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Old 08-14-2006, 07:56 PM   #1
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i'm brand new to the home brew world, and i'm going to start up a simple jug wine or a cider soon. In addition, i'm thinking of making something a little more complex that takes a bit of time to age. I came across this Cyser recipe:
http://www.nwlink.com/~badger/cyser.html
The instructions seem quite good, but i've never done this before. Is there anything left out of these instructions that i should know before attempting this? What yeast would be best to make it not super dry? This recipe does not say to "prime" before bottleing as i've seen in other recipes. What are the advantages of priming, and how would i do so in this recipe? Any opinions on changes to the recipe would also be appreciated.

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Old 08-14-2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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priming is the process of adding a LITTLE sugar to a brew that still has living yeast in it just before you bottle it up. The yeast will eat the sugar after bottling and generate the carbon dioxide needed for bubbly beverages.

If you don't prime, you get a non-carbonated beverage.

I know jack about cysers, so maybe they are supposed to be non-carbonated/

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Old 08-20-2006, 10:20 AM   #3
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The recipe is sound enough. The dryness can be controlled by the amount of honey used. The recipe calls for 2-4 lbs of honey....less is dryer, more is sweeter. The cider will also provide some sweetness. If you think you might want a sparkling cyser, it might be best to use less honey and make sure it fully ferments out (several months) before priming, rather than bottling still ferment brew (glass grenade syndrome). Personally, I prefer to prime with honey. It takes longer, but it enhances that already wonderful flavor.

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Old 08-20-2006, 06:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. My local homebrew shop sells a "sweet mead" yeast that says it leaves 2 to 3 % residual sugar. With that in mind, how much honey would you use? They sell honey in 3.3 lb jars, would that be too much?

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Old 08-20-2006, 06:54 PM   #5
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I would wager serious money that the honey you buy at the HBS is much, much more expensive than what you'd get at the grocery store or from a local producer.

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Old 08-21-2006, 12:35 AM   #6
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Taking into account that there is sugar in the cider, 3.3 lbs. would make for quite a sweet mead. 2.5 lbs in a gallon should be adequate for a dryer, only slightly sweet mead (in my opinion only, of course)

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Old 08-24-2006, 05:15 PM   #7
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Alright, i started the cyser yesterday. I followed the basic directions of the recipe, using a little over 2.5 lbs of honey, wyeast sweet mead yeast, and adding 1 tsp yeast nutrient, 1 tsp pectic enzyme, and 1/2 tsp of acid blend.
How do you guys think i did? I only used 1/2 tsp acid blend because the apple juice has some acid in it, does that seem about right? Any other advice is appreciated.

P.S. The Bird, i did buy the honey from the HBS, 3.1 lbs for $12. This seemed reasonable, and it's a really great store that i like to support (The Whine and Hop Shop in Madison, WI).

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Old 08-24-2006, 06:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
I would wager serious money that the honey you buy at the HBS is much, much more expensive than what you'd get at the grocery store or from a local producer.
Oh, homes, no, I must beg to differ. I got 12 pounds of clover for $30... that's amazing. Grocery store is like $4 a pound. Honey is just now getting out of a very expensive shortage.
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Old 08-25-2006, 02:24 PM   #9
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For any cyser you just need a ton of honey so it ferments longer, this is the best part of brewing these in my opinion. 1 gallon of apple juice- 5 pounds honey. 5 gallons apple juice 25+ pounds of honey.

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Old 08-26-2006, 03:28 AM   #10
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Our Costco charges $17 for 3kg (6.6lbs) of something that passes for honey, but one of the Nurses I work with's Dad has an apiary, so I can get fabulous alfalfa, wildflower or fireweed honey for $2/lb!! Hurray for me!!

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