Author Topic: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)  (Read 3694 times)

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Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« on: February 05, 2018, 12:10:26 PM »
I assume this is the best sub-forum for this topic. Mods, feel free to move if you want it somewhere else.

I've been home brewing off and on for a few years now. I purchased a kit and some other accessories last year.

So far I've only done cider and cyser. Cider, properly, is fermented apple juice. In America we often call this hard cider, but it's incorrect -- cider is not merely unfiltered apple juice, it's an alcoholic drink. Cider is anywhere from ABV 3%-9%, and once it exceeds 9% is more technically an apple wine. Cyser is essentially a mix of mead and cider. Mead, as you probably well know, is water and honey -- it is able to have any ABV % and still be mead. Cyser replaces the water with apple juice. Mine typically finish out anywhere from ABV 16% to 20%. Potent stuff!

Next stop will be to do our own wine. I'm not much of a wine drinker, personally. Never been a fan. I do like a good cabernet sauvignon w/ some dark chocolate, but in general I just don't like wine. The wine will be for giving away and pairing w/ the cheese my wife intends to start making (got her a kit a few months ago). Not sure what we will make, yet. Will likely be determined by whatever cheese we end up making in bulk.

Beer is more involved and I do not intend to get into it until I decide to take the plunge on a kegging system for carbonation. I don't desire to bottle carb as it's not repeatable and can result in "bottle bombs".
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 12:13:40 PM »
Bottled my first cider last night. Was able to fill approximately 24x 750ml wine bottles, and went with corking instead of capping. When I first put it in secondary I tasted the sample I used for taking a gravity reading. I did not like it because 1) apparently cider really does need some time to age 2) I was expecting something more like Angry Orchard (didn't realize traditional ciders are nothing like that).

At the time, my only available container was a 6.5 gallon carboy, but I only had ~5 gallons of cider. To rectify this and raise headspace, I placed 1000 sanitized glass marbles in the carboy and 64oz of apple juice. The apple juice fermented out a slight bit, but not too much. This provided more apple flavor. This was done on 6 December 2017. I'll typically name the batch based on beginning of primary, but since the addition of the apple juice resulted in more fermentation, I'll break with that and name this batch based on 6 December. That's the feast of St. Nicholas. Since he is famous for punching the heresiarch Arius in the face at the Council of Nicaea, where the Nicene Creed was written, I'll call this batch:

Arianism Is A Heresy Apple Cider


The little icon is Jesus Christ Enthroned; liking the clarity displayed in the cider:



Screenshot of ABV via original/final calculator:




An Old English chant:

Lyrics w/ translation:
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/anuna/stnicholas.htm

"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline nmoerbeek

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 01:09:32 PM »
Bottled my first cider last night. Was able to fill approximately 24x 750ml wine bottles, and went with corking instead of capping. When I first put it in secondary I tasted the sample I used for taking a gravity reading. I did not like it because 1) apparently cider really does need some time to age 2) I was expecting something more like Angry Orchard (didn't realize traditional ciders are nothing like that).

At the time, my only available container was a 6.5 gallon carboy, but I only had ~5 gallons of cider. To rectify this and raise headspace, I placed 1000 sanitized glass marbles in the carboy and 64oz of apple juice. The apple juice fermented out a slight bit, but not too much. This provided more apple flavor. This was done on 6 December 2017. I'll typically name the batch based on beginning of primary, but since the addition of the apple juice resulted in more fermentation, I'll break with that and name this batch based on 6 December. That's the feast of St. Nicholas. Since he is famous for punching the heresiarch Arius in the face at the Council of Nicaea, where the Nicene Creed was written, I'll call this batch:

Arianism Is A Heresy Apple Cider


The little icon is Jesus Christ Enthroned; liking the clarity displayed in the cider:



Screenshot of ABV via original/final calculator:




An Old English chant:

Lyrics w/ translation:
http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/anuna/stnicholas.htm

I have done some home brewing of beer and cider.  One thing I learned in cider was that the best way to back sweeten it was with non sugar sweeteners added in towards the end (or unfrementable sugars).  Of course if you don't mind doing a little mixing when you drink it you could always just make a much stronger cider by adding sugar to the mix, and then when serving add some fresh cider and simple syrup to it, it might give you a closer flavor profile to Angry Orchard. 

 
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Offline maryslittlegarden

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 02:52:30 PM »
That looks fantastic.  Only kind of "brewing" that I have ever done is kombucha.  I'd like to try mead... .
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 08:58:16 PM »

I have done some home brewing of beer and cider.  One thing I learned in cider was that the best way to back sweeten it was with non sugar sweeteners added in towards the end (or unfrementable sugars).  Of course if you don't mind doing a little mixing when you drink it you could always just make a much stronger cider by adding sugar to the mix, and then when serving add some fresh cider and simple syrup to it, it might give you a closer flavor profile to Angry Orchard.

