Author Topic: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider  (Read 14481 times)

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 67
Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« on: September 23, 2014, 07:03:23 PM »
I am trying to put together a recipe in BS2 for apple cider, but the Estimated FG does not look right. It is coming in way low, like 0.992. From everything I've read online, with no added sugar, on average I should expect an OG of approximately 1.043 and an FG of about 0.998, finishing about 6% ABV.

I have the batch type set to Extract, the apple cider added as a "grain" but with the type set as sugar, and am using WLP775 yeast. For the apple juice, I have it set to 5 pounds (I estimated 1 lb/gal), with potential set to 1.043.

I was hoping that BS would give a better estimate of attenuation so I could get a better idea of how much sugar I need to add to hit my ABV target.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there some setting that I need to change?

Offline texasdan

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 87
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 07:28:21 PM »
For a 2.5 Gal recipe, using Apple Juice, I added the juice as Type Extract instead of sugar.  Since it was apple juice, not cider, I set my SRM to 1.8 instead of 3.  For cider I would leave it at 3.
I just don't remember if I added this ingredient to the BS list or it was already there.

For my grain entry I have:::
Apple Juice, US, Extract, 3.0 SRM, 1.006 SG, Max% 100.0%, Inventory 0.0oz, Price .35$/lb

I used 4 - 64oz bottles of juice (256 oz) and entered 16 lb as the amount.
Along with the sugars my SG came to 1.061 with an est. FG of 1.004
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 07:31:54 PM by texasdan »
Next Up: 
Fermenting: None
Lagering:     
Conditioning: #46-Special Helles
Drinking:       #45-Klosterbier, #44-Honey Ginger Lager, #43-Oktoberfest, #42-Festbier, #40 Ayinger Style Jahrhundertbier Hell, #41-Klosterbier

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 67
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 09:19:46 PM »
Did you actually measure your OG and FG? How closely did they match BS estimated values?

I get similar estimated values from BS when I use Extract as the type...which I think is too high. Surely, fermenting fresh apple juice by itself will attenuate below 1.000 with a healthy inoculation of yeast...but it seems like setting sugar as the type over estimates the attenuation, and setting as extract under attenuates...

...any power users reading that can help us out?

Offline texasdan

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 87
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 09:36:29 PM »
It's been so long I'm not sure and I did not make notes. 
I figured I would try this once to see if I liked it.   
I also back sweetened it with 2 cups Apple Korn (24%) and Apple concentrate so any ABV would have been meaningless anyway.
Next Up: 
Fermenting: None
Lagering:     
Conditioning: #46-Special Helles
Drinking:       #45-Klosterbier, #44-Honey Ginger Lager, #43-Oktoberfest, #42-Festbier, #40 Ayinger Style Jahrhundertbier Hell, #41-Klosterbier

Offline brewfun

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2292
  • Malt dust is just alcohol's glitter
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 10:28:10 PM »
If you're pressing your own apples, it's about 8 oz of juice per lb. It's about 16 lbs for a gallon, but depending on apple variety and where it's grown, it could take 30% more weight to get a gallon.

There is a fundamental difference between winemaking and beer making. Winemaking (which includes cider) assumes the juice includes the water content. Beermaking (and Mead) assume water will be added. BeerSmith treats all fermentables as though water will be added. So, it's a little off task for accurate cider predictions.

BeerSmith is accurate for calculating the starting gravity. But, it does over attenuate for final gravity (I came up with 0.990). I'm not sure there is a fix for that. I tried changing the specs for the yeast, which works for malt, but it didn't change anything for an all sugar profile.


Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 67
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 11:12:59 AM »
Brewfun, I understand what you are saying, thanks for the info.

I noticed that after playing with the OG, that the lower the OG is, the higher the estimated FG is...so BS is apparently over estimating the apparent attenuation, or effect of alcohol on the FG reading when the only fermentables in the batch are pure sugar.

In the Advanced Settings menu there is a way to adjust the FG Attenuation estimate, but this apparently only affects the FG result if you are mashing grain...it would be nice if there were a way to adjust the FG estimate for pure sugars as well...

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 67
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 03:38:21 PM »
I think I just figured out the problem (bug?).

Using the % alcohol calculator in BS, I discovered that the recipe calculation is using 100% for the Real Attenuation, which is the ideal case for a simple sugar. However, I believe the recipe calculator should be using the maximum attenuation of the particular yeast strain that is being used instead, which in my case is WLP775, which has a max attenuation of 86%.

This accounts for the discrepancy between OG:1.043 to FG:0.991 (RA=100%) and FG:0.998 (RA=86%).

Offline KBLanier

  • BeerSmith Apprentice Brewer
  • **
  • Posts: 4
  • BeerSmith 2 Rocks!
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2015, 10:59:34 AM »
Here is an excel file I use for cider. It was developed for cider and works well for calculating SG and FG along with % strength of finished cider. I allows you to add ingredients using it's sugar content to make the calculations.

Cheers
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 11:01:51 AM by KBLanier »

Offline R. Gibson

  • BeerSmith Master Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 67
Re: Estimated OG/FG/ABV for Cider
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2015, 04:02:02 PM »
KBLanier

Just now saw your post with the spreadsheet. Thanks for posting that. I'll take a look when I get home!

 

modification