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After many batches of beer, I've decided to try a hard cider. The recipe I have does not give a predicted OG, however all of the ingredients list the amount of sugar in the nutritional information.

The recipe calls for:

  • 5 gallons apple cider (28g sugar per 8oz, 2,240 g total)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (54g sugar per 4TSP, 212 g total)
  • 2 cups honey (16g per 1 TSP, 512g total)

Is it possible to estimate the OG from this?

3 Answers 3

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Sugar provides 46 gravity points per pound, per gallon (PPPG).

Based on the nutritional data, you've got a total of 2.964 kg of sugar, which is 6.53 lb.

Your total volume is 5 gallons + 3 cups = 5.1875 gallons.

(6.53 * 46) / 5.1875 = 57.9

So your predicted starting gravity is 1.058

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  • Just brewed it today, and you were right on. 1.058!
    – jcs
    Commented Nov 6, 2011 at 22:26
  • PPPG measures how much the gravity will increase after dissolving a pound of sugar in 1 gallon of solution/water. But after dissolving the sugar you'll also increase the volume. So, you'll end up with more than 1 gallon os solution. I think this formula is assuming that the sugar doesn't add any volume, which is not 100% correct.
    – conca
    Commented May 2 at 14:41
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Probably, but I would do it a different way.

You can work out a pppg ((gravity) points per pound per gallon) by doing some simple measurements:

  • 1 gallon = 128 fl oz
  • 1 pound = 16 oz (weight/mass)

So, you could test 4oz (weight/mass) of your syrup/honey in 32 fl oz of water (or 1oz in 8 fl oz. water, or 0.25 oz in 2 fl oz water, etc.), using a hydrometer or refractometer like you normally do for wort. You should be able to measure the cider directly, without needing to mix it with the water, since it is serving as your water.

I usually do this when I'm working with a new syrup or honey that has an unknown specific gravity. Then I plug those numbers into my brewing software and let it do the full-volume calculations.

Another option would be to mix up a sample using the same ratio that your must will be, and measure that:

  • 80 cups of cider
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup syrup

Which would work out to be, in the smallest measure that is normally found in a kitchen in the US:

  • 1 cup + 4 teaspoons cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple syrup

Mix that together well, measure it, and drink your sample must.

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Gotmead.com has a calculator that does these kind of tasks perfectly

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  • The GotMead calculator does not specifically address apple juice (called cider in the US) in the must. That has to be supplied via measuring specific gravity first and entering into an optional field.
    – Magellan
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 20:45

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