Quantcast

Mead on apple base recipe question?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Good morning guys. I bought 365 Whole foods brand apple juice, 2 gallons. I have 5 lbs of honey. So i guess it will be 2.5 lbs of honey/gallon? + apple juice. I will have hydrometer by then.

I would like to make mead from that base. Any good mead/cyser recipe you can recommend for me?

I also already have cinnamon sticks. Thinking of getting raisins and allspice from jewel osco. Maybe orange and tea? Yeast will be redstar premier blanc, yellow label, as that is all i have at the moment. It's rated up to 18% abv.

I don't have to use any spices unless it will make awesome mead. Of spices i'm just looking for hint of it. I don't want it to be overpowering. Just looking for awesome mead recipe you guys can recommend.

Thank you.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
1,523
Location
New Haven County
Cysers (honey and apple juice) are one of the most popular mead variants. I suggest only 1.5 lbs of honey per gallon, which will get you 13% ABV (1.100 SG) that any wine or mead yeast can take dry. Once it's clear, rack and stabilize it and taste it. You might like it as it is, or it might need a bit of sweetening. You want both the honey and apple to be evident, so if it tastes more like apples then use honey to sweeten and vice versa. Cinimon or nutmeg work well. Use whole spices, not powder.

I made a cyser last year with orchard cider and Califonia Orange Blossom honey (NOT Walmart honey) that came out awesome. Used Fresco Renaissance yeast that accentuates apple and citrus flavors.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Thanks a lot boss. Any links to good recipe? The honey i have on hand is Costco's Kirkland Wildflower honey 5lbs bottle. Any good? It's medium on pallet and color. It says honey is from Argentina.

1.5 lbs of honey. Even better. I can save some for my teas hehe.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
1,523
Location
New Haven County
I'd say it's worth a go. Treat it like a mead with nutrient additions (TOSNA 2 or 3) except I use Fermaid K instead of O because apples have some nutrients.
Edit: A published recipe - Denard Brewing
 
Last edited:
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
@Mylar. Thank you. Question. So obviously i want some residual sweetness in mead and i've been looking for some yeast recommendation. The Champaign (premier blanc) yeast i bought i expect it to go bone dry as it's yeast on steroids. I dunno. We'll see.

I have found Montrachet that is up to 14% and retains fruit flavor.
It's also sold cheap as 5 pack in small packets which is what i like as i make very small batches.
From 5 of those recommended is Montrachet the best choice? Or Rouge or Cote de blanc?

Thoughts or recommendations?


 

videojunkie1208

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
340
Reaction score
128
Location
Nebraska
I like dry meads (especially my cysers as the apples leave a residual sweetness, and if too sweet they become cloying.)

Given those choices, I would choose Cote de Blanc, but you wouldn't go wrong with either. Nutrition is essential for good meads.

Double and triple check your juice to ensure there is no preservatives. That will ruin your mead instantly. Costco wildflower honey is fine but not great. If you can grab some of the organic 3lb jars it's moderately better.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Cote seem similar to Premiere Blanc, no? I'm trying to get the yeast to die or go dormant at ~14%. Then i'll carbonate it with some sugar or juice, bottle it and pasteurize it in cooler @ 180F

Would seedless raisins as nutrient do the job?
 

videojunkie1208

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
340
Reaction score
128
Location
Nebraska
If you're shooting for 14%, control your SG, and you can dial in to your target, all of these yeast will go to 18%.

If you can't get Fermaid or commercial yeast nutrients, my best advice is to buy several packages of bread yeast and activate it, before boiling it to kill it. Probably want about 3 packets.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
I'm going for 12-14% and Maylar said to add 1.5lbs of honey to apple juice. If all go to 18% than i may as well use Premier Blanc no?

I'm just trying to avoid it from going to like 0.99x something and be super dry. Mind it that i'm still newbie so i may not know what i'm talking about.

It's a process to learn this from ppls answers basically or trial and error. Trying to avoid the latter lol
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Looks delicious! Nice you have kirkland's honey. lol. To be honest. I have no idea to what i will like.
It's my first brew ever. I guess i will have to try and see. As long as it's not terrible i think i will be alright. I will just start with 1.75L bottle and play around with that and see what suits me without touching 1G brews. Although they could turn out differently too.
 
