View Full Version : Its Apple Cider and Cyser time

10-02-2004, 10:10 PM
Apples are in season for many of us so it time to put on that Cyser or Hard Cider for the winter. Some hard ciders can be made to enjoy within a couple months. List your favorite recipe here. To start off here is a quick Hard apple cider that worked for me. I made it last year and it was really good in 6 weeks and great in 3 months.
1 gallon batch
1 gallon apple cider less a glass or two to drink
8 oz Clover honey
8 oz dark brown sugar
Ec-1118 Champayne yeast

SG ~ 1.068 9% abv potential

Mix ingredients and aerate (shake)(yes, with top on)
rehydrate and pitch yeast

Racked in 2 weeks SG 1.000
Cleared in another 2 weeks. Add Campden tablet here if desired.
Bottled into beer bottles after mixing in 2 oz Clover honey/gal
Drank first bottle in 2 weeks - Was really good but carbonation weak.
In another 2 weeks carbonation was perfect ( Moving to slightly warmer enviornment carbonates sooner)

10-05-2004, 06:46 PM
I LOVE cider season. ;D

Last weekend I started 44 gallons of Schramm's Fall Bounty Cyser, 5 gals of cider w/ Wyeast cider yeast, 5 gals of cider w/ White Labs cider yeast, and 5 gals of cider with no yeast at all. All, except the natural yeast batch, are now fermenting nicely. Did I mention ;D?

10-05-2004, 09:26 PM
Now --- that is a real Cider lover.. :-*
I would love for you to keep us up to date on the progress of the one using wild yeast.
Any other additives we should know about in your recipe or are they all identical to Ken's cyser except yeast?

10-05-2004, 10:15 PM
Only the 44 gallons is cyser - that is identical to Ken's recipe. The others are just straight cider, no additives at all. Dump the cider in a carboy, pitch yeast (or not), put on airlock. Those three 5 gal batches are a test to see which yeast is best. I've heard rumors that natural yeasts are best, so I figured I'd put it head-to-head with commerical yeasts.

I'll keep you updated. :)

10-05-2004, 11:17 PM
What price are people paying for raw apple juice these days?

Just curious...

10-05-2004, 11:27 PM
The stuff I used is normally $6/gal, but my brewing partner got it for $4/gal when buying it 50 gals at a time. The other local stuff I'll use is $5/gal, or $4.50/gal if you buy 10 gals or more at a time. Both are nothing really special, just dessert apples with a few less common varieties thrown in. But no cider apples, and no attempt at blending to make it something special. They just throw whatever they can't sell as bagged apples into a vat, mill, and press. The stuff I used is raw, the other local stuff is UV pasteurized.

10-06-2004, 12:26 AM
(snip) The others are just straight cider, no additives at all. Dump the cider in a carboy, pitch yeast (or not), put on airlock. Those three 5 gal batches are a test to see which yeast is best. I've heard rumors that natural yeasts are best, so I figured I'd put it head-to-head with commerical yeasts.

I'll keep you updated. :)
That is a great experiment Scott. I for one anxiously await your results. The proof will be "in the pudding". Did you get a starting SG on the plain cider by chance?

10-06-2004, 01:00 AM
No, I didn't get the OG of the cider. I've gotten out of the habit of taking gravity readings on cider, melomels, and other stuff with fruit chunks (like the cyser). For the cider I know roughly what it is (1.050-1.060) and I know it is going to ferment to dryness, so I don't really care what the OG is. For the melomels and chunky stuff, the sugars in the fruit make the OG reading meaningless anyway.

Now that I think about it, I think there is a 1/2 gal of sweet cider left in the fridge. Perhaps I'll pull it out and measure tonight.

10-06-2004, 01:12 AM
Thanks Scott,
I didn't measure mine either and was trying to do some calulations to stop it at a particular ABV and sweetness and didn't check either SG. The honey I know but not the juice. I do the same as you on cysers and melomels.

10-06-2004, 06:43 PM
My son finished off the cider before I got home. So no OG reading. Sorry.

10-06-2004, 06:53 PM
I think I asked before, but what kind of yeast did you use for both the cider and the cyser?



10-06-2004, 07:05 PM
Cyser - D47.

Cider is split into 3 batches. One is Wyeast cider year, one is White Labs English Cider yeast, one is no added yeast at all, just the natural yeasts that came in on the apples.

An update - all were started last Sat evening. The Wyeast and WL labs have been fermenting VIGOROUSLY for days, while the natural one finally started getting some foam on top just last night.

Ahhhhh, nothing like extracting honey while listening to airlocks bubble away. That's pretty dang close to heaven. ;D

David Baldwin
10-09-2004, 01:11 AM
My dad used to buy two jugs of cider at a time from a place that sold it from the oak barrel. One gallon we would drink right away, the other gallon Dad would add a small handful of raisins, and leave it under the basement steps for a few weeks. It was always wonderful stuff.

