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View Full Version : making a cider(cyser) for fall?



eyedea
10-04-2010, 01:59 AM
I've been reading up on it, and i dont know where to draw the line between "cider" and "cyser". one of my friend's brother came over from england, and he was telling me how popular some of the hard ciders were there. I have tried samuel smith's organic cider and liked it. I was thinking of making something similar, but the problem is i am not sure how to do the recipe, so here is what i was thinking.
I have used a blender to crushed grapes for wine and was thinking of getting some of my neighbors apples(a green "grannysmith" type) or simply going in and buying some grannysmiths for my local super market. then blending them.
I looked at the guides, and they say to add 1-1.5lbs of honey per gallon for dry to sweet cider(cyser). here is what i was thinking:

-core then blend apples to fill my 2 ferment buckets which is approx 5.5 gal a piece, and with the grapes i got about 3.5 gallons per bucket, so

-add about 7lbs of honey altogether
3.5 in primary
2 in secondary,
and .5 at bottling to carbonate. how does this sound?

Chevette Girl
10-04-2010, 02:50 AM
I looked at the guides, and they say to add 1-1.5lbs of honey per gallon for dry to sweet cider(cyser). here is what i was thinking:

-core then blend apples to fill my 2 ferment buckets which is approx 5.5 gal a piece, and with the grapes i got about 3.5 gallons per bucket, so

-add about 7lbs of honey altogether
3.5 in primary
2 in secondary,
and .5 at bottling to carbonate. how does this sound?


A couple of comments - if you use a blender for mushing apples you'll probably want to treat it with some pectic enzyme to release the juice. I'm suprised you didn't have a bitterness problem from broken grape seeds if you've used your blender for grape wine must.

You will need to know the specific gravity of your apple juice and use that to calculate how much honey to add, if granny smiths are lower in sugar than the standard kind of apple that gets pressed int juice, it might take more honey.

And I think all you'll do by adding that much honey in secondary fermentation is stress out whatever yeast are left which might lead to a very long fermentation (I had a strawberry wine where I added a lot of sugar after the primary fermentation was over and it took 5 years to stop bubbling!) and could lead to off-odours or flavours (I've heard apples are notorious for making sulphury smells), I'd highly recommend adding it all up front.

And double-check the amount of honey for priming based on the true amount of must you need to prime, I think 1/5 of a cup of honey per gallon is safe but you have to make sure your must has fermented completely out by then (more than likely below 1.000).

And you'll also have to think about how you want to handle it if you want it sweetened and sparkling, there are several options that have been discussed in other threads (check the search tool for "sweet sparkling" and "champagne", something along those lines). Dry and sparkling is a lot easier...

DaleP
10-04-2010, 05:33 AM
You want to start with apple juice, not apple pulp. Squeeze the juice out first, then ferment. I highly recomend the cider yeast, both White Labs and Wyeast make them, and they produce a much tastier cider.
As far as when a cider becomes a cyser? Its a matter of how much influance the honey has on the end product. Good luck, dry sparkling ciders are among my favorite drinks, make several batches a year.

Tannin Boy
10-04-2010, 06:44 AM
You want to start with apple juice, not apple pulp. Squeeze the juice out first, then ferment. I highly recomend the cider yeast, both White Labs and Wyeast make them, and they produce a much tastier cider.
As far as when a cider becomes a cyser? Its a matter of how much influance the honey has on the end product. Good luck, dry sparkling ciders are among my favorite drinks, make several batches a year.

Dale,

I had just inquired with Lab Services at Wyeast about a strain for Cider as well!
They replied "I am a fan of using ale strains for cider. I recommend 1968 or 1056." interesting response and I am leaning towards 1968. What have you used in the past? I am shooting for more of an apple taste that pops instead of the dry type for flavor...I don't know where the sugar content will be this year but with the summer we have had will expect quite a lot. I hope not to have to add much (sugar/honey) as I am shooting for cider ( 6-8% ) ABV. This level seems to be a more refreshing drink IMHO than cyser.

Regards,

TB

eyedea
10-04-2010, 10:12 AM
A couple of comments - if you use a blender for mushing apples you'll probably want to treat it with some pectic enzyme to release the juice. I'm suprised you didn't have a bitterness problem from broken grape seeds if you've used your blender for grape wine must.

