Bottling Cyser and a Truly Magical Wand

After a false start and several months of fermentation, we finally bottled the Trader Joe’s cyser (using clover honey and Nottingham ale yeast) this past Saturday. We got five bottles out of it.

If the hydrometer readings taken before fermentation and again before bottling are to be believed, the cyser is at about 8 – 9% ABV.

Normally we get six bottles out of a gallon jug, but we lost a little juice to this foggy bottom which showed up during secondary fermentation.

Once we got everything bottled we could see the stuff at the bottom of the jug. The fogginess was caused by this viscous goo (a professional term), which resembled honey, but definitely wasn’t.

I took a little taste. It was unpleasant.

I wonder if this was caused by the Trader Joe’s honey? The honey I’ve used before didn’t turn into a gloppy (another pro term) mess like this. It may be in the way they treated their honey. Next time, and there will be a next cyser, I’ll use raw honey.

During my rambles through various cider and homebrew sites, I came across several recommendations for bottling wands. For $2.50 I figured it was worth a try. It doesn’t require any special equipment. You just attach it to the end of your siphon hose, put the spring loaded tip into the bottle, and press it down. The valve opens and fills the bottle.

The bottling wand made bottling everything much easier, faster, and cleaner. Which is great. However, they also make bottling with a siphon a two-person job – one to pump the siphon and one to press down the wand to allow the cider to flow. This isn’t a drawback, just a fact.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Bottling Cyser and a Truly Magical Wand

  1. That’s the same bottling wand we use. Simple and easy giving just the right amount of bottle head space every time. As for the “goo”, how did you blend the honey into the cider prior to fermentation?

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    • You’re right, the wand does indeed leave just the right space.

      I warmed some cider on the stove and stirred the honey in slowly. It was warm, not boiling or even hot. Then I poured it into the jug, added the rest of the juice, and added the yeast.

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      • Interesting. Stirring honey into the warm juice is the right way to go. Have you used this yeast before? I’ve not – wonder what’s on the package regarding its performance. I understand that some can cause a large amount of flocculation while others don’t. Hmmm….

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