Ask Mr. Wizard

Tracking Sugar Content of a Cider


Terry Lowry - Lake Orion, Michigan asks,

Last November I purchased my usual 20 gallons (75.7 L) of cider from an orchard here in Michigan. In one 5-gallon (19-L) batch I added 80 ounces (2.27 kg) of clover honey and two types of yeast — English Cider yeast and champagne yeast. Eight months later I took a gravity reading and it was 0.995.

If the FG of your cider/cyser is less than 1.000, does that mean that it doesn’t have any sugars left in it? I’m trying to change up my diet and I want to significantly reduce my sugar intake. Most commercial ciders are high in sugars (20-35+ grams per 12 Fluid ounce/354 ML serving). I’m thinking about degassing one, warming to 65 °F (18 °C) and then taking a gravity reading just so that I can compare the gravity to the sugar content. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Most homemade ciders, unless specially handled, ferment out completely and contain very little residual sugars. This is because apple juice mainly contains fermentable sugars (fructose, sucrose, and glucose), and smaller amounts of
Response by Ashton Lewis.