You will need to know the specific gravity of your apple juice and use that to calculate how much honey to add, if granny smiths are lower in sugar than the standard kind of apple that gets pressed int juice, it might take more honey.
also SG to about 1.050 with additions?
.
okay, thanks for the heads up, and i was told using a blender would work fine from a friend that has made wine before, but mine JUST got put into secondary, so we will find out(and what i tasted did have an odd almost "woody" bitterish taste to it =/ )


You want to start with apple juice, not apple pulp. Squeeze the juice out first, then ferment. I highly recomend the cider yeast, both White Labs and Wyeast make them, and they produce a much tastier cider.
As far as when a cider becomes a cyser? Its a matter of how much influance the honey has on the end product. Good luck, dry sparkling ciders are among my favorite drinks, make several batches a year.
ya sorry i probably should have specified. i wanted to blend and strain it, but i just remembered we have a juicer(duh) and I am going to attempt to use that.
since you are fairly practiced in making cider i was wondering what your thought were for making like a more "traditional" dry(thats how my friend's brother described it) cider, and do you prefer adding sugar or honey to the must?
also I will definitely be checking out the cider yeast, and be getting some of it. anything to to make chances better for a better product

DaleP
10-04-2010, 10:54 AM
On my regular ciders, I add both a pound of light brown sugar and a pound of honey to a 5 gallon batch. Boost the OG a bit, not really enough to taste, but enough to notice if it wasn't in it. I feel these slight flavor changes make a huge difference. And age on a cider makes a lot of difference too. A year is not too long.

eyedea
10-06-2010, 12:35 AM
On my regular ciders, I add both a pound of light brown sugar and a pound of honey to a 5 gallon batch. Boost the OG a bit, not really enough to taste, but enough to notice if it wasn't in it. I feel these slight flavor changes make a huge difference. And age on a cider makes a lot of difference too. A year is not too long.

okay, sounds good, I'm glad you let me know about the aging. what kind of apples do you normally use?

DaleP
10-06-2010, 05:38 AM
A base of golden delicius with some tart apples thrown in is nice. Looking to get 100% winesap cider this year.

Tannin Boy
10-06-2010, 07:14 AM
A base of golden delicius with some tart apples thrown in is nice. Looking to get 100% winesap cider this year.

I am going with Golden Russets and doing a single variety.
I have this winery down the road and they rant and rave about it..
Hope they are right as I have planted 5 of the little devil's this year:eek:
Keep us posted as to you progress.

DaleP
10-06-2010, 11:09 AM
An excellant choice! Wish I could get those around here!

crimsondrac
10-06-2010, 04:02 PM
From the stuff I have read, the difference between a Cider and a Cyser is the use of honey as an additional sweetener. If you use Honey, it is a Cyser. If you use any other sweetener, it is a cider.

I am thinking about trying a pure apple cider without using any additional sweeteners at all. Gonna have to find some pretty sweet apples for that. May even try to reduce some apple juice to get the more pure apple sugars to mix with the main batch. Even thinking about letting the natural yeasts in the apples do the work. Probably will try out a 1 gallon batch to see how it turns out before attempting a bigger batch.

eyedea
10-07-2010, 02:37 AM
A base of golden delicius with some tart apples thrown in is nice. Looking to get 100% winesap cider this year.

that sounds great! I was worried i wouldnt have enough of the tart apples to do it

DaleP
10-07-2010, 05:38 AM
From the stuff I have read, the difference between a Cider and a Cyser is the use of honey as an additional sweetener. If you use Honey, it is a Cyser. If you use any other sweetener, it is a cider.

I am thinking about trying a pure apple cider without using any additional sweeteners at all. Gonna have to find some pretty sweet apples for that. May even try to reduce some apple juice to get the more pure apple sugars to mix with the main batch. Even thinking about letting the natural yeasts in the apples do the work. Probably will try out a 1 gallon batch to see how it turns out before attempting a bigger batch.

Every apple I've messed with (including some wild crabs) resulted in a juice of 1050 to 1060, plenty strong enough for a cider without adding sugars of any kind. The sweetness of an apple isdermined more by the quanities of tannins and acids than by the amount of sugar. It is balancing these flavors that differentuate good cider from great cider.

Tannin Boy
10-07-2010, 07:27 AM
Every apple I've messed with (including some wild crabs) resulted in a juice of 1050 to 1060, plenty strong enough for a cider without adding sugars of any kind. The sweetness of an apple isdermined more by the quanities of tannins and acids than by the amount of sugar. It is balancing these flavors that differentuate good cider from great cider.

Eyedea,

If you wish to further your interest in cider making I would recommend these
books. Craft Cider Making by Andrew Lea, Cider by Proulx & Nichols
Well worth the coin and great reference manuals....

TB

DanM
10-09-2010, 02:01 PM
I made a strong cyser last fall from 5 gallons of cider and 10 lbs of blueberry honey. I just won a first place ribbon at the regional homebrewing competition for BJCP category 25a.

I dumped all of the honey in at once and saw no negative consequences. +1 for pectic enzymes to help break down the cider. I would also add yeast nutrients and use a mead yeast due to the alcohol tolerance.

Finally I would check with local cider mills to see if you can get unpasteurized cider for your cyser. It should make it easier to make.


From the stuff I have read, the difference between a Cider and a Cyser is the use of honey as an additional sweetener. If you use Honey, it is a Cyser. If you use any other sweetener, it is a cider.

Not necessarily. If a small amount of honey, sugar, or other sweetner is used, it will be a New England Cider per BJCP category 25a.