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Old 11-04-2013, 12:16 AM   #1
Toastybubbles
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Default New mead maker question.

I ended up with a bunch of extra pears and after a little Web surfing decided to make pear Mead (first time brewing anything) . I'm using two five gallon buckets for initial fermentation, one is with EC-1118 and the other is K1-V1116. I'm at day 5 and everything seems to be bubbling right along. The question I have is this: When I started the 2 batches I put 12.5 pounds of fresh pears in a mesh bag, into each bucket. At what point should I remove the pears/pulp from the surface of the Mead? Everything I've read suggests about 6 days in. Also, I got a bit ahead of myself and started my batch before I took any SG readings and still have yet to do so. How detrimental will this oversight be?

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Toastybubbles View Post
I ended up with a bunch of extra pears and after a little Web surfing decided to make pear Mead (first time brewing anything) . I'm using two five gallon buckets for initial fermentation, one is with EC-1118 and the other is K1-V1116. I'm at day 5 and everything seems to be bubbling right along. The question I have is this: When I started the 2 batches I put 12.5 pounds of fresh pears in a mesh bag, into each bucket. At what point should I remove the pears/pulp from the surface of the Mead? Everything I've read suggests about 6 days in. Also, I got a bit ahead of myself and started my batch before I took any SG readings and still have yet to do so. How detrimental will this oversight be?
Did you mill/crush/chop the pears ?

If the fruit is in mesh bags, then just keep pushing them down, so there's no chance of any part of the fruit or bag drying out.

It's difficult to get a gravity reading with fruit that hasn't been crushed/pressed first. You could have a look over at gotmead. They have a mead calculator, so you could get a reasonable approximation of the likely start gravity.

Either way, both yeasts are likely to ferment dry, unless you've used very high levels of honey in both batches, but you haven't listed specifics, like honey weight, any nutrients etc........
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:27 AM   #3
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I started each batch with 15 lbs of honey, and 1lb of organic sugar. About 3.5 gallons of spring water, 5 Tbsp of malic acid, 6.25 Tbsp of Tartaric acid, 1.25 tsp of Tannin, 3.75 tsp of DAP, and on day 3 added 2 tsp of energizer...

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:35 AM   #4
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Also, I peeled the pears, cut them into chunks then smashed them down to get the pulp moving.

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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I started each batch with 15 lbs of honey, and 1lb of organic sugar. About 3.5 gallons of spring water, 5 Tbsp of malic acid, 6.25 Tbsp of Tartaric acid, 1.25 tsp of Tannin, 3.75 tsp of DAP, and on day 3 added 2 tsp of energizer...
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Also, I peeled the pears, cut them into chunks then smashed them down to get the pulp moving.
Ah, well I suspect I'd have done things rather different.......

Sugar ? No. It adds nothing except fermentable sugars.

Acid (any) ? Not up front. The juice from the fruit, while less acidic than apple, would, in conjuction with the honey, have provided plenty of acidity for the yeast. I'd only add acid too taste....

Peeling the fruit ? Again, no. The skins can contribute many different elements, from tannins, to colour and aroma. Loose chopping is enough if you aren't going to mill/pulp/scrat the fruit and then press the pulp. Preping the fruit like that means generally, you don't get issues of bitterness from crushed/damaged pips/seeds as they're not usually in contact with the flesh/pulp for long enough.

So while those points sound a little dramatic, over all, nothing there is disastrous.

I'd just leave the fruit/bags in there until the ferment is complete or any problem arises. Just keep giving the batches a stir to keep fruit/bags moist and test gravity every couple of days until its stable. Then remove and press......

Sorry if that's a bit vague. Just that without initial figures, all you can practically do is monitor it to make sure it keeps dropping.

Once its finished, it can be modified etc, with extra sweetness or maybe more fruit to increase flavour etc etc....
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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Thank you for the advice! I got excited and a little ahead of myself initially. I'll probably allow it to ferment for another 4-5 days before pressing the bags. At that point I was thinking of transferring from my buckets into my glass carboys. Do you think it would be better to skim the majority of the pear pulp from the surface before transfer? I'm hoping that the glass tube for my hydrometer arrives today so that I can monitor SG. When I transfer to the carboys do you think I should add any nutrient or energizer? Thank you so much for taking the time to help me .

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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I personally put my fruit in the secondary. Especially with the Pears. It is such a subtle flavor that it is tough to get a good flavor with it in the primary. I like the idea of the skins in though. I pealed mine and made a puree then ran that fruit through a mesh screen to filter out pulp. I am afraid it oxydized the fruit a bit but mine turned out well. It was a Pear Nutmeg. I ended up putting too much nutmeg in it so the nutmeg took over. It was a 5 gal batch with 1/2 a whole nutmeg crushed. The pear puree was about 10 pounds for a 5 gal batch.

I made a few rookie mistakes on the batch but it turned out ok.

If I had to do it over, Skins in primary. Fruit in secondary. A bit more fruit and a bit less nutmeg and maybe a touch of cinnamon. But that is me.

For how long you should leave fruit in? Well, in the secondary, I like to leave it in for 2 weeks to a month depending on the type of fruit. In the Primary? I don't know. I think I agree with Fatbloke, leave it in until you transfer to secondary fermentation: IE when it's gravity stays stable for 2 weeks or so. Then you remove fruit, rack to the secondary and let settle, racking as needed. Then if you want you can oak it for a couple of weeks, bottle/age.

I would recomend oaking it with light toasted oak so as not to overpower the pear.

Matrix

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:15 PM   #8
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Pear does seem to have a reputation for being a complete swine to get enough of the flavour across, so Matrixes idea of fruit in secondary is likely spot on.....

I know we don't often get a choice of the fruit variety, but there are both eating and perry varieties available - I've got at least 1 variety growing in my garden.....

A perry one would more likely retain more fruit after ferment, but of course, that's gonna be where you make the mead like a perry but add honey as well i.e. pure juice and honey, no water........

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Old 11-05-2013, 12:15 AM   #9
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Thank you both for the advice. As soon as I get stable SG readings from my primary for 2 weeks I'll see if I can hunt down a few more pears to add to the secondary. Hopefully that will improve the flavor.

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