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View Full Version : strange cyser may have been over heated?



jflanigan244
06-23-2016, 11:17 PM
I've read a good amount of the cyser related threads, here. And it seems cyser is real tricky to pull off well or so it seems.

Ok, so I started this cyser before I really got into the technical methodology of the brewing process, I've learned a lot now but this was still my first cyser. We started it totally cold, with 5 pounds wildflower honey, 4 gallons of whole foods' brand apple juice (I believe it is somewhat unfiltered, as there was a load of apple sediment), 1/2 lb or so, of brown and cane sugar, and 3/4 of a packet of red star champagne yeast (rehhydrated as instructed, in hot water, then pitched). We did not have a hydrometer at the time, so i don't know the OG.

Anyways, it seemed to have a long lag time, maybe 12 hours or so? But then it started fermenting, super, super vigorously!!! Like, 20-30 bubbles a minute. Seemed to drop off quite quickly though, and I'm wondering if it may have been due to the temp of the room, which may have been around 80-85 at some point. Anyways, we have racked it twice and tasted both times (the first rack we also backsweetened with about another quarter pound brown sugar) but it is sooooo dry, super cloudy (like opaque) and has such an incredible bite and powerful, almost offensive aroma lol.

So, where I stand now, is: I've separated it into two batches; one in a 1 1/2 gallon carboy, mixed with mulling spices, and the rest remains in the ale pail (we've also added some water during the rackings to try to dilute the ultra dryness) and the meads have now been moved to a much safer temperature area, at around 70 degrees F. Is there anything I can do, besides age, age, age, to save this cyser a bit?

OH! also, during the primary we added a small amount (1-2 oz) of ginger and lemon juice...I've been told the lemon might mess up the must's pH ��

Masbustelo
06-24-2016, 01:36 AM
You have sucessfully made some type of cider wine, but have not made a cyser. Cysers, and meads are made with honey, and not with manufactured sugars. Whichever you have made, aging is part of the process of clearing and assimilating all your flavours. Put it in your carboys, topped up, put an airlock on it and take it from here.

bmwr75
06-24-2016, 02:53 PM
The high ferment temperature probably resulted in the production of fusel alcohol. Aging will mellow this out, but it may take many months.

jflanigan244
06-26-2016, 11:59 AM
Yeah, it was definitely too toasty while in primary -_- not to mention at the time I started it I wasn't aware of proper pitching techniques. But from the taste alone, I really think it may have reached the yeast's alcohol tolerance or damn close. Upon third racking, just drinking a glass of it got me REALLY buzzed and I'm not exactly a light weight. Do y'all think the cane and brown sugar could have been the reason it doesn't exactly taste mead-y? I'm not sure I mentioned that I added 2 tbsp Dap upon must creation.

I have faith that the mulling spice batch will redeem itself but....I'm not pleased to find that all the mulling spices have floated to the top of my carboy -_-. Do you think there's any point in trying to restart fermentation, so the yeast can "clean up" these bad flavors, so to speak? ( only asking as I have seen some people mention this in the mead log) or should I just wait until the one that's visible to me, in the carboy starts to clear and then bottle? It's just chilling in 3rd rack with almost all the lees disposed of now and there's no real signs of activity - no fermenty smell, no bubbles, etc. I have never taken gravity on this batch as I just got my hydrometer upon start of my recent melomel bur I'm a bit hesitant to pop either of them upon and check grav, cause I think we over exposed this mead to oxygen during first rack

Swordnut
07-08-2016, 10:09 AM
Is the must oily?

bernardsmith
07-08-2016, 02:47 PM
Hi Jflanagan. Simply going with the information your provided - 4 gallons of apple juice (I assume a gravity of about 1.050) to which you added 5 lbs of honey (1.25 lbs per gallon - or about another 0.050 = 1.100) plus 1/2 lb sugar (dissolved in 4 gallons?) adds another .005 for a total of about 1.105. A gravity of 1.105 has a potential ABV (alcohol by volume) of about 14% if all the sugars were fermented. If your starting volume was about 5 gallons then your ABV might be closer to 12%. That said, as long as there is an active colony of yeast any added sugar will have no "back sweetening" effect. All you did was simply add another 1/2 lb of sugar to feed the yeast. Champagne yeast will be able to gobble up that added sugar , pee out alcohol and fart out CO2 without blinking.
Adding water will dilute the flavor not the dryness (zero residual sugar diluted in water will not add to the non existent sweetness but it WILL reduce the ABV. If you want to drink a sweeter mead you need to stabilize the wine by a) ensuring that there is no viable colony of yeast in the mead (you can do this by racking the mead every couple of months over say, 6 months ) and b) adding in tandem K-meta and K-sorbate. The effect of adding these two chemicals to a mead with no viable yeast colony is that it prevents any yeast cells still in the mead from reproducing and can destroy straggling cells. You can then freely add a sweetener without any fear that that sweetener will become the food of any yeast cells...

jflanigan244
07-08-2016, 03:06 PM
I'm very thankful for all the advice from everyone!!

It turns out, this mead actually became totally salvageable!! :)

From everything I've read and been told, I think the major issues, were that A) the primary ferment area was pretty hot, resulting in a super speedy fermentation compared to what I had been used to and B) We had a much higher ABV than we had been used to (I'm only now realizing that in the past, we had made short hydromels) so the initial flavor was very unexpected. Coupled with the frontloading of all the DAP, it led to a quite sulfurous aroma.

But after only about a month and a half in secondary, and a few rackings, I came out tasting pretty damn good. At least for me, at least. Especially the batch I used mulling spices on!

It's bottle aging now and I'm pretty pleased with it, all things considered.

Thanks to the awesome people on this forum, my technique has really improved. I've controlled many more aspects of the mead I'm currently working on and plan to use tosna for my next traditional!!

Thanks, everyone!

Y'all rule!