Cysers

Cyser is to apples as pyment is to grapes. That is, cyser is honey and apples or apple juice. There are, of course, many different types of apples and a plethora of ways to prepare them. This also includes ciders. The juice from apples is not as complex a sugar as honey, and I suspect does not have as many nutrients for the yeast as grapes, but it is still a good source of yeast food – as evidenced by the rapid completion of primary fermentation.

I have tried a variety of meads which included apple juice, but this is MY RECIPE FOR A CLASSIC CYSER:

  • 2 Cups orange blossom honey
  • 1 1/3 Cup clover honey
  • 96 ounces organic apple juice
  • 1/5 liters commercial cider
  • Red Star Cote des Blancs yeast (rehydrated per packet instructions)
  • 1/2 t each yeast nutrient and energizer

I mixed this in a two gallon bucket because I later separated it into two different 1-gallon meads. The OG was 1.101 and the pH was 3.5. It only took a month for this to finish fermenting and clarify. At a month and a half I stabilized with

  • 3/4 t potassium sorbate
  • 1/4 t potassium metabisulfite

I racked it a couple of weeks later and backsweetened with apple juice concentrate and simple syrup to get to SG 1.015 (I did not write down the specific amounts as I was looking for a target SG). I added

  • 1/4 t sorbate (just wanted to make sure those yeasties were really dead)
  • 1/8 t meta
  • 1/8 t tannin
  • 1/4 t citric acid

I bottled it at three months.

  • I added 1 T glycerin to give it more body
  • and 1/2 t acid blend because the pH was still high

I opened it at two years old, almost to the day. It was awesome! It was very crisp and refreshing and went very well with our barbecue. I served it cold, and it was easy to taste the apple juice up front, but the aftertaste was honey. It was a hit by all who drank it. The ABV ended up being 13.75%, which is why I wanted a sweeter mead (FG 1.015). This was a good balance, but I like a sweeter wine.

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