View Full Version : help newbee with second attempt, first cyser

02-26-2011, 12:13 AM
Okay, so i am trying to figure out a recipe for my second mead. I made my frist mead on a whim from some advice from an old timer helped teach my father and I bee keeping seems to have all of the flaws that you might find in a mead that is still drinkable. It was only after i whipped up a must and threw it in a fermenter that i acctually started reading about making mead and have since decided to give it an honest attempt considering we extract 100+lbs of honey every fall. We mostly get a darker full bodied honey from red bamboo (japanese knotweed) and goldenrod.
Anyways, after alot of reading and finding this awesome site and trying to formulate a recipie i decided to go with a Cyser primary split in to a Cyser and Melomel. This is what i come up with

apple cider to 5 gallons
6 lbs of Honey
Pectin Enzyme (not sure on the amounts to add??? liquid or powder)
2 packs 71-B1122 in a starter
1 tsp. Super Ferment per gallon

Secondary (Cinnamon)
1/2 of Primary Must
1 gallon apple cider
8 cinnamon sticks simmered in cider
.5 lb of raisins
(considering other spices - looking for suggestions)
1 lb of honey

Secondary (BlackBerry)
1/2 of Primary Must
2 42.oz Cans of Oregon Blackberry Puree = water to 1 gallon
1 lb of Honey

I am hoping to have a semi-sweet outcome and have considered sulfiting and backsweetening to achieve that.
Should i consider adding more yeast?
or just add any Nutrients to the Secondary? or nothing at all?
are there any other questions i should be asking?
Any advice on the recipe would be greatly appreciated.

02-26-2011, 12:43 AM
i was thinking maybe i should add the two pounds of honey in the secondary to the primary and use more honey to back sweeten...to speed up the fermentation time...

how about oak...would anyone suggest oaking either in the secondary?

02-26-2011, 02:25 AM
Hi jayberque and welcome to GotMead!

2 packs of yeast sounds sufficient to me. With dry yeast you don't really need a starter, just to rehyrdate them properly before pitching.

The additions you plan for secondary--do you want them to be fermented? Or to act as sweeteners? If you want to ferment those additions, personally I would mix up the main batch, let it ferment for a couple days, and rack onto those next additions at about the 1/3 break (after a thorough stir of the must).

I'm not sure what is in Super Ferment, so I can't comment on the nutrients. Do you know what is in it?

I think oak would work with the berry batch. Not sure how well it would play with that much cinnamon though.

02-26-2011, 10:38 AM
i do want the additions to the secondary to ferment, but not so much so that it comes out as a dry mead, like i said i would like to have semi-sweet outcome.
you think racking at the 1/3 break would be more suitable for what i am looking to do? Would using the 1/2 sugar break help keep some more of the berry flavor?

super ferment is, according to the manufacturers website "A complete yeast nutrient and energizer in one! Our proprietary blend is more than just diammonium phosphate---it includes ammonium ion and phosphate ion, plus yeast hulls (for lipids), sulfate ion, B-complex vitamins, and growth factors (biotin and pantothenic acid), as well as trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. It contains all of the elements necessary to achieve optimal yeast reproduction and metabolism."

02-26-2011, 10:01 PM
Apple juice and fruit generally conspire to make yeast go well past their listed alcohol tolerance. I would suggest putting in enough sugars to get to the ABV you want, and backsweetening the mead when it is done. Trying to chase the yeast with more sugar will probably end up with something around 16-17% abv if your ferment goes smoothly or with tons of residual sugar if it sticks.

In my experience, the most vigorous part of fermentation is the first third. Adding your fruit after that should help keep the fruit flavors in there slightly more than if you added them at the start. Adding at the 1/2 break sounds fine too. An alternative would be to add all the honey and half the fruit up front, let it go to completion, stabilize and add the rest of the fruit in secondary. The fruit in secondary won't ferment, but with the two fruit additions you'll get some of the fermented flavor as well as the fresh fruit character. Backsweeten to taste after you pull the last fruit out.

For the nutrient, I'd guess something in the range of 2-4 g per gallon would be a good place to start. Generally folks stagger the additions into two or more timepoints, e.g. after lag and 1/3 break. Since it has DAP as the main nitrogen source, I wouldn't add any after the 1/2 mark.

02-27-2011, 12:59 AM
thanks for the advice Akueck. I want to add the fruit puree to only half of the original must, and add cinnamon and some other spices (looking for suggestions/amounts for 3 gallon) to the other half of the original must. I am guessing that adding the fruit at the half sugar break will give me a good fermentaion on the fruit puree and and still retain a good flavor of the berry.

As far as the nutrient is concerned, woudl you suggest adding half the nutrient at the begining/lag, and the other half at the 1/3 sugar break? or two full servings of nutrient?

02-27-2011, 02:00 AM
Figuring out the total nutrient, then adding portions throughout the process, is common. I would say add half after lag and half after the 1/3 break.

8 sticks of cinnamon for 3 gallons is a fairly normal amount. I'd say it's a bit on the high side but not even close to the "extreme" level of some recipes (see Cinnful Cyser for an example of "lots of cinnamon"). For me personally I'm on the end of the spectrum where I add just a little (of oak, spices, etc) so the cinnamon alone sounds good enough. If you wanted to add additional spices, some things that come to mind include nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and molasses (not really a spice but a flavor). One whole cracked nutmeg is more than enough, 1/2 tsp of cracked allspice, or a small number of cloves say 2-4 would be my suggestions. Molasses...about an ounce or two.