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Old 10-31-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default Stirring a cyser?

My brother made a wonderful party punch out of apple juice and brown sugar, which inspired me to try something like it.

Except I used organic cider and the last of the honey from my first mead project. If I'm to understand correctly, my yeast has two strikes against it there - first, that the honey has complex sugars that take a bit of time to eat up; second, that cider still has apple-y bits (like pectin) that make it a little harder for the yeast to get around. I was told, casually, by a gent from the LHBS that what I oughta do is wait until the fermentation slows down and stir it to liberate any sugars that have been caught up in the pectin mix. Hard to tell how fast the ferment is going as that same pectin is making big pectin-y bubbles that dont like to pop!

Lastly, and PLEASE don't chase me off the forum with spears, my primary is still being used for the mead project so I'm brewing this cyser in my *gulp* mr beer keg

So! questions. 1- With no airlock bubbles to count, how do I know when my ferment is slowing down? 2- Am I going to hurt it if I rack it too early/late? I'm thinking going to a bottle with an airlock would simplify things greatly.. 3, and perhaps most important - I'm tempted to sterilize a spoon and stir it some, is that a horrid idea?

Heck of a first post. Thanks for the help ahead of time.



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Old 10-31-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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During the first 3-7 days of a ferment, most mead isn't going to be hurt by oxygen.
In fact, the yeast needs oxygen to build strong cell walls and do its business.

Additionally, stirring will degas the mead, which is good for the yeast too, so go for it.

Also, you don't need an airlock to count bubbles, use your hydrometer to see how close it is to finishing.

Pectin can be a little messy. I've got a 1 bottle batch of cyser that clogs the airlock every 12 hours with foam. You can add pectic enzyme to fix that though.

Speaking of which, what's the OG and yeast you used?



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Old 11-01-2011, 06:18 PM   #3
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OG unknown.. hydrometer's on the christmas list

The yeast was Wyeast Abbey Ale, because the guy at the LHBS had it and it should go to around 12%abv, ideally. Lotta sugars in there to eat up.
Re: pectin- Maybe I did something right putting it in the Mr Beer keg, then.. a gallon in it gives 3-4 inches of space to expand into. Amusingly enough, my big pectin bubbles seem to have diminished in favor of a finer foam. I suppose now is definitely the time for stirring.

Ah well, I pitched it some five days ago.. I'll just let it sit for a little and then rack it into something I can put an airlock on, eh? The question remains, will things Go Terribly Wrong if I rack it a bit early/late?

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Nope. Meads can be aged on lees or off.

just keep the oxygen out.

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