July 27, 2008

Cyser Bottled

Category: Cyser — Josh @ 9:34 am

I bottled the Cyser using the Ikea flip top bottled with new gaskets from the homebrew store. The gaskets that came with the Ikea bottles are very thin and I did not feel very confident in their ability to seal properly. 17 1L bottles were put up and are aging in the closet until Christmas. It tastes a little better than when I last tasted it, but it is still very young and somewhat harsh.

June 21, 2008

Big Update

Category: Cyser,Hops Growing,PB Brown Ale — Josh @ 7:52 am

It’s been a while since I updated. the second PBB Ale turned out.. well ok. It tastes a little yeasty and is over carbonated. I will probably not try to harvest and reuse yeast from a previous batch unless there is a world wide yeast shortage. I think I would have gotten a better result if I had just used dried Nottingham yeast. I may try this recipe again after a while, but for now I am planning on making a Porter next.

The Cyser is ready to bottle. I have purchased some Ikea flip top 1k glass bottles and some rubber stoppers for the bottling. I Just need to find the time to do the bottling. The Cyser tastes very nice. It has a slight apple nose, with an even more subtle sulfur note. The sulfur note has faded somewhat over the last couple of months. The flavor is spicy with a slight apple flavor, fading to sweet and warm. The spiciness and warmth have faded over the last couple of months and should continue to mellow. The SG was 0.0992@81F which is lower than the reading I took in march. I have seen no airlock activity in the last month and do not expect the SG to go lower.

I planted some hops back at the end of march. You can see some pictures here on Flickr. I planted 2 Chinook and 2 Nugget rhizomes on 03/28 and 2 Liberty Rhizomes on 04/27. All 6 plants are doing well, and have all started flowering. I don’t know how if I will get any usable hops from the nugget and liberty, because I dosed them all little too heavily with Epsom salts and stunted their growth for about a month(Was trying to fix an unknown nutrient deficiency). At the time this occurred the Chinook already had sizable hop flowers and have since formed into some nice cones. I have been watering the hops by hand every couple of days, giving them about a half gallon per plant. Sometimes I have water twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening on the hotter days(95+F). We have not had very much rainfall over the last 3 month. We have averaged around 2 inches a month since February.

March 16, 2008

Cyser Progress

Category: Cyser — Josh @ 8:05 pm

Well The cyser is still bubbling very slowly. One bubble every 40-50 seconds. I checked the SG and the Current reading is 0.0993 @ 78 F (0.0995 corrected). It tastes very dry and a has an alcohol hotness that is normally associated with young wines. The aftertaste is quite acidic but with an apple flavor. It has an odor of spiciness (which Miftik describes as like a beer but not the same and a hint of apple). The color is about 4.5 ish SRM. I plan on it age until the end of may then bottling it.

March 2, 2008

Krausen fallen

Category: Cyser — Josh @ 10:04 am

The krausen has completely fallen. Airlock still bubbling at a rate of 1 per second.

February 29, 2008

Fermentation Update

Category: Cyser — Josh @ 8:10 pm

The Cyser is continuing to bubble along. Fermentation initially started with a 3 hours of pitching the yeast, and has steadily built up it’s pace all week. Today I noticed that it is bubbling through the airlock at a rate of one per second. Bubbles of CO2 were observed rising from the bottom of the fermenter. Yeast is starting to cling to the sides of the fermenter as well as settle to the bottom.

February 23, 2008

Cyser brewed

Category: Cyser — Josh @ 11:51 pm

I brewed up a batch of Cyser earlier today. Recipe is as follows.

2.00 Gal Apple Juice – White House
1.00 Gal Apple Juice – Indian Summer
7.00 lb Clover Honey – Generic Walmart Brand
1.00 lb Corn Sugar
1.00 lb Turbinado Raw Sugar

1.00 tsp Irish Moss 15.0 min
3.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient 15.0 min
0.50 oz Ginger Root 10.0 min
1 Cinnamon Stick 5.0 min
0.125 tsp Allspice 5.0 min
0.125 tsp Nutmeg 5.0 min
6 whole Cloves 5.0 min
1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract 5.0 Min

0.25 tsp Pectic Enzyme – Added to Primary after must was cooled

2 Pkgs 5g each Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne Yeast

Apple juice was placed in the fridge to cool it down.

I started dissolved all the fermentables in 1.5 gallons of tap water and brought it to a boil. For the first 5 minutes of the boil I skimmed off the proteins that clump on the top.

Boiling honey like this does destroy the delicate floral aroma and flavors that are present in honey, but I did not want to have any contamination issues with this considering the length of time that it needs to ferment and age. as a compromise I boiled for 20 minutes. It is long enough to kill any wild bacteria and yeast in the honey.

I added the rest of the items and spices per the schedule above. I cooled off the must in an ice bath. I then poured the chilled apple juice into my carboy and added the warm (not hot) must to the carboy, ensuring to filter out the spices and irish moss (I use a funnel that has a fine mesh strainer built in). The temp settled at 73 F. I topped up to the 5 gallon mark with apple juice and began aerating the must with the air stone and aquarium pump. After 45 minutes I pitched the rehydrated yeast (rehydrated per packet instructions). There is already signs of fermentation and airlock activity after only 4 hours.

SG of the must was 1.098@73F (1.10 corrected). Fermentation will take a few months. Should be drinkable by Christmas.