View Full Version : Honeyed Cider or Cyser?

11-24-2008, 07:00 PM
Hi Folks,

I am looking to make a 5 gal batch of cider. Here are my ingerdients:

4 gal apple juice (no preservatives etc) (not heating it)
2 each 12oz cans apple raspberry juice concentrate
3 1/2lb clover honey
considering 1 # of LME just for fun

I have fermax on hand, although next time I am getting fermaid K and go ferm

I plan to backsweeten with lactose somwewhat, depending on dryness
Will use 1 can of apple raspberry conc. to prime and flavor for bottling.

*So, is that enough honey to qualify as "cyser"?

*With that amount of honey, how do you imagine the flavor profile will differ from straight cider?

*If I did add that malt, is that enough to qualify as a "braggot"? (I expect it would only add a slightly heavier mouthfeel, little flavor)

*And what if I added both.... is that a "bryser", or what?

~ I appreciate your wisdom and insight ;)

11-24-2008, 07:41 PM
Without knowing the brix or specific gravity of your concentrate, it's hard to calculate what your OG will be. Using the Mead Calculator (there is a link off to your left) and ignoring the concentrate, I come up with an OG of 1.081. The LME would bring it up to about 1.090 and a PABV of 12%. Your D47 will go to 14% so it will definitely ferment dry if all goes well. The concentrate might push it over the 14% level but I can't say for sure.

You will end up with some honey flavor but it will probably be subtle and hard to find behind the apple and raspberry.

If you do use LME, be sure to boil it first so that the proteins can form and coagulate. One pound probably won't impart much body but hey, as Pete says, take a chance! Custer did.

I definitely wouldn't try to use the concentrate for priming until you know what the exact sugar content is. Use it in your main must instead. Otherwise, you run a serious risk of having bottle bombs. No Fun!

Actually, if you are going to bottle a sparkling mead, it's best to ferment to completion and dryness and then add a specific, known amount of sugar to reach the carbonation level you desire. Trying to carbonate a sweet mead is always a crap shoot, and the crap shooting is usually bottle shards from exploding bottles! For a sparkling sweet mead, force carbonating in a keg is usually your best bet and then be sure to sulfite and sorbate it first.

11-24-2008, 09:46 PM
Thanks Wildaho,

Good thing you mentioned boiling the LME, or I might have missed that.
I have used the concentrate to bottle in a previous batch of regular cider, and it works well. Adds some apple flavor as well as priming sugar.

Tree top. 12 oz makes 48 oz = (6) - 8 oz servings so thatís 2 oz's a serving, not reconstituted. It has 26 grams sugar per serving. Normal sugar has 4.2 grams sugar per teaspoon or 3.15 grams per 3/4 teaspoon which is the normal per bottle rate of sugar for carbing in a bottle. So 3 oz, by weight, per gallon to carb. 1 can will still be ok for 5 gallons.

I sold my last kegging system when I made a big move, but I am starting to motivate myself to get a new one. So, until then, no force carbing for me :/

*What about those questions regarding categorizing the product? Cider, Cyser, Braggot, whatever I want? But officially, I mean ;)

*Oh, and 1 last question... is it better to jack up the sugars up front, past what the yeast can handle, and have alot of residual sweetness, and thus never have to backsweeten?
*Once the alchohol has gone past the yeast's tolerance, are they still able to bottle carbonate?


11-24-2008, 11:26 PM
Sounds like you've got the concentrate down to a science!

Category: There are purists that would say that over half your fermentables have to come from honey to be a cyser. I think that as long as there is a discernible honey character to it, it's a cyser. Your malt contribution is pretty small (about 8 points out of 1.090). So if it has a definite malt character, it could be braggot but...

In the end, you can call it what you want! I'd only worry about it if you were entering it into a sanctioned competition.

And yes, your beverage will be smoother if you add all the sugars up front. Step feeding later can be done but it requires total attention to your nutrition and other factors. Otherwise the yeast can become stressed and throw off some unpleasant heat and flavors.

If you have reached the yeast's tolerance, they die or go into hiberantion and you pretty much have to use a more tolerant strain to carbonate. BUT that more tolerant yeast may eat everything that is available and BOOM! in the bottle.

It would be nice if yeast had a handy on/off switch!

11-24-2008, 11:35 PM
ahhhh.... that all makes good sense! Nicely put!

Ok... so, is there a way to stop fermentation at say 1.060 and then bottle carb? If I use sorbate, then it cannot be done right? Is there way? (heat pastuerization perhaps?)

11-25-2008, 12:36 AM
The trouble with stopping it is that when you re-start it to carbonate, you can't stop it where you want to. 1.060 would lead to the equivalent of hydrogen bottle bombs! Again, there is no handy on/off switch for the yeast.

Force carbonation is your best bet for a sparkling sweet mead.

Is there some particular reason you want this carbonated? Personally, I prefer my meads still. The carbonic acid that forms during carbonation gives a "bite" that interferes with the subtleties of the mead. I also use a low, low carbonation in my beers for the same reason. I want to taste my beverage and not a "bite". Everybody's tastes differ but that's my preference.

And think about this: have you ever encountered a commercially available sparkling sweet wine? ??? The same problem exists there too.

About the only thing I can think of that is commercially available, sweet and sparkling is soda pop. And soda pop is definitely force carbonated! Root Beer anyone?;)


11-25-2008, 01:51 AM
O.K., I understand now! :happy8:

I guess I was set on carbonation since I dont think I have ever had a still hard cider, and I was thinking of this more as a cider with some honey, rather than a mead.

I believe I will split the batch in half upon completion of fermentation.
1/2 to be back sweetened with honey, 1/2 primed, sparkling and dry.

Again, thank you very much. I appreciate your time and extremely helpful answers!

:occasion14: Cheers!