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Old 10-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
Danthman
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Hello all this is my first post so please go easy. HAHA. First of all just want to say this is an excellent site. I have been a visitor for a long time but never a poster. Now for my question. One of my co-workers gave me 5lbs of local buckwheat clover honey and I wanted to incorporate that into my cider recipe. I have 3 gallons of apple cider that I just picked up over the weekend and I can't wait to get this going. Any suggestions on what recipe I should use?? Do I need to add sugar to the mix or is the honey enough to keep it going?

Thank you
Dano



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Old 10-27-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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First of all, Welcome!! The honey alone will be fine but it really depends on how long you are willing to wait for it. You could use all 5 lbs, for an estimated OG of 1.100 and close to 10% ABV. But that amount of honey takes a long time to mellow out (think at least half a year or more). You could just use 1 lb for a nice 5% ABV Melomel that will be finished a lot sooner. Its up to you.



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Old 10-27-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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Adding 5# of honey to 3gal of cider will make a pretty nice cyser (mead with apple juice base). If the honey is the dark buckwheat then it will have a pretty bold flavor that it will add to the cyser.
It sounds like a nice recipe. I would be sure to add yeast nutrients to the must to ensure the yeasts are not stressed and you get a smooth fermentation. See the sticky in the mead forum for some suggestions on how to add the nutrients.

Craig

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Old 10-27-2008, 12:35 PM   #4
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Welcome!

I think clover honey would be a great addition- but I'm not so sure about the "buckwheat" portion. Someone around here mentioned that buckwheat honey was strong flavored so you may want to back off on the honey if it's a real dominant flavor. Maybe google it, just to see what kind of response there is to buckwheat honey in cider, or wait for one of the more experienced cyser (that's cider with honey) makers chimes in.

Edit- too slow! Thanks CBBaron!

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Old 10-27-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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No additional sugar needed. Three gallons cider and five pounds honey will give you an OG of about 1.092, which would give you about 12% ABV if it ferments to 1.000.

My suggestion: Make sure your cider doesn't contain preservatives. Add camden tablets or Potassium Metabisulfite to the cider/ honey mix 24 hours prior to pitching yeast if your cider hasn't been pasteurized to discourage the wild yeast. Add some yeast nutrients and oxygenate well when you pitch your yeast.

Taste your honey first. Buckwheat can add some nice flavors, but it is potent stuff. You have a blend, so you are probably fine, but straight buckwheat can give some VERY bold flavors.

What size buckets/carboys are you using? This recipe is fine for a 3 gallon carboy or gallon jugs. I would add two more gallons of cider (to eliminate headspace) if you are planning on a 5 gallon vessel for the secondary.

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Old 10-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
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First of all Thank you to everyone who responded..great advice.

Right now I have a 3 gallon carboy that I am planning to use and I have 3 gallons of local cider that has been uv treated.. I was thinking of stepping it up a bit and adding 2 gallons of apple juice upgrading to the 5 gal carb and then throwing the 5lbs in. What would you guys think of adding some brown sugar would that give it too strong of a flavor? Also what kind of yest works well with Honey? GinKings thanks for the advice with the camden tabs I think I am going to do exactly what you suggested that way things don't get too wild in there. I ususally get this honey every year and have it with my toast and tea and it's not too strong but nice and mellow which is why I considered it for my cider.

I currently have 3 gallons of cider cooking that is just my plain old recipe cider sugar and yeast nothing more and nothing less. I made it last year and it came out great so I am hoping to repeat.

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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Ok last night I started my cider.
Here's what I have done so far 3 gallons of local uv treated apple cider two gallons of store bought apple juice preservative free. total 5 gallons.
4lbs of local buckwheat honey and 1 lbs of dark buckwheat honey from last year.
Added 5 tabs of campden added to the mix last night and letting it set for 24 hours.
Tonight I am going to pitch the Montrachen (spelling not sure) yeast.
OG started out at 1.095 looking for about 12% ABV Anyone guess how long I should let this go? I am guessing approx 6 months. that's what I usually let my stuff go or until it gets nice and clear.

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
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Red Star Montrachet should be a good yeast for your cyser. Lalvin D-47 is a popular yeast for meads and cysers, and I've also had good luck with EC1118.

Your OG is higher than expected but should be a good starting point for a cyser. I would add some DAP and yeast nutrient like Fermaid-K to help out the yeast. Honey and cider are not good sources for some of the nutrients yeast need for healthy cell growth.

I usually leave my cysers in the primary for 3-4 weeks then transfer them to a secondary for another 5-6 months. A lot of mead makers will leave theirs in the secondary for a year or more but I have not yet learned that level of patience, nor do I have enough carboys.
Six months is a pretty good time before bottling.

Craig

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Old 10-28-2008, 02:34 PM   #9
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CB thanks for the info. This is the first time I am trying Montrachet and I am excited to see the outcome. I picked up some yeast Nutrient yesterday and plan on adding that to the mix. When is a good time to add the nut as this is the first time I will be using it? The way I have things worked out which I am hoping is that by the time this one is ready the batch I have working now should be ready to be put in the closet and forgoten about. The way I look at it lazyness and patience are almost alike haha at least that's how I look at it. Thanks for the help it's much appreciated.



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