Take Me Back to Tupelo Cyser

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This recipe is courtesy of Drew Beechum and is featured in his ‘The Everything Hard Cider book’.

This is a special variety of honey wine (also known as mead) called cyser. This recipe calls for pure Tupelo honey, a special honey harvested only in northern Florida and southern Georgia. It is sweet, spicy and well worth its high price tag. No Tupelo? No problem. Use the best honey you can find.

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This recipe is courtesy of Drew Beechum and is featured in his ‘The Everything Hard Cider book’.

This is a special variety of honey wine (also known as mead) called cyser. This recipe calls for pure Tupelo honey, a special honey harvested only in northern Florida and southern Georgia. It is sweet, spicy and well worth its high price tag. No Tupelo? No problem. Use the best honey you can find.

Ingredients:

  • 4 gallons fresh, sweet apple juice (3 + 1/2 gallons chilled)
  • 12 lbs Tupelo honey
  • 1 tbsp yeast nutrient
  • 2 packets Côte des Blancs yeast

Specifications:

Yield: 5 US gal

Directions:

In a pot capable of holding at least 2 gallons of liquid, heat 1/2 gallon juice to 140° F. Do not boil the juice! Mix the honey in and dissolve.

In your sanitized fermenter, add the chilled juice. Mix in the prepared honey mixture and yeast nutrient.

Add the yeast, close up the fermenter and place somewhere dark and cool, preferably around 60° F. After 2-4 weeks, the yeast should be done fermenting and will have dropped clear with all the yeast and protein settling toward the bottom of the fermenter. If not already somewhere high, gently move the fermenter and allow to re-settle. Sanitize your plastic bottles, caps and tubing.

Package this as a sparkling cider. You want the bubbles to reinforce the honey and apple nose! To bottle sparkling carbonated cider, dissolve the corn sugar in1/2 cup of water, and bring to a light boil for 5 minutes. (If the water evaporates, add more water. You want the syrup to be almost as thin as water to blend more easily). Place the resulting syrup in the bottom of a sanitized bucket or jug. (You need to create this sugar syrup, because adding the sugar dry will cause the cider to foam uncontrollably.)

Siphon the cider from the fermenter, being careful to avoid the muck at the bottom, into the container with the syrup. The flow of the cider should mix the sugar syrup evenly, but if you want to be sure, grab a whisk, sanitize it and gently swirl the cider for a minute. Siphon the now sweetened cider into the bottles, leave approximately two fingers width of airspace in the bottle, screw on the tops, and wait 2 weeks before chilling. You’ll know you’re ready when the plastic bottles become stiff and unyielding to the touch.


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