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Thread: My first cyser?

  1. #1

    Default My first cyser?

    I was extracting yesterday and had several supers full of uncapped honey. At first I planned to feed the unripened honey back to the bees since it would likely ferment........then I realized that my apples on the tree in back were ready to pick. I looked through my copy of the 'compleat Meadmaker' to see what Schramm suggests. He says to use cider in the primary. So, is cider apple juice or some more complex processed form of apple juice?
    Any suggestions?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Cider is processed, not just apple juice. One caution if you use juices or ciders as a base, make sure they have no preservatives in them. Yeasts could or likely would be killed off by the preservative compounds. I haven't tried cyser yet, but our apples are getting very close to ready, so this will be my first year. We should have a good narvest- nothing last year thanks to a late freeze. This year, by some miracle, the apples apricots, pears, etc. survived a late freeze cycle we had.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swobee View Post
    Cider is processed, not just apple juice.
    Do you know how it is made?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
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    Default

    Here in Michigan where we grow and process apples, a CIDER is a semi-cloudy beverage made from pressing, under great pressure, whole apples contained in a cheesecloth or burlap-type sack, and then capturing the resulting juice. The CIDER, which is extremely flavorful, has a small amount of pulp in it and is generally cloudy.

    JUICE is cider that has been strained, usually heated, and passed through a filter. The resulting liquid is transparent, with a light yellow color. The filtration generally removes a lot of the character of the apple, and what you're left with is a "sweet, sugar water-like liquid." (Infact, Beech-Nut Co., awhile back, was fined for substituting sugar water for apple juice for babies. Few customers realized the difference.)

    BOTH juice and cider can be pasturized (to prevent bacteria growth) and BOTH can contain preservatives to prevent fermentation. Neither of which promotes their use in cyser making as the yeast just won't grow.

    Locally, I can go to a cider mill and purchase un-pasturized cider by the gallon. I'm guessing that, down in Georgia, you'll need to press your own apples since cider mills are probably non-existant. You might also try Whole Foods, or some other "organic" food seller, to see if you can get the preservative free stuff, but it probably won't be cheap at those places.

    Hope the explanation helps. And good luck!
    DS

  5. #5
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    Sep 2003
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    Eagle Creek, Oregon
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    Several years ago I drove trucks for a company based in Yakima, Washington. A big part of our business was with the big apple processing plants in that area. We hauled in empty glass and hauled out finished apple products under just about any label you can name. Everything from name-brand sauce and juice to industrial bakery products.
    One time I asked the guy running the bottling line what the difference is between cider and juice. His reply: the label.

    George

  6. #6

    Default

    I saw some cider presses for sale on Ebay but they are a bit pricey for a single experiment. I'm not really interested in buying cider. It was more that I already had the apples ready to harvest, the honey just harvested and it seemed like the perfect storm. Ah well. It was worth a try.
    Thanks for the replies.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7

    Default

    Make sure what you buy in glass jars does not have potassium sorbate. AKA Ksorb

  8. #8
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    mt. airy, surry county, nc
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    hey beemandan, cyser is a very good product and i find most people like it. check out my friends at black snake meadery. they do a lot of cysers using apples from their farm. http://www.blacksnakemead.com/
    they are also associated with foggy ridge cider. http://www.foggyridgecider.com/
    i agree most presses seem very expensive, though they will last for generations. it is not that hard to make one. let me know and i can tell you how. but as far as getting enough juice to make cyser or wine you can do the old fashion way. just cut your fruit in to chunks and put in a container( tub, crock, bucket) then using a masher (some in the mountain calls it a thumper). you can have a drain hole in the bottom edge with a screen to keep the pulp from running out
    swobee is right. like all fruit there is wild yeast on the fruit. you can basically use the same methods that you would on grapes. i think in "mad about mead" it mention using campden tablets and letting it set for 24 hrs
    hope this helps
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  9. #9

    Default

    I was thinking about using a juicer instead of a press. Peel and core the apple then feed it to the juicer. I may give that a try.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  10. #10

    Default

    I went ahead and picked the remaining apples from my tree. Last night I cored, peeled and then put them through a juicer. I dumped the juice into my fermenter and then added the pulp from the juicer. It was as near to 'cider' as I could make. It was a little more than 1gal. I added 5qts of my 18.5% moisture honey and 2gal of water. A couple of packs of D47 and some yeast nutrient (I probably didn't need that). I finished about midnight last night. This AM its fermenting 'to beat the band'. I don't know if it'll be fit to consume but I figured I'd try.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
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    Default

    Made my 1st cyser last Nov. Here's the recipe. It got great reviews but unfortunatly is almost gone. Dbl batch this year.

