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Fng here! made my first brew!

Hey Guys. Bought my first kit 3 weeks ago from NB. Enjoying the first sips tonight as I type! Very pleased with the American Wheat Beer. It seems to almost have a little lemon flavor to it. I will also be bottling my first Apple in the next few days. That was made just from Apple Juice from the store. Read some posts prior to buying anything and made the right choice for 100% Apple Juice. About 4 1/2 gallons in a secondary right now. I went 2 weeks in the primary. It slowed way down to only a few pops in the airlock every hour so I transferred it to the secondary on Wednesday this week. Not too many bubbles coming through the airlock but a few. I did have to give it a small sample while I moved it over. It could use a little sweeting but for the most part it isn’t too bad. I am guessing some priming sugar boiled down during my movement to the bucket will add some sweeting to it? I have also read some apple concentrate during bottling. Some of the ladies I know like the Redds Apple Ale so not trying by any means to get to that point but want to get it a little sweeter. As funds become more available, I will also buy the equipment to test alcohol content. Really have know clue right now where I am with either. Would hate to guess. Throw me a guess if you would like though. American Wheat was done per instructions. Apple Juice was 4 1/2 gallons with 4 cups of sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. i used just a standard yeast from the store. I know, I know… Not something I should have done but being new I hadn’t ordered additional yeast and didn’t know I was going to want to do this apple until the night of. Been a real fun thing to do. I really enjoy this and am looking forward to ordering more as time comes. I have my list of stuff to get and it keeps getting longer. I want to do it right. Thanks for reading and posting back if you would like. Cheers!

Use champagne yeast next time on the Apple wine. It can handle the higher alcohol %. If it ferments all the way it will be around 16% give or take. Most “standard yeast” will probably not be able to survive that % Alcohol.

If you made the wheat beer per instructions just go off what the kit says for alcohol content since you have no way of knowing at this point.

Thanks for the reply. I will for sure be using the right yeast next time. I have a list of all the goodies I need to get other than more beer kits. That would be #1 though!! I have to keep the basics on hand for sure.

Did you check Specific gravity? OG (original gravity) potential ABV - FG (final gravity) potential ABV will give you your ABV. If you don’t have a hydrometer, that’s a absolutely essential(and relatively cheap) piece of equipment. There are on-line calculators, including one on NBs homesite(under ‘Learning’).
Now as far as the cider, Last year I used US-05 on a cider and it fermented to completion- dry as a bone. This year I used Wyeast Scottish ale. I’m thinking almost any ale yeast will chomp on all the sugars. Cider has all simple sugars and is very fermentable. Almost guaranteed that if you add any amount of priming sugar, the yeast will eat that as well, and once again you will have a dry cider.
Both years I used apple juice concentrate to prime. One can worked well. Two was too much.
If you want to retain some sweetness, yet be carbonated you will need to stop fermentation after the cider reaches where you are looking for. Chemicals(sorbate and metabisulfite) are one method. Pasteurization is another.
Check out the cider forum. Spend some time there and you’ll find options. Look for ‘cooler pasteurization’. It’s the easiest method I read about and worked well this year. I successfully have a semisweet, lightly carbonated Graf. Last year without pasteurization, not so much. A very dry, hypercarbonated, almost dry champagne-like cider.
Good luck! :cheers:

Check out BTV episode 67 that has some good info about sweetening a cider. Yhe priming sugar will not do it.

http://brewingtv.com/episodes/2012/9/7/ ... cider.html

Like others have said, if you have a hygrometer you can measure the starting and ending sugar levels, and use that to look up the alcohol by volume. Many calculators online.

I’ve made cider about once a year, and like others have said they are all going to come out dry, very dry. From my experience, the juice had a gravity of around 1.045, then adding sugar will get you into the 1.060-1.070 range which would get you about 8.5% alcohol when it is done. To the person that said “16%”, you would have to add a lot of sugar, (probably as apple juice concentrate) to get to that level. Yeast isn’t just going to run up to the max without having something to chew on.

[quote=“twdjr1”]Like others have said, if you have a hygrometer you can measure the starting and ending sugar levels, and use that to look up the alcohol by volume. Many calculators online.

I’ve made cider about once a year, and like others have said they are all going to come out dry, very dry. From my experience, the juice had a gravity of around 1.045, then adding sugar will get you into the 1.060-1.070 range which would get you about 8.5% alcohol when it is done. To the person that said “16%”, you would have to add a lot of sugar, (probably as apple juice concentrate) to get to that level. Yeast isn’t just going to run up to the max without having something to chew on.[/quote]

Yeah, I’ll say you’ll get a dry beer with that much sugar in the mix! Not to be a jerk, but a cider with that high a proportion of sugar in it doesn’t even sound like it would taste all that great, really. Does it still taste like cider, or more like something else? Also, I’m wondering how you’re going to get 8.5% ABV with a an OG as low as 1.070, even with all that sugar. You’d have to be using a yeast strain that’s incredibly attenuative, like 93% by my calculations. What kind of yeast are you using to get that much alcohol?

At 8.5% alcohol this is going to be more like apple wine. It also takes a lot longer to age (6-12+ months). As all of the sugars are gone the stuff doesn’t have a lot of flavor… but you could figure out how to kill the yeast and backsweeten (sweet, but still cider) or carbonate it in the bottle and then add simple syrup when you serve it.

It is pretty common for ciders to finish with an FG of 1.000 or less, as you’ll end up with alcohol that is lighter than water. (Watch the video link.) The sugars in apple juice will ferment out completely, different than beer where there are the unfermentable starches that leave you with residual sweetness.

And if you really want to talk about cider you should go to the cider area of this forum. There are a couple of guys on there that are really helpful.

Hey guys. I really appreciate all the information. My next order will include a lot of tools for the trade for sure. I bottled the apple and let it set for a week now. Had the first couple on Sunday after chilling overnight. Much to my surprise it wasn’t too bad. These were in half liter bottles. I did find that adding a couple teaspoons of sugar to a bottle made quite a difference. It did make it sweeter for sure. A bottle will get you a slight buzz I may add… I will for sure do some research on cider before I make another batch of it. Need to figure out my next beer now. The American Wheat was excellent for sure. Thanks again!

Glad you’re enjoying the new hobby, its a lot of fun. Back-sweetening is tricky, you can use sorbate but you have to get the sider real clear first. Its easier to do what you’re doing and just sweeten as you drink it.

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