I bought way too much apple cider when it was on sale. I made Yellow Cat Mulled Cider (which was batch066 and I will eventually get around to posting about) with some of it and figured I’d decide what to do with the rest of it later. Some of it started spontaneously fermenting and I had to act quick. The first couple half gallons that started bubbling, I just opened to drink. After a few days, they tasted fantastic. After another week, they got a bit too sour. So as a couple more started fermenting I jumped into action. I mixed ten pounds of Wildflower Honey along with two half gallons of spontaneously fermenting cider and another four gallons of unaffected cider.
I let it ferment for three days and then gave it some campden tablets to kill the wild yeast. I gave them a couple days to be sure the camp den tablets did their work and then I racked to a different carboy and added a packet of champagne yeast.
I checked the gravity a couple months later and found that it had completely dried out, down to 1.000, so I put the carboy in the basement, where it is very cold to let it mellow until I can pull together enough wine bottles to package it. I drank the sample and it tasted pretty good. A bit harsh (it’s around 15% ABV) but lots of apple flavor with only a hint of sourness. I plan to hit it with some potassium sorbate and back sweeten with some more wildflower honey before bottling.
I’m not sure when that will all take place, as I’d like to at least put most of it in wine bottles and I don’t have more than a few on hand at the moment and don’t want to buy more, but being very strong and made from apple cider and honey, this should only get better with time, despite my poor planning and inadequate note taking. I think this batch will turn out well, but it could have been a disaster. Look forward to some more complete tasting notes in Fall 2014 and hopefully more beyond as this should age gracefully as long as I let it.
Style: Cyser (apple cider with honey)
Brew Date: 11/5/2013
5 gallons of Apple Cider (1.040)
10 pounds of Wildflower Honey
Wild Yeast from Apple Cider