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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Any suggestions for a B Nektar "Zombie Killer" Clone? (Cherry Cyser)
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:59 AM   #1
MikePGS
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Default Any suggestions for a B Nektar "Zombie Killer" Clone? (Cherry Cyser)

A year or so ago I had a sample of this and it was great. However, I've never even begun to make my own recipe before, so wasn't sure if anyone had tried to clone this one specifically, or alternately has tasted this and had some ideas as to how to reproduce the taste. From the website "Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser is made with Michigan tart cherry juice, apple cider and star thistle honey...". I would love to be able to make something even close to the original, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-30-2012, 10:58 PM   #2
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I'm not familiar with this particular brand, but I've seen some posts on here recently of people trying out Tart Cherry Juice. I'd probably suggest starting with a simple cyser (apple juice fortified with honey and then fermented) and add your cherry juice into the secondary vessel for aging. I imagine this will take some time to age and mellow but sounds tasty.

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Old 03-30-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with that one either, but it sounds really interesting. I love mead, cider, and cherries, so this must be good...right? I did a cherry melomel before with tart charries, and I will warn that the stuff has a fair amount of acid per equivalent of cherry flavor (compared to most fruits), and I like sour. Either way, secondary sounds like the way to go! If you can get them, I'd recommend some frozen tart cherries (or fresh if you get the opportunity to get them up where you are in season /jealous). Hope this helps Good luck too! Let me know how this goes if you decide to go with it.

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Old 04-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #4
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The tap house I work at has this on tap and it is awesome. I was thinking of cloning it myself. Have you given it a go yet? I was on planning on making a Cyser and then adding cherry juice as suggested above.

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
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Apple juice base. Add a bit tart cherry concentrate. You'll have to experiment with the amount of cherry flavor you want. Ferment dry. Sorbate/sulfite to stabilize. Back sweeten with honey to taste. Force carbonate. There you have it.
Here a good spur e for the

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Old 06-07-2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuumi
Apple juice base. Add a bit tart cherry concentrate. You'll have to experiment with the amount of cherry flavor you want. Ferment dry. Sorbate/sulfite to stabilize. Back sweeten with honey to taste. Force carbonate. There you have it.
Here a good spur e for the
Whoops. Here's a good source for the cherry concentrate:
http://www.brownwoodacres.com/
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthNJipa
you really think they use no honey except to back sweet?
Whoops. I typed that on my phone as I was falling asleep. Insert in the middle of my statement "add honey to reach desired OG"
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthNJipa View Post
thats the thing though, zombie killer is only 6% abv. I think just apple juice with no honey would get you around there
Yeah good point. They've got three fermentables in there so there can't be much of each. Must be some water in there to bring it back down right? What else could they do?
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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I just had a tasting with B. Nektar last night with my homebrew club. One of the partners was there with 9 or 10 meads, and Zombie Killer was of course among them.

Fermentables:
Starthistle Honey (Sleeping Bear Farms in northern Michigan)
Montmorency Cherries (Traverse City, MI)
Fresh Pressed Apple Juice (Michigan source also)

He said that they stop the fermentation and carb in a Bright Tank, so take from that what you will.

I love it, but the stand outs from last night were the Cherry Chipotle Mead (with Balaton cherries), Evil Genius (mead carbed like Zombie Killer, but with Cascade, Cluster, and Chinook hops!), and their Barrel Aged Dry Cyser (a bit of oak makes it a great after dinner drink).

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Old 08-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #10
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I've made a couple ciders that turned out too dry and astringent for me... However last fall I left a gallon of unpasteurized local cider in the fridge for a couple months, it looked like the jug was going to explode before I ever tried it! I had a taste every few weeks or so, and the stuff stayed sweet, alcoholic, and was more effervescent than ZK. It dried out a little and was really good around 3 to 5 months.

After having a bottle of ZK Sunday night I started formulating the plan. I'm going to start with 4 gallons of the earliest cider I can get from the same orchard, and enough honey to get to 1.065 or so (after topping up to 5 gallons), the cider by itself last year was in the 1.036 neighborhood. My thought at this point is to let the natural bugs do their thing in the fridge again for a couple months or until it clears out, then transfer to a keg. After racking to the keg I'll flavor to taste with the tart Morency cherry juice concentrate we have available here. From there I'll use my spunding valve to control the natural carbonation, and have the finished product ready for early Spring or Summer next year.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome since I'm into some uncharted territory for me.

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