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Thread: pear mead

  1. #1
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    Default pear mead

    it was a bumper year for our two pear trees this year. i'm not sure what variety they are, but they get pretty big, are very juicy, and are more green than yellow in color.

    i ended up with about 12 gallons of juice just from some of the peelings left over after canning.

    i let it ferment peelings and all until it slowed down, then strained out the juice, and have since added some sugar.

    the fermentation is definitely slowing down, and adding sugar doesn't seem to kick it off like it did.

    i'm guessing i need to add some yeast. any recommendations as to what kind of yeast?

    i will be extracting honey soon as well, and though i might add some honey to the mix. have any of you added honey to pear wine?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #2
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Lalvin EC-1118 is what I use for my cyser.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: pear mead

    thanks bc, i'll try to locate some. i had to look up "cyser". i also found a recipe.

    my only experience is a one time shot at making muscadine wine. all i did was crush up the grapes, let it ferment for a week or two, strain, and added sugar until the alcohol content was right.

    that's pretty much what i have done so far with the pears. the recipe involves boiling and adding yeast after.

    it's been about three weeks since i started this batch. i wonder if it is too late to get it right. should i wait for the honey, add it, boil, and then add yeast?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Costco had some really good plums... I'm going to make something with plums and some white grape juice.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: pear mead

    that sounds like it would be really good. can you share your recipe?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    that sounds like it would be really good. can you share your recipe?
    I'll try to measure things. For now, as the plums become very ripe they'll be washed, pitted, and pressed into a freezer container, and frozen until sometime in October or November when I'll put everything together to slowly ferment. I'm a believer in slow fermentation.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: pear mead

    many thanks bc, i found a source for the ec-1118 nearby.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
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    Default Re: pear mead

    71b-1122 would in my opinion be a better yeast for the fruit. Will not produce as high an alcohol level but will be good to drink much sooner, in months instead of over a year. Whats this adding sugar? Beekeepers add honey! They also get a hydrometer and produce mead instead of random batches of torpedo fuel! Try it you will like it! Go to library and read Schramm's The compleat meadmaker.
    s

  9. #9
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    Default Re: pear mead

    many thanks vg. this one kinda fell in my lap when i saw how much pear juice was left with those peelings.

    i don't know sqat about this, sooo..., yeah i got some catching up to do.

    i'll look for the book, thanks again.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #10
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    Default Re: pear mead

    I am enjoying making mead and how I envy you the pear harvest! I just drove back home thru Washington fruit county and got a couple boxes of peaches and it occurs to me now that I could have got pears too! I always seem to find someone to drink the five gallon batches I make.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: pear mead

    vg, got my yeast ordered this am. i like the one you recommended because it is supposed to reduce the acid, and this pear juice is very acid right now.

    since i didn't boil the juice to start with, do you think there is any danger of it being unhealthy to drink by the time i get the alcohol content up?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Is it refrigerated now or is it fermenting? If it is just setting out, something is going to grow in it! Or is this the batch that is already fermented? If so, the 71b may not be able to get started. Alcohol is poisonous to yeast and that is why this yeast stops at about 14% alcohol by volume. Does your pear juice if fermented still taste sweet? If so, make a starter that is half your pear juice and half water and put the new yeast in it and let it get started before putting it in your main container. That is what you could try, but you really need to do some reading!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: pear mead

    thanks again vance. i have been doing some reading, but need to do more. the 71b and energizer did start the fermentation back, but it is a lot slower than it was at first. there was some undisolved sugar still in the batch. i have it in my garage, that is air conditioned at about 74 degrees. i have it in a food grade five gallon bucket with the cover on loosely. i think i need to rack it, and get the cork and tube to make it air tight.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
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    Default Re: pear mead

    ok, so i got my carboys, fermentation locks, hydrometer, yeast, energizer, and added honey. ended up with three 6 gallon carboys full from the pear juice, (did not add water), and they appear to be working well at this point.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Did you get a hydrometer and take a reading? What a harvest of juice! How much honey did you add per each and what yeast did you use. I can go to gotmead.com or you can and use the calculator to find out what your alcohol by volume potential is just from the ingredients but a hydrometer is six bucks and you can know when it is done. Oh , see a hydrometer! What is your original specific gravity? I am starting an adventure with my capping wax tonight. I am soaking and will heat the wax up a little to get a must for a batch of mead. Getting late, I best go play. Keep me posted your your pear juice. A neighbor just told me to pick his pears! How do you know when they are ripe enough to pick? They are really starting to drop but are grass green and still tart.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: pear mead

    vg, ours were green and tart also when they started falling off. we set them in the garage on newspaper, being careful not to let them touch each other. they got softer by the day.

    i had already had some fermentation when i checked the sg, but it was 1.085.

    i only had a couple of quarts of honey to use, but will be harvesting more today.

    i did use the 71b and energizer, but there seems to be a lot of natural yeast in the pears, as they were fermenting vigorously to start with.

    i like your idea about soaking the cappings. i think i will try that and use it to top with after the first racking, adding honey to get 1.085.

    again, what i used were the peelings left over after canning. mashed them up in a bucket and let them get started good. then squeezed through a 5 gallon paint filter.

    after reading up, i think i have already broken every rule in the book. like adding stuff after the fermentation has started. i am still adding new must from the last batches of pears to top off the carboys. it seems to act like a starter, (booster?).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Be careful about adding too much honey to secondary or you may overwhelm the alcohol tolerance of the yeast and end up with a really sweet mead. That may be what you want but I prefer fermenting it dry, stabilizing it with sorbate and sulfites and then adding honey to sweeten to my taste. Maximizing alcohol content is often done at the expense of taste. There is always next year.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: pear mead

    if it would have been for the pears dropped in my lap, i don't think i would have even tried this. i read about making mead on here back in the summer, and i chickened out after i found out how involved it was. especially after i discovered it might be a year before you know if you did it right.

    i only have a little sugar and a little honey added so far to the 16 gallons of pear juice. it fermenting steadily right now, and hopefully it will clear in a few weeks and i can rack it.

    there's only going to be a about a gallon of room in each of of the three carboys after racking. i'll dilute some honey to 1.085 and to top with. i actually prefer a semi-sweet wine over dry.

    if it ends up tasting like crap, i will distill it once or twice to make rakia.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #19
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Have patience with it I am told by the experts. My first batch was foul and powerful and I was about to abandon it when a brew shop owner tasted it and said give it another year and you will be amazed. It has had one year already and I guess the carboy helps hold down the basement floor by the water heater because it ain't anything I would give away or share yet. I have seven gallons of pears I need to make a space to spread out as you suggested. I have two batches of mead going now, here goes another 15 pounds of honey!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: pear mead

    Squarepeg,

    You might be interested in this Google Group:
    http://groups.google.com/group/cider...?lnk=srg&hl=en

    There is information on making "perry".
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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