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Old 09-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default Zombie Killer Clone Attempt

Hi All!

I've been searching for a few weeks on how to make a clone of Zombie Killer. There are other threads here on HBT, but none have had actual recipes and or the results.

I'm going to build a recipe and promise to report back the results, good or bad.

Here's what I'm starting with, and I'll edit as I go.

1. I've ordered 5 gallons of fresh pressed early cider from my LHBS. (1.038 OG)
2. I've ordered 12 lbs of Star Thissle Honey from Sleeping Bear Farms, as there is a post here on HBT that says that's what they use to make it. I used 5 3/4 cups honey 1,.060
3. Tart Cherry juice (which has yet to be sourced)
4. Red Star Cotes des Blanc yeast (seems to be popular for apple wines because of their fruity character)

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the yeast properties so that I can plan for OG/FG.

The rough idea at this point for the process is:

1. take OG reading from the cider once I have it.
2. use crushed camden tablets to stall wild yeast/bacteria
2. fortify it up to 1.060 OG with honey (should be about 30oz per 5 gallon batch)
3. ferment the cider/honey with the WL English Ale yeast at 60 degrees until it's dry at about 9% ABV (should end up being about 0.990)
4. Backsweeten with the tart cherry juice to some yet to be determined FG.
5. Potassium Sorbate the honey/cider/cherry juice to halt fermentation
6. Keg, put in fridge, and carb to 30lbs for 3 days, then drop to serving pressure of 10lbs, and purge the pressure off the keg.

I'd love to hear suggestions/recommendations from more experienced cyser makers!

5 gallons fresh pressed early cider (1.038 OG)
1/3 Camden tablet
5 3/4 cups of Star Thistle Honey
1 vial of White Labs English Cider Yeast

1. Started with a crushed Camden tablet, mixed with some of the cider so that it would dissolve.
. Took a gravity reading and had 1.038.
. Added the dissolved Camden in with 1 gallon of the cider in a sanitized bucket.
. Added 2 3/4 cups of honey and stirred to dissolve.
. Checked gravity and it was only 1.050, so I added 3 more cups of honey
. New OG was 1.060
.Added the ale yeast and capped it up.
. Room temp was 68, so I added a heater to bring the temp to 70 until fermentation started, then I'll drop it.

### Update ###

This is still in primary, but I wanted to provide an update:

I'm a moron...I didn't realize that you were supposed to put the camden tablets in and wait 24 hours...I through it in and pitched the yeast.

The yest didn't take off.

I ended up using Narbone in one and campaign yeast I had on hand in the other.

The new goal is to combine the two 5 gallon batches to blend them (this weekend) and then split them back into 5-gal batches, then back sweeten with honey/cherry juice until it tastes "right".

I'll update again after we get it fixed up this weekend

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:43 PM   #2
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I love the Zombie Killer cyser. So does SWMBO. I'm subbing this. You need to make sure you keep this updated with your progress, man!

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Old 11-10-2013, 07:00 PM   #3
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Any updates on this?

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Old 12-02-2013, 11:43 PM   #4
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A buddy and I made 10 gallons of this. Did three different batches.

Forgive me for not having the notes in front of me, but...

We played with it three ways.

First split:
5 gallons straight fermented cider. (I'll update sg/fg when I have the numbers in front of me)

Started shooting for the cherry/tartness first.
Added 1 bottle of tart cherry juice and tasted again.

(I believe we got to 6 bottles, but need to check my notes)

Once we thought we had the cherry, we added one cup of the clover honey, then tasted.

We ended up with something that we thought was spot on in taste, but dark on color.

We celebrated our success with a few pints, while we played with the 2nd 5 gallons.

We basically repeated the process as above, but with black cherry juice and citric acid additions.

I was not impressed with the results, but my wife and friend were.

Word of warning: This finished at about 14 percent .

We did not realize at the time that palate fatigue had set in during our tasting.

Our end product was awesome , but it wasn't a true clone.

That being said...we plan on making another 10gallons this fall when we can get fresh cider

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Old 12-03-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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I would advise using a mix of 50/50 black cherry and tart cherry, and maybe up the honey to raise the OG just a tad if you are backsweetening with juice instead of concentrate to make up for the dilution.

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Old 12-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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Go to and post your questions in the “Mead Industry Forum”. Brad from B-Nektar posts there on occasion. He was very helpful when I was trying to clone their bourbon barrel cyser.

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