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Thread: Primary cyser fermentation done, anything I missed besides aging to remove harshness

  1. Default Primary cyser fermentation done, anything I missed besides aging to remove harshness

    First time cyser

    84oz Organic Apple Cider (2/3 of a gallon)
    1 1/2# Wildflower honey
    10 raisons
    Warmed to 70 deg, dumped into carboy. Shake, shake, shake to aerate

    1/2t Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast,
    1/2t nutrient
    Carboy with airlock, after 13 days, somewhat clear amber, 1" thick lees sludge & bubbling stopped
    [Next time, I'll stir to aerate during first few days, and add nutrient in stages]

    Original SG: 1.110
    Fermented SG: 0.991 15.6% ABV

    Re-racked to new carboy
    Added 2fl oz honey + 8fl oz apple juice + 8fl oz water to sweeten & lower the ABV a bit

    Updated SG: 1.004 13.9% ABV
    Degassed by shaking & letting gas escape several times [or was that stupid to do??]

    It still tastes a bit dry (which might be ok) and definitely on the harsh side (too harsh).
    Now aging in the carboy with airlock, no obvious activity on day 2 of re-rack

    * Is there anything else I should do besides let this age a month or two or three? I like cider
    on the drier side, so not sure if I should sweeten this up more or not. I'm more concerned
    about the harshness. My reading seems to indicate it will mellow with time. Sure hope so!
    I also assume if I end up wanting more sweetness, I can add a little more honey or juice down
    the road?

    * I'd welcome any other observations or tips also, as I'm just learning


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015


    What are you calling harshness? 15% ABV is at the limits for that yeast, maybe you're tasting fusel alcohols? Or is it acidic (apples can be). Both conditions will improve with age.
    Dave from New Haven County

  3. #3


    If you like the taste of vanilla, that can take the edge off a harsh cyser...

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Northeast Mississippi

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    Not following a staggered nutrient addition protocol has most likely led to fusel alcohol production and the associated harshness. Aging many months will cure this most likely.

    Shaking to degas after SG reaches 1.030 or lower just leads to long time to clear. You should have racked instead. This degases and helps clear you mead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Dothan, AL, USA


    You can also stir gently with a sanitized slotted spoon (keeping the surface as "unbroken" as possible) to degas as well.

    How about some dead yeast hulls to help at this point? I've been reading about adding those (some boiled yeast) to help clear off flavors... would it be ok at this point to add those?
    Bottled: (Meads) Traditional (1 gal), Ginger-Pom-Paradise (1 gal), Blueberry (2 gal), Blackberry (2 gal), Elderberry (2 gal), Kumquat (2 gal); In Secondary: Plum Wine (3 gal); Drinking: (Beer) Pilsner Urquell Clone; Hoppy Wheat Beeró80 Klicks Wheat.

  6. #6


    Yes adding dead yeast cells is like adding small sponges that will absorb some of the problem. With no mention of temp control and no mention of SNA it's most like hot as hell with fussels. A long ageing period might fix most of that.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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