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Teufelhund
12-28-2007, 12:07 AM
Ok, for just a basic cyser:

1)What are the expected differences in SG i.e. raw unpasurized cider vs 100% apple juice?
2)Are sugar contents a "main" consideration in the comparison?
3)What, if any, yeasts are better with one or the other and why?
4)What would make a cyser better if left on lees, i.e. characteristics?
5)Is oaking a cyser feasable enough, as far as adding any body or bouquet?
6) as far as K1 is concerned, what is too much lees exposure?

DD

wildaho
12-28-2007, 04:49 AM
I can't answer your yeast specific questions. I almost always use Red Star Champagne and I like it's neutrality as far as the apple flavor goes.

But as to question #1: In the USA, apple juice and apple cider are one and the same. In Europe and elsewhere, cider is fermented AJ and juice is juice. In England, you might also find fermented cider called "Scrumpy". But here, there is no real difference. It's all marketing. Some producers call their "organic" offering ciders and the rest juice. Others call half their stock cider and the other half call it juice. It's all the same and it's still just juice here.

#2: Sugar content. Most of the grocery store juice I buy ends up at 1.045 but I've seen it anywhere from 1.042 to 1.048 for the specialty stuff. Always measure it before you use it so you know where you are going.

#3: I haven't had a reason to go beyond the Red Star Champagne yet but it's what I have available locally. There are a couple of the Lavlins that I'd love to try though (D47 and 71B I think? I'm drinking my own mead tonight so I might be wrong -- nectarine mel, made with aj and Red Star Champagne)

#4: what about lees intrigues you? Is it just the concept or is there a specific flavor profile you are going for?

#5: oak is a beautiful thing. Do you like vanilla? And how "woody" do you want it? Oak can add a bit of body for sure but I look at it as more of a flavor component rather than for body. It can add a bit of bouquet but it's subtle.

#6: Can't answer this one. Again, what about sur lie intrigues you?

Wade

Yo momma
12-28-2007, 10:16 AM
My .02

1) Apple cider for me is an easier clear but the flavor is not as strong in the end compared to cider.

2) About the same sugar content. Most ciders are pasturized not desugartized to make apple juice.

3) I use Kv-1116 for all of my batches because I like the way it works and I am comforitable with it.

4) I don't leave anything on the lees for very long.

5) I love what oak does for a cyser or any other mead/wine. It imparts a vanilla, carmel, nutty taste with some tannin to balance out the sweet nectar of the apple. I use Med. toast American oak for my cysers.

6) refer to answer 4

Hope this helps and I do know there are some recipes that call for prolonged lees exposure so maybe a little reseach is needed. I love cysers. Most of my meads now are cysers.
:cheers:

Teufelhund
01-04-2008, 02:00 PM
One of the reasons I asked is the raw, un-pasturized ciders I get are very heavy and dense whereas the juices are all pasturized. This affects the SG as well as the taste as the raw cider has apple pieces parts that aid fermentation, etc...
Now this is just me looking at this in a purely scientific method. Just wondering if the apple essense is more pronounced in either one. I would presume the raw cider would impart more.
Oskaar?? :laughing4:

M

Oskaar
01-04-2008, 02:53 PM
You are correct sir! (In my best Ed McMahon voice)

Oskaar

Wolfie
01-05-2008, 06:09 AM
I'n my impression ciders (at least the co-op or orchard direct ones) tend to this gives them turbidity and extra stuff for the yeasts to really munch on. Also in my experience all ciders I've ever taken a gravity reading on have read 1.050.

Lees: unless you've experimented with lees and know what they taste like you wont know if they're good to a cyser. Many people are curious about sur lie aging, the only advice I can give is to make a 1 gallon batch and test it. What I can tell you (you likely know) is that for he most part you want to use the "fine lees" which are the lees that drop out after you rack your finished mead the first time. The heavy yeast cake that you have at the bottom of your vessel are called the gross lees, and are typically not used (there are exceptions, but until I figure this stuff out I'm eaving that to the experts)

I happen to be starting some cysers myself, good luck and I hope to see you in the brew logs!

Good luck

/Wolfie

CBBaron
01-08-2008, 05:16 PM
But as to question #1: In the USA, apple juice and apple cider are one and the same. In Europe and elsewhere, cider is fermented AJ and juice is juice. In England, you might also find fermented cider called "Scrumpy". But here, there is no real difference. It's all marketing. Some producers call their "organic" offering ciders and the rest juice. Others call half their stock cider and the other half call it juice. It's all the same and it's still just juice here.
Wade

Yes and No. The two terms can be used interchangeably by manufactures in the US however depending on your locality cider is usually a locally produced product that is usually not filtered and sometimes not pasteurized, but I believe pasteurization is now required by law. Cider is usually from fresh apples not from concentrate. Juice like from Motts or even many of the organic juices, usually is reconstituted from concentrate.
I know the "cider" I have had, even from the one farm that filters it, tastes much different than the "juice" from Mott's and other manufactures. I don't know if it is the apple varieties, the process used to make the juice, the freshness or a combination of all the above, but I much prefer the "cider".
However I can't say which makes better cyser as I havn't tasted my cysers are still aging, but I would guess the local ciders taste better.
I did not have any problem with the cyser clearing, even though the cider I started with was very cloudy. The cyser is a beautiful clear liquid.

Craig

vahan
01-08-2008, 05:39 PM
ciders and apple juice do taste very, very different. I would try and go with cider for a cyser since it is more likely local/fresher. If you are blessed to live in New England as I am, the fall season brings loads of ciders, and there many farms/farmers markets that do sell unpasturized ciders. Stores can typically only sell pasturized ciders, but if these are fresh/local, they will probably be good as well.

Ciders are often particular blends of different apples, some sweet, some tart. Blending different apples usually gives cider a better, more balanced flavor.

The third mead I ever made was a very simple cyser made with local wildflower honey and local, unpasturized cyser. It has so far won a gold at 2 New england homebrew competitions.
What amazes me (and, yes I'm still new at this to be amazed), is what craig mentioned about the clarity. All the cysers I have made or am making (like 4 batches) are clearing very quickly. It seems the unfiltered "sediment" just drops right out of the cider/cyser.

akueck
01-08-2008, 09:22 PM
While I agree that products labeled "juice" generally are the blander, more filtered kinds, I have found "juice" which looks like most products labeled "cider". And it tasted wonderful, as does the cider (read: fermented) I made with it. So for me, "cider" is from now on the fermented stuff and "juice" is what you get when you squeeze a fruit. The most important consideration for choosing a cyser base is the quality of the juice. What it says on the label is academic.

And yes, unpasteurized juice can still be found, though it's getting pretty difficult. The only place I can get it now is the farmer's market, and they charge $10/gallon. The flash-pasteurized stuff at the stores is the least-handled juice I can find otherwise and goes for $7/gallon. Makes the $1 frozen concentrate seem not that bad sometimes....

Side story: When I was at Cornell the school orchard sold unpasteurized apple juice from a spigot in the wall (byo container!). It was so good! Then senior year the health department told them they couldn't sell it unless it was pasteurized. We almost cried. :sad2: