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Three Carboys of Mead in the Basement

If you walk out of our bedroom through a small kitchenette, down a tight spiral of narrow stairs, past a door, several cat litter boxes and into a small bathroom, then through the locked door on the other side – there are three 23 litre glass carboys of freshly fermenting mead. The carboys contain a chilli braggot, a chilli cinnamon cyser and a freshly made cinnamon cyser.

I remember watching a show on television that mentioned cyser. A large Welsh lady sitting in her caravan proudly stated that she wasn’t drinking cider… she was drinking cyser. Cyser. Apple juice fermented with honey.

Of course, cyser is not anywhere near as financially viable as producing cider (apple juice plus sugar) so you probably won’t see a lot of cysers in your boozer. A bottle of that chilli cinnamon cyser will set me back around $8 per bottle to make. The ABV (Alcohol by Volume) should come in at around 12-14 per cent. Even if I cut my inputs by producing in commercial bulk quantities it would be difficult, after taxes, to turn much of a profit.

The compounded potential business cost would be that it takes over six months to ferment and then sits in a bottle (or a fresh whiskey barrel, God forbid) until at least another year has passed. That’s a hell of a lot of lazy capital sitting in the cellar between the purchase of inputs and a potential commercial sale.

So, no, I probably won’t be attempting to commercialise high ABV cyser in a hurry.

The braggot is a very old honey beer that I can highly recommend. But don’t expect it to taste like beer. And it doesn’t taste like mead, or even wine. This drink is it’s own thing. Exactly the fare that I’m interested in brewing. I’m trying for an extreme chilli variety with reaper chillis at primary fermentation and those little bullet shaped red chillis in secondary. Then I’ll probably spike small chillies into their eventual individual bottles.

It’s good to have several carboys of booze fermenting again. Last year and the year before were non-existent due to domestic breakdown. I guess Morgan’s Barn will rise again. If it hasn’t already. Hot toddies next Winter are a promise.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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