Batch 7 – Primary

Cyser time!  As I mentioned before, I found a recipe for a cyser and wanted to give it a shot.  I ended my research with a basic recipe of 2 lbs of honey for a 1 gallon batch.  I decided to stick with Nottingham Ale yeast, as its worked well for me so far.

Since I went to a local orchard for Batch 6, I decided to pick up an extra gallon of cider and a couple of pounds of local honey for my cyser.

Using honey is a bit more complicated than usual.  I added a cup and a half of water and the honey to a pot and heated it up.  I don’t have a thermometer, but it didn’t get near boiling.  Stir constantly to loosen the honey up – it’ll get less viscous and mix with the water.

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I poured a bit of cider into the carboy as a base.  This gives the honey something to mix with, and also prevents the warm honey from directly hitting the bottom of the glass carboy.  The temperature difference shouldn’t have been enough to crack the glass – but better safe than sorry.

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Once the honey was sufficiently loose and liquid-like, I added it to the carboy.

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Looks pretty good so far.  Top off the rest of the carboy with cider and let it mix for a few minutes.  My hydrometer has it at a nice 1.090.  Should end up with just under 12% ABV – which the Nottingham Ale yeast should be able to handle.

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So I don’t usually like switching up multiple things at the same time, as it makes it difficult to tell what influenced the result.  I would have preferred to try the cyser with my usual base of the Whole Foods juice – and then I can really tell what the honey does.  But since I don’t usually get local cider, and since Batch 6 is going to have some regular cider with the new base – I should be able to get a good feel for what the honey does.

I can’t wait.

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