Cider 2013, Agave Mead #2

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Started today 2013’s cider, got 4 gallons of cider from Sky Top brewery, put in some spices, some Dry Mead yeast (4632), and got it started.

Recipe:

  • 4 gallons of cider (pasteurized)
  • 4 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 nutmegs
  • cloves
  • 1 gallon honey
  • spanish moss
  • Wyeast 4632

Stats:

  • Started: 9/22/2013

And also a new batch of Agave Mead (technically an acerglyn from what I recall), following this approximate recipe (couldn’t find the original).

Recipe:

  • 1 gallon of agave nectar
  • 1/2 gallon of honey
  • spanish moss
  • Wyeast 4632
  • Water up to 5 gallons

Stats:

  • Started: 9/22/2013
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TIME TRAVEL post 11/27/2012

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For this day, I have three notes, racked Aladdin (already posted elsewhere)

Racked cider. I started cider? it hadn’t been racked? alas. I have to assume it was taking a long time to clarify. At any rate, it is now racked.

Racked 5 o’clock. It is true, by this point I am starting and working through batches of plain mead and 5 o’clock mead without logging them. The recipe is the same, the steps are the same, so I’m not keeping close tabs on them. So far they’ve all turned out wonderful.

Various movements

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Did a couple things over the last weekend that I’d like to log:

1) Bottled the POM#2 on Thursday the 21st.  It is super-cinnamony, so I am going to re-name it “Cinnamon Mead” (after some deliberation : ) and cross my fingers that the cinnamon mellows out just a little bit as it ages.  It is still young.  Anyway, this time I didn’t forget to add the Potassium Sorbate and the clarifier, so no problems like the Agave Mead.  Stats:

  • Started: 18 June 2010
  • 1st Rack: 5 August 2010 onto 2 lbs clover honey
  • 2nd Rack: 27 September 2010 onto 9 long sticks of cinnamon
  • Bottled: 21 October 2010 after adding KSO4 on 17 Oct and gelatin-based clarifier on 19 Oct

2) Racked the Thanksgiving Mead #2, trying to eliminate all the extra spice bits–mostly successfully.  It was tough, the pieces of allspice and clove are getting stuck in my racking tubes.  I need the little cap that goes at the end of the tube that is made to do it anyway, but I think I have thrown away or lost them because I didn’t think I would need them.  I am dumb sometimes.  Anyway, with some forcing, it worked.  Tastes delicious, sweet and the spices are not too strong–exactly what I was trying to fix from the last time I made it!  Stats:

  • Started: 1 September 2010
  • 1st Rack: 27 September 2010 into carboy
  • 2nd Rack: 22 Oct 2010, without spices into carboy

3) Racked the cyser for the first time.  It gave me trouble with the cloves and raisins, too, but again I got it to work.  Hopefully we’ll see some secondary fermentation with the added O2 and mixing up.  Tastes…like it has promise.  Not great yet, but this process is supposed to take some time, and it’s really only 2.5 weeks old or something.  The purple starthistle mead (which, by the way, was started about 4 days before the cyser) was actually popping pretty good in spite of being older than the cyser, so I let it be.  The cyser was almost totally dead (no bubbles within a minute, at least).  Stats:

  • Started: 8 October 2010
  • 1st Rack: 24 October 2010

Cyser

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So I got some apple cider from Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC to the tune of 5 gallons worth ($35, approximately) and 4 lbs (two quarts-ish) of whatever honey from the grocery store and set off to try to make my first cyser, to uncertain results. 

First, the cider is unpasteurized–props to the orchard for freshness, but adds another step for me.  So I boiled 5 gallons of cider, adding a handful of raisins, some cinnamon and cloves, and a couple cups of brown sugar (can’t fault going for more sweetness).  SINCE I had to pasteurize it myself, I then had to let it sit to cool down to at least 100 deg F or so so it wouldn’t kill the yeast. 

Anyway I used the Wyeast Sweet Mead 4184 strain and am hoping that it won’t cause any problems: it’s been a while since I’ve used it (Orange Cinnamon Mead) and that one turned out way funkier than I thought.  Also used 5 tsps of Fermax yeast nutrient Morning after, only one bubble approximately every 50 seconds, so I stirred the dickens out of it and we’ll see whether I get any more action today when I get home from school.  Sometimes it takes more than overnight for fermentation to really get going so I’ll be patient (I just really don’t want this to screw up). 

Recipe!

  • 5 gallons of apple cider, boiled
  • large handful of raisins (approx 2 cups)
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 lbs honey
  • 10 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup of cloves
  • 5 tsps Fermax
  • 1 packet Wyeast 4184 added after cooling