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theisenm85

Predicting ABV- Cidermaking

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My apologies if I should have put this in the Wine Forum...

I'm setting up to make my first batch of hard cider. I found a brand at the local supermarket that seems convenient, pasteurized, no preseratives,

"organic" apples as the only ingredient. I bought one to test it out, tasted pretty good. Seemed a bit better after a couple of days, but that might have been a flawed perception.

Anywho, I'm wondering if I need to add sugar to the cider/yeast going into the fermenter. I'm not really sure how to predict the final alcohol percentage, but I'm hoping for around 8-10%. Most of the things I've seen predict 6ish% with no use of sugar.

Any advice?

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Cider is made from cider apples that have more tannin more acid and more suger.

Eating apples will mostly give a thin characterless cider, but try and see.

Get yourself a hydrometer, which will be useful for beermaking as well.

The ABV is the difference between the original and the final gravity measurements multiplied by 131.

Thus if you want a heavy cider of 10%, and the FG is 1.010, then the OG has to be 10/131 +1.010 = 1.086.

Natural apple juice is about 1.045 which is 6% ABV if feremented out.

8oz less one tablespoon will raise the OG of a gallon by 0.010, so you would need to add a bit under 2lbs...

Lots of sites on the web to help such as http://www.yobrew.co.uk/card.php#_Cider_Recipe_Design

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Thanks much!

I do have a hydrometer, I guess I just brainfarted on the equation and didn't think to look it up.... >.<

To clarify: I found a brand of cider, don't really know what apples they're from, have yet to test the gravity.

Wish me luck... I'll probably go with closer to 8-8.5% optimally since this is mostly for the GF who loves cider... but isn't a huge hard liquor fan. I figure if I'm gonna be storing it though,I should get some control over how strong it is =D

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Don't add sugar.

Maybe it's part of my brewing philosophy, but I feel that the apple cider should be an expression of the apples they come from. When you chaptalize homemade cider, you're obscuring the apple-eyness of the cider.

Also, don't be so concerned with final alcohol content. Allow it to ferment to the alcohol content corresponding to the amount of natural sugar in the apple cider. The objective of making an alcoholic beverage is to make it taste wonderful (while maintaining its integrity as a food product).

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Thanks for the wise words...

However, I'm a new brewer, and kind of feel like I need to break a few rules before I follow them. And the cider has been fermenting a week already, sugar added. Down to 1.03 gravity, everything going well so far.

I promise that if it turns out horribly I'll follow your advice forever =D

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