Tricks for reading cider fermentation without hydrometer

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WesleyGH

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hey all! I am rather new to this. I just started making cider and it began fermenting about september 26. I do not have a hydrometer. I am wondering if anyone has any tricks to tell if the cider is done primary?
 

VikeMan

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hey all! I am rather new to this. I just started making cider and it began fermenting about september 26. I do not have a hydrometer. I am wondering if anyone has any tricks to tell if the cider is done primary?

The only way to tell if it's done is with a hydrometer or a refractometer. If you can't do that, and if you plan to bottle, I'd suggest leaving it in the fermenter until well after visible signs of fermentation have ceased. i.e., err on the side of caution.
 

Cider Wraith

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A sure sign it's done is that you're ready to drink it
 
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Kickass

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^^^
Hahaha! That was confusing.

It’s not too late, order a hydrometer. You don’t need to know your starting gravity (although you can estimate it) to determine finishing gravity.
 

bracconiere

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being this is a 'any tricks' thread for SG... i just recently learned i can get a pretty good guess with a gram scale and measuring cup...your measuring density...so if it's more or less then 1 gram a ml...that's the SG....
 

bracconiere

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RM-MN

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hey all! I am rather new to this. I just started making cider and it began fermenting about september 26. I do not have a hydrometer. I am wondering if anyone has any tricks to tell if the cider is done primary?
The best trick I know of is to buy a hydrometer and learn how to use it.
 

VikeMan

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being this is a 'any tricks' thread for SG... i just recently learned i can get a pretty good guess with a gram scale and measuring cup...your measuring density...so if it's more or less then 1 gram a ml...that's the SG....

This would work in theory. But you'd better be able to measure volume very accurately for this to give a valid answer. Or, if you just want to know if the gravity has stopped moving, you need to be able to measure volume very precisely.
 

Closet Fermenter

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If you want a “non-hydrometer trick”, here’s the one I used before I got a hydrometer: a flashlight! Yep, a flashlight. I ferment in glass jugs or carboys. Shine the flashlight through and check for rising bubbles. They can be so few & small near the end that watching the bubbler doesn’t help. Once you get to the point of no bubbles, use the flashlight to check for clarity. When it clears well, it’s probably close enough for drinking!
 

hotbeer

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Hydrometer's are less than 10 bucks. I've seen some for 4 bucks not too long ago.

Fermentation is over when all the sugars that are going to be converted by the yeast to alcohol are used up. Without a lot of more expensive testing, measuring SG is your only choice.

So if you don't want to do that, then just go by age. The longer it's been, the more likely fermentation is over.

I don't do cider, but beer can be left in the primary for a lot longer than most are willing. I suppose most of us got that belief that beer couldn't stay in the primary because of dogma from early homebrewing beliefs just before the turn of the century.
 
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