First Racking of the Fall Harvest Cyser

Fall beekeeping can sometimes be pretty slow in our region. There's not much to do once the hives are prepped for the coming winter.

Take the past couple of days for example. You could watch the morning frost melt from the top of this hives. You could watch as one or two daring field bees poke their heads out of the hive entrance and make a chilly flight out and back.

Other than that, it's been pretty quite in the apiary.

So back inside to the workshop I went to rack the Fall Harvest Cyser I started three weeks ago.

From the picture above, you can see a thin light brown line all around the inside of the bucket at about the 2 1/2 gallon mark, and another light brown line at the very bottom.

The line at the top is the now floating raisins and dates (seen below) and the bottom line is the expired yeast.

I've found racking can be a tricky task if doing it alone. I end up trying to hold the siphon hose, racking cane, start the siphon, get the clean jugs into position all while being careful not to disturb or stir up the mead or expired yeast in the bucket.

To help aid the effort, I started using a small clamp to hold the racking cane to the side of the bucket, an inch or two off the bottom.

This left my hands free to start the siphon and ensure I wasn't spilling it on the ground, although it wouldn't have been the first time.

Once the siphon was started, it slowly and gently filled two 1 gallon jugs up to the top.

Bonus points if you spotted the deer antlers in the background of the picture above before I mentioned them.

My wife came down into the workshop and declared she could smell the cyser from across the room and thought it "might knock you off your ass".

I thought it smelled pleasant, so I'm betting she was talking about the alcohol level.

The hydrometer read between 0.999 and 1.000. It was smack between the two and really depended on how you interpreted the bottom of the meniscus curve.

I'm thinking it was closer to 1.000 and according to an online calculator, the current alcohol level is 14.96%.

After placing the airlocks onto the new jugs, I noticed a bubble rising through the airlock about every 60-90 seconds, so it still has a little more fermenting to do.

With little distinguishable difference in clarity between today and three weeks ago when it started, I'm betting this one is going to take a long time to clarify on it's own.

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