I started a Cider one week ago using the following recipe:
Strait into the fermenter
5 Gallons fresh cider (local orchard, unpasteurized)
2 cans Apple Juice concentrate
Boiled for 20 mins:
1 Gallon tap water
1.5 kg Coopers Wheat LME
3/4 cups Blackstrap Molasses
6 oz. Grated Ginger
4 Cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp clove
Pitched starter made 24 hours earlier with yeast starter made from
1/2 Gallon tap water
1/2 lb DME
White labs Sweet Mead Yeast
OG was about 1.086, fermented kind of warm (70-75 degrees F)
Here is what happened, I pitch the yeast and the next day fermentation is going NUTS! No lag time at all, I have bubbles and yeast swirling everywhere.
three days later I test the SG and get 1.020 or so and the ferment is still going with no end in sight. I taste it and it's very sour and has kind of an astringent taste. I leave it alone and yesterday and today ferment seems to have stabilized at 1.010 and I have a very sour and dry result. I wanted a sweeter cider and selected a yeast that was supposed to have a 75% attenuation so I would have some residual sugar. This is dry and sour and astringent which isn't bad per se, but kind of clashes with the spices.
Two questions on this; First: why is the attenuation so freaking high? Could I have gotten some wild yeast that ate what the mead yeast didn't? Second: is there anything I can do to sweeten this up a bit or at least mellow it out to go with the spiced cider flavor? I want a sparkling cider and I can't use sulfates due to allergies.
Thanks for any help!