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Old 07-11-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Making mead right now, need help please!

I am making Papazian's Prickly Pear mead recipe in TCJOHB3rd, and I wanted to know is it necessary to boil the honey and the fruit, or can I just pasteurize both?

Are there pros and cons to boiling and pasteurizing?

FWIW, I will be staggering nutrient additions.

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Old 07-11-2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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There is a prickly pears thread just down the page that will tell you everything you need to know about working with prickly pears. So much more information there than I could tell you. Have fun!
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:07 AM   #3
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You don't need to boil the prickly pear, but you do need to at least simmer them, otherwise they'll be a gooey, foaming mess. As Meadwitch says, the thread downstream has much more information.

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Old 07-12-2010, 05:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jblaschke View Post
You don't need to boil the prickly pear, but you do need to at least simmer them, otherwise they'll be a gooey, foaming mess. As Meadwitch says, the thread downstream has much more information.
I though Papa Z said you had to boil them?
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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I've not read Papazian. Looking back at my notes, all I have written is that I "cooked" them for 45 minutes on the stove. If I bring something to a full rolling boil, I'm generally good about noting that. Schramm's book calls for boiling them 30 minutes. In any event, they do need heat treatment.

Once I finished cooking them, I mashed the fruit and strained out the solids, using the intensely-colored juice in my secondary. They're incredibly seedy, so I can only imagine the headache including the whole fruit would be.

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Old 07-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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I had about 64oz of nopale juice that I prepared about a year ago frozen, basically, I peeled the fruits scooped out the seeds and then pureed them in a cuisinart, I strained the juice into two 32oz canning jars and froze them. What I did to make my mead, was I pasteurized the fruit in 2.5g of water at ~165F for 30 minutes, and then I added 20 lbs of mesquite honey to this mixture, and pasturized the honey for an addtional 30 minutes at ~165F.

I added this mixture to my fermenter and topped up to about 6.25 gallons. My OG was 1.130. I pitched my yeast pretty warm ~92F becasue it was ready, and I couldn't get my must temp down any further within a reasonable amount of time. It is fermenting away this morning at ~81F, and I checked my SG which is now at 1.117. I added my additional DAP, and yeast energizer. It is smelling pretty sulfury at the higher temps with the Red Star Champagne yeast I am using.

At any rate I pitched 25g of yeast that I rehydrated in some 100F water. I hope the higher fermentation temps don't cause too many off flavors, I thought champagne yeast was relatively neutral.

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #7
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for what it's worth, champagne yeast is often quite neutral, but it can also blow a fair amount of the flavour/aroma, straight out the airlock.

Me? I don't use it unless I have to, as I usually look to keep as much "varietal character" as I can - hence I mainly use K1V-1116 or D21 (D21 for preference...).

I'd like to try prickly pear but they don't grow here and I've never seen anyone who imports them...

Oh and whatever you have to do with the fruit, I never, boil or pasteurise honey. At most, I'll warm it just enough to get it out the container - as I want to retain as much of it's flavour and aroma as possible - IMO heating for pasteurisation or boiling drives off a lot of the finer, more delicate flavours etc etc...

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Old 07-18-2010, 05:49 PM   #8
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Isn't it generally a bad idea to boil fruit for fermentation . . . period?

From what I understand, fruit is to be added immediately post boil. Boiling fruit and fruit juices "sets the pectin" or whatever . . . in other words, yeah . . . makes it gooey and slimy . . . certainly not ideal . . .

Then again, I am often wrong . . .

. . . and this is one of those cases.

According to Papazian, you should boil the sliced/chopped fruit with 2.5 gallons for 2 hrs before adding it to your boiled honey water . . . interesting . . .

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Old 07-18-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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Boiling for 2 hours?? That is beyond my comprehension. I do a lot of canning and preserving of fruits and peppers and I just cannot imagine boiling a fruit for 2 hours. Simmering I could see but constant boiling would require a lot of water being added. Just my 2 cents worth of thought.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadWitch View Post
Boiling for 2 hours?? That is beyond my comprehension. I do a lot of canning and preserving of fruits and peppers and I just cannot imagine boiling a fruit for 2 hours. Simmering I could see but constant boiling would require a lot of water being added. Just my 2 cents worth of thought.
I was referencing the holy book of Papazian, and that's what is written. Then again, he also says "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew" (RDWHAHB) . . . so . . . this may be one of those situations where one may trump the other?
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