Fermenting: Abbey Cyser


According to the package, the yeast like it between 70-75°F. To accommodate it, I combined the cider and honey into my boil pot on a low flame just until I got a read of 75°F. Then I siphoned it into the carboy, shook up the yeast package well for good luck, and pitched.

Fermentation started nearly immediately and has been going strong for 20 hours.

Once primary fermentation stops, I’m planning to put it in the secondary until Thanksgiving.

I picked up the honey on a lark visiting Pine Tree Orchard a few weeks back. It wasn’t until I got home that I decided to make a cyser with it. The cider was the only cider I could find (without going back to Pine Tree) lacking preservatives [1]. Whole Food’s price per gallon was less then I was quoted from local orchards – and they gave me a discount for buying so much. The yeast choice was easy. As you may know, I’m a big fan of Belgian beers and the cyser has the potential to get north of 10% ABV, so the yeast designed for Belgian doubles and triples was the only choice.

Unlike beer brewing, putting this cyser together was very relaxing and un-messy (primarily because there’s not 3+ gallons of wort threatening to boil over for an hour). I’m only hoping this is as delicious as Crispin’s The Saint.

Update 25 Oct 2010
By all signs, the fermentation stopped today and I moved the cyser to the secondary. Along the way, I split it in two, and dry hopped one half with ~2oz of Yakima Magnum hops. Midwest Supplies’ says the hops have an aroma of black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sounds like they were grown for a cyser.

Update 30 Oct 2010
I bottled both batches today – with priming sugars. At this point, the non-hopped half is quite enjoyable, with the hopped-half being a bit much. Though – both are very drinkable. First bottle gets opened on Thanksgiving.

1. If you have any ideas on how to resurrect yeast in a pool of sodium benzoate-laced cider – I’m all ears. 🙂

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