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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > First cyser
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:05 PM   #1
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Default First cyser

Well I have 4.5 gallons of apple juice (I got thirsty... I had 5 gallons) and I have 5 lbs of clover honey. I also have some frozen apple juice concentrate.

I want to make a sweet cyser that won't take a year before it is drinkable (looking for a couple months turnaround).

I'm thinking of steeping some Crystal malt in a gallon of apple juice to get some caramel flavor.

I would like it to be sweet when finished. I can backsweeten if needed.

Should I use all of the honey?
What yeast would be best for this, ale yeast to leave some sweetness?


Suggestions and critiques appreciated!

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Old 11-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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I can't speak to the Crystal malt, I've never heard of that before. I don't think that it will have the effect you're looking for though. If you want some caramel flavor, I would go for a late addition of some caramel syrup, perhaps in a secondary.

The juice is probably somewhere in the 1.050 range already, and the addition of the honey will obviously raise that, but I'm concerned you won't get much flavor from the honey at such a low concentration, and because it's clover, which is pretty nondescript. If you want a quick turnaround with residual sweetness, ale yeast is the way to go. I've had good luck with nottingham, it doesn't scrub out all the apple flavor like wine yeast does.

Again not sure on the honey level, kahuna?

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Old 11-12-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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I posted a recipe for a Caramel Apple Mead in the recipes section that sounds like exactly what you're looking for. I can guarantee that the crystal malt will provide a caramel flavor in this recipe. To me, the mead tastes like caramel apples.

I doubt it'll be ready in two months. In fact, only a few meads are ready that quickly. Even quick meads like Joe's Ancient Orange or Quick Grape take about three months before they're ready. Generally, the terms, "mead" and "quick", aren't used in the same sentence. If you're looking for a two month turnaround you'd be better off brewing beer.

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Old 11-12-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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Well I don't need it to be ready in two months, I just hate to wait a year and then find out it's not what I was looking for. I've not yet had a good homebrew mead, I had chaucer's mead but didn't really like it.

I have made apfelwein before but I didn't like how dry it turned out, I ended up giving most of it away.

The carmel apple mead recipe posted is actually what gave me the idea for this. I hoped to make a lighter version of it (for cost and time reasons). I will probably need to get some buckwheat honey to backsweeten with as mentioned in that recipe.

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Old 11-12-2008, 04:54 PM   #5
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The different honey varieties provide a little depth to the finished product but they aren't really necessary. Just use whatever honey you have available and it should be fine. You can always backsweeten if it's too dry. Use a little frozen apple concentrate and a little honey (about 6 oz each) and you'll be good to go. Be sure to wait until fermentation is completely finished and then add sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to stabilize prior to backsweetening. Good luck!

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Old 11-12-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conpewter View Post
Well I don't need it to be ready in two months, I just hate to wait a year and then find out it's not what I was looking for. I've not yet had a good homebrew mead, I had chaucer's mead but didn't really like it.
Unfortunately the knowledge you seek comes at the cost of experience. As has been pointed-out in several forum topics, tailoring individual taste to a given recipe is something that is learned over time.

Until you acquire that ability, you're left with trying a recipe and seeing how the result matches your personal taste. If you're unsure about a recipe try making a smaller batch and keep detailed brew records. Find out what you like and dislike. You'd be surprised how quickly you can learn...
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