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Old 06-07-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
wfowlks
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Default A word to the wise when making cider with honey

So I had made some hard cider last fall about 10 batches, experimenting with the different amounts of honey, brown sugar and cinnamon. I cold crashed it to stop the fermentation early so that it would still retain the cider flavor and not be dry.

However, I gave some to a friend just last week, and I ran out of the one I had tried, so I gave him one of this next batch, and looking at my notes I put a lot of honey in it, like 1.5 Lbs, and cold crashed after 10 days, at 1.018, (started at 1.072).

My friend took it home and tried it and was like it was good but it was chunky. I was like what? So I got home and looked at another bottle, held it up to the light and I could see some stuff on the bottom floating around, the bottom half was hazy. I put it in the fridge to see if I could get it to go down, no success. I just opened it, normal carbonation, but the chunks did come out, and I could see that it was the honey that separated, just like when you leave it in the cabinet for to long.

Don't use honey, cold crash and leave for 6 months. Or else you will get chunks... granted they taste good, but chunks!

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:40 PM   #2
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Have you read anything in the Mead forum?

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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No... I probably should have

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:56 PM   #4
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Was the cider really cold when you added the honey?

Honey gets quite thick when chilled. I'm thinking perhaps the honey congealed and fell to the bottom because it thickened before it dissolved into the cider.

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Old 06-09-2012, 09:37 PM   #5
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Well what I did was I took some of the cider (0.5 gallons), heated it to 150 degrees, then mixed the honey, brown sugar and cinnamon in, then poured it into the fermentation bucket, and poured the rest of the 5 gallons in, which were at room temperature. It may have fallen out of suspension and fallen to the bottom when I cold crashed it, then the auto-siphon picked it up when I put it in to rack to the bottling bucket. But then it mixed back in.

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Old 06-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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It definitely sounds like the honey was not completely integrated in the first place. It can be kind of tricky and it takes ALOT of stirring especially if its already crystallized when you add it. Even when liquid it can be difficult to tell when it is fully dissolved.

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Old 06-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
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It was liquid when I added it. I had bought it fresh from a local orchard that also has a bee hive. He said he had harvested it the day prior to when I bought it.

On a side note, i tried a spoonful of it. And that was the best damn honey I've ever had.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Sounds like maybe you just needed to stir it up some more to get it fully integrated. Maybe next time wait a day or 2 before cold crashing and give it a few different stirs in case it is settling out on you.

Every time I brew I learn a few more things about this hobby.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #9
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Yeah, I'm not sure how much cider I'll be making this year, because I moved, and I don't know how much I trust these orchards in Maryland.

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Old 06-09-2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfowlks View Post
Yeah, I'm not sure how much cider I'll be making this year, because I moved, and I don't know how much I trust these orchards in Maryland.
There are a lot of good orchards in Northern Virginia, especially out in the Winchester area.
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