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Jarveye
06-16-2013, 05:10 PM
Hi i have a ossible 'lost in translation' problem.

now ive read for adding apple to meads to use Cider...

1) is this alchoholic apple cider? or as someone pointed out to me recently is 'Cider' in the US simple another name for apple juice?

2) if it is alchoholic cider will any fizzy commercial cider suffice? or does it need to be a home made flat cider without any other commercial additives etc?

3) either way can somone guide me here, as ive heard talk of making sure it doesnt contain sorbate etc, basically im planning to add fruit and spice (apple, raspberry and cinnamon) to my mead after it has finished fermenting for aging. so perhaps the sulphites isnt an issue, perhaps i need to stop it re-starting the fermentation etc.

4) im going to try to do this to 1 single bottle worth of my main batch as a test run for a future new batch so was thinking to split that single bottle into 2 bottles to make room for the fruit/juice/bag with spice then once its flavoured siphon it into a new bottle to age further, this sound ok?

5) if anyone wants give me some rough guidelines about how much i might want to add of these extra ingredients or point me to a similar recipe to this that would be great.

Cheers!

danr
06-16-2013, 05:21 PM
I'll address your first two questions:
In the US, apple cider is typically unfiltered, unsweetened and non-alcoholic. Apple juice is typically filtered and pasteurized. What is referred to as cider (alcoholic) in other parts of the world is typically referred to as "hard cider" here.

You want to add a non-alcoholic apple cider to your mead to create a "cyser." The sugars in the apple cider will ferment with your honey.

I am sure that others can help you with your remaining questions. I have not made my first cyser yet.

-Dan

theEnvoy
06-16-2013, 05:42 PM
Cyser is the name for honey and apple cider.

Here are some good recipes from the honey organization. Hope you can download the PDF.... Good luck...

http://www.honey.com/images/uploads/general/cider.pdf

Jarveye
06-16-2013, 05:47 PM
ok thank you, however i am keen to make sure my end product is mead and not honey cider, so i thnik that link is not for me

fatbloke
06-16-2013, 06:18 PM
As already mentioned, the term "Cider" in the US is mis-leading. It's probably something that harks back to prohibition days, so that they could sell what in the US tends to be known as "hard cider" and just claim it was cider a.k.a. cloudy, unfiltered apple juice.

The correct term for a mead made with apple juice instead of water, and honey, is Cyser, just like meads made with grape juice instead of water (and the honey) being Pyment.

Most of the non-traditional type mead products have a specific name/term, though if they were commercially produced for sale they'd probably be called Apple Mead or Grape Mead as the non-mead making public is pretty ignorant of the specific names in general.

So......

1) is this alchoholic apple cider? or as someone pointed out to me recently is 'Cider' in the US simple another name for apple juice?

2) if it is alchoholic cider will any fizzy commercial cider suffice? or does it need to be a home made flat cider without any other commercial additives etc?

3) either way can somone guide me here, as ive heard talk of making sure it doesnt contain sorbate etc, basically im planning to add fruit and spice (apple, raspberry and cinnamon) to my mead after it has finished fermenting for aging. so perhaps the sulphites isnt an issue, perhaps i need to stop it re-starting the fermentation etc.

4) im going to try to do this to 1 single bottle worth of my main batch as a test run for a future new batch so was thinking to split that single bottle into 2 bottles to make room for the fruit/juice/bag with spice then once its flavoured siphon it into a new bottle to age further, this sound ok?

5) if anyone wants give me some rough guidelines about how much i might want to add of these extra ingredients or point me to a similar recipe to this that would be great.
1. As above.....

2. No. You could indeed use a "proper" cider, commercially produced, to mix or top up, but generally, any mention of using cider in a recipe would be alluding to the use of cloudy apple juice.

3. You'd use sulphites and sorbate at the same time, to prevent the restart of fermentation if you've added a further source of fermentable sugars, like fruit. Fruit, juice, etc taste very different when added in primary fermentation as the sugars which often give the fruit it's distinctive flavour would have fermented out, so to restore that, it's either fruit or just sugar for back sweetening purposes - either way, you'd use sulphite and sorbate at the same time for that.

4. Tiny amounts like that aren't usually worth the effort, because they're every bit as susceptible to problems as larger ones are. Plus, production loses make the batches even smaller, so the best size suggested for trials/tests is 1 gallon. That way, you can get enough bottles out of it to do periodic testing (drinking, etc) to judge the success of your actual "making" efforts, but also understand about the way meads age and change during that time. Just take notes, both for the ingredients/recipe, gravity and the making method, anything else you might need to remember like dates, times, temperatures, plus additional making info. Then once it's bottled, tasting notes for when you drink some too test and learn etc.....

5. Most recipe info will likely be for 1 or 5 gallon sized batches, which generally can be scaled up or down. Tiny batches of less than a gallon can be hard work e.g. the JAO recipe uses 1 or 2 cloves, so unless you're gonna grind a clove and split it proportionally, you'd have problems. Using ground/powdered isn't likely to be helpful, as the taste would be different and you'd still have to know how much a single clove weighs to add it proportionally, etc.

For fruit etc ? Well that's usually recommended by weight, but again, it can be difficult to scale up or down unless it's worked out that way. Plus it would depend on the fruit used, as to whether you'd want to use the same ratio as you might for a country wine (and you'd just search for a suitable recipe and then just replace the sugar with honey either by weight which would give a lower starting gravity or add the honey until any stated starting gravity was reached).

So you can see, hopefully, why it's not quite as easy as recommending a recipe, though there are likely recipes using your suggested ingredients out there, just that they may be hard to modify for less than 1 gallon batches.

Hopefully that helps some........

Jarveye
06-16-2013, 07:46 PM
that pretty much answers all my questions, thank you!

SilentJimbo
06-16-2013, 07:49 PM
3) You'll need to make sure the juice you buy doesn't contain sorbates, else it won't be able to ferment; just check the label. Sulphites and sorbates can then be added after fermentation to stabilize it.

The_Psychotic_One
06-17-2013, 03:18 AM
Ascorbic acid IS ok, however. It's just a vitamin C additive.

huesmann
06-18-2013, 02:35 PM
Hard cider plus mead, chilled in a glass, is a drink called a Bee Sting!

pokerfacepablo
06-21-2013, 10:36 AM
Come this fall, there are many orchards that deal raw cider... though some states don't allow sale of raw. Not sure if this really pertains to you at all.
Plenty of great Cyser recipes in the old logs. The Alchemist has a wonderful recipe called Servus Cyser (Look in the mead log forum) that I had tweeked for my own liking. There are hoards of recipes, good luck.

TheAlchemist
06-25-2013, 10:52 PM
Farmer's Markets have raw (frozen) cider sometimes, in the fall.