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Old 10-07-2012, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default Bochet Cyser

I've been reading through the several threads on cyser, and watched the cool video from the CrAzY Mead Co., and decided to give it a shot myself.

Recipe as follows:

  • 5 lb. Clover Honey
  • 4 apples (Jonathan and Cortland)
  • 1 gal Giant Eagle Apple Juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pectic enzyme
  • Fermaid-K and DAP (Staggered addition per Gotmead.com)

I chopped the apples and put them right in the pot with the honey. I boiled the honey until it started to smell burned and had a nice dark color to it. (This was done outside). I had to try a couple of the apple bits...they were like apple candy. Delicious.

Once I added the apple juice and dissolved the burnt honey, I brought it all in and chilled in the sink until I got it down to room temperature. Dumped the whole mixture, including the cinnamon, nutmeg, enzyme and nutrient into a Mr. Beer fermenter. I then pitched the yeast (1 packet of D47).

The OG was higher than my hydrometer would read, so I added a quart of water and got it down to 1.132. I'm not sure if this is still too much for D47, or if I even got an accurate reading (the apples I left in while I was boiling the honey might have left a thin applesauce in the must.)

Pictures below. I'll post updates.





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Old 10-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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Mmmm, that looks good. How big of a batch is this?

The D47 might peter out before you get to the desired FG, but keep up nutrients, and you might be able to pitch another strain of yeast to get it where you want.

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Old 10-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #3
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Interesting concept...I'll be curious to see how it clears; you may have some set pectin from boiling the apples with the honey, but the pectic enzyme should help with what came in from the apple juice. Please try and remember to post more updates...the pics are awesome!

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Old 10-08-2012, 12:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I checked on it this morning and It's bubbling, but not as vigorously as I had hoped. I'll degass and add more nutrient this afternoon. I might just pick up some EC 1118 from my brew shop today, too. I like the idea of drying this out as much as possible. Many of the Bochet posts that I've read say that there's going to be some unfermentables from cooking the honey.

I was aiming for about a gallon of finished product. Right now there's pretty close to 1-1/2 gal in the ferementor. I wanted some extra for topping off as I rack it.

I'll do my best to post updates.

By the way, the smell coming from the pot while the honey was cooking was terrific. My wife almost regretted making me do it outside.......almost.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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I did something very similar to this minus the actual apple. I did 5 pounds of honey, half a gallon of apple juice and water topped off to 2 gallons with spices. I definitely did not get much action either. My OG was 1.090 and I can't seem to get it to drop below 1.020 using EC-1118. I wonder if this is because of the un-fermentables that occur from burning the honey. I'm curious to see how you make out. Keep us posted.

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:34 PM   #6
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I made a medium bochet cyser that was a total hit at my grandparents house last time I was there. The flavor is incredible and the burnt honey almost gives it a slight spiced taste which compliments the apple. The OP did it a bit differently then I did but the idea is similar. I definitely recommend this. Mine cleared out into a darker color then most meads, without any additives. All that's in this bottle is local blackberry honey, apples, water, and yeast. http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d83/corvette6698512/DSC01569.jpg

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #7
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Gravity is down to 1.086. I get a lot of foam when degassing (twice daily), so I think the yeast is happy.

There is a 1/8in. thick layer of applesauce floating on top. So far I don't think that's an issue.

I'll put up a photo after I rack.

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Old 10-19-2012, 01:31 AM   #8
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Racked. Got almost exactly 1-1/2 gallons. Photos below. Currently it's at 1.028 (puts it at around 13% ABV, if the measurements can be believed).

The smell is great, but it tastes pretty sour. I'm hoping that's not a bad sign. It's probably not done fermenting. If only this stuff would age faster!

After racking, a nice layer of gook settled to the bottom. This is mostly the leftover apple bits, I think. I'm not sure I'll cook the apples in the honey again, unless I want to make apple candy, and pick the bits out before I add the apple juice. It was fun to try, though.

2012-10-18_21-09-21_646.jpg  
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaffo View Post
After racking, a nice layer of gook settled to the bottom. This is mostly the leftover apple bits, I think. I'm not sure I'll cook the apples in the honey again, unless I want to make apple candy, and pick the bits out before I add the apple juice. It was fun to try, though.
An idea for the future (if you wish to keep the apple in your recipe) is that you scoop out the apple fragments after cooling the burnt honey/apple mix, and place them in a weighted muslin bag for the primary fermentation. A similar method worked for me with 6 lbs blueberries in a 5 gal melomel: after washing/freezing/mashing the berries, I weighted the muslin sack containing blueberry mash with a muslin sack containing (sterilized!) marbles. I got no mold on the fruit, and a light yet distinct blueberry flavor by the next racking.

If you want to feel better about the gunk on the lees, find someone who has had to deal with pumpkin puree in a brew. Having just done 5 gal batches of spiced pumpkin beer and cyser, I can vouch for such folks and say that any way in which you can minimize particulate junk is well worth consideration!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #10
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Looks like the gook is settling to a nice and solid layer of lees, so I don't think I'll have an issue racking.

That said, your advice is going in my notes for next time.

Thanks!

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