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Old 04-09-2012, 02:48 AM   #1
gizmohd
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Default New Batch of Cyser

I have been a long time lurker and finally decided to make a post.. Sadly its a week late. But either way, I thought I would share my latest batch. I've made this recipe on and off now for a few years, but this time with a twist....

17 lbs of Local Honey (Jacksonville Florida)
5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (Sam's Club no preservatives/additives)
6 Cinnamon sticks broken into smaller pieces (about the size of a marble)
10-15 cloves
White Labs English Cider Yeast (WLP775)

I poured the honey and a half gallon of Apple Juice into my cook pot to warm up to about 190 degrees... then poured that into my sterilized primary... I then added the rest of the apple juice and stirred to evenly distribute the honey through the must.

In another small pot I took about two cups of apple juice and brought it to a boil, I added the crushed cinnamon and cloves to the mix. Mainly to sterilize the additives so I wouldnt introduce some nasties into the must. I then added these to the primary.

The primary is a 6 1/2 gallon bucket, and my mix filled it to the 6 gallon mark.

Once the temperature of the must was acceptable, I pitched the English Cider Yeast and put it in my closet to give it some privacy for the next week.

Of course over the next couple of days I would open the closest door to get a whiff the process..

I wasnt able to measure the SG of the must before It started fermenting, since I had dropped my hygrometer on the garage floor.. (they dont bounce too well). But I did use the online calculator on www.gotmead.com. So the estimate was as follows:

17lbs Honey (79.6% sugar),
5 Gallons Apple Juice (12.4% sugar)
6 Gallon Target

Came out to an estimated initial SG of 1.158 or (19.78 ABV) WOW

This week, after doing some reading I decided to go ahead and stir it up as some recommended, so I took a sample aside and measured the SG of it today. According to the new handy dandy hygrometer the SG is 1.07. Which if correct is 11.73%. So I may be questioning the initial estimate a little considering how sweet the must still is (I had to sample for quality control purposes you know). But I do have to say it has a very unique flavor at this point that I am looking forward to drinking when it's done. It definately reminds me of the hot apple ciders I used to have while skiing in the rockies.

I am figuring the primary ferment will run for four weeks, then I will rack it off into the secondary for another couple of weeks to clarify, then bottle...

Any thoughts or recommendations?

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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Money says someone is Gunn tell you that heating honey is wrong, but I'm right there with you, I make sure everything I put in my booze has hit 160 for at least 20 minutes. Who know what kind of yeasties and beasties are in ingredients, better safe than infected. Sounds like a good recipe too, what's the abv tolerance of that yeast and how vigorous of a ferment is it?

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Old 04-09-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gizmohd

Once the temperature of the must was acceptable, I pitched the English Cider Yeast and put it in my closet to give it some privacy for the next week.
Lol... Interesting way to phrase it.
The yeast - "Hey buddy... Could we get some privacy in here please? It's kind of hard to get our groove on with you looking in the carboy every 10 minutes".
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:16 AM   #4
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Steady but not overly vigorous. I am going to pick up some nutrient today and pitch that tonight to give it a hand.

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Old 04-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bodhi86 View Post
Money says someone is Gunn tell you that heating honey is wrong..........what's the abv tolerance of that yeast
Wouldn't say wrong, just damaging to aroma and flavors........

WLP-775 is reported to have an ABV tolerance of 14%
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:52 AM   #6
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Two weeks in and my sg has reached 1.055 in the primary. Original gravity was estimated at 1.158 using the online calculator. So estimated ABV is 16.87% at this point. It is still fermenting and slowly bubbling in the airlock. I will be moving to the secondary midweek (had to order a new Carboy) and there it will sit for the next month.

Taste is good at this point. Still sweet, but nowhere near as sickly sweet as last week. But i do taste this awesome flavor that reminds me if a mulled cider with loads of honey added. I'm curious at this point where the finally gravity will end up considering the tolerance of the is supposed to be 14% I'm already beyond that and the yeast is working strong.

I did add more nutrient this week to give it a little more assistance to consume some more of the honey.

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:40 AM   #7
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Looks like an Annoying Orange torture scene in the background

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Old 04-16-2012, 03:51 AM   #8
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Hahaha ya not the best background. I admit .

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Old 04-16-2012, 01:39 PM   #9
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If this appears to finish with a high SG I would be cautious about bottling too soon. Honey is notoriously slow to ferment. I would leave in secondary for a significant time to be positive fermentation is finished and not just slowed wayyyyyy down. I hate to see tasty beverage wasted as bottle bombs on the cellar floor. (ask me how I know.)

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Old 04-16-2012, 02:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBrewingMedic View Post
Wouldn't say wrong, just damaging to aroma and flavors........

WLP-775 is reported to have an ABV tolerance of 14%
Just want to say, 775 is AWESOME! I have used it in my cider the past 2 years, and my cyser this past fall, and will never again use a different yeast for fermenting apples...gives a great, sort of spicy flavor that just goes well with apple flavor, and this seems to come through whether or not you add other spices.

My cyser finished 1.115 to 1.000 for an ABV of 15.3%

Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmohd View Post
Two weeks in and my sg has reached 1.055 in the primary. Original gravity was estimated at 1.158 using the online calculator. So estimated ABV is 16.87% at this point. It is still fermenting and slowly bubbling in the airlock. I will be moving to the secondary midweek (had to order a new Carboy) and there it will sit for the next month.

Taste is good at this point. Still sweet, but nowhere near as sickly sweet as last week. But i do taste this awesome flavor that reminds me if a mulled cider with loads of honey added. I'm curious at this point where the finally gravity will end up considering the tolerance of the is supposed to be 14% I'm already beyond that and the yeast is working strong.

I did add more nutrient this week to give it a little more assistance to consume some more of the honey.
That's a really high OG and FG...too bad you didn't get a real OG measurement. To me, 1.055 would be undrinkably sweet...perhaps if you feel the same way, you could add something to try and dry it out (? EC-1118) a bit (although I think you'll be hard pressed to get almost anything to start back up at almost 17% ABV already. You could also consider actually thinning it out with water or a very dry mead.

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If this appears to finish with a high SG I would be cautious about bottling too soon. Honey is notoriously slow to ferment. I would leave in secondary for a significant time to be positive fermentation is finished and not just slowed wayyyyyy down. I hate to see tasty beverage wasted as bottle bombs on the cellar floor. (ask me how I know.)
+1...I'd also not transfer it yet...I'd just let it go in primary until you have cleared up a bit. Give the yeast a chance to do their best to get where they are capable of going. If you move to secondary too soon, you may ruin any chance of drying this beast out any further. When you do transfer it though, I would indeed leave it for a good amount of time...perhaps while you're making a small batch of straight dry mead to cut it with...
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