View Full Version : Poor Man's Cyser question RE: yeast

09-18-2011, 08:19 PM
Hi everyone!

I'm considering making Poor Man's Cyser (link http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?opt...id=25&Itemid=6) but my question is pretty simple. Why so much yeast? Unless I'm reading it wrong, it calls for 2 3x packets of Fleischman's bread yeast. That works out to about 5 TABLESPOONS of yeast for a 2 to 2 1/2 gallon batch unless my math is off?

Is it for the speed of working, with a huge load eating all the honey and apple sugar all at once to have it drinkable in a week? Or is there another reason? It just seems like so MUCH and I'd love to understand it better. Thanks! <3

Dan McFeeley
09-18-2011, 11:27 PM

I had trouble finding the recipe from the link you provided, this one worked for me:


There's also some discussion on the recipe here:


My only guess as to why the writer used the amount of yeast specified in the recipe is because it worked for him. Take a look at the date on the recipe, 1999, use of tea, lemon juice, sugar, boiling and skimming the must. These are the marks of an old recipe and old techniques, probably older than the submission date.

An old recipe, or old styled approach to a cyser like this might be like a JAO, works fine so long as you don't mess with it. If you want to tinker with it, proceed with caution. :-)


09-19-2011, 04:01 AM
Well, I went ahead and started it. I made a half-batch (1 gallon) this time and followed all the directions; the only change I made was to add two cinnamon sticks because I adore cinnamon in apples and to use a glass gallon jug and an airlock instead of plastic coke bottles and balloons. ;) I figured that wouldn't make too much a difference in the fermentation itself. The must was cool enough to pitch the yeast at about 1 am. Bubbling commenced within 5 minutes and now, it's 2 hours later and it's bubbling like a MAD thing! Less than a second between bubbles at this point. Granted, I haven't been meading long (Is it brewing or vinting?) but none of my other batches have ever bubbled this vigorously. Of course, I've never used a full three packets of yeast before either. Wow. Still wondering if it might be a bit of overkill, once this one is done I can start experimenting with the amount of yeast in this recipe. I'll keep you guys posted on this one's progress.

Going tomorrow to get the hydrometer that I meant to get last week... :/

09-19-2011, 08:53 AM
Well I don't know of that recipe and the link didn't work either, so I'll have to hunt it out when i get home.

What I do know is bread yeast was developed for its ability to produce CO2 to prove/raise bread. And it sounds like that's exactly what it seems to be doing.......

09-19-2011, 10:00 AM
The first link on Dan's post was the corrected one; I would have (will?) edited my original post if I could figure out how to do it.


Chevette Girl
09-19-2011, 12:40 PM
The "edit" button only works for an hour after the original post.

09-23-2011, 10:55 AM
I didn't think bread yeast could get up to 16-18% ABV.

09-23-2011, 12:07 PM
I didn't think bread yeast could get up to 16-18% ABV.

In this recipe there really aren't enough fermentables to get to 16-18% alcohol, but my bf has easily gotten a bread yeast to 15% and finds it highly possible to get it to 16-18%.

Lyric - Brewing wouldn't be the absolute proper term to use when talking about mead as the definition means 'To make (ale or beer) from malt and hops by infusion, boiling, and fermentation, and To make (a beverage) by boiling or steeping ingredients (like tea).' When brew is used it means the ingredients were steeped. So mead is technically not brewed because the honey is used in entirety, not steeped then removed. My own personal preferred term when talking about the process is making.

10-08-2011, 09:54 PM
Okay, same cyser batch, supposed to be drinkable after two weeks? I tasted it after racking it about ten days ago, SG was 1.005 and it is tear-producing dry as all heck. Added 1/2 campden and 1/2 tsp sorbate, as well as cold crashing to make triply sure the yeast was done, left it for four days. Back-sweetened it and put it back in the fridge, let it sit for a couple days more with the airlock to make sure no extra fermentation was going on. So far so good.

But here's the question. When I tasted it again, it was sweet enough but tannic as all heck, way yonder too bitter for my taste - so bitter that it overrides the sweet. Will this age out, or have I seriously just had my first ruined batch? Or is there something else I can do (besides watering it down?) to lessen the bitterness?

10-08-2011, 09:58 PM
it seems as though the prevailing sentiment is to let things age. I'm new at this though.

10-08-2011, 10:10 PM
I'm always skeptical of anything other than very low ABV drinks that are supposed to be ready that young, and I always find that apples need a lot of age after fermentation to mellow out. Not sure what would have given you so much tannin though... sometimes acidity can be mistaken for bitterness to some extent in a dry beverage (in my mouth anyways).

The other thing I would think is that it's the usual harshness of being waaaay too young, I find the yeast still in suspension cause a lot of bitterness.

10-09-2011, 06:22 PM
Yeah I'm +1 on AToE's comment...

I made a 4 week cyser. it was OK in 4 weeks, quite good in 8, pretty good with force carbing too...
it was only 10% and finished at 1.016. so was a fair bit sweeter.
I reckon your mead will be great, but just sit on it... for 6 months. the worst that will happen is the spices may fade. The drink will continue to smooth out.

my cyser has continued to improve. My other cyser I made was WAY too tart at racking, and still not great, but much better, some 3 months after rackiing.

10-10-2011, 06:32 PM
My own personal preferred term when talking about the process is making.

I prefer the term Meadcrafting.

10-10-2011, 07:43 PM
I prefer the term Meadcrafting.

Oooh! I like that one more! Can I vike it? ;D