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Werther's Cyser

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crwagner89

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Recently my 6.5 gallon batch of Cyser was ready to be racked, so I decided to divide it up into 6 smaller batches and try something different with each one. One of my crazy ideas was a Werther's cyser. I looked around and found a few people who have tried it with traditional mead, but couldn't find any tasting results. One issue that people had was with some pretty heavy foam that would fill the top of the carboy. This is potentially from the fats that are in Werther's and could cause it to go rancid eventually. I was able to avoid this by skimming it off during simmering and also I ended up racking it again a few weeks later to get rid of any residual foam. Here's a pic after the latest racking:

IMG_20170102_145814784.jpg

The initial tasting is really good, hoping it ages well. Reminds me of a butterscotch/caramel apple. The flavor is there but not over powering. I think too much would make it a bit too rich.

If anyone is interested in the recipe, I started with a basic cyser made from apple cider and wildflower honey. I let it ferment to dryness, racked it, and stabilized it. Then I took a few cups of the cyser and simmered it while stirring in the werthers hard candy. I used 2 5.5 oz. bags for 1 gallon. You have to continually stir it otherwise they'll end up stuck to the pan. You'll also want to skim off any foam that comes to the surface. After they're dissolved, pour the hot werthers mix back into the rest of the cyser. I noticed that after doing this more foam appeared. I don't know if this had to do with cooling it down or agitating it but I would trying both before racking to the carboy. I ended up with a neck full of foam but was able to get rid of it with a second racking. Let me know if you have any questions!

Cheers!

-Corey
 

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Mismost

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I took a couple gallons of apple cider I had made...dry apple cider...found out I don't like dry apple cider!

Added Red Hots...those little red cinnamon candies to a gallon....sweetened it up and warmed it up the flavor. Nice fire pit watching juice!

Added Jolly Rancher Watermelon...about 10 to the other gallon...nice Jolly Rancher Watermelon flavor...if you like those, I don't! Set it out a party and it was going real slow until someone got the bright idea to add vodka and call it watermelon shots...gone quick after that. I quit doing shots about 40 years ago!!

I bet peppermints would be good...but, I'm finally out of cider!
 

Whitehrs

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I did a gallon batch with the caramel sundae topping. And Chia tea. it was ok. I think next time will do the chia tea, dry and sweeten back with werthers or something.
 

crwagner89

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I did a gallon batch with the caramel sundae topping. And Chia tea. it was ok. I think next time will do the chia tea, dry and sweeten back with werthers or something.
Caramel chai sounds pretty tasty. I can't recommend using werthers yet since I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. I've seen chai tea bags with caramel flavoring in the tea, I wonder how that would be? Might be easier than having to deal with the candy later on. I posted a link below if you're interested. Good luck!

https://www.bigelowtea.com/Shop-Teas/By-Type/Black/Caramel-Chai-Black-Tea#.WGvKDRsrLIU
 

Whitehrs

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Caramel chai sounds pretty tasty. I can't recommend using werthers yet since I'm not sure how it's going to turn out. I've seen chai tea bags with caramel flavoring in the tea, I wonder how that would be? Might be easier than having to deal with the candy later on. I posted a link below if you're interested. Good luck!

https://www.bigelowtea.com/Shop-Teas/By-Type/Black/Caramel-Chai-Black-Tea#.WGvKDRsrLIU
This is what I used. It is not bad but I'm hoping for the special time magic to happen. I used the sundae topping caramel to back sweeten. it was crazy. at first it looked like a brain, then it went away. like it did not mix in completely, then it desolved in. it does not taste great at young age. I am giving it a while for time to work it's magic.
 

crwagner89

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Update

This didn't get a ton of attention but I figured I'd post an update anyway. After the last post, I had to rack 2 more times to get rid of the foam. Each time I topped it off with apple cider. Following the final racking I mixed in some sparkaloid and let it sit for a week before bottling. The sparkaloid helped it clear up really nicely. I've only had a small sample but so far it still tastes really good. It tastes a lot like the hard candy but isn't overbearing. It reminds me a bit of a caramel apple.

rsz_img_20170203_230008072.jpg
 
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Whitehrs

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I'd be willing to do a followup test on that recipe.. If you want to send the recipe..
 

