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Old 11-11-2007, 05:14 AM   #1
tf2
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Default Cranberry cyser -- suggestions?

I am poised to start my second batch of mead ever. My first was a traditional mead (no fruit, spices) and turned out pretty well, but I think I want to try something drier, with fruit. After perusing many recipes and talking to some more experienced meadsters locally, here is my tentative recipe. Any thoughts, comments, suggestions or improvements welcome!

Cranberry Cyser
Goal: a gallon of dry to nearly dry cranberry cyser or cranberry-apple melomel, no added sulfites.

Ingredients:
2 lbs gallberry honey from LHBS
1/2 gallon pasteurized, filtered apple juice/cider w/o preservatives from farm stand
pectic enzyme
yeast nutrient
Lalvin K-1V1116 dry wine yeast
1-2 lbs fresh cranberries
13 oz raisins

Heat a quart of water just enough to dissolve in honey; combine with cider and enough water to make just shy of a gallon (leaving some head space in a gallon jug). Add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient (quantities per labels). Mix thoroughly by shaking. Pitch yeast.

After initial fermentation (perhaps a month?), boil a quart or so of water; remove from heat, immediately add whole cranberries (1 lb, 2 lbs, more?) and raisins. Let cool. Crush/cut cranberries and raisins. Rack must onto fruit and let ferment to completion. Rack into one-gallon container and let clear before bottling.

Thoughts on adding a cinnamon stick or two, or an ounce or so of grated ginger root? If so, when -- during primary or secondary?

Thanks!

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Primary: 19 Gallon (Cranberry) Cyser, Home Alone Cranberry Melomel
Secondary: Tenure Forecast Cider, Riotin' Cider, Virgin Cider No. 1
Bottled: pumpkin ale!, brown ale
Drinking: red ale
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Old 11-17-2007, 04:45 AM   #2
tf2
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Well, no one seems to have much experience with added-fruit cysers, so I decided to wing it with an assortment of advice from local brewers who've made meads, wines and ciders. Here's what I've done so far:

1/2 gal Hazel Creek Orchards Apple Cider (pasteurized, from concentrate), Mt. Airy, Ga.
1/2 gal Publix Greenwise Market 100% Organic Apple Juice (pasteurized, from concentrate)
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 tsp yeast nutrient

Combined honey and about a pint of each juice over low heat, to dissolve honey. Poured onto about a quart of mixed juice in 1-gallon fermenter; shook vigorously. Added the remainder of the Hazel Creek juice and all but about a scant quart of the Publix juice, to make just about a gallon (ie, a little head-space). Shook vigorously. Added pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient. Shook vigorously some more. After letting the froth die down under a fermentation lock, pitched one 5 g packet of Lalvin K1-V1116 Montpellier wine yeast.

A healthy krauesen was evident about 8 hours of pitching but died down within a couple of hours; it was not as high or dramatic as the krauesen I got on a cider fermentation with hefeweizen yeast, but it was pretty good. At 24 hours I've got an impressive (to me) 96 bubbles a minute it the fermentation lock, and a dramatic fizzing in the glass jug.

I decided to name this one 19 Gallon Cyser because SWMBO has reminded me several times that we already have 18 gallons of beer and cider in various stages of completion around the house. (Well, it was 18 gallons...)

I still plan to add cranberries (probably half to 3/4 of a pound, given their strong taste) and some raisins in secondary.

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Primary: 19 Gallon (Cranberry) Cyser, Home Alone Cranberry Melomel
Secondary: Tenure Forecast Cider, Riotin' Cider, Virgin Cider No. 1
Bottled: pumpkin ale!, brown ale
Drinking: red ale
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:37 PM   #3
mgayer
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Sorry I have been out for awhile. The Cranberries will give a great added undertone to the mead. A tart, crisp flavor. When you rack to the secondary make sure you have 2 jugs and I would chop the cranberries or at least make sure they are broke open. Just chop them in half!

They will expand greatly so you will need some room. Raisins will also swell. I have seen fruit expand so much it pops the airlock off when not having enough room. I would also chop the raisins in half as their flavor will increase. Good receipe and let us know how it is progressing.

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