you for your time in reading this post. I will respond as quickly to any questions.

Also, everything was sterile when I began this project.
 

GDRMaille

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Your fermentation might be slowing, but using bubble activity is not very accurate. I started a cider 9 days ago, checked my gravity at day 7, thought I had gotten stuck at the dreaded 1.020 because airlock bubbling had stopped altogether. When I checked again today, it had dropped to 1.012! I know adding gelatin is a common practice to clear up beer, don't know if it will do well for cider. After reading several posts here, out seems the common practice is to move to secondary after two weeks, but only if you are adding something for flavor. Hope this helps!
 
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cloudbreak00

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Thank you for the help. I will check my gravity tonight to see what it reads. So you are saying that I can leave it in the primary for another week and then bottle it? If I go straight to bottling, do I need to condition or prime the bottles? I have read some recipes that suggest using corn sugar.
 

GDRMaille

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Many others here haves suggested frozen apple juice concentrate as the primer... I will be making a caramelized sugar syrup for mine. Either way, yes you can leave your cider in the primary until bottling day, where you would siphon it into your bottling bucket on top of whatever you choose as the primer. This helps make sure it will be evenly mixed, rather than trying to add equal amounts to each bottle before putting the cider in. At least two weeks after bottling, you will have good carbonation. You can either let it sit longer to mello out the flavor, or put them in the fridge to stop the process.
 
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cloudbreak00

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hey thank for all the good advice but now I have a different question. So I tested our specific gravity today and it reads 0.990. Is this good? I tasted it and it has an alcohol taste but little apple. Also there is already some carbonation happening. I mixed a second batch the same way as the first and the specific gravity is 1.076. That is 2 gallons of apple juice from costco and 2 lbs of sugar in the raw. I am not sure what the alcohol read will be but can i save the first batch and make it enjoyable.
 

dulynoted

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My last 2 gallon batch I fermented down to .996 and added a can of FCOJ before bottling. The bottles had a nice carb after 10 days.
 
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cloudbreak00

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Just added a can of apple concentrated and the SG is now 0.998. Should I let it sit for a week before bottling? If I add corn sugar will it create a bottle bomb? Will it keep fermenting? Also can someone tell me the alcohol concentration if I started out at 1.076 and is now 0.998?
 

divi2323

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You should bottle right after adding the concentrate with the result being a sealed carbonated beverage in a few days.

You should be bottling now .
 
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