Bottling Cyser

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So I just finished bottling the cyser (apple cider mead) and boy I wish I had gotten one of my friends to help like I usually do. Cuts the workload significantly. Oh well, still got it done. There was definitely more cruft (extra junk that had settled to the bottom) than any other batch of anything I’ve ever done…I imagine it was mostly the fibers and meat part from the apple cider.  It left me with much less mead than I expected (24 beer bottles and 6 wine bottles), but it is delicious and I will just have to let it wait to get better. It definitely isn’t perfect yet, especially right out of the carboy, but I’ve read that ciders take longer to age than straight meads or especially wine.  Here are some pictures of the extra junk at the bottom:

Cyser just before bottling

The very bottom junk in the cyser

 

 

 

And the final stats:

  • Started: 8 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 24 October 2010
  • 2nd Rack: 21 November 2010
  • Bottled: 31 Dec 2010 (after potassium sorbate and gelatin-based clarifier)

 

Chai Mead #2

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So Morgan bought some fancy tea at the mall the other day, a looseleaf vanilla chai, and of course! The suggestion comes up to re-brew one of my favorite oldies, the Chai Mead.  The first one was really great, still have a few bottles on reserve, but it deserves a careful re-brew so here’s the recipe I’m following. I’m probably going to add a pound or two of honey to the secondary to make sure it gets sweet enough.  For the record:

  • 5 tsp Fermax yeast nutrient
  • 12 lbs (1 gal) local wildflower honey (thanks, Bee Well!)
  • 1/3 cup of vanilla chai looseleaf black tea
  • 1-2 tbsp of cardamom seeds (just because I like them)
  • 1 packet Wyeast 4184 “Sweet Mead”
  • Water up to 5 gal

Threw everything but the yeast into the bucket, stirred it up reall good (gets the water saturated with oxygen), then pitched the yeast.  Now we wait and see how it goes!

Tres Amigos updates

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Missed some updates.  Bottled the Thanksgiving Mead #2 on November 18th and it is delicious! I added Potassium Sorbate and used a clarifier, but didn’t give the clarifier enough time to work…so all of my bottles are plenty clear and pour clear if you go slowly, but there is still a bit of sediment on the bottom.  It’s okay, though because either way it is still delicious!  The spices worked out much more subtly this time which is what I was really going for.  Sweet and just the right aroma of Thanksgiving spices.  Final stats for Thanksgiving Mead #2:

  • Started: 1 September 2010
  • 1st Rack: 27 September 2010 into carboy
  • 2nd Rack: 22 Oct 2010, without spices into carboy
  • Yeast killed: 9 November 2010, (actually there are a fair amount of spices)  with Potassium Sorbate
  • Bottled: 18 November 2010

I also racked at some point the Cyser.  I don’t remember exactly when, I think it was in the middle of November at some point after I bottled the Thanksgiving #2, so I’m going to guess Sunday November 21st.  Stats:

  • Started: 8 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 24 October 2010
  • 2nd Rack: 21 November 2010

And for the last amigo, I am racking the Spoon Mead today into a new carboy and it tastes just perfect.  Very sweet, a little bubbly, no fancy flavors or anything.  Although I don’t know if I can discern the difference in flavor between, say, a clover mead and a purple starthistle mead, I would like to say that the flavor of the honey came through.  Anyway, with age it will improve to even greater heights, and I think this will be a good showcase mead to people who don’t know it as well.  It is remarkably clear for only its second rack.  Stats:

  • Started: 4 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 9 November 2010
  • 2nd Rack: 12 December 2010