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too high an OG on my cyser?

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memento

NewBee
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I'm doing my first cyser today and must've underestimated to SG of the cider. The OG of my mead is 1.16.

3.5 gallons of local cider
1.5 gallons of wildflower honey
2 tsp of yeast energizer
wyeast dry mead smack pack started 24 hrs in advance. pack was very well started! date of manufacture was sept 20th 1005. very fresh.

no boiling, but pitched at a temp of 78degrees.

I spent almost all day finding an orchard that DOESN'T use K-sorbate. but I confirmed that they UV their cider and do not use any chemicals.

My question is - is the SG too high for fermentation? I think this will end up where I want it, as long it ferments!
 

WRATHWILDE

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You'll probably end up with between a sweet to semi-sweet mead at those levels, if Wyeast can take you to 18%. I have no experience with Wyeast so I'm not familiar with the tolerance. You should be OK.

Wrathwilde
 

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NewBee
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As long as fermentation will not be hindered by the high OG, it will ferment to semi-sweet, which is what I want. The wyeast will ferment fairly well - but I've not pushed it to see how high a tolerance it has. We'll see with this batch. I've just never started with such a high OG. That was my real concern.
 

WRATHWILDE

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Might not hurt to make a starter if you're unsure , but if you give it plenty of air & nutrients, I don't think you'll have a problem. The High SG I don't think will hinder the finish, it might get off to a slow start though.

Wrathwilde
 
P

Pawn

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Thats great news!
I remember reading about a group brew (envolving member "hightest") at the brewboard, it was ABC (apple butter cyser), if I remember correctly the abc was OG 1.150 or a tad more and the brewers commented that the residual sugar a yr later had the flavour of a special sugar added into the recipe.

I may have to try out your recipe, I believe a residual honey sweetness would better compliment the apple tartness and add more complexity than simply adding sugar of any kind, yup Im in ;D

I am a newbee ::) so I will have to check and see if my stienberg yeast will do the trick or not, good luck and keep us posted, Cheers...John

::John:: a mere 9 months from calling self a "home mead maker" :eek:
 

Brewbear

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Starters help when your must has a high OG. The one I started today was at 1.138 and with the starter it was bubbling within the hour.

Hope it helps,
Ted
 

memento

NewBee
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I highly recommend starters. The smack packs are basically small starters - but this time I think I should have made a larger starter with it. If I use anything different like White Labs pitchable yeast or D47 dried, I always make a starter. Think about the advantages. You're hitting the must with a huge number of yeasts that are highly active.
 

memento

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So I did the hydrometer thing this past weekend. 1.12 after a week and still going. I added 1 tsp energizer just to be safe. I may do that weekly so that it goes all the way to 18%.
 

Pewter_of_Deodar

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memento,

My first cyser, which was spiced with a Christmas spice mix ended up what would normally be considered pretty sweet (FG = 1.042). But because of the spices, the tartness of the apples, and the amount of alcohol (final ABV = 14.71%), the sweetness does not stand out the way it might on another type of mead or wine. For instance, my Blueberry Wine stopped at 1.038 and tastes like pancake syrup so I am continuing to nurse the fermentation along.

The recipe for the Christmas Cyser can be found in the Brewlog but the adjusted OG (due to additions during process) = 1.151. I used EC-1118, which is one of two or three yeasts that work extremely well with high SG musts. I am not sure about the characteristics of the yeast you chose, but if it is up and running, chances are you won't have problems unless you mess with it.

Good luck,
Pewter
 

memento

NewBee
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Thanks for the input. For some reason I have a bad feeling about this one. I don't know why. I tasted my hydro sample and there was nothing funky. I put a heating pad under it, on low, that keeps it at 75deg or so. I do unplug it when I'm at work. Not comfortable leaving a heating pad plugged in when I'm not home.

I do have a packet of EC-1118 just in case I need to use it. I'll check your Christmas Cyser.
 

memento

NewBee
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It looks like it's REALLY slowing down. I expect that the SG is no lower than 1.10 right now. Is there are problem if I were to create a starter with EC-1118 and pitch that? The other yeast has not died and settled out. Or should I wait it out? From what I know and have seen, it doesn't look like it's going to pick back up and ferment strongly again. Is there a possibility of that happening? What else can I test for? I don't think the pH is out of whack because it tastes fine.
 

memento

NewBee
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ok. So I have been watching it. Little bubbling from the airlock (if this doesn't make sense, it's because I have my 2-year-old nephew beating on me while I type). Little bubbles floating to the top like I'm used to seeing. But I tested the SG today. 1.075. That's from 1.12 in a week. So it's acting differently that I've seen, but at least it's still moving on at a good clip. I'm pleasantly surprised. :)
 

Oskaar

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If you're using D-47 you can use a lees stirrer to SLOWLY, GENTLY, resuspend the yeast. The object is not to aerate/oxygenate, but to get the yeast moving so they can resuspend and chew on more of the residual sugar. Lacking a lees stirrer you may swirl the carboy to get it into suspension as well.

Cheers,

Oskaar
 

Brewbear

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I'd be careful with the stirring, that's how I ended-up with a facefull of mead and a whole lot of carpet to clean. Put the carboy in a large trash bag first, it will contain the mess and reduce the clean-up area :-\ By the way, if don't have a lees stirrer, Karl from B3 Riverside called me yesterday to let me know that they finally have them in stock, I've been waiting since June.

Ted
 

memento

NewBee
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I have 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy. There's enough room for expansion. It's not D47, it's wyeast dry mead smack pack. But I will spin the carboy to resuspend the yeast that has settled. Still I'm happy! :) And it tastes much better. By my calcs it's at 11% ABV at 1.075 SG.
 
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