I have been a long time lurker and finally decided to make a post.. Sadly its a week late. But either way, I thought I would share my latest batch. I've made this recipe on and off now for a few years, but this time with a twist....
17 lbs of Local Honey (Jacksonville Florida)
5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (Sam's Club no preservatives/additives)
6 Cinnamon sticks broken into smaller pieces (about the size of a marble)
White Labs English Cider Yeast (WLP775)
I poured the honey and a half gallon of Apple Juice into my cook pot to warm up to about 190 degrees... then poured that into my sterilized primary... I then added the rest of the apple juice and stirred to evenly distribute the honey through the must.
In another small pot I took about two cups of apple juice and brought it to a boil, I added the crushed cinnamon and cloves to the mix. Mainly to sterilize the additives so I wouldnt introduce some nasties into the must. I then added these to the primary.
The primary is a 6 1/2 gallon bucket, and my mix filled it to the 6 gallon mark.
Once the temperature of the must was acceptable, I pitched the English Cider Yeast and put it in my closet to give it some privacy for the next week.
Of course over the next couple of days I would open the closest door to get a whiff the process..
I wasnt able to measure the SG of the must before It started fermenting, since I had dropped my hygrometer on the garage floor.. (they dont bounce too well). But I did use the online calculator on www.gotmead.com
. So the estimate was as follows:
17lbs Honey (79.6% sugar),
5 Gallons Apple Juice (12.4% sugar)
6 Gallon Target
Came out to an estimated initial SG of 1.158 or (19.78 ABV) WOW
This week, after doing some reading I decided to go ahead and stir it up as some recommended, so I took a sample aside and measured the SG of it today. According to the new handy dandy hygrometer the SG is 1.07. Which if correct is 11.73%. So I may be questioning the initial estimate a little considering how sweet the must still is (I had to sample for quality control purposes you know). But I do have to say it has a very unique flavor at this point that I am looking forward to drinking when it's done. It definately reminds me of the hot apple ciders I used to have while skiing in the rockies.
I am figuring the primary ferment will run for four weeks, then I will rack it off into the secondary for another couple of weeks to clarify, then bottle...
Any thoughts or recommendations?