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View Full Version : Advice on Cyser type hydromel



RightHookCook
08-11-2011, 04:17 PM
Hello every one,

Im planning on doing a small batch of a cyser at low percent, but i have never made any cider,beer etc or any thing of a low percentage abv before so i have a fair few concerns/questions before i go getting started.

My rough plan is to use 750ml of local fresh apple juice from the farmshop, 1lb of honey (or whatever i need to get to required SG), Add water to 3 ltrs, ferment with some wine yeast i have mixed with nutrients etc (a wine compound), aerate till 1/3 sugar break, ferment till dry , stabilize, then back sweeten with another bottle of the 750ml apple juice.

All in all this is 1 gallon.

The plan is to have a starting gravity of 1.040, ferment to 1.000 so finished %ABV should be around 5.5%. backsweeten to around 1.015?

My concerns are-

- The general mouth-feel, i dont want this to be watery, i want it to be like a pint of good cider with a honey taste to it. thats why im going with the back-sweetening with apple juice.

- What yeast is better to use in the future? wine yeast or cider/ale yeast?

- Another thing is, this still has to be a mead, not a cider, as i will be introducing to people as a mead.

- How long would someone age something like this? how long would you age a regular cider?

- How long will it keep?

- And would this be classified as a hydromel or Cyser?

:p Thanks to any one who reads

kudapucat
08-11-2011, 05:23 PM
To most of your questions: I am unsure, I do know however that apple juice usually has an OG of about 1040 so if you're shooting for 1040, you'll have to water your honey down to 1040 then add apple juice.
Good luck, I've not been brave enough to try a hydromel yet.

AToE
08-11-2011, 05:34 PM
My main concern would be that to me this would be nice carbonated, and unless you canforce-carb that won't be an option here.

RightHookCook
08-12-2011, 08:23 AM
Alot of the ciders i drink are still any ways, so dont think that will be a problem.

Thanks for the good luck wishes, ive been having a look about and ive noticed celestial meads in Alaska make something similar, also notice it took a bronze at the mazer cup, so it cant be to bad! ;)

RightHookCook
08-13-2011, 09:18 AM
Im must admit im actually very surprised that something like this isnt alot more popular?!

Im just thinking of the benefits, its cheaper as you need less honey, its drinkable alot sooner, and to be honest im more of a pint of real ale/cider guy than wine, so to me this could be the perfect solution!

BBBF
08-13-2011, 10:52 AM
I've made cider, cysers and hydromels, but not one if these. It sounds like a good idea, so go for it and keep us updated.

RightHookCook
08-15-2011, 03:15 PM
Looks like i will just have to go old school and wing this one then! :)

Im only going to use cheapy stuff at 1st just to give me an idear , then if it comes out so so i will make a batch with better ingredients.

RightHookCook
09-28-2011, 06:46 AM
Going to be starting this one in a week or two and had a few thoughts, should this be brewed in mind like its a mead or a cider? no opinion yet on ageing? and if any one has made any "session" style meads, how long did you age them for? im thinking 3 months additional ageing after its finnished and cleared?.

And in your opinon gotmeaders , will this taste pretty thin? if yes, how do others get round this?

Id really like to know how some of the other guys make a hydromel say 5% ABV, and not have it tasting to thin, my aim is to make a drink like cellestial meads "cyser does matter" that took 3rd at the mazer cup.

Medsen Fey
09-28-2011, 08:34 AM
Sweetening helps prevent anything from tasting thin. You can mix honey in water and not have it taste thin (cloying maybe, but not thin). So the fact that you plan to sweeten helps a lot. If you keep them dry, then body can be more of an issue like dry ciders which I often find a little thin.

I've made a cyser similar to this where I essentially fermented apple juice alone then primed it with honey for carbonation. I used buckwheat honey because I want a strong honey that would show up despite be used in small quantity. The flavor added even by that small amount of honey is strong enough that it is requiring longer-than-expected aging because of the phenolic character it added. In future cases I'll pick a lighter, cleaner honey when I keep it dry. If you want to have honey character, I'd suggest backsweetening with honey rather than more apple juice. If you want to have honey fermented in your batch, as mentioned above, you'll probably need to dilute it as the gravity of most apple juice comes in around 1.040-1.050.

The good news is that the long aging may allow some autolysis and lees aged character to improve the body will some mannoproteins and glycans being released.

There are several ways to boost body - tannin additions can do it, using a product like biolees (or sur lies), adding glycerin, adding gum arabic, and lees aging. Some yeast are also better at adding body such as D47.

I hope that helps.

Medsen

RightHookCook
09-28-2011, 10:15 AM
Cool, so all is well then, thanks medsen, always enjoy your responses, very informative.

Im just using up some cheapy white wine yeast, if it turns out ok i will have a try with D47, will probably have a pint of this new years eve to try it. might be a touch early but we will see.

Reading up alot on fermentation of apples, seems sulphur odours are pretty common, any tips to avoid this? im thinking plenty of aeration and following the regualr practices with nutrients etc.

;D

BBBF
09-28-2011, 01:10 PM
Cool, so all is well then, thanks medsen, always enjoy your responses, very informative.

Im just using up some cheapy white wine yeast, if it turns out ok i will have a try with D47, will probably have a pint of this new years eve to try it. might be a touch early but we will see.

Reading up alot on fermentation of apples, seems sulphur odours are pretty common, any tips to avoid this? im thinking plenty of aeration and following the regualr practices with nutrients etc.

;D

IMO, a dry cider needs to age to improve the flavor. I've gotten around this with my draft cider, by sweetening it with apple juice concentrate.