That bottle of mead we made a couple of weeks ago is still bubbling away. However, we thought it was a little lonely and would love the company of a bottle of Apple Pie Cyser. Cyser is very much like mead, and I just love apple pie. We found the recipe here.
3 — gallons apple juice (use only 100%, pasteurized juice with no preservative other than Vitamin C-ascorbic acid)
2–1/2 — pounds honey
2 — pounds dark brown sugar
1 — Tablespoon McCormick Apple Pie Spice
3 — cinnamon sticks
2 — cans apple juice concentrate
1 — 5 gram package Lalvin 71B-1122 Wine Yeast
HOW TO MAKE THE CYSER
Make sure you have sanitized your containers! You don’t want wild yeast or bacteria getting in to your mix and ruining your mix. You can do this by: washing them in a dishwasher at high-temp, heated dry, and NO SOAP or soaking them in a light bleach solution (2 Tbs per gallon of water) for 20 minutes and then rinsing well with cold water. This is essential to getting good results.
Put the first half of the juice in your primary fermentation vessel. Activate your yeast.
Start 1 quart of juice warming on the stove. Stir in the spices and add the cinnamon sticks. All it to simmer but do not boil! This will cause the pectins in the juice to react and it will make the cyser taste bad.
Whilst the juice is warming and simmering, aerate the juice in the jugs/carboy/pail. Put your hand over the top and shake the heck out of it. The important thing is to get it bubbly, which shows you’ve stirred air through the juice. This is important for later, because the yeast will need it to consume the sugars and make alcohol.
Once the juice reaches simmering temperature, take it off the heat and stir in the honey and sugar. Mix the sugar/spice mix into the juice well.
Add the activated yeast. Top off your container(s) with the remainder of the juice.
Don’t forget to get the cinnamon sticks into the mix!
At this point, you’re ready to go. Install the fermentation locks on the vessels, and put everything a fairly cool place where the temperature doesn’t vary much.
Now, you wait. Within 24 hours, you should have some lively bubbling going on as the mix starts fermenting. Let it bubble away. In 2 to 3 weeks, the yeast will have fermented itself out; when the bubbling in your fermentation lock is at less than 1 bubble per minute, you’re ready for the next step: racking/bottling.
Pour the two cans of apple juice concentrate into your secondary container.
Dissolve the remaining 1/2 pound of honey in 2 cups of warm water, and then stir into the apple juice concentrate
Siphon the cyser from the primary into the secondary, leaving the sediment behind.
At this point, you have two options:
Let the cyser clarify — leave it in the secondary for a week or so and the remaining sediment will settle to the bottom. Then, bottle.
Bottle the cyser. It might be a little cloudy, but this is not a problem. Once bottled, let set for another 1–2 weeks, and the cyser is ready to drink.
We decided to make only a third of the quantity mentioned in the original recipe, and we translated it into a more metric system, with more rounded numbers. The ingredients then became the following:
- 4 litre apple juice
- 450 grams of honey
- 300 grams dark brown sugar
- 1/3 tablespoon speculooskruiden
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 200 millilitres apple juice concentrate
- 1 package of champagne yeast from Vinoferm