Last edited:
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
I started with 2.5 gallon batches, I now make 5-8 gallons at a time. Honestly bigger batches are more forgiving.
Makes total sense as there is more material to dissipates into more material. I tried to measure sugar in grams as it's very precise but 1.75L bottle was at lowest measurement grading and I sort of eye balled it a bit. It's within few or teen grams so it's NOT a big deal but you never know. I was literally doing grams.
 

videojunkie1208

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
340
Reaction score
128
Location
Nebraska
Here's the other thing with bigger batches, I made this 6 months ago. I have 5 gallons in a keg. I'm drinking the dregs of the fermenter (which is why it is a bit cloudy). I plan on giving away several bottles as presents. Still leaving me plenty to enjoy and share.

When I made 2.5 gallon batches, I tended to hoard it.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Nice. I plan on eventually getting 3G glass car boy. I don't think i'll need anything bigger. But first obviously i want to try small batches.

It's better to screw up small batch then huge batch, especially with honey being expensive and all. Plug total sum of all ingredients in big batches add up.
 

videojunkie1208

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
340
Reaction score
128
Location
Nebraska
I'm going for 12-14% and Maylar said to add 1.5lbs of honey to apple juice. If all go to 18% than i may as well use Premier Blanc no?
Each yeast will impart slightly different overtones to the mead. I used to use EC-1118, I accidentally wound up with a ton (20 packets) of D47, which I am learning to enjoy.

The fun of home brewing is that you can make 3 gallons of must, split it up, and try all 3!
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Each yeast will impart slightly different overtones to the mead. I used to use EC-1118, I accidentally wound up with a ton (20 packets) of D47, which I am learning to enjoy.

The fun of home brewing is that you can make 3 gallons of must, split it up, and try all 3!
Cool. I just got some of that Classic yeast. I'll try them out. I got 20 of them now. Blanc and classic. If you or anyone want to trade few for few i would be interested. At least i didn't use bread yeast at first hahah.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
1,523
Location
New Haven County
Cote seem similar to Premiere Blanc, no? I'm trying to get the yeast to die or go dormant at ~14%. Then i'll carbonate it with some sugar or juice, bottle it and pasteurize it in cooler @ 180F
Yeast don't always quit at their published alcohol limit. The way to get residual sweetness is to let the ferment go dry and slowly add more honey until they stop eating it. But once the yeast dies you can't carbonate it without a keg.

Would seedless raisins as nutrient do the job?
No!
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
12
Reaction score
3
I've never tried making cyser, just straight mead, but it's on my bucket (haha) list. I like mead with no spices, aged till it's bone dry, so the champagne yeast you're using would be perfect. I love the puzzled looks of first time mead drinkers who really enjoy it but have no clue what they are drinking, when the aged mead no longer tastes like honey. Staggered nutrient addition over the first week of primary seems to have improved my fermentation, but I haven't tasted the end product yet to see if it affects the flavor in any negative way.
 

videojunkie1208

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2020
Messages
340
Reaction score
128
Location
Nebraska
I've never tried making cyser, just straight mead, but it's on my bucket (haha) list. I like mead with no spices, aged till it's bone dry, so the champagne yeast you're using would be perfect. I love the puzzled looks of first time mead drinkers who really enjoy it but have no clue what they are drinking, when the aged mead no longer tastes like honey. Staggered nutrient addition over the first week of primary seems to have improved my fermentation, but I haven't tasted the end product yet to see if it affects the flavor in any negative way.
Staggered nutrients are a game changer! and I love people who try my meads and are puzzled as to what they are drinking. My favorite exclamation was "well that goes down easy!" after trying an 18+% cranberry mead for the first time (The bite of the cranberry hides any alcohol bite, and I usually have it aged for 6-9 months before serving). My blueberry mead tastes like a very clean Shiraz (I left the whole berries in a bit too long).
 

CoolYon

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
8
I like adding a pinch or two of nutmeg per gallon of apple juice, and a couple of cloves in my cyser. Vanilla usually complements the cinnamon as well, but a little goes a very long way with vanilla extract.

but I like my cyser mulled with an orange slice, and I save it for fall and winter drinking.

