Author Topic: Session Cyser  (Read 996 times)

Offline PrettyBeard

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Session Cyser
« on: November 24, 2015, 04:52:38 AM »
I desperately love White Winter Cyser.  Problem is, it's a twenty minute drive, each way, out of the way of anyplace that I frequent.  Other problem is, I drink it like beer. :-[  So I've been thinking of trying to make a session strength cyser.  Rough plan is 2# honey in spring water, and the equivalent in sugars of cider (based on hydrometer reading).  Probably about 2.25-2.5 gallons, based on past experience.  All to make a 5 gallon batch.

My biggest concern is that it might come out too watery.  Has anyone tried this?  If so, could I caramelize, or boil down, some of the cider and honey to get a bit more body?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 02:17:02 PM »
Yes, I have a "session" cyser in the fermenter right now, and already posted my recipe!  Here it is:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24611.msg314213#msg314213

Note: That recipe is for 3 gallons, not 5, so you might want to scale up the ingredient list.  Also just substitute apple juice for the mulberry if that's not what you wanted.  Other than that, it's a recipe that should work for you.  I've never tried boiling down juice or honey, but it sounds like it could make a very interesting experiment!

Mine tastes just like you would expect: floral and honey-like, with mulberry (because I used some mulberry juice) and tart from the cider.  Mostly it tastes like honey and mulberry -- the apple gets lost behind the stronger flavors but mainly just contributes its tartness and sugars.  If I'd skipped the mulberry it might just taste like a tart mead.  Currently sitting at a gravity of approximately 1.010.  I hit with gelatin to remove most of the yeast and hopefully keep things sweet.  So I guess for alcohol, it's roughly... 7.5% ABV plus or minus a little.  Not exactly a session beer strength, but certainly not very strong for a mead or a cyser, and plenty drinkable.

Here's a picture from primary fermentation (on the left).  Now today after adding the gelatin it is clear as crystal.

« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 02:20:28 PM by dmtaylor »
Dave

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 07:35:20 PM »
Dave, how is the body on your mulberry cyser? That's always been a concern of mine when I've been planning low-gravity meads - that they'd end up watery. I'm sure yeast choice and FG would have an impact on that as well.

As far as making a true session cyser goes, I'd be concerned that you'd lose a lot of the apple flavor. You would need to dilute the apple juice with water to get down to a low enough OG to finish at a moderate ABV. That may end up washing out a lot of the apple character you're looking for. One way to mitigate that a bit is to let the mead finish completely dry, then backsweeten with more juice or even apple concentrate. But even then, I'm not sure if that's enough to leave you the apple character that you're after.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 09:48:48 PM »
I guess I haven't paid much attention to body.  It has about the same body as your typical cider of 6-7% ABV would have.  You call it "watery" maybe, I call it "cidery"?

If you want apple flavor in a session cyser, I can tell that it truly would be necessary to add some apple concentrate near the end of fermentation.  Otherwise, you're right, it's just not there, because of the dilution of the honey with more water, plus the stronger flavor of the honey.
Dave

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 10:03:40 PM »
As a partial Zombie Killer clone [EDIT: me, not the beverage  ::)] I fermented pure cider, then added frozen sour cherries. When done I will backsweeten with honey and probably some more apple juice, and carbonate  So technically I guess it's not a cyser, but it should be quite sessionable at around 6 ABV.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 10:05:11 PM by homoeccentricus »
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Offline PrettyBeard

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 11:41:02 PM »
I spent half the day reading about Bochet, instead of working.  Now I want to try more things then I have fermenting buckets for.

I think for now I'll just give dmtaylor's recipe a go in a 1 gallon batch.  Then, I can tweak from that if I feel it's needed.  Next weekend I'll pick up a couple more one gallon buckets and try some honey and apple juice burning. ;D

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2016, 02:38:44 PM »
PrettyBeard, did you ever make a cyser?  How did yours turn out?  I'm enjoying mine very much.  It turned out exactly the way I wanted.  Don't know if I mentioned it, but after adding gelatin and waiting ~36 hours, it turned crystal clear.  Beautiful.
Dave

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Offline PrettyBeard

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Re: Session Cyser
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2016, 08:12:05 PM »
Nope, I got a great deal on slightly overripe persimmons ($0.99/lb!) at the asian market and made 3 gallons of melomel with those instead.  Then it was winter and I was on a dark german beer kick.  Now I'll probably go back to wheats and saison for the summer.  By the time autumn rolls around again and I'm in the mood for cider and mead again I will get to run around and try to play catchup!  Planning isn't really my strong suit.  Actually, maybe it's the following through that I'm bad at. . .

The melomel is great though. It even got voted best wine at a friend's wine tasting party back in February (nvm the 35 dollar bottle of Chianti I brought).