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.