    11/5
    5 gal. untreated cider G 1.048
    4 lbs honey
    juice of 1 lemon
    2 tsp pectinase
    2 tsp DAP
    2 packs Lalvin D47
    OG 1.066

    Aerated daily for 3 days w/degasser (about 2 min.each day)

    11/13

    Racked to secondary G 1.000

    12/1
    racked off lees G 1.000

    Bottled mid june Carbonated 1/2 w/ 3/8 cup corn sugar for 2 1/2 gal

    Was offered $30 for 6 pack of carbonated but I refused.

    At the same time I made another batch with an ale yeast and 2 lbs raspberries.Not as good,too tart.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2003
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    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Default First Attempt

    We're making our own apple cider vinegar. We don't drink alcohol so my knowledge is quite limited on certain points. We put some wine yeast in the apple juice and that bubbled nicely over the weekend. Today, the bubbling has stopped, and the liquid smells quite yeasty. Is it still fermenting and need to be left alone? I dropped a spoon of sugar in it and it kicked back into gear. We can't measure the specific gravity (not wanting to get that complicated).

    Also, we have more apples coming in, so can we freeze some of the batch and preserve the yeast to add to another batch? No we're not going for quality flavor or anything. We're mostly trying to follow the homesteader approach without waiting a long time for "good guys" to enter the batch.
    WayaCoyote

  13. #13

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    Beedan,
    1 gallon from apples and the rest from honey will give you mostly mead characteristics. But with the addition of the apple nutrition, your fermentation will go faster and your mead should be drinkable sooner than a straight mead. If you have room and desire more apple flavor throw in some apple concentrate (frozen isle)

  14. #14
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    Jan 2003
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    Kiel WI, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayacoyote View Post
    We can't measure the specific gravity (not wanting to get that complicated)
    A hydrometer is dirt cheap and veeeeeeeeeery easy to use...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Indiana, Clay County
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    565

    Default cyser

    I would be tempted to try this, but maybe, adding a couple pounds of malt to take the edge off the sweetness.


    I am curious to try my first batch of braggot

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    mt. airy, surry county, nc
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayacoyote View Post
    We're making our own apple cider vinegar. We don't drink alcohol so my knowledge is quite limited on certain points. We put some wine yeast in the apple juice and that bubbled nicely over the weekend. Today, the bubbling has stopped, and the liquid smells quite yeasty. Is it still fermenting and need to be left alone? I dropped a spoon of sugar in it and it kicked back into gear. We can't measure the specific gravity (not wanting to get that complicated).

    Also, we have more apples coming in, so can we freeze some of the batch and preserve the yeast to add to another batch? No we're not going for quality flavor or anything. We're mostly trying to follow the homesteader approach without waiting a long time for "good guys" to enter the batch.
    sorry i haven't learned how to do the splitting quote thing yet, but i wanted to comment on certain points. if i get some of this wrong hopefully someone will correct me

    first one, i don't drink alcohol either. i just come from a long line of micro-biologist (bootleggers). vinegar is "soured" or stale wine, hence the name vine-gar. this is done by oxidation the wine by exposing the wine to more air, usually in wide top pans, with a porous cover. think wine, small top no oxygen. vinegar, large top lots oxygen you have to make wine to make vinegar. taste is important to the cooking and preserving. you do need to know how much alcohol is in your wine. because that will determine the potency of the vinegar. you don't have to wait so long for the development of drinking flavors, like wine makers do. you really should rack the must, so that the lees will settle and the product will clear ( IE; vinegar).
    i like you wanting to keep your yeast going. remember most of the lees are dead. the cloudiness in the must is the live yeast culture. you can use the "sour dough" method of drawing off most of the wine and just keep "feeding"the starter

    what are the "good guys"
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  17. #17
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    Oct 2004
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    Vinegar is actually wine that's been converted by acetobacter into vinegar in a process that requires oxygen, so an inoculation is also required in addition to oxygen. If you don't care how it tastes, let fruit flies and flies land in it at will; their filthy little feet carry plenty . Otherwise, get a starter or buy unpasteurized vinegar with a "mother" in it.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  18. #18
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    We have a "mother" and will add it when going to the aerobic stage. without a hydrometer, is there any way to determine when the sugar is finished converted? Will racking reduce the yeisty smell?

    Thanks
    WayaCoyote

  19. #19
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    when the bubbling slows that is a good sign of upper alcohol levels. assuming you had a strong fermentation to start with. and depending on alcohol tolerance of your yeast culture. my i suggest you experiment with different batches till you get what you are looking for? when you rack the mead/wine from fermenter to next container you are leaving the lees behind. letting it set and clear will help. i suggest getting some reference material to help
    "Any fool can learn, the trick is to understand - Einstein"

  20. #20
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    When the bubbling has totally stopped you can pretty much assume that the fermentation has run its course. If you want, you can get a Clinitest or other sugar-testing kit. The yeasty smell will dissipate with racking, but time is better .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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