So with your help I've made into secondary fermentation of my first hard cider batch. I just have a question about specific gravity.

I started with a reading of 1.060.I measured it again from a sample left over and got a reading of 1.010.

I read that it should have been a little lower 0.0990. Is that right? The only reason I ask was that the smell of the primary was so intoxicating it made my eyes water. Not a bad thing though.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

1 Answer 1


Sounds like it finished off good. You say it's in secondary now, it may go a few points lower. But If it's done at 1.010 that's great imo. Its actually hard to get it to stop there as they do usually drive really low 0.990 is common. But those make for really dry and tart ciders, I usually back sweeten to make them to taste good.

If backsweetening isn't applied the fermentation is stopped at a desired gravity 1.015 to 1.005 are usually enough to keep the sweetness. Many say once below 1.005 it loses too much of the Apple flavor.

The alcohol from a warm fermented cider usually has a high fusel alchohol content, this mellows with aging though. Personally I enjoy a touch of fusel, gives some heat so you know to take it serious. They also hit really fast, moderation is key. My last Apple wine, 4oz and I was good for the night. It hit like a couple pints of a tripple beer.

  • That puts me at ease. Could you tell me about 'backsweetening', what would I do? Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 14:25
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    @CiderMonkey it's basically just adding unfermented juice to the cider, in this case using juice with preservatives helps sweeten and prevents a secondary fermentaion. I take a small sample 500ml and then add small amounts 10ml of juice until it gets to the desired flavor. By taking good measurements you can then scale it for a whole batch addition. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 14:33
  • Nicely explained. At what point my in.secondary fermentation should I do this? Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 14:48
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    @CiderMonkey you may not need secondary or bacsweetening at all right now. I would take a sample, if it tastes good you could add campden to stop fermentation and keep it refridgerated. It will be a still cider, no carbonation. Bottle Conditioning / natural carbonation is hindered once you use campden tablets. I think I would bottle it all in 2liter soda bottles now, once they get rock hard release the pressure and reseal then keep them refrigerated for consumption. This will keep them at current flavor, naturally carbonate, and have them ready to enjoy. Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:39
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    @CiderMonkey if your not going to bottle now, secondary is done when it clear. Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 0:44

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