Any way you make it, I'm sure it will come out great. That 365 brand apple juice is great for cyser!
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
I like adding a pinch or two of nutmeg per gallon of apple juice, and a couple of cloves in my cyser. Vanilla usually complements the cinnamon as well, but a little goes a very long way with vanilla extract.

but I like my cyser mulled with an orange slice, and I save it for fall and winter drinking.

Any way you make it, I'm sure it will come out great. That 365 brand apple juice is great for cyser!
Thank you. I've ordered All spice. I also have cinnamon sticks on hand. I'm debating in my head if i should use it. Fro exp. I don't like Captain Morgan Spiced.

But apple pie sounds good to me. I'm just afraid I, with emphasis on I, will ruin it and make it undrinkable if spice don't come out right.

I've also tasted one week old cider now, out of that 1.75L bottle and it's ok, has some off flavor to it. FLAT is good word for it. It has slight Champaign flavor to it.

It could be that floating yeast. I didn't rack it yet. It seems carbonation has stopped in that one but not in gallon onces. I've degassed 1.75L bottle.

Taste is semi dry. It doesn't taste to what i was expecting but it's young. From what i've read it needs like 8 weeks yes?

I will have hydrometer in few days so will test it. Originally I've added 1.25 QUARTS of sugar to apple juice. Don't know original OG. Didn't back sweetened it at all yet.

That's where i am at now in details with cider. I will definitely be adding more time to those 1G car boys. I will wait until they stop bubbling, then rack it and give it another 2 weeks or so. So far i'm not impressed with that 1.75L bottle. :)
 
Last edited:

CoolYon

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
8
Thank you. I've ordered All spice. I also have cinnamon sticks on hand. I'm debating in my head if i should use it. Fro exp. I don't like Captain Morgan Spiced.

But apple pie sounds good to me. I'm just afraid I, with emphasis on I, will ruin it and make it undrinkable if spice don't come out right.

I've also tasted one week old cider now, out of that 1.75L bottle and it's ok, has some off flavor to it. It has Champaign flavor to it.

It could be that floating yeast. I didn't rack it yet. It seems carbonation has stopped in that one but not in gallon onces.

Taste is semi dry. It doesn't taste to what i was expecting but it's young. From what i've read it needs like 8 weeks yes?

I will have hydrometer in few days so will test it. I added 1.25 QUARTS of sugar to apple juice. Don't know original OG.
Well you could always rack onto the spices you want to try and taste daily until you get the flavor you want; then immediately rack again to stop any extra flavor leaching.
Racking should help with degassing a bit too. That should get rid of some of that off flavor. Just rack into another carboy with an airlock until you have that hydrometer to test for any unforseen fermentation.

Your cyser could age vastly differently than mine or anyone elses. Depends on all sorts of stuff, but 8 weeks sounds like a reasonable amount of time to let it sit before bottling. Just taste it and make sure it's mellowed to YOUR liking before putting an arbitrary time to it.

I like to make my spiced cyser at the beginning of the year so it can cold ferment in the basement, then let it age until around October and bottle for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The family loves having it served warm after Thanksgiving dinner 😋 and it makes for a good warm "snow day" drink.

If you're looking for something that's good and refreshing cold in the summertime, I'd probably skip the extra spices and oak it instead.
 

CoolYon

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
8
Be aware that cloves are powerful little buggers. And powdered spices don't mix well, I always use whole spices.
This is true. Cloves can very quickly overpower a beverage.
I always use powdered nutmeg since it's hard to find fresh around here, but it always rises to the top during fermentation and I have to try and get it back down into the must during degassing lol
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
All spice is in powdered form. I was thinking 1/4 tea spoon per gallon and that's it.

Or just ditch any spices and make it pure Cyser. I'm still thinking of using 2lbs of honey instead of 1.5lbs.

Everyone's recipe is calling for 2 and even 3 lbs of honey. Seen it even 3lbs of honey and 1lbs of brown sugar. That's a lot of sugar. Thoughts.
 

CoolYon

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
8
All spice is in powdered form. I was thinking 1/4 tea spoon per gallon and that's it.

