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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > prickly pear wine
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:59 PM   #11
halleyscomet
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I just bottled the most recent batch. It could have done with another racking so I only ended up bottling two of the three gallons. I gave my wife a taste and she replied with "Hell yes, that's a competition mead."

It came out with a hint of sweetness but not too dry. This batch is drier than the previous batch which I think makes it more drinkable. I started a cyser at the same time as the prickly pear mead with the same base honey and nutrient additions. The cyser is still a bit too sharp so when I racked it I topped it off with some of the cloudy last gallon of prickly pear mead.

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Old 07-03-2011, 04:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halleyscomet View Post
I just bottled the most recent batch. It could have done with another racking so I only ended up bottling two of the three gallons. I gave my wife a taste and she replied with "Hell yes, that's a competition mead."

It came out with a hint of sweetness but not too dry. This batch is drier than the previous batch which I think makes it more drinkable. I started a cyser at the same time as the prickly pear mead with the same base honey and nutrient additions. The cyser is still a bit too sharp so when I racked it I topped it off with some of the cloudy last gallon of prickly pear mead.
thanks for the update.

question did you buy or pick your pears?
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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I bought them. I live In New England and doubt there's anyone growing them locally unless it's in a greenhouse. A few stores carry them in the Fall.

I generally blanch them in gently boiling water for thirty seconds and then peel them while holding them in a dishtowel. The staining from the pulp is murder on the dishtowel but saves my hands a lot of grief from the prickles. I then put the slices through the juicer and decant the juice into the fermenter. The pulp gets boiled until it starts to break up. If the pulp starts to lose color stop and use it as is.

I add some pectic enzyme to the must to help break down the pulp more completely. This is the process that has gotten me the best traits so far.

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Old 09-17-2012, 02:04 PM   #14
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Update on prickly pear availability. It turns out the plants can grow outdoors in most of New England. All they need is a sunny spot with plenty if drainage. Protecting them with a later of hay probably wouldn't hurt. They apparently shed a lot of water to survive the Winter. I first learned of this when I saw them growing outdoors at the Stone Zoo in Massachusetts.

The last time I juiced a prickly pear I took some of the seeds and put them in some moist soil indoors. I now have close to a dozen seedlings with two leaves and a prickly nub between them. I suspect this would be one garden plant the local squirrels won't mess with.

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Old 09-17-2012, 06:10 PM   #15
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The first batch of wine I made was prickly pear and mulberry. We had too much fruit and too much jelly, so we said, 'lets make some wine'! It was awesome!!! It was also the most beautiful magenta color I have ever seen. Turned me into a winemaker. I just used the 'old' standard family recipe of absolutley NO MORE than 5 cups of sugar per gallon. The cactus figs are starting to ripen, here in southern Mississippi, so I have been collecting them and putting them in the freezer. I burn those nasty little spines off over an open flame and blanch them. I then put them in my juicer, but the seeds did some damage, though, so this year I am going to try scooping them out like you do with and avocado or pomegranate. I can't wait until they are all ripe. It was my favorite wine, second only to pineapple and blueberry/pomegranate. I say go for it, it might not be competition wine, but it should be yummy!!!

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Old 09-23-2012, 02:54 AM   #16
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Hi all!

I find myself right bang in the middle of prickly pear season in the greek island of amorgos. The cactuses are loaded with ripe fruit, nobody is picking them up and there is only so much we can eat. So i decided to give it a go with winemaking, only i have limited access to resources (i might be able to find here yeast and nutrients, but it is tricky). Also, I'm only slightly acquainted with winemaking, in the traditional greek village way were no yeast or nutrients are used.

Has anyone tried it out successfully without yeast and nutrients? I read sth about using honey - that i can come by easily.

Thanx for the attention!

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Old 09-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #17
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For Nikos:
I don't use nutrients, except a handful of raisins, every now and then, but I do use yeast. Can you buy it off the internet? There is a fellow on here called oldwinemaker, who makes wine without yeast. I saw him on the third page of the thread "Plum wine, complete newbie, save me from myself". Or something close to that. You should ask him, he seems well informed. I must say, I am quite jealous of all your 'cactus figs'. I have about two gallons so far, and I want more. It was the BEST wine I have ever tasted/made, and I have about two more pickings before my plants are spent. Good luck and let us know how it is going.

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Old 09-23-2012, 05:41 PM   #18
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This is the post from oldwinemaker in Plum Wine, Complete newb! Save me from myself!
DoubleRainbow,
I've been making wine for 20 years and I never use yeast. All I use is sugar and water. NO CHEMICALS OR YEAST. I have made wine from Peaches, Raspberries, Blackberries, Plums and so on. For all the details on how I make it, send me a message or email and I'll tell you the exactly how I do it. The way I do it is too lengthly to put it here. Hope this helps!!!

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