4/29/2008 -- We tried this mead kit and loved it. Now we want to try a cyser. A lot of what I have been reading says to rack/bottle once it clears up. Do you have any guidelines for how long meads/cysers should ferment? Thanks for the help.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: In short, no.Here is the thing...MANY MANY MANY factors play into how long a fermentation will take. Here are just a few:Sugar (honey) concentrationStrain of yeast usedFermentation temperatureNutrient level presentType(s) of nutrientsTemperature variations during fermentationAmount of yeast usedMineral content of water usedAmount of oxygen present in your mead prior to adding yeastViability (freshness) of yeast culture usedAnd lots of others!The point is, there is just no way (in advance) to know for sure how long it will take. You can monitor along the way using a hydrometer, and that will give you a pretty good indication, and will tell you when it is actually done and ready to bottle.I CAN tell you however, that if you used our Nectar of the Gods Mead Kit and substituted some quality apple cider in place of the water used, it will likely ferment in a little LESS time, due to the presence of the nutrients in the cider. That is a popular thing to do. It will add some nice apple flavor! You can also use a little cider to re-sweeten your mead/cyser at the end of the process. Be sure you add the stabilizers prior to doing this.Enjoy!
1/26/2008 -- I live about an hour (if traffic is good) from the address on your website. Do you have an actual store or is everything here based solely online?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, we have an actual brick-and-mortar store in Everett, WA. People actually walk in and buy stuff!Our address is:Homebrew Heaven9109 Evergreen WayEverett, WA 98204Here is a video of our shop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1a5fKvv8XIHeck, you can actually call us on the phone, too! It's 425-355-8865. A person will actually answer as long as it's business hours!
8/18/2007 -- What is the difference between apple wine and apple cider? Also your cider specific yeast describes a crisp dry cider result, suppose you want a sweet cider? I like Hornsby's Crisp Apple, maybe it's considered dry, but not by wine standards. There were a couple of sweet hard ciders I liked in England, wish I could remember the names.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Apple cider is typically fermented apple juices (mixed varieties are best!) with an alcohol content of perhaps 6%ABV. They are usually carbonated drinks, altho they CAN be still (uncarbonated0 also. Apple wine typically has sugar added prior to fermentation, and as a result, has an alcohol content of about 10-12% ABV. Another way is it done is to freeze the fermented cider to remove the ice (water), thereby increasing the alcohol content. Often called "applejck".Making a sweet still (non-carbonated) cider is easy. You simply ferment the juice, stabilize it using potassium sorbate and sulfite, and bottle. Making a SPARKLING sweet cider (like Hornsby) is a bit trickier. Most home brewers would add sugar at bottling to produce the carbonation. The problem is, if you add additional sugar (to make it sweet), you will overcarbonate, and burst your bottles. Not good. There are 2 ways around this:1) Use a kegging system to dispense your sweet cider. Ferment your cider as normal, sweeten, and put into a keg. Force carbonate it there, refrigerate and dispense.2) Ferment your cider as normal, but use an UNfermentable sugar (like Splenda or stevia) to sweeten it. Add a measured amount of corn sugar to carbonate it, and bottle.
11/16/2006 -- According to the Making Apple Cider booklet by Anne Proulx, you can bottle and pasturize and apple cider in a hot water bath. Since we also make Beer and know how full to fill those bottles I am concerned about how full the cider bottle should be. Do I fill the bottles clear to the top and than cap them or use the filler which leaves space at the top. Thank You
Response From Homebrew Heaven: I am assuming that this is a still (uncarbonated) cider, because the pasteurization process would kill any live yeast within the cider. If THAT is the case, you can fill to the top. If you are making a carbonated cider, you need to leave some headspace.Frankly, I wouldn't pasturize in the way. The alcohol content helps to protect the cider anyway, and if you use a stabilizer, like potassium sulfite/sorbate, it is unnecessary.
3/5/2006 -- JUST WONDERING IF I'M A BEGINNER AT MAKING CIDER WHAT WILL THE NECESSITIES BE TO START?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Well, a way to get the juice itself...I will assume you have a source.To make traditional, still (non-carbonated) ciders, we recommend the Complete Wine Making Equipment Kit (5 gallon). Here is a link to that product:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/Product289To make sparkling ciders, we recommend the Intermediate Brewing Equipment Kit. Hee is a link to that product:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/Product459Both of these provide the fermenters, test equipment, siphons, airlocks etc (all the hardware) that you will need.
5/20/2005 -- I'm thinking about making hard cider with the apple tree in my back yard. I'm not sure of the apple type so my question is: Can any apple be used to make hard cider and can you recommend information for beginners?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Yes, any apples can be used to make hard cider, BUT, the best (most interesting, flavorful) hard cider is made from a variety of apples. Use the apples from your tree, certainly, but try to mix in some tart ones, some bitter ones, some sweet ones etc. You will be rewarded later. A hard cider made just from red delicious apples, for instance, is rather bland.Other tips?... Well, using a quality wine or cider yeast helps tremendously. We like the new Wyeast Cider Yeast because it leaves a nice fruity finish to your hard cider. Use only good, clean fruit, and sanitize your equipment well.Patience is also important. A cider takes time to age properly, so let it.
3/27/2005 -- I have been living in SW England for the last 2 years and have come to love the ciders they have here. Just like fine wines! I'd like to try my own hand when I come back to the States. What alcohol content can I achieve through homebrew? The average here is around 6% and that is what I'd like to produce.
Response From Homebrew Heaven: You can achieve whatever alcohol content you desire when home brewing. It's really just a matter of how much sugar is present at the beginning of fermentation.
3/21/2004 -- I was wanting to start home brewing a hard cider like hornsbey's and was wanting to know what all i would need. was hoping to be able to put it in keg's for easier storage and dispensing for get togethers
Response From Homebrew Heaven: As far as equipment, I would go with the Intermediate (Beer) Brewing Equipment Kit. It works nicely for this type of cider. Here is a link to it:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=459 For ingredients, you'll need a source of apple cider juice without preservatives. We are negotiating with a company to produce a cider blend concentrate just for us, but so far we don't have it.For kegging your cider, our Complete Kegging System fits the bill nicely. It holds and dispenses 5 gallons. Here is a link to that item:http://www.nexternal.com/hombre/?Target=products.asp&ProductID=287
11/24/2003 -- Just prior to adding the yeast when making an 8 gallon batch of applecider wine, I noticed the package read "good up to 5 gallons". I wasn't able to add a 2nd package until now (48 hours after original package was added). Do you think I'll be ok? Any recommendations at this point?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Probably not a problem. The yeast will multiply as needed to gobble up the sugars. By the way, OUR Wyeast packages are good for 10 gallons (XL Packs). Not sure where you got yours, but we sell only the 10 gallon sizes. Better to have too much yeast than not enough.
11/3/2003 -- I have a strange one here for you. I am wondering if you have any idea of poundage of apples that might be needed to get 5 gallons of juice? I am thinking of buying this machine, but do not know if this is something that I sould get myself into...
Response From Homebrew Heaven: Strange is my specialty! It takes about 120 lbs of apples to produce 5 gallons of juice, more or less, depending on how "juicy" they are, variety of apple, and how efficiently you press the squeezin's!
10/8/2003 -- My cider has been fermenting for about 4 weeks and is cloudy. Can I add the pectic enzyme now or is there something else I should add to clear the cider?
Response From Homebrew Heaven: A little pectic enzyme may help, and cause it to ferment a little further. After it is complete, however, we recommend using bentonite first, and then our 2-Part wine fining to clear it out. Very effective.
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