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Cyser Mead hasn't started bubbling

Last saturday I started a Cyser mead with the following recipe.

5 Gallons cider
5# clover honey
2.5 tsp yeast nutrient
1 1/4 tsp acid blend
1 1/4 tsp pectic enzyme

I heated that to 120 degrees to help dissolve the honey then let it return to room temperature and added 5 crushed campden tablets and waited 24 hours per the recipe that I was following.

Then I rehydrated 3 packets of Red Star Cote Des Blanc yeast with water at the temperature specified on the back of the packets. It seemed like there was a lot of air introduced during the pouring of the cider etc so I didn’t stir it at all. I just put it in my basement which is around 68 degrees (Cote Des Blanc says it tolerates 64 to 84).

I waited one day for it to start bubbling and then I decided to add two more packets worth of rehydrated yeast in the hopes to get it started.

After another day of no activity I started whisking vigorously 3 times a day for 5 minutes to get more air in. I’ve done that for 3 days now and I still see no activity in the airlock. I don’t think my must has spoiled or anything because it smells fine. I’m just not sure how to get it going. Any ideas?

Here’s the original recipe that I multiplied by 5, it sounded like the Cote Des Blanc would produce a fruitier mead so I swapped that out:

[quote]Apple Cyzer

1 gallon apple juice/cider
1 lb unprocessed honey
1 campden tablet
1/2 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp acid blend
1/4 tsp pectic enzyme
1 packet Red Star Champagne yeast
Heat apple juice (or cider) to 120 degrees and stir in honey, nutrient, pectic enzyme, and acid blend. Cover the must and let it cool to room temperature. Heating is not absolutely necessary, but it does make it easier to throughly blend the honey into the mixture. Transfer to the primary fermentation chamber and add crushed campden tablet. Cover loosely for 24 hours, then pitch yeast and add a fermentation lock. Rack after 2 to 4 weeks when fermentation lock bubbles once every 30 seconds or less. After 2 months in the secondary, the cyzer can be bottled still or sparkling. For best results, age at least 6 months in bottles.[/quote]

oh and the gravity started at 1.085 and has not changed.

Where did the cider come from, and did it have preservatives in it? If you bought it almost anyplace except the site where it was pressed, it probably has preservatives and the yeast won’t do anything.

Yep that’s it. The cider was chock full of sodium benzoate and was pasturized.

Pasturized doesn’t matter, that just kills what is in there while the process is done. Sodium Benzoate lurks in the juice and kills yeast when they consume it.


You can boil down the cider and honey to make a syrup so as not to wast it or cider jelly.
Syrup is the easiest, just reduce it down to about 1 gallon. It’s great on pancakes.


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