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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > First mead (cyser) in primary. Questions and concerns.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default First mead (cyser) in primary. Questions and concerns.

So last night I tried my first cyser. It was a 1 gallon batch. Here's my recipe.

2lbs. Raw local honey
1lbs. Dutch Gold Wildflower honey
1 Gallon (.75 gallon actually) of pastuerized unfiltered apple cider (preservative free)
Safbrew S-33
1tsp of yeast nutrient
1tsp of yeast energizer

SG: 1.171

I warmed the honey containers in a bowl of hot water to help the flow. After adding the honey to the sanitized 1 gallon carboy I added the cider. S-33 yeast was hydrated in a cup of cider with yeast nutrient and energizer for a hour. During that hour I was shaking the hell out of the carboy mixing the cider/honey. Then I pitched and shook for about another fifteen minutes. Yeast started going to town within a hour.

So everything seems cool. I just wanted to know if I made any mistakes or could have done something better.

My main concerns:

Should I have heated/ or boiled the cider?

Is it possible to ever get this cyser to clear since I used unfiltered cider?

I saw some negative reviews on the Safbrew S-33 in the cider forum after pitching. Is my cyser going to suck now?

When should I move it to a secondary?

Sorry if some of these are redundant noob questions and thanks in advance for all feedback.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Should I have heated/ or boiled the cider?
No need, it was pasteurized so there's no reason to disinfect it. It's probably a good idea to spray sanitizer on the outside of the jug before pouring it out to prevent picking something up as you pour it out, but even that's low-risk as long as it's clean.

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Is it possible to ever get this cyser to clear since I used unfiltered cider?
Should be, I imagine. Unfiltered (unfermented) cider will usually clarify pretty well if left undisturbed, I don't see why that wouldn't be true after fermentation. Only worry would be pectin haze, which you could address by adding pectinase, but I wouldn't sweat it.

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I saw some negative reviews on the Safbrew S-33 in the cider forum after pitching. Is my cyser going to suck now?
From my experience, the differences between yeast strains that "suck" and don't are greatly exaggerated. It'll be fine. I think the only criticism I'd take seriously would be issues with a fermentation getting stuck, and at this point there's no sense worrying unless it actually happens.

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When should I move it to a secondary?
A while after fermentation is clearly completed. So probably a couple months from now. I think I racked my mead after 6 weeks or so, and that was because I was using 71B, which is not recommended for extended time on the lees. (Even at 6 weeks, I don't think I was in any risk of running into trouble.)
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for all the input/advice zeg. I feel better now.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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1.171 is a high OG, has fermentation started? I am unfamiliar with that yeast but it might be hard to get started in that high of an OG.

The quick search I just did says it can ferment up tp 12% that would leave you with a fg of 1.08. that is pretty sweat. If this is right I might think about diluting this.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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1.171 is a high OG, has fermentation started? I am unfamiliar with that yeast but it might be hard to get started in that high of an OG.

The quick search I just did says it can ferment up tp 12% that would leave you with a fg of 1.08. that is pretty sweat. If this is right I might think about diluting this.
Yeah I might. Depending on how sweet it ends up. My wife like her mead/wine sweet. I've read that the S-33 can tend to be fast started but gets lazy later on. It started no problem though bubbling furiously enough to blow the airlock off once. Is it a bad idea to pitch a different yeast if I want it to dry out a little more?

I know I should aerate this stuff quite a bit, but it's so volitile right now I'm afraid it would overflow again. What gauge plastic tubing would I need to make a blowoff?
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Did you take that OG reading yourself? It does seem a little high. You say one gallon of apple in a one gallon batch with a load of honey, that doesn't fit!

Using the gotmead calc I get 1.14 if I up it to a 1.25 gallon batch or 1.15 if I assume only 0.75g of apple, which is a bit better but still likely to be very sweet.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:06 PM   #7
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Did you take that OG reading yourself? It does seem a little high. You say one gallon of apple in a one gallon batch with a load of honey, that doesn't fit!

Using the gotmead calc I get 1.14 if I up it to a 1.25 gallon batch or 1.15 if I assume only 0.75g of apple, which is a bit better but still likely to be very sweet.
Yeah I didn't use the whole gallon. I just filled it up so about 3/4 of a gallon. I did do the OG thats what it was at. The cider had a whole lot of sediment in it. could that of thrown off my reading?
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:09 AM   #8
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If the SG was definitely that high, I'd suggest that you pitch some K1V.

Sweet is relative. A couple of years back, I did a little test of 4 commercial meads available here, they all tasted fine flavour-wise, but at an average FG of 1.040 they were all cloyingly sweet. So if you ended up with a final of 1.080 its gonna be like drinking watered down honey.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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If the SG was definitely that high, I'd suggest that you pitch some K1V.

Sweet is relative. A couple of years back, I did a little test of 4 commercial meads available here, they all tasted fine flavour-wise, but at an average FG of 1.040 they were all cloyingly sweet. So if you ended up with a final of 1.080 its gonna be like drinking watered down honey.
You think I should wait til the S-33 is done or just pitch K1V asap? I'm getting some tubing to make a blow and I'll just pitch it then if it's the right thing to do.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:52 PM   #10
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It can sometimes be tricky getting a new yeast to take off in a partially fermented must. I would do the following.........Let it go as is until it seems to stop, test it. If it needs further fermentation, rack to clean jug, start your K1V in a 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup of your must. Once it becomes very active pitch it into the jug. This will acclimate the yeast to the alcohol.
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