The Crawford Brothers Honey Apple Meade is the thing that got me into brewing originally. Technically, this is a cyser, made from apple juice, honey, and yeast.

The apple juice comes from an orchard up near Oak Creek, Arizona. They have several varieties of apples and a mechanical cider press. They produce a delicious blend of unpasteurized apple cider every fall.

Here are some photos of the cider pressing process from the 2002 batch.

The honey comes from The Honeyman's outlet shop in Prescott, Arizona.

Brian and I have been brewing this since the mid 1990s. The details of some of the batches may require some archaeological work to recover. I will add the information as I come across artifacts that provide the necessary clues.

Batches

30 October 2016 (A)

Using frozen unpasteurized juice from Oak Creek purchased in November 2015. Spent ~11 months in secondary. Bottled 29 October.

 1 750ml ceramic flip-top
 1 22oz (whale) bottle
 3 16oz bottles
39 12oz bottles
 2  7oz nips

30 October 2016 (B)

Using frozen unpasteurized juice from Oak Creek purchased in November 2015. Spent ~11 months in secondary. Bottled 29 October.

 1 22oz (whale) bottle 
13 16oz bottles
28 12oz bottles
 2  7oz nips

21 November 2015 (A)

Recently pressed (10/22/2015) and frozen unpasteurized juice from Oak Creek. More of Kenny's honey.

21 November 2015 (B)

Recently pressed (10/22/2015) and frozen unpasteurized juice from Oak Creek. The last of Kenny's honey.

5 July 2015

This is from 5 gallons of unfiltered pasteurized organic apple juice I bought about a year ago (same time as the juice for the 19 April 2014 batch (B)). Used some more of Kenny's honey and a "smack pack" of liquid champagne yeast. Placed in half-full tub of water and, covered with a wet towel. Primary fermentation was underway in less than 9 hours and, proceeded slowly and evenly for about 9 days.

Racked to secondary on 17 July. Smells and tastes great already. I suspect some of the (slightly) "spicy" quality of the last couple batches at this stage has been due to the honey.

Bottled on 11/21/2015

 3 22oz bottle 
 6 16oz bottles
34 12oz bottles
 2  7oz nips

21 April 2014 (A)

Made with unpasteurized cider from Oak Creek, frozen, then thawed. Kenny's honey. Liquid champagne yeast (two vials, several months past their "best by" date).

Started on 21 April 2014.

Racked to 5 gal. secondary on 18 May 2014.

Bottled 11 October, 2014. Used older oxygen-barrier caps on-hand. Applying labels took ~an hour.

 1 750ml (stoneware, fliptop) bottle
 1 "whale" bottle 
 7 16oz bottles
34 12oz bottles
 2  7oz nips

19 April 2014 (B)

Made with store-bought unfiltered organic juice in glass gallon bottles. Kenny's honey. Dry champagne yeast.

Started on 19 April 2014.

Racked to 6 gal. secondary on 18 May 2014.

Bottled 12 October 2014. Used older oxygen-barrier caps on-hand.

 2 750ml (stoneware, fliptop) bottle
 6 16oz bottles
36 12oz bottles
 2  7oz nips

June 24 2012

This batch was brewed in September of 2011, transferred to secondary after ~weeks and, bottled on June 24th 2012. Added additional yeast at bottling to ensure proper carbonation. It tasted great at the time of bottling.

 8 16oz bottles
38 12oz bottles
 3  7oz nips

This was ready-to-drink within a few weeks of bottling and, just kept getting better. Most of it was gone within a few months. Delicious!


February 2011

This batch spent a couple months in secondary before bottling. It came out fantastic.


18 June, 2007

This batch was brewed at the end of 2005. It sat in the carboy for a record-setting year and a half before being bottled (on 18 June, 2007). It was already delicious (though uncarbonated) at bottling time.

21 16oz. bottles
23 12oz. bottles
 2  7oz. nips

Opened several bottles in early 2014. All were uncarbonated and, just this side of vinegar.


6 February, 2005 (Chardonnay)

This batch was fermented using a Chardonnay yeast instead of the traditional champagne yeast. The final product has much less carbonation than other batches.


7 January, 2004 (Unpasteurized)

The apple juice was frozen and thawed for this batch but, not boiled. I only heated a little bit of the juice up to get the honey to dissolve. I've done this several times, now. It seems to produce a more complex final product.

I got generous and entered this one in the (2005) 3rd Annual Arizona Meade Cup competition. This one took second, beating out entries by local professional brewers.


7 January, 2004

Chuck at What Ales Ya! talked me into entering some of this batch into the (2004) 2nd Annual Arizona Mead Cup competition. The HAM didn't do too badly, coming in 3rd (bronze) out of over 60 entries. It seems to have lost points mainly for not being exactly "to style." The judges did not feel that there was enough honey aroma or flavor for that. Here is a photo of the bronze ribbon.

Tried a bottle of this in May of 2014 and, it was fantastic. Still delicious and complex.


11 January, 2003


December, 2002


2001


Brews