ABV calculation

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Tyler38

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Hi everyone,

I am just about to do my third batch of cider but I want to change the way I do it this time. I am brewing 23 litres to an ABV of about 10% but then I am going to cold crash it and add an additional 7 litres of juice to make it up to 30 litres.
How would I work out the total ABV of the new total mix or can I still use my hydrometer and calculate it the same way as normal?

thanks
 

MHB

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ABV is (roughly) Change in gravity / 7.5, 10% means you need a change of 75 points, i.e. from 1.080 down to 1.005.

If you don’t do any more fermenting after you have added the juice the amount of alcohol remains the same, except that you have diluted it so 23L@10 becomes 30L at 7.66666% if you want it to be 10% after you add the juice it needs to be (30*10/23=)~13% at 23L.
The good old C1V1=C2V2!

Just a note I have had semisweet cider pick up a couple of percent in the fridge, it just kept chipping away even at 4oC, got dryrer and dryer and stronger and stronger over a couple of months, will depend on the yeast, the one I used was the Wyeast Cider.
Mark
 

duncbrewer

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@MHB
My wild ferment cider made in the uk kept on going even when it was below freezing in the shed for months. It was bone dry in the end and I ended up drinking it mixed with a commercial sweet cider. Very drinkable combo that was.
@Tyler38 are you trying to make the final product sweeter? or staged additions to bump up the alcohol?

You might be better to add the juice earlier once the yeast is acclimatised and active but use something else non fermentable to back sweeten.
 

Tyler38

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@MHB
My wild ferment cider made in the uk kept on going even when it was below freezing in the shed for months. It was bone dry in the end and I ended up drinking it mixed with a commercial sweet cider. Very drinkable combo that was.
@Tyler38 are you trying to make the final product sweeter? or staged additions to bump up the alcohol?

You might be better to add the juice earlier once the yeast is acclimatised and active but use something else non fermentable to back sweeten.
So I just did a batch that I used lactose to sweeten but it’s not like what I was looking for. Want to make a semi-sweet cider because the first batch I did was super dry and this last one wasn’t sweet enough with lactose plus it made it undrinkable for my lactose intolerant family members. So I am trying to work out what to do next to get something sweeter without lactose. Ideas?

Another thing, I have PET bottles with screw top lids. Are the lids single use only because the carbonation is barely present in this batch and the only thing I did different was use lactose in the mix and reused the lids

thanks
 

MHB

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What you are planning sounds like a good possibility, Sugar (Sucrose) is the main sugar is apple juice so you could sweeten with that, much smaller volume changes if you are trying to keep the high alcohol content.

Another option is to use a yeast that won’t go to such a high alcohol content (better if you are kegging) say you start with 10% sugar and the yeast can only use 7% there will be 3% remaining.
People have tried bottling part way through the ferment, when the cider is at the desired sweetness, bottle with no priming sugar, when you have enough fizz, pasteurise the bottles to kill the yeast (stand in hot water).
Commercially cider is centrifuged or filtered to be yeast free, then inline carbonated and bottled, bit harder at home. Something a kegger could consider but you need a real filter not one of those water filter housings.

PET bottle caps are reusable, given they are cleaned and sterilised properly they should last as long as the bottles.
Mark
 

duncbrewer

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@Tyler38
Other non fermentable sugars to try that shouldn't have tolerance issues are Erythritol and Monk Fruit extract. They don't have a taste and the Monk Fruit is natural as well. I use MF to back sweeten Ginger Beer ( that always ferments bone dry ) and also recently in a low calorie NEIPA that I used glucoamylase in.
You need to pour a glass add the sweetener to taste to work out your dose per bottle.
Secondly I would add the carbonating dose of sugar you require dissolved to each bottle at the same time as the monk fruit sugar, as in make a volume of liquid boiled and cooled water with the total sugar and sweetener needed then divided doses each bottle and then cap and fill.
Keep the bottles in the warm ( 20 + ) for a couple of weeks and then chill and test one. If not conditioned enough leave warm a bit longer.
If the cider is really clear when you bottle there will be even less yeast and conditioning will take more time again.

Adding more sugar to get the cider sweeter is just going to be fuel for the fire in the long run, you'll get bottle bombs, stronger cider but ultimately it will be dry.
Pasteurising or using chemicals to kill the yeast is challenging and I wouldn't go there.
 

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