Friday, September 06, 2013

Apple Pie Cyser

Champs des Alouettes: Apple Pie Cyser

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

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

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