14 days @ 70.0 degrees Fahrenheit
60 days @ 68.0 degrees
• Honey 3.00 lbs (4 cups)
• 1 package Yeast (D47, 71S, or Cote des Blancs)
• 1.00 gal Apple Juice
• 1.00 oz Raisins, Golden
• 2.00 lb Blueberries
• 1.00 pt Peaches
Making the base Cyser
1. In a glass container, combine the honey with enough apple juice to bring the volume to one gallon.
2. Add the raisins, shake or stir vigorously to oxygenate and then add the yeast. Attach airlock, set in a dark place, and let it ferment completely.
3. Barry allows 14 days for first fermentation, but it might take longer… just keep an eye on it. You can informally do this by watching the bubbling. To actually know, you’ll need to check the specific gravity for cessation of fermentation.
Once primary fermentation is finished, we’re going to age it on the fruit.
1. Thaw the blueberries and peaches, then give them a good smash. 2. Add the fruit to a new (sanitized) vessel and siphon your Cyser off the yeast and onto the fruit.
3. Don’t stir or shake.
4. Attach the airlock and store protected from light for a minimum of 60 days. Over time the juice and essence of the fruit will transfer to the Cyser. You might get a second ferment from the fruit juice… that is ok. You should also get some color from the blueberry skins and tannins, which is awesome!
Meads take a long time to age out, and cysers take even longer because of the natural sulfurous compounds in apple juice. Be patient and taste test now and again to see how your Cyser is coming along. Take notes and even photos if you wish. Barry does. He loves having visual cues about his brews.
There is a chance that your finished product will be hazy due to pectin from the fruit. This is absolutely a cosmetic issue. If you want a crystal clear mead, you will need to add some pectic enzyme during the secondary to remove it — or patience and reracking.
The ABV (alcohol by volume) will be higher than a more usual 8.25 percent (for a mead) because of sugars present in the apple juice, so keep that in mind.
If you decide to bottle, I would recommend flip-top beer bottles. They are easy and bomb proof should your mead decide to carbonate in the bottle.