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BarryW

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Good afternoon to you all. This is my first post as a new member.
I am in the middle of producing my first ever batch of cider from home grown apples. I have used slightly more baking apples than eating apples (roughly 55% to 45%). I am at the stage were I am about to syphon from my fermentation buckets into demijohns for a 2nd fermentation. I have recorded an original sg of 1.045 and a second sg of 1.001. This gives me an abv of 5.78%. I wanted to achieve around 7% + so I would like to ask if I added concentrated apple juice at this stage, would this increase the abv and if so, what quantity would I add to 50 litres of juice. Also, would I add this to my fermenting buckets and then leave for a further couple of weeks or would I add it to the demijohns then syphon the juice for a second fermentation. I am not looking to produce a fizzy or an overly sweet cider.
Any advice on this or general advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you
 

pgk

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About 17g/L sugar is the calculation for an increase of 1ABV so if using concentrated apple juice to up the total sugar it rather depends on available spare volume and the sugar concentration in that conc apple juice. Just adding sugar at 22g/L to the current mix should push your ABV to 7%+. To do it with conc applejuice at, say, 380g/L sugar gets into difficult sums which I'm too lazy to work out.......Oh, OK... you need 7x17g= 119 (call it 120)g for the new 1L conc to get to 7% leaving 260g which can push just under 12L current mix to 7% too and increase total volume to 13L....
 

BarryW

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Thanks for the reply, pgk. As a first time brewer, I'm a little hard thinking so please bear with me. Are you suggesting a mixture of sugar and apple concentrate or just using apple concentrate. I have 1.6 litres of frozen apple concentrate. I also have 50 litres of cider to transfer to demijohns...is this enough to achieve my abv of 7%+? Also, when do I add this or does it not matter? Before transferring to demijohns or as I transfer to demijohns. I certainly wont add it when I do the final bottling as I don't trust myself not to blow the house up!!!
 

pgk

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I was suggesting one or the other.
If proposing using your conc AJ then check the sugar quantity in there - it may not be the same as the lookup I used. 1.6L of 380g/L conc AJ could only achieve what you want if added to about 18L of your brew to make 19.6L - you'ld either have to source more conc AJ or add sugar as well or save the conc AJ for another say and just use sugar - which for 50L = 50x22g = 1.2Kg.
If you wanted to only use conc AJ @ 380g/L sugar then you'ld need to add circa 4.5L of the stuff to your 50L and end up with 54.5L total.
You're gonna make me do the sum aren't you.....

1.6L conc AJ added to your mix = 18 L sorted, 32L unsorted that needs 22g/L = 704g sugar as well as the conc AJ for a total volume of 51.6L

I'm also a newbie at brewing but don't see it matters when you add it so long as fermentation is on-going
 

BarryW

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Wow.....didn't know I'd need a maths degree to brew cider😂. This is brilliant info pgk. I think I will add my conc AJ and top it up with 704g of sugar....does that sound right? I assume just normal granulated sugar is fine? I have read that people add demerara or other brown sugars but I don't know what this does to the final taste. One last basic question...do I stir in the AJ and sugar or just let it settle on its own or does it not matter? I'm in danger of over thinking this aren't I?
 

pgk

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You're in danger of making me start to consider physics and chemistry here😈...
There are sugars and sugars - have a read sugars
In reality it probably doesn't matter to us 'cos the yeast can convert most of them. Brown or demarera sugars are less refined than granulated so have some more raw molasses in them - impurities if you will - that add colour and subtle flavour and probably a tad less 'sugar' since the impurities dilute it?

When it comes to the argument of how to add your extras you're in a whole area of interesting physics - how well does sugar dissolve in water compared to alcohol and why? Indeed what is a solution? You can then go on to consider saturated and supersaturated solutions just to get more cerebral.... (Yes I have a science background but it's out of date and retired) You could even get more excited about the different forms of table sugar - granulated, caster, icing and how the density of each might affect their solubility depending on the shape of your brew vessel, speed of addition and activity of the yeast at the time...density will affect the speed at which the item falls within the liquid and therefore gives more time for dissolving as does a tall thin vessel compare to a wide fat one. In theory a layer of sugar on top of your lees could be overlayered with more lees and protected. Go on get excited about these new thoughts! Consider further how fermentation can actually stir a solution and why it happens... heck throw in brownian motion for an extra dimension....

I doubt you can dissolve much of the extra sugar in the concAJ 'cos it's going to be getting close to saturation. Pre-dissolving the extra sugar in water adds to your volume and dilutes your alcohol but I'd guess you can dissolve 700gm sugar in about half a Litre of hot water which in reality is only 1% of your total volume so reality check - does it matter? You could also add your sugar over several hours - another dimension to consider. The simplest purist answer is to take some of your current ferment out, dissolve the sugar in that and put it back but if you heat it enough you will cook off some of it's alcohol . For another dimension of thought why does sugar dissolve faster in hot water? The effect of particle size on surface area:volume ratios is yet further food for thought... If you pour the sugar in and then shake your fermentation vessel and stirr up all the lees does it matter? It certainly doesn't if there's very little sediment yet.

One last thought.. golden syrup.. what is it and how much sugar is in it compared to a bag of granulated?

Stuff is exciting if you get excited about it. I'll leave you to decide what you do and let us know how it turns out.
 

BarryW

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Oh 'eck....so much to consider!! After mulling all the information over, I have had to simplify the process so my little brain can take it all in. My intention is to add all my AJ concentrate to 25 litres along with around 170g of dissolved white sugar (I will dissolve this in a small amount of boiled water which I will allow to cool). I will then leave this in my fermenting bucket for a further 2 weeks before transferring to demijohns. The remaining 25 litres, I will keep at an ABV of 5.78% and transfer to demijohns now. I will then be able to compare the taste of the 2 for future reference. How does this sound to you?
Thanks again pgk.....you are a font of knowledge and I will let you know how I get on.
 
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