BernardSmith

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Just thinking out loud here ... I wonder what caramelized sugar might do for a mead? That is to say, not a bochet where you caramelize the honey but where you might add caramelized sugar to the secondary. So, you take say, 2 cups of table sugar and in a dish - or perhaps 1 lb - there is no stirring or constant supervision required for this particular process ( I would use a slow cooker crock) you bake this sugar at 300 F (I believe that 300 F is the temperature at which sugar in fact begins to caramelize. It "melts" at 340 F*) for 60 minutes or 90 or 120 or 150 or 180 minutes. The sugar should not melt (it would if you cook on the stove) but it should nevertheless caramelize producing all kinds of interesting compounds and flavors. It's not going to be a "Werthers mead" but depending on the length of time you cook the sugar this will be a unique -ish caramel mead... crwagner89... You got me thinking here... This has to be next on my "to do" list. Thanks.:h:db
See for example, http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/05/how-to-make-caramel-without-melting-sugar.html
 
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crwagner89

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Just thinking out loud here ... I wonder what caramelized sugar might do for a mead? That is to say, not a bochet where you caramelize the honey but where you might add caramelized sugar to the secondary. So, you take say, 2 cups of table sugar and in a dish - or perhaps 1 lb - there is no stirring or constant supervision required for this particular process ( I would use a slow cooker crock) you bake this sugar at 300 F (I believe that 300 F is the temperature at which sugar in fact begins to caramelize. It "melts" at 340 F*) for 60 minutes or 90 or 120 or 150 or 180 minutes. The sugar should not melt (it would if you cook on the stove) but it should nevertheless caramelize producing all kinds of interesting compounds and flavors. It's not going to be a "Werthers mead" but depending on the length of time you cook the sugar this will be a unique -ish caramel mead... crwagner89... You got me thinking here... This has to be next on my "to do" list. Thanks.:h:db
See for example, http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/05/how-to-make-caramel-without-melting-sugar.html
I actually had this idea too. Honestly it would probably be easier than melting down 2 bags of Werthers and having to deal with all the foam. I was trying to go for a caramel apple taste so I might try that as well with my next cyser.

In my searching I did come across a recipe for a caramel apple mead where the caramel flavor was coming from crystal malt extract. I haven't tried it but it sounds delicious. Check it out!

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=68519
 

BernardSmith

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Hmmm... interesting. I live upstate NY and we have dozens of orchards around here. It would be near outrage to use commercial apple juice for a cyser. East coast buckwheat honey is not a honey that you want to use thoughtlessly in a mead. It doesn't really add complexity as much as awful flavors. I made my first mead more than 20 years ago and use buckwheat. Took me more than 18 years to try making a second mead. Buckwheat grown on the left wing of the country by all accounts tastes very different.
But I am not entirely convinced that the caramel flavor is coming from the crystal malt. It may be coming from the fermentable malt (the DME). The recipe is a "chimera" - it's half cyser and half braggot (apple juice, and honey and grains)...
 

crwagner89

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You could very well be right, I don't have a lot of experience with malts.

Your experience with buckwheat is pretty funny, I've only tried it once but thought it was pretty tasty. It kind of reminded me of coffee. Not sure where it was from though. I was interested in making a buckwheat mead but I've heard a lot of negative things. I'll make sure to try and find one from out west.

I just started to take an interest in good quality ciders and apple wines and have been searching for local heirloom apples. I'm near the biglerville area in Pennsylvania which is pretty well known for apple orchards, but I've always heard New York has a great variety. Might have to make a road trip this year!
 

BernardSmith

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Some of the orchards around here have agreed to press varieties of apples especially for hard cider making (not commercial) and others will press apples and allow you to use your own carboys and buckets but the varieties are designed more for non alcoholic apple juice (so less sugar, more acidity etc) and here almost all juice is UV pasteurized (no heat), so all the subtle aromatics and flavors are preserved. But that said, I am not sure that any of the orchards I know list heirlooms. For that - I think - you may need to find local farms with a few apple trees that have been tended (or not) for generations.
 
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