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Snowbelt Cyser wannabe

Hey all,
As you can see, I am new to the forum and new to making my own brew. I joined so that I can bone up on the dos and don’ts for a first timer. My primary initial interest is to gain some info so that I can attempt to make something similar to Snowbelt Cyser from Crafted Artisan in Ohio my home state, it’s a spiced cranberry apple mead.
I’ll be poking around and looking at posts in several of the sub forums here trying to compile the necessary info, since it appears that cyser kind of fits a few of them.
I have been given a large quantity of honey from my neighbor, which is what is leading me in this direction, I also have a couple of apple trees, so cider is not a problem.
My wife and I really like this mead/cyser and I hope that I can do it some justice in my attempts to mimic it, but that may be a bit optimistic for my first attempt.
What I will be looking for in my research:

  • yeast type
  • good ratios of cran:apple
    -amount to honey
    -recipes that I can borrow info from
    … and quite a few other things that I have yet to realize
    I am leaning towards some sort of champagne yeast maybe EC-1118?
    From here, the journey is only in the research phase so as to avoid as many mistakes as possible any info and direction is much appreciated.

I’m already learning, what a great forum.
It looks like the amount of honey that I will need will be equal to whatever amount it takes to get to ~1.10 SG.
Also, I am thinking I will make this similar to the way red wine is made in regards to using the cranberries as a must and may chop up a few apples as well and do a punch down method for ~24-48 hours.
I know it’s several months away, but I am also considering adding vanilla bean and a few sticks of cinnamon at secondary fermentation.
I have also seen that I may want to start off with a different yeast and use the 1118 at secondary.

Well, lets start you off with a few ideas to ponder… First… Do you have a hydrometer/refractometer? That tool is of importance for you to know how much alcohol you’ll produce… and of course when you believe the fermentation is done, you take some samples and check… oh about 3 days apart… if the readings are the same… the initial ferment is complete…
The next one is what will you ferment in? Many choices and I won’t tell which one is best you’ll figure that out as you go…
I’m not up on what you are choosing to make, but, I would suggest doing like 1 gallon batches. You could do all separately and mix a known volume after fermenting is done… You’d know what your after then.
Champagne yeast will really dry out what ever your fermenting and thus, you will lose flavors… I’d suggest trying an ale yeast… They don’t attenuate as low as wine yeasts… that is, if your looking for some flavor…
Sanitizer… that is mandatory… There are a few options out there, I would venture to say, star san is popular around here.
So, you are going about this in a good way by asking questions and alot of reading… The real test is making what you want… Welcome to this Forum, there are alot of knowledgable polite peeps here… No bad attitudes, just a willingness to be of assistance! Sneezles61

Thanks for the quick reply @sneezles61, yes I do have a hydrometer and a few other things, for making wine. I just never got around to making anything. A couple of years ago I had grand ideas of starting a vineyard, in hopes of eventually opening a winery. Unfortunately, (as I get off track) that never came to fruition, but it has slightly prepared me to take a hobbiest approach at making a few drinkables.
I plan to start the fermentation in something similar to a Rubbermaid tote or something similar, that I will likely place in an upstairs bath tub(which we do not use at all), we also keep the upstairs quite cool through out the winter months less than 68F. After a few days I will likely xfer it to a couple of glass carboys with airlocks.
Again thanks for the reply, back to work for now.

I agree with @sneezles61 do 1 gallon batches to get your recipe down. When I do fruit Mead I’ll do 2 lbs honey to a gallon of water with 1-2 lb of fruit. I use Cote de blanc wine yeast comes out nice. Champagne yeast will bring it down dryer so it depends what you want. Is the cyser your trying to make vwery dry or sweet? I’m assuming it’s carbonated. I don’t carbonate mine .

It is carbonated, and I would consider it to be off dry.
Possibly a stupid question here @brew_cat, but would the cider be considered fruit, or can it be substituted for water. I guess what I’m asking is should I figure out how much cranberry flavor(or tartness) that I want and split the weight of the cider and cranberries and then add water with the honey to make it more miscible.

I think what your asking is could you use 1 gallon of apple juice instead of water? Never tried it but I’ll bet it would work. I would try maybe 1 lb of honey 1 gallon juice and 1lb crushed cranberry with Cote de blanc yeast.

Snowbelt Cyser
Step 1: PBW followed by Star San
Step 2: 4 gallons apple cider OG 1.050
Step 3: Add honey to increase SG to about 1.100
- combined OG 1.106
Step 4: Add 36 oz fresh cranberries(thawed and crushed to open a bit)
Step 5: Started before step 1 hydrate Cote des blanc per label
Step 6: Add 2 tsp pectic enzyme and stir
Step 7: Pitch yeast
Step 8: Add 1/2 tsp each nutrient and energizer and stir.
Primary recipe:
4 gallon apple cider
10 # honey (next door neighbor was nice enough to donate)
36 oz cranberries
1 pack cote des blanc yeast
2 t pectic enzyme
1/2 t yeast energizer
1/2 t yeast nutrient
Add 1/2 t of nutrient and energizer for following 3 days
Secondary recipe(after 3-5 days):
6 cups water
2 vanilla beans
2 T Vietnamese cinnamon sticks
Bring above items to boil allow to return to room temp
Additional cider to top up 5 gallon big mouth carboy
Remove and squeeze cranberries
Transfer to secondary add airlock
My plan is to ferment to dry or as dry as the yeast allows. I expect an attenuation of 13-14%. Just a guess at this point. I will rack as it settles and before bottling into champagne bottles I will add some sort of apple juice or apple concentrate to carbonate the cyser.
Thank you to everyone for the assistance and I hope I haven’t offended anyone by going against the suggestion of small batch. I feel that I have done some pretty good research and will be happy with the final product.
I am open to suggestions on the amount of vanilla and cinnamon. The cinnamon is some strong stuff not like the grocery store stuff and it’s kinda like chips

It looks as though you did well! This forum is a wonderful tool as a sound board… You can put out idea, and many knowledgable peeps here to weigh in/suggest ideas they’ve tried. It helps you guide yourself down the Zymurgy road! Keep us posted as to how it turned out! Sneezles61

All I’m going to say is K Sorbate and move on to the rest of the story:(
I found some fresh frozen cider that a guy at work pressed this fall it also contains some pears. The cider SG 1.040 is lower than the original batch.
I also was more careful to not exceed 1.100. This time around my OG came out to be 1.098.
Everything else is planned to be the same.
At the 24 hour mark I stirred(open ferment) tested SG 1.097 and added nutrient and energizer.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect and still really am not but I know that it is doing more than the first attempt.
Also this time around I ran the cranberries through a food processor rather than crushing them in the bag. I feel this was a good choice since I now have a much more desirable color than the previous batch.

I’m wondering if I should have waited to add the nutrient and energizer. Should I hold off until the next sugar break.

If you added the yeast then you got it right… What is … energizer tho? Sneezles61

The energizer is DAP and magnesium sulphate and the nutrient is DAP and urea. Maybe I should only use one form of DAP, honestly didn’t notice that until just now. I also have NB nutriferm energy, should I use it in place of one of the others?

Too much of a good thing isn’t best in this particular situation… Use one or the other, not both… In fact, maybe try a side by side comparison to verify it. Sneezles61

I will post pics of the final product. I have to say that this turned out to be quite delightful with a nice golden color. Subsequent batches of this will have a lower alcohol content. I would highly recommend this recipe but at a lower OG. The yeast was also the perfect choice as I have friends whom prefer wines on opposite ends of dryness and both sides have highly complemented the cyser.
Unfortunately I was not able to carb this batch which I do think would help with the alcohol content.

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