This is a follow-up on the blueberry cyser I made back on March 15th, a little over 5 weeks ago. The recipe was:
2.5# of crushed blueberries
5# Sam's honey
Mott's apple juice to fill 5 gallon carboy
1 packet Nottingham yeast, rehydrated
1 teaspoons yeast nutrient
I measured a starting gravity of 1.070, but now suspect the honey was not fully dissolved so it was probably higher. I also added the crushed blueberries directly to the carboy but won't be doing that again. They floated on top and kept clogging the blow-off tube, popping the cap off twice. I racked into another carboy after two weeks, then racked off again a week later when it reached and FG of 1.018 and stopped dropping. I then moved to a cooler for five days where it cleared up nicely.
The flavor is smooth and fruity, and obviously sweet. I was hoping to get the FG to 1.010 but I think I had too much sugar for the yeast to finish off. There were no off flavors, unlike I have gotten with other yeasts. Many like the cyser as is, even though it is very young.
I racked again into a soda keg for transport home and let it sit and age for a few days until I could take over the kitchen for pasteurizing and bottling. I decided to keep this a still desert type wine based on the input from the likely consumers. I think it might have benefited from the bite the carbonation would add, but most folks don't associate wines with carbonation.
I've tried the pasteurization process defined in the sticky thread with a previous batch of carbonated cyser and wound up with bombs in the kitchen. The SWMBO was not impressed or amused. I've also tried the various additions to terminate fermentation, but almost everyone could taste them. So I decided to go a different route this time. I setup a process where I ran the cyser through a 10 ' copper coil in 180 degree water then cooled it before filling the bottles.
I monitored the temperature when the cyser exited the heated coil and it maintained a fairly consistent 160 degrees. I could adjust the temp by varying the flow rate or increasing the water bath temperature. The result in the bottle tasted almost exactly like the cyser before going through this contraption (the SWMBO went to her room after seeing what I was up to) but had significantly less CO2 in it. As it passed through the water bath a lot of gas was coming out of solution. The resulting blueberry wine has a very smooth, sweet, and pleasant palate to it that goes down like a fine desert wine. I can't taste the alcohol in it, but a couple of glasses of this and I'm not getting up out of the chair.
Future batches will have less sugar (honey) and should ferment easier. I am also planning a pasteurization test where I am going to run some partially fermented must or wort through the process then see if the fermentation was in fact killed off.
A voluntarily indentured servant at the Soggy Bottom Brewhaus!
On Tap: Golden Strong Belgian, Blonde
Fermenting: Belgian Blonde, AppleWine