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Old 06-22-2010, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Carribean Mavi (or Mauby)

So, I'm taking a vacation in Puerto Rico and came across a vendor on the side of the road selling Mavi for a buck. Everybody told me it was made by pressing sugar cane into a juice, but when I tasted it, it was obviously fermented and tasted strongly of yeast...in fact, it tasted fruity like US-05 smells when rehydrated. I found the wikipedia page as well as a couple of recipes here and here.

I was just wondering if anyone has made any batches of it or has had any luck finding mavi bark in the contiguous US.

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Old 06-22-2010, 01:31 PM   #2
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Hello Rocketman and all

First.. I wrote one of the 2 recipes you posted here.. I looked at the second recipe (the one in English) and I can assure you.. that is not how it's made in Puerto Rico.

During my last trip to Puerto Rico.. I bought 2 pounds of bark at a farmer's market in the city of Cayey.. for only 8 dollars. That's enough for many galons of Mavi.. which by the way.. is indeed a fermented, slighly alcoholic brew.

I will translate my recipe and post it here if you like. As far as finding the bark, here in the states.. I don't know.. but they do harvest some of the bark in Florida.. but I don't know who sells it.

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Old 06-22-2010, 04:07 PM   #3
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1 ounce of mavi tree bark
1/2 ounce of fresh ginger, sliced thin
1 stick whole cinnamon
1 1/2 cups of water
12 ½ cups of water
2 ½ cups of granulated sugar
2 ½ cups of dark brown sugar
2 cups of previously made mavi ***

Directions:
Place 1 and 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the Mavi bark, ginger, whole cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove from heat and strain into a clean bowl. Discard the solids. Allow liquid to cool.

In a large bowl.. mix 12 1/2cups of water, granulated sugar, brown sugar and mix well, until the sugars are dissolved. Add the mavi liquid and the previosly prepared mavi and mix well. The mixture will begin to foam.

Pour the mavi into the gallon bottle and cap loosely, with cloth or the cap with a hole cut into it. Do not plug it too tightly. The fermentation will create pressure.

Place the bottle in direct sunlight for 5 to 8 days. If the sun isn’t out that much.. let it ferment for another 2 or 3 days.

NOTE: When previously prepared mavi is not available.. others have added a bit of active dry wine yeast after the maví has been prepared. I have never made this with the yeast, so if you do.. follow the directions that come with the wine yeast.

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:47 PM   #4
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RRCos,

Thanks for the recipe! I have a question: how do make sure the end product is sweet? Usually, I'd think the yeast (especially wine yeast) would consume all the sugar, but the stuff I tasted was pretty sweet almost like iced tea.

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Old 06-22-2010, 10:54 PM   #5
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My recipe contains no yeast.. and I beleive that the natural fermantation comes from boiling the bark. I only pointed out the wine yeast because someone else said that they had used it successfully. I have always prepared it without yeast.

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Old 06-22-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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Fermentation always has to come from a sort of yeast (or sometimes bacteria), and in your recipe, you get it from the old mavi.

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:37 AM   #7
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In any case, it seems that the whole thing attracts wild yeast, as all sweet worts will do. If you have no leftover mavi, you can try to ferment your own, lambic style. The cloth cork is just to keep the bigger nasties away and let the carbon dioxide escape.
As you can surmise, open fermentation with wild yeast may also contain wild bacteria, thus the lambic reference. It will ferment on its own. The sun part of the ritual is to add heat and make it confortable to the yeast and friendly bacteria. It also, undoubtly affects taste much as sun affects the taste (In the yummy kind of way) of them Mexican cervezas if you expose them for 5-10 minutes previous to serving. Something that ultraviolet does to the whole concoction.
If you prefer a more beer like drink, add yeast, low attenuation for more sweetness and the classic low alcohol levels. If you prefer dryer and stronger drink, shoot in some champagne yeast in.
I've been researching this for a while cuz I intend to do Belgian style blended beer and one of the layers will be mavi. I'll post my findings later.
By the way, anywhere you find long established colonies of Caribbean people you will find fresh markets and sure as the sun rises, someone imported some bark. I can try to find a supplier locally here in Puerto Rico and ask a friend of mines to post it as a specialty spice on his website. It doesn't hurt to ask.

Here is the website of a comercial version sold in the Dominican republic. They list it as non-alcoholic, so i gues it is just the juice without the fermentation and force carbonation. http://www.grupotaino.com/products.html
Some dude from St. Thomas (they call it mauby there) has this recipe:

... First, I simmered the following for about 10 minutes:

4-5 pieces mauby bark
2 sticks cinnamon (short)
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried marjoram
2 pods star anise
3 cloves
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 cups water
at the end of which, it had reduced quite a bit. I strained it — saving back the mauby bark — into a 3 gallon carboy, dropping the bark in as well. The mauby bark, incidentally, was $2.50/oz. from a local Caribbean grocery. It’s Bedessee brand. Next, I heated

2 cups brown cane sugar
2 cups white cane sugar
10 cups water
until the sugar dissolved, and allowed it to cool. This was added to the carboy, and shaken well. Finally, I pitched half an expired packet of Lalvin D47 yeast I found in the back of a drawer, figuring it couldn’t hurt, and just might help. Didn’t bother to proof it. To keep the nasties out, and just in case the yeast did decide to kick off an active fermentation, I affixed a waterlock, set it in a warm spot and waited.

It never really developed much of a head… oh, there was a layer of foam on top, and the waterlock was definitely working some, so there was CO2 being produced, but it was nothing like a rolling, active fermentation. I doubt that the D47 had much to do with it. A slight cap persisted for 5 days, at the end of which I decanted it into a pitcher for refrigeration, to halt any further yeast activity.

The verdict: DELICIOUS. Scrumptuously bitter, with lovely herbal and yuletide spice notes. Sweet enough to complement the bitterness — it didn’t even begin to ferment to dryness — without the syrupy heaviness of mauby made from concentrate. It also seems to lack the long, medicinal finish that I noted in the concentrate...

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Old 11-23-2010, 01:14 PM   #8
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Alhiem,

Thanks for all the good info. I live in Chicago, which has the second largest Puerto-Rican population next to New York, so I'm sure I could find the bark if I looked hard enough. I ended up buying a few pounds of the bark in Puerto Rico before I left, and it's still in my freezer waiting to be used. I think maybe I'll make a gallon test batch with some US-05 and see how it comes out. Let me know how your Belgian ends up.

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Old 11-23-2010, 03:11 PM   #9
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Will keep you posted. I Intend to do this (the Belgian beer) now in the winter holidays and of course i will try the St. Thomas version too, since it has a certain allure in the mix. I don't know, i may end up liking it more than the traditional brew found here.

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Old 11-28-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Making myself a 1 gal batch of this right now. I am mainly going off of your recipe alhiem, but I subbed a few items.

First, I decided 20g of bark since the first recipe calls for 1 oz (28 g), but yours only calls for a few pieces. Second, I used 1/2 tsp dried Mediterranean oregano instead of marjoram, and 1/4 tsp of tarragon instead of star anise. I backed off on these two because I know oregano is much more pungent than marjoram, and for the star anise, I really dislike the licorice flavor, so I backed that off quite a bit.

I also used 260g of each of the brown and cane sugars to be more precise than the volumetric measurements. The liquid reads 16.4 Plato, which comes to 1.067 specific gravity. I'll add a teaspoon or two of US-05 yeast when it cools down enough, and see what happens.

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