My surprise at the taste of a truly traditional cider was one of shock, but mainly because I'd never had a traditional cider and did no research on the taste aspect prior to the batch. Much like the shock someone from a charismatic Novus Ordo parish might experience at seeing the Latin Mass for the first time -- I simply assumed that the New Springtime of Angry Orchard was indeed cider as our forefathers drank it. Not so! However, after letting it age in secondary for 2 more months and then knowing what to expect, I actually enjoy the more traditional cider.

I didn't want to experiment with anything artificial on such a large batch. I might do so with a gallon batch, but in the end, I would still prefer such a sweet cider be carbed and that would require a keg.



"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 09:01:45 PM »
That looks fantastic.  Only kind of "brewing" that I have ever done is kombucha.  I'd like to try mead... .

Mead, cyser, and cider are really easy. If you've never had mead before, I'd recommend picking up a commercial bottle first to see if you want to invest in the equipment. For a small batch, you wouldn't need more than probably $40 in equipment -- maybe less depending on your setup.

Cider would be a cheaper alternative as honey is a high cost ingredient.

I did find a great source for honey on the cheap, to the tune of $27 a gallon... you'll love this:

The local Mormon food storage place. Apparently they sell everything so cheap because it's from their own beehives and they don't attempt to turn a profit at those food storage places.

I get a kick out of knowing I'm making hooch with Mormon honey. Kinda like wrapping pork tamales in pages from the Quran.  :cheeseheadbeer:
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 09:32:57 PM »
Husband likes to homebrew, but he's on a hiatus right now.  His best was a Bourbon porter.  I'd like to try cider....we already have the equipment!.  Where do you get your kits?  Husband likes Northern Brewery.
 

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 11:29:24 PM »
Husband likes to homebrew, but he's on a hiatus right now.  His best was a Bourbon porter.  I'd like to try cider....we already have the equipment!.  Where do you get your kits?  Husband likes Northern Brewery.

 Not sure what you mean by kits. As far as the equipment itself? If so, I got it locally at Fermentations (http://www.fermentations.biz).

If you mean the supplies to make the stuff, I don’t buy kits. That’s a beer thing. For what I’m making I only need stuff easily purchased at any grocery store. My apple juice I get at Sprouts, as it has no preservatives to inhibit fermentation. Honey I get at another local brew store due to Fermentations not carrying it. That store is Old West (http://shop.oldwestbrew.com). I also have the Mormon honey.

Other ingredients depend on the recipe and/or whatever random idea I have at the time. Cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, frozen fruit, etc.

"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 

Offline Greg

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 02:12:08 AM »
Clau Clau makes IPA and Stout.  They are both very tasty.
 

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 10:46:41 AM »
Gardener, have you ever tried traditional applejack?
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 11:23:16 AM »
I have not. I plan to try making some.
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 02:00:04 PM »
I have not. I plan to try making some.

I'd be interested in how that goes.  Would you freeze off the water according to the old fashioned way or do something else?
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 03:17:27 PM »
I have not. I plan to try making some.

I'd be interested in how that goes.  Would you freeze off the water according to the old fashioned way or do something else?

I’d freeze, scoop out ice, run ice through salad spinner, drain excess liquid back in, throw away ice, repeat until ABV concentration maxes out or is where I want it.
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.

Woe is me, because I have held my peace. Isaiah 6
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 06:10:17 PM »
I tried brewing beer once; it tasted terrible; I threw out the five gallons and never tried again. Stuck to Budweiser.
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Re: Homebrewing (Beer, Mead, Cider, Cyser, Wine, etc.)
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 05:28:32 PM »
I assume this is the best sub-forum for this topic. Mods, feel free to move if you want it somewhere else.

I've been home brewing off and on for a few years now. I purchased a kit and some other accessories last year.

So far I've only done cider and cyser. Cider, properly, is fermented apple juice. In America we often call this hard cider, but it's incorrect -- cider is not merely unfiltered apple juice, it's an alcoholic drink. Cider is anywhere from ABV 3%-9%, and once it exceeds 9% is more technically an apple wine. Cyser is essentially a mix of mead and cider. Mead, as you probably well know, is water and honey -- it is able to have any ABV % and still be mead. Cyser replaces the water with apple juice. Mine typically finish out anywhere from ABV 16% to 20%. Potent stuff!

Next stop will be to do our own wine. I'm not much of a wine drinker, personally. Never been a fan. I do like a good cabernet sauvignon w/ some dark chocolate, but in general I just don't like wine. The wine will be for giving away and pairing w/ the cheese my wife intends to start making (got her a kit a few months ago). Not sure what we will make, yet. Will likely be determined by whatever cheese we end up making in bulk.

Beer is more involved and I do not intend to get into it until I decide to take the plunge on a kegging system for carbonation. I don't desire to bottle carb as it's not repeatable and can result in "bottle bombs".

Here is a link to a small wine maker in your area. Maybe you could talk to the wine maker. It is called “Sette Dolori” after the Seven Sorrows: http://www.settedolori.com/home.html
 
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