A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

The reality is that honey isn't cheap, but if you can make a country wine then you can make a mead. You'll just be cooking the honey in water rather than adding pounds of sugar … and you save a lot of time picking fruit!

1 Lb of Tart Morello Cherries, pitted
2 Pints of Vitafit 100% Apple Juice
1 pint of boiling water
Add Honey Water (2.5 Lbs of Honey dissolved in 2.5 pints of boiling water)
330 ml of Youngs White or Red grape juice (For body & tannin)
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1tsp citric acid or Lemon & Lime juice
2 tsp of TronOzymol
Lalvin K1-V1116
Crushed campden tablets

My rule is of thumb is as always, only add as much honey water as you need to reach an SG of say 1.080 - 1.085 and that will almost guarantee a dry ferment at 12%.

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Next year we'll be keeping our own bees, but for now I bought a few Lb's of honey from the local beekeeper. I've always loved meads and this was the right time to experiment … Little did I know then, but from now on it turned out that I'd just be concentrating on meads and port style wines.

A Cyser is the name given to cherry & apple mead, it's a similar naming convention to say an Acerglyn, which would use Maple syrup (Acer) instead of honey and say a Metheglyn which would be fermented with Honey and spices … there is a kind of logic :)

I picked the cherries from a neighbours tree just before the birds took the lot out, perfectly ripe, and we got about half each.

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Wed 3rd October 2012

1 Lb of Tart Cherries (Steph), pitted
2 Pints of Vitafit 100% Apple Juice
1 crushed campden tablet
1 pint of boiling water
Honey Water (2.5 Lbs of Honey)
1/4 litre of Youngs White grape juice (For body & tannin)

9PM
1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1tsp citric acid or Lemon & Lime juice
2 tsp of TronOzymol

Thursday 4th October 2012

9 AM
SG: 1.074
Added 4 Oz of Demerara sugar to reach SG: 1.090
Lalvin K1-V1116

SG: 1.090

Ferment for 5 days stirring daily (9th October)

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Tuesday 9th October 2012

Strained into demijohn and put in the utility room.

SG: 0.998

Wednesday 10th October 2012

Strained out some of the lag through muslin bag
Topped up with Blueberry Melomel
Added some honey to an SG of 1.004 (+6)

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2013 01 18
1st Rack
Added Campden tablet
SG: 0.996 (Drop of 8)
92 + 8 / 7.4 = 13.5%

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Saturday 31st August
2nd Rack
SG: 0.990 (Drop of 6)
85 + 15 + 8 + 6 / 7.4 = 15.4%

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Saturday 28th September 2013

Back Sweetened to SG: 1.010 Medium

Dry: 0.990 – 1.006 
Medium: 1.006 – 1.012
 Sweet: 1.012 – 1.020
 Dessert: 1.020+

Bottled: Wednesday May 14th 2014
5x for us, 1 for Chris the beekeeper

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