Saturday, August 8, 2015

(Light) Cherry Cyser

This is a sweet, hopefully juicy mead--easy to drink and enjoy, and done fairly quickly (both times, I made it in September, and bottled for New Years).  The "light" in the name refers to the ABV% which is slightly lower than the average mead--around 10%.  Thus far, I have made it twice--with differences in each.

So, here are the recipes and my rather minimal log notes.

2014 Batch.  And I am still mourning this glass.

Light Cherry Cider
3 gallons Treetop Apple Cider
1 gallon Pomegranate Cherry Juice
5 pounds honey
Safale US-05
3-4 vanilla beans

Heat honey, mix with gallon of juice, hydrate yeast in ½ jug of cherry juice, and pour everything into 5 gallon carboy.

9-12-12; OG is 1.082 giving me a finished ABV of around 8-9%.

9-15-12; SG is 1.060

9-19-12; SG is 1.040—mulled a bit for hot cider for the family…twas good.

9-23-12: SG is 1.028—put in fridge for cold crashing.

12-27-12: SG is slightly less—didn’t actually check.  27, 12oz bottles done, plus a ½ gallon growler.  There’s some left in the carboy, as well.

I really cannot remember what this exactly tasted like--it was definitely good, and I recall I preferred it to the batch last year for a reason I will touch on. 

Light Cherry Cyser (2014 batch)
3 gallons apple cider (treetop)
½ gallon Cherry juice blend
1 quart Open Nature Black cherry Juice
½ gallon honey
Belgian-Canadian Ale yeast (cultured from an Unibroue Belgian Ale)

Heated honey to melt, mixed everything together.  Calculated OG 1.092, which is just about right.

10-5-14; SG 1.052.  Added 1 tsp more nutrients, (I think that makes 2-3 total).  Added 3 vanilla beans, cut into 1 inch chunks.

10-12-14; SG 1.014.  Put in fridge to cold crash.

11-26-14; Mild infection.  A thin white pellicle on top.  Flavour is not too bad, but still needs backsweetening.  Pasteurized.  
I had noticed the infection some time before, but decided to leave it in the interest of adding complexity.

11-30-14; Added 2.5 cups of honey and bottled.  2 growlers and 30 crown caps.

I ended up with some decidedly odd (not bad!) flavours--I felt there was too much black cherry flavour, and I believe the yeast fermented way too hot, resulting in bubble gum, which I personally do not like.  However, over the months the bubble gum has receded, leaving a cherry mead which tastes extremely juicy, and has been extremely popular.
Just goes to show--because something became infected, doesn't mean it will be bad.

Terrible Cell phone photo, but you might be able to see the white pellicle forming.

© John Frey, 2015. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material.  The recipes, photographs and other contents therein may not be used for any commercial purposes.

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