Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chew with Incysers (it's a Cyser, get it?)

So I've made mead... but cyser is a specific kind of mead that uses apple juice as a base instead of water.

Think of it as mead & cider's offspring, if you will.

I decided to make a half batch (recipe was 6 gallons) and it looks like I might have exceeded even that.  Here's the ingredients and the process I used...

2.5 gallons apple cider (no preservatives - I used generic Albertson's apple cider)
6 lbs honey (I used 4 lb Albertson's Clover and 2 lb local unfiltered)
1/2 gallon water
3 lb brown sugar (I used 2 lb light and 1 lb golden brown)
1.5 lb golden raisins (I used Sun-Maid)
3 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1.5 tsp Yeast Energizer
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp pectic enzyme
2 pkgs - Pasteur Champagne Yeast (Red Star)

OK, so first I dumped a gallon of apple cider in the carboy.  Meanwhile I boiled the half gallon of water on the stove.

Then I proceeded to pour in the honey, jar after jar, and shake the carboy around to mix the honey with the cider.

Then, using some of the cider, I poured it in the honey jars, sealed them, and shook them vigorously to get all the honey out, pouring that in.

Dissolve brown sugar in the boiling water - use some ice or apple cider to cool it, then funnel it into the carboy.

Chop the raisins in the food processor - they become this big globby ball, so you have to work a bit to force them through the funnel in small chunks into the fermenter.

Drop in the cinnamon stick.  Add the remaining apple cider.  Shake again.

Add Yeast Nutrient and Yeast Energizer.  Shake again.

*Note:  This is where I am right now.  Following steps to be completed tomorrow.

Wait at least 12 hours and add Pectic Enzyme.

Wait at least 12 more hours and pitch yeast (I will do this dry) into the fermenter.

Let it ferment for 3 or more weeks, swirling every day or two to keep the raisins in mixture.

Rack to secondary.

Let sit for up to 3 months before bottling.  (I plan to bottle in November)

Bottle and let age in bottles - try one new, wait 3 months on most, and save some for a year.

We will see if I have the patience for that.

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