I once saw some calculations done by Andrew Lea, a UK cider expert, on priming with sugar according to the nomograph we use for beer. The calculations said the sugar added could never account for the entire volumes of CO2 in packaged beer. He figured the carbonation must be supplemented by CO2 already in solution and maybe a small amount of fermentables left in the beer at packaging.
The point was that those last two sources don't apply well to cider. Cider is often bulk-aged longer, which dissipates dissolved CO2, and is usually completely dry if priming with sugar.
Obviously, this doesn't apply to force carbonating at all - but would explain pesky carbonation in bottles.
This is fantastic insight. Thank you for sharing! Makes perfect sense, and something I should no doubt pay more attention to in future.
What I'm getting out of this is that if you bulk age for a long time, or swirl or agitate the cider a lot before bottling, there's not much dissolved CO2 left, so you'll want to use extra priming sugar to compensate. This is in contrast to a fresh, not very disturbed ferment (such as with beer) where there's a lot of dissolved CO2 so then the typical "3/4 cup per 5 gallons" rule is most applicable.
Interesting! Thanks again! For those who don't know, Andrew Lea is like the number one smartest dude on the whole planet when it comes to all things cider. He's like the Michael Jackson of cider, or of pop, for that matter.