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-   -   Prickly Pear Mead (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/prickly-pear-mead-12624/)

magno 08-23-2006 09:56 PM

Prickly Pear Mead
I started on the Prickly Pear Mead from Papazians book last night:

20 lbs light honey
5.5 lbs prickly pear fruit
yeast nutrient
champaign yeast (white labs)
pectic enzyme

The fruit was boiled for 2 hours as per Charlie P's instructions. This set the pectin and he recomends using pectic enzyme in the fermenter. Does he mean the secondary or the primary?

Also I thought about this after I was boiling the fruit, but would I have gotten more prickly pear flavor by fermenting the honey at least partially, then adding the fruit juice? Should I