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sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 07:11 PM
Hello all, I am trying my hand at this for the first time. I have 2-1 gallon fermenters going with what I call " My basic Cyser" recipe, the first I'm going to rack after 2 weeks for 2 more weeks then bottle, the second is where I need advice. I am planning on a 2nd fermentation with 2lbs cherries and cherry juice, I am also playing with the idea of adding some toasted cherry wood a week before bottling. Is this a good Idea or no? All comments and advice welcome

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pwizard
01-29-2017, 08:16 PM
What is your recipe/process so far for the cyser? You didn't mention any nutrient additions.


Also, why are you in such a hurry to bottle? Two weeks after primary is barely enough time for the yeast to do clean-up.. Your secondary should go for at least a month and it should clear before you think about bottling. You should add the cherry wood while you wait. Wood usually takes months to affect a batch. Where are you getting the cherry wood from?

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 08:24 PM
I did what I have read and was recommended by the brew supply house here. I brought 2 litters of apple juice, pure no additives, 6 lbs honey and one pound lite brown sugar to 170 for 10 minutes, let cool to 95 and added 2 cinnamon sticks and 8 cloves to the carboys, poured in the must with ale yeast and nutrients which were rehydrated, they started really going about 6 hours after going into carboy. I plan on just using some smoking chips that I have on hand because I use them all the time.

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caduseus
01-29-2017, 08:31 PM
I can't tell you best practices for ciders but for meads you are going to fast. Also nutrient addition is critical in making meads but I see nothing on your posts.
In my experience LBHS advice is usually useless for making meads. You can't do a mead like a beer, cider, or wine.
The advice you get on here is better.
Get Ken Shramms book the compleat meadmaker is essential in making mead. But even since his book came out there is new knowledge such as fermaid -O and more known about SNA.

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 08:32 PM
OK, thank you

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Stasis
01-29-2017, 08:43 PM
I'm not sure smoking chips are coincidentally at the toast level you need. Cherry wood is usable but might not offer the best flavors. It would be an interesting experiment if only you're sure you have the right toast level. I would also suggest starting very low with the oak chips. Add just a little.. let's say half the usual oak amount. Taste after a few weeks and add just a bit more if you think it might continue to improve. Be careful, you can always add more but you can't take it out (bar through blending with an unoaked batch ;) )

Squatchy
01-29-2017, 08:50 PM
I wouldn't even use the chips personally. Real wood for wine usually gets aged out side in the elements for a minimum of 2 years and the better stuff for 3. Without that and then the proper toasting you're not going to get what real wine chips will give you. They are so cheap I would just go buy some cubes at the store.

And yea. No way in hell will you want to bottle your mead in 4 weeks. You may not even be done fermenting in that time frame, depending on your process. You won't want to bottle until your mead is clear and that can take months. You could speed it up by using chemicals but even then , why. It won't taste good for a while so why push it and make it even worse.

Stick around here and get some help.

And welcome to the forum :)

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 08:52 PM
OK, what about the honeycomb wood from black swan?

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Stasis
01-29-2017, 08:52 PM
I did what I have read and was recommended by the brew supply house here. I brought 2 litters of apple juice, pure no additives, 6 lbs honey and one pound lite brown sugar to 170 for 10 minutes, let cool to 95 and added 2 cinnamon sticks and 8 cloves to the carboys, poured in the must with ale yeast and nutrients which were rehydrated, they started really going about 6 hours after going into carboy. I plan on just using some smoking chips that I have on hand because I use them all the time.

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If you're using honey I would do without the sugar. You can hardly ever have too much honey. Choose a honey which compliments your cider well, and my opinion is to go for that. Sugar mostly just raises your abv and adds no flavor. I would also go slow on the spices, especially the cloves. there are members who posted on these forums saying you can easily go overboard with them.
Since you're using apple juice and no added water (unless you forgot to add that) then your yeast have enough complex nutrients from the juice. Adding generic energizer and nutrients in this case, and this case only, should hopefully be ok. Any idea what your gravity was? I.e. did you calculate the sugar concentration of your must before starting the ferment? This could be done with a hydrometer and ispretty much essential to any mazer. Can't believe brew shops try to sell their merch but constantly forget to sell the hydrometer

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 08:55 PM
I don't have a hydrometer yet as I have just started this. I never needed one when I ran my shine,lol

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darigoni
01-29-2017, 08:57 PM
Is that 2 liters of Apple juice total? If so, that's kind of lite. I would have used around 3 liters in each gallon.

Also, cloves can easily over power a mead batch. The recommended quantity is 1 (maybe 2) per gallon.

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 08:59 PM
OK, I was just going by what I had read and seen on YouTube. Like I said just starting so I am sure I will learn alot on this first run. Thanks for the advice

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Stasis
01-29-2017, 09:03 PM
I wouldn't even use the chips personally. Real wood for wine usually gets aged out side in the elements for a minimum of 2 years and the better stuff for 3. Without that and then the proper toasting you're not going to get what real wine chips will give you. They are so cheap I would just go buy some cubes at the store.

True, but if you're going to try something 'exotic' such as cherry wood, I highly doubt you'll be able to find wood which has been carefully aged for wine making. The next best alternative *might* be smoking chips. These might then need to be toasted. Then they might taste horrible anyway. This is certainly an advanced endeavor. Stick to oak like Squatchy suggested

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 09:05 PM
OK, I have alot of oak at hand

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Stasis
01-29-2017, 09:12 PM
OK, I have alot of oak at hand

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Oak that is intended specifically for wine making I assume :)

Oh and by the way,
Welcome to the forums!

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 09:13 PM
Thanks, no I was talking about the smoking chunks I will have to toast them

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Stasis
01-29-2017, 09:20 PM
Thanks, no I was talking about the smoking chunks I will have to toast them

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Umm.. The toasting part was only a last resort if you really wish to try something unusual such as cherry wood. In the case of oak I highly suggest buying chips, or better yet cubes, from the brew shop. Like squatchy said, it is almost impossible to replicate the flavor you get from good quality oak intended for wine use. Believe me, you will always use oak from time to time if you continue brewing so this will be a good investment ;)

sinisterdonut
01-29-2017, 09:22 PM
OK, will check into it

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