When making homemade apple cider, can you use brown sugar instead of regular sugar?!

Question: When making homemade apple cider, can you use brown sugar instead of regular sugar!?
And if so, what is the difference in taste and alcohol content!? How can I get it to reach a higher alcohol content!?!.!.!.!.Ferment it longer!?!?!.!.!. This is my first time making hard apple cider or sweet cider and I really don't want to end up with something weak or with apple cider vinegar!. thanx :DWww@FoodAQ@Com

Yes - You can use brown sugar, but not all of the sugars in brown sugar are fermentable - this means that you will end up with some residual sugars in the final cider that will give it a sweet taste!. also, because molasses is added to most brown sugars, you will have a bit of a molasses taste!.

In order to reach a higher alcohol content, you can use rice solids (sugars) or corn sugar!. Corn Sugar is used often in making cider because corn sugar gives hard cider its traditional cider taste!. Rice sugar (or rice solids - available online or at brew stores) will increase the alcohol content, but not impart any real flavor to the final product - just good 'ol fashioned alcohol!.

Another way to increase the alcohol content and potentially improve flavor, mouth feel and smoothness is to use an all natural honey!.

If you decide to use one of these methods, use the following amounts!. Each of these amounts is for one gallon of cider - so, if using a 6 gallon carboy, multiply these numbers by 6!.

Rice Sugar - add 1 pound per gallon!.
Corn Sugar - add 1!.5 pounds per gallon!.
Honey - add 2 pounds per gallon - will leave a bit of a sweet finish, but not too much!.

Make sure to use a yeast that has a high alcohol tolerance!. For making cider, I always use champagne yeast - it is typically good up to 14-17% alcohol before it is killed off!. For a REALLY high alcohol content, you can use a "Super Yeast" to get 22-24%!. Super yeasts do leave a bit of an off flavor, but really do their job at getting the alcohol levels up!. I don't find the need to use anything other than champagne yeast - 17% with a good taste is much better, in my opinion, than 22% that tastes like crap!.

Make sure you ferment the cider for at least 2 months - racking once if you like!. also, make sure you have a glass carboy or a really clean plastic container!. Each should have a lid, stopper and air lock!. I fill my air lock with cheap vodka because fruit flies just love the smell of fermenting cider!.

If you have any questions, let me know!. I make 24 to 36 gallons of cider every year and simply love it!. It is a party favorite too - many cabs are needed after my thanksgiving day festivities :-)

Cheers and good luck!Www@FoodAQ@Com

You should use dextrose for best results and not regular sugar in most brews, but I will mention that I have never personally brewed cider!.

Unless there is a specific reason for using brown sugar (that being flavor) I would stick with dextrose as it will yield the best results in the fermentation stage!.

In the event you do uncover evidence suggesting flavor is effected by the sugar I might suggest a 50/50 blend of dextrose and brown sugar!.

Happy brewing!Www@FoodAQ@Com

Yes, of course! In fact I prefer it, it tastes much better!. The molasses in the brown sugar does wonders!.Www@FoodAQ@Com

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