Or just ditch any spices and make it pure Cyser. I'm still thinking of using 2lbs of honey instead of 1.5lbs.

Everyone's recipe is calling for 2 and even 3 lbs of honey. Seen it even 3lbs of honey and 1lbs of brown sugar. That's a lot of sugar. Thoughts.
I use 2lb honey per gallon of juice, and I use that Whole Foods 365 brand juice. Mine usually ferments dry and then I back sweeten to taste, but I also use K1-V1116 yeast which can get all the way to 18% abv. But I think it holds the apple and honey flavors really well and allows me to cold ferment.

I've never put brown sugar in a cyser, but it would probably taste pretty good 🤷‍♂️ if you want it sweet, maybe go for 2lb honey and .75-1lb brown sugar? If it's not a big batch, no reason not to experiment a little. Adding brown sugar isn't going to make a cyser undrinkable.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Thank you. Yes I also have 365 Whole food brand of juice. Bought it cause 1G car boys are free then. Bought 2 gallons so will make 2G of Cyser.

I'm not going to be adding any sugar. I was just thinking of bumping honey to 2lbs total of Costco wildflower honey per gallon.

I'm also switching yeast to Red Star Premier Classique, formerly Montrachet. Red label. Not sure if it's any good but i guess i'll see.
 

CoolYon

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
8
I'd say go for the 2lb, but that's just based on my own recipe that I enjoy 🤷‍♂️

That whole "buy a gallon of apple juice, get a free carboy" deal is really killer 🤣 my wife is always taking them out of the cart when I try and sneak a new one home when we're shopping
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
I think that is what i will do, 2 lbs/gallon. I would hate for honey notes not to be present in Cyser and for Cyser to taste more like my Cider.

I understand more sugar = more alcochol and not sweetness, but i want those honey notes to be present and if possible very strong notes.

I also have 1G of 100% Pear Juice. Thinking of doing 1G Cyser on Pear base. I prefer pears over apples by long shot. With honey that should come out great?
 
Last edited:
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Wooooo......i just poured another 2 glasses after 13 days and Cider is DRY. Oh my lord. Champaign yeast is steroids yeast. Not doing that again lol.

I needs some yeast that stops on it's own at sweet or semi-sweet gravity. I can't do too dry. This is dry. What's worst, the longer it goes, the drier it gets. lol.

I need hydrometer but i'm bet i'm at 0.995 already. It tastes like Dry Apple Wine. It needs to back sweetened it. One tall glass gets me buzzed pretty good. lol.

I'm thinking of doing Apfelwein with dextrose next and for mead Joe's Ancient Orange. What's cool i didn't have hangover last time i got drunk. Neat.
 

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
1,523
Location
New Haven County
Wooooo......i just poured another 2 glasses after 13 days and Cider is DRY. Oh my lord. Champaign yeast is steroids yeast. Not doing that again lol.
You don't get it. It's SUPPOSED to be dry. A well managed ferment, proper temperature, proper nutrient feedings SHOULD consume all the sugars. You have to EXPECT to back sweeten if you don't like dry.

Yeast shouldn't be chosen for it's alcohol tolerance. It should be chosen to match the flavor profile of what you're making. To accentuate the fruity, floral, citrus or whatever the honey has to offer. I know that's an advanced topic for this forum and nobody knows what I'm talking about.

There is no magic yeast that quits at XX% ABV.
 
OP
S

Sebass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
46
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
Allright boss. I will back sweeten it. I was under impression certain yeast go dormant if there is too much alcohol. I've used Champaign, up to 18% abv.

Doesn't bread yeast stops like at 10-12 abv? I guess what i'm asking if i can get to final gravity of semi sweet or sweet. Then i don't have to mess around too much,.

That cider came out really dry. It's not bad but i prefer semi sweet it appears. One tall beer glass gets me buzzed pretty good lol. Brewing ur own stuff is definitely worth it thought.
 
Last edited:

Maylar

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
1,523
Location
New Haven County
I've had bread yeast go to 15% in a JAOM (in my avitar). If you want to experiment with residual sweetness, maybe try an ale yeast - I saw a report on the cider forum that said S-04 reliably quits at 10%. I'm sure that would depend on temperature and your nutrient protocol.
 
Top