We had fun talking about that last night. Too bad that Mom won't let him do that anymore.

I've got an extra carboy empty right now. I may give cider a whirl.

10-10-2004, 07:08 AM
I made this years cider today. I bought it for 1.98/ gallon :)
yeah 1.98/gallon. This was the main motivation for it . I didn't think i was gonna have the money for it this year. Now i am contempalting the funds to make my first cyser. With all the talk about it on the forum i have to see what i am missing out on.

10-10-2004, 08:55 AM
Now that's a real buy if its fresh unpasturized apple cider without preservatives! I paid $5.00 a gallon for 5 gallons at the orchard. Seems to be the going price in this area unless you buy larger volume. They do use a good blend of different apples here that give it real character.

10-10-2004, 09:06 AM
It is pasturized. Which dosen't bother me because i always add yeast so there is no sterilization.

10-10-2004, 06:45 PM

I paid the same price you did, $5 a gallon and got 6 gallons. The stuff was squeezed Saturday using 4 different types of apples. Used 5.5 gallons of it last night along with 15 pounds of Clover/Black Locust honey, a few spices, and EC-1118 yeast to pitch my first cyser.

I did not heat as much or as long during seeping? since it was cider, not water, in the pot. But the aroma prior to adding the honey was like Christmas cider. The daughter, who helped me put the batch together, loved the smell of the honey. I wasn't particularly impressed until after I heated the must and you could smell the apples, the spices, and the honey in the kitchen... The daughter also insisted on drinking some of my raw juice... it was really good...

It took all night to cool so I pitched the yeast when I woke up at 4 AM and then went back to bed for a couple more hours. Two hours later it was already bubbling at a couple of bubbles a minute. So our kitchen table now has two big carboys on it... bless my wife for being tolerant!

Ooooops... SG = 1.130

10-10-2004, 08:42 PM
EC-1118 was always my favorite in the past because it doesn't impart any yeast flavor and it is such a fast and complete fermenter. But I had to always be very careful with my starting SG and stabilize and back sweeten when it was finished to get where I wanted to be. I still like it for some applications but Cyser is not one of them. You'll be at 16% for sure with your OG of 1.130. Also it will be dry as a bone. If thats what you want, it will be wonderful because your ingredients are top quality. I'm currently using K1V for mine but D47 will be my choice in the future from all the positive posts. This is especially a good choice for someone who does not want to use sufites and still wants a sweet mead with 12-14% alcohol. The smell is wonderful. Keep the Cyser in the dark and keep us abreast of the progress.
Thanks, Joe

10-10-2004, 09:57 PM

I actually like the higher alcohol levels in mead, especially when you cannot taste them, and will learn patience while waiting for them to age out in my meads. My first Metheglin, at an OG = 1.110 will not ferment to completion with the EC-1118. The cyser, with an OG = 1.130 should ferment to completion but will be quite strong and require lots of aging. Since my apple juice source is a buddy from work, I can always add a little more fresh juice to the mix after the yeast is all dead in order to gain flavor and sweetness if it is too dry.

However, I am likely to switch to something like D-47 to lessen the honey costs a bit. I will have to experiment a bit to see what I like best for ABV on each type (metheglin, cyser, melomel, etc.) and then adjust yeast type and honey amounts accordingly. I figure I have lots of batches in the future to play with...

10-11-2004, 08:56 PM
You all should check out http://forums.homebrew.com/index.php?s=&act=ST&f=8&t=6953&st=0, ScottS and I (along with others) have been posting about the progress of our cysers. It's a good read.


10-11-2004, 09:17 PM
I checked it out and there were some interesting posts. But my question is, Why are you not posting more of your results and progress here so we don't have to go to other forums? This one is dedicated entirely to mead and needs your support to continue to grow. Is there something we can improve on here?
Sincerely, Joe

10-11-2004, 09:24 PM
The thread was started in October 2003, and I just found the site recently. I can't move a thread from another site to here, so I did what I could. Maybe next time, they'll post here first.


10-11-2004, 10:31 PM
Well... this morning I discovered why people talk about blow tubes... the cyser is bubbling so aggressively (several bubbles a second at times) that it is threatening to blow the water out the top of the S trap... EC-1118 must love either raw apple juice or clover/black locust honey...

The one bad thing is that the entire kitchen smells like apples, so it appears that I am losing serious aroma out of the must during the ferment. Is there any way to stop this?

10-11-2004, 10:35 PM
Don't worry, you're not losing any flavor that is necessary for your enjoyment, it's all part of the process. If you're blowing liquid out of the tube that's a different story.

Remember, see the apple, smell the apple, be the apple.