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benjamin123 02-05-2010 12:43 PM

Ginger Cyser Recipe Help
Hello All,

I am brand new to brewing and posting. I've made a batch of Ed's apfelwein, several batches of ginger beer (soda), and a ginger wine. The ginger beer and apfelwein came out beautifully. The ginger wine was less than tasty.

I would like to make a cyser where the ginger is the main flavor highlighted by the residual sweetness from the honey, apple and molasses. Here's what I was thinking, any advice would be appreciated. THANKS!


Ginger Cyser (1 gallon test batch)
--shooting for 12% abv

1 gallon apple juice
1 lb honey
1 lb molasses
1 tsp fermax
Juice and zest of one lemon
2 cloves
3 peppercorns
Half a cinnamon stick
pitch lavlin ec-1118
(Primary for 2 weeks)

In a blender mix
2 cups apple juice
6 inch chunk of ginger (or more)
add to secondary
Rack Cyser to secondary
--should I add a campden tablet?
(Let ferment to dryness)

Rack, Prime, Bottle

Does this sound even close to correct? Most of the ginger bite disappeared in the ginger wine. Based on the recommendation of a couple posts, I'm hoping adding ginger to the secondary will be better.

gratus fermentatio 02-05-2010 01:58 PM

A whole pound of molasses is a LOT for a 1 gallon batch! Maybe you really like the molasses flavour though. I used 10 oz of molasses in a 6 gallon batch of cyser & it about overpowered the honey & I used 3lbs of honey per gallon. Cloves are pretty strong, you might want to reduce it to just 1 clove, I've never used peppercorns, so I can't say much about that. Regards, GF.

bubbachunk 02-05-2010 02:07 PM

I would also cut back on the molasses or you are bound to overpower everything else

benjamin123 02-05-2010 02:10 PM

What if I switched to 1 lb of brown sugar and 1 clove?

I'm looking for residual sweetness, and a little bit of molasses flavor.

Thank you for the quick input!


benjamin123 02-05-2010 10:11 PM

Okay. . . so I started with:

1.5 gallons of juice
1.5 lbs demerara sugar
1.5 lbs honey
1.5 tsps fermax
Red Star Pasteur Champagne (because it's what I had open)

The OG is 1.113

In two weeks I will rack an add:
1 clove
3 black peppercorns (because I use them in my ginger beer)
1/2 a cinnamon stick
Lots of ginger
a little bit of molasses depending on how everything tastes

Please correct me if I should do anything different!

CandleWineProject 02-06-2010 12:17 AM


Originally Posted by benjamin123 (Post 1862886)
What if I switched to 1 lb of brown sugar and 1 clove?

I'm looking for residual sweetness, and a little bit of molasses flavor.

Thank you for the quick input!


You won't get residual sweetness unless you chemical the hell out of it to get it to stop eating all the sugar, or let it ferment dry, add a little bit of chemicals to make sure the yeast stays dead, and then add sugar back. Yeast want to eat all possible sugar, so the only thing you accomplish by giving more to them at the begining is upping the potential alcohol content. Think of it as rolling a car down a hill without breaks. Either you find a large rock or something to stop it, or wait until it hits the bottom. When it hits the bottom, you can push it up a tad and then put a rock under the wheels. Make sense?

I *think* fermenting dry and adding in a touch of molasses is how Spire Mountain Cider does their dark and dry, but I won't know for sure until I take WSU's cider class this summer. http://www.fishbrewing.com/spire-mou...y-apple-cider/

TheRabidKumquat 02-06-2010 02:20 AM

In your original post also mention wanting to have some residual sweetness and priming and bottling? Sparkling meads with residual sweetness are really tricky to do without force carbing, and you'll be risking making grenades.

This looks really similar to a recipe on GotMead. In the latest version of it, a full pound of fresh ginger was used in a 5 gallon batch, but he skips the molasses.

At first the combinations of apple, ginger (which I'm not a huge fan of) and the molasses made me kinda wonder, but after reading his comments about tasting it after 3 years, I might give a ginger cyser a try somewhere down the road.
Good luck!

JamesM 02-06-2010 02:24 AM

What about using Lactose or Malto Dextrine to keep some sweetness... I have no idea about amounts for a 1 gal batch

CandleWineProject 02-06-2010 04:35 AM


Originally Posted by JamesM (Post 1864633)
What about using Lactose or Malto Dextrine to keep some sweetness... I have no idea about amounts for a 1 gal batch

I believe you can use lactose, but don't know about malto dextrine. If you aren't afraid of it, Splenda works, too. I like my tea sweet, about a teaspoon per cup (8oz), so for wine I do about 1 tsp per 16oz. Remember, it is easier to sweeten up a dry wine, but if you do it with artificial sugar, impossible to dry out a sweet wine. Wait, we are talking mead here. Well, that's what I get for drinking a beer and answering.

benjamin123 02-06-2010 12:03 PM

Thanks for all the advice!

I probably should have started by explaining my rational first.

1) I like spicy ginger beer, but sometimes it's a little too sweet for me.
2) Ed's apfelwein definitely rocks--not too sweet, not too dry
3) I've only tasted "dry" meads, and they've all tasted a little "sweet" to me.
4) The ginger wine I made tasted like flat, sour, gingerale--yuck!

So with all this in mind, I came up with Ginger Cyser. I'll be happy if it is a tiny bit sweeter that Ed's apfelwein. I'm hoping the sweetness I've tasted in dry meads will carry over to the Cyser. I'm also hoping by adding the ginger in the secondary, I will get a more potent and spicy concoction. My goal is a spicy ginger beer type of drink highlighted by the fruitiness of the apple, and the mellowness of the honey. It does not need to be sweet like a true ginger beer. It does need to be spicy like one.

I'd rather stay away from artificial sweeteners and lactose. I'll have to read up on maltodextrine. I don't have a fore carb set up. . . yet.

Right now I'm a little worried about the potential ABV. I did the math based on honey and molasses. I forgot to change it when I switched to sugar. I'm 3 to 4 % higher than I'd like to be, and nearing the upper limit of the yeast. I hope this won't interfere with bottle carbing.

The good news is, I just checked, and the airlock is bubbling like crazy.

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