Newbie apple cider mead

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G259

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I saw some apple cider in the store, without preservatives. I made a mead with 2 gallons of it, 6 pounds of honey, and topped up with 5-16.9 oz. bottles of water (3 gal.). Initial SG was surprising, as I hit 1.100 exactly (luck)! Should I have made a naked mead, and then sweetened with the cider, or is this acceptable?
 

G259

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It has been almost a week, and I still see rapid fermentation, 1 every 3 sec. on the airlock so . . .
I'm kind of surprised at that, and I used D47 yeast for the first time, as it was recommended for mead.
 

MJD

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It depends. What's your current SG, and what kind of residual sweetness are you looking for?

If you made a naked mead fermented to completion and added juice to back sweeten, you run the risk of the residual sugar going beyond what you wanted without getting quite the flavor you wanted. I think your approach is what I would have done personally.
 

Rice_Guy

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Depends what you really want, you get more apple by putting it in at the start.
The cyser I have going mirrors yours, am on day 8 with 1.040 last night. To add tannic/ long flavors about half of it is crab apple.
Should I have made a naked mead, and then sweetened with the cider, or is this acceptable?
* expect lots of lees, what do you have to rack it into? My schedule is 4 gallons in the primary now - rack to a flexible 5 gallon with a silicone burper, , (cubitainer/ camping water container) - rack to a 3 gallon glass and hold it for at least a year, , , approx a gallon lees loss
* the honey flavor should improve with age, can you hide it in the corner at least a year, , or two
 

G259

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I have a couple of 3 gallon, several 4L (gallon +) carboys, and some 500ml swing caps that I use. From what you are saying, I'll expect about 2-4L, and 2 500's or so, and maybe a sample :) .

I think I will backsweeten with some smaller (14oz.) jars of honey, to maybe give it a 'honey' edge. With wine, I usually try for 1.000 SG. With mead, do you think drier or sweeter is better, knowing that personal preference gets the nod?
 
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G259

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I have a perfectly clear, pale yellow, 4L naked mead aging from 4/15/19. It is getting tough to not try it now! I want to wait at least a year before bottling, I'll try to put both of these in as many 500ml's as I can, to draw out the tastings over time.
 

tradowsk

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I think you did it the right way by using the cider in place of water in the must. I tried sweetening with cider once, and you need to add a lot to get the sweetness up beyond a semi-dry. It also blew away most of the honey aspects of the mead and tanked the ABV. If you want to sweeten with apple, I use the frozen apple juice concentrate.

But a true cyser uses apple juice in the must, so I think you're good!
 

G259

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. . . but is it a true cyser , or a cyser-(something) because of the spices?

I have some 1lb. jars of honey that I plan to sweeten with, I stocked up and set aside when the price was right!
 
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tradowsk

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. . . but is it a true cyser , or a cyser-(something) because of the spices?

I have some 1lb. jars of honey that I plan to sweeten with, I stocked up and set aside when the price was right!
A metheglin cyser!!
 

Rice_Guy

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. . . but is it a true cyser , or a cyser-(something) because of the spices?

I have some 1lb. jars of honey that I plan to sweeten with, I stocked up and set aside when the price was right!
Costco was selling clover honey at $2 per pound last month.
 

G259

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$2 a pound is pretty good! I'd have to put a few tons aside at that price!
 

G259

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My naked mead (4/7) was bottled today (1 gal.), interesting flavor, my first mead. I back sweetened to .999 with a few ounces of honey, interesting! I think my apple cider mead (3 gal.) will be killer!
 
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Rice_Guy

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When I have back sweetened with honey I create turbidity. I don’t use honey in wine for contests
 

G259

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I wondered about that, and thought about extra clearing time. It looked pretty clear, but as sediments are considered a fault, I was still wondering. I have bottled my naked mead now, and will deal with the results as it is only 1 gallon (less now!) But I am trying to let it age a good deal, to get to know the evolution of mead vs. wine.
 
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G259

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Next question: I have seen several different types of honey, clover, wildflower, orange blossom, etc (and some that just states 'raw honey'. Does anyone have type preferences, and I'll assume that each one will apply to a select type of fruit juice, if any.
 
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