Christmas Cyser

Out of all my Christmas brews this year, this was my favorite.  It’s semi-sweet, spicy, and sophisticated, and I’ll definitely be making it again for next year.  Makes one gallon.

  • 2.5 lbs. Honey (local, if possible)
  • 1/2 gal. Organic apple juice
  • 1/2 cup Currants or raisins
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • Paradise seeds
  • 2 bags Black tea
  • 1/4 tsp. Citric acid
  • 1/4 tsp. Gypsum
  • pinch of Irish moss
  • 1 package of Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast

Sanitize your gear, and get the yeast started in a clean cup with a little sugar and warm water.  In a large pot, bring the following to a boil:  Honey, apple juice, brown sugar, citric acid, gypsum, irish moss, and a 1/2 gallon water. Boil for 10 minutes, removing any white foam from the top.  Add one stick of cinnamon and 15 crushed paradise seeds, continue to boil for another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and steep black tea for 3 minutes. Cool down the mix, by using a wort cooler, or more commonly by placing the brewing pot into a sink full of ice and water.  When it gets back down to around 70 degrees, add the currants, pitch the yeast, and transfer everything into your primary fermenter.  Original Gravity should be around 1.120.

I used three rackings – rack once after a month, adding another 15 crushed paradise seeds, then once a month each month after that.  On the third and final racking, add another stick of cinnamon and let it sit for 2 weeks.

Bottle and age for at least three months. Final gravity of 1.000, but doesn’t taste too dry, giving 16% abv.

The final product:

Christmas Cyser

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