Try This at Home
Making Mead (Honey Wine)
An easy recipe from Jonathan Ortiz of Southwest Grape and Grain
Cider and Cyser
Coincidence or Conspiracy?
Hard cider was mentioned in today's Daily Word and the email quoted below appeared in all the Alibi mailboxes this morning, almost simultaneously.
If it’s a conspiracy, I say give into it. This is the day for drinking and discussing the fruits of the fruit.
The cyser mentioned below is very dry; all my ciders and meads are dry except for one gimmicky cyser/braggot hybrid I've got maturing. If you're feeling like something sweet, my favorite is the one we just call “Scrumpy's,” and I just can’t figure out how they do it.
Cyser is a variant of mead, where the water is replaced by apple squeezin's, thereby adding even more sugar to feed the yeasties (and of course some flavor).
I made this one in February 2010, as a cheap and experimental batch to evaluate Wyeast's 4632 "Dry Mead" Yeast strain, to see if I would want to use that yeast later in the fall when it would be time to make the "real" stuff.
I am very pleased with 4632 and will use it again (though perversely, I ended up not using it in my fall 2010 batches which you'll be tasting another 3-9 months from now, but that's another story). It matured rapidly, and I thought this stuff was good enough to drink within 3 months, all the more exciting because of its mundane ingredients. (It just blows me away that more people don't make meads, hard ciders and cysers; it's so damn easy compared to beer, and can be so yummy.)
The base cider was 6 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's Gala apple juice mixed with 2 half-gallon jugs of Trader Joe's McIntosh apple juice. The honey was 9 pounds of "Mrs. Crocket's" honey from CostCo. Nothing exotic here at all.
Came out smooooooth and mellow and dangerous; a sip of this and you'd never guess it's somewhere in the mid teens % ABV, unlike my 2008 cyser which still tastes like rocket fuel (which is why I haven't brought it in). A 12 oz bottle is a good two servings, and your old Swirl, Swish and Swallow glass is the perfect thing to drink from. As usual for my stuff, this is unfiltered so may have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. You might want to handle and pour the bottle carefully and leave it behind, though for this batch I have just been drinking the whole thing.
It would be really nice if you could rinse and return the empty bottles to the sixpack holders at my desk. I sorta expect people to take these home rather than drink 'em here (AHEM, Adam), so if that's too inconvenient, don't sweat it. But if it's not a lot of trouble, please give 'em back.
Oh, and if you're under 21 then please forget everything you just read. These bottles contain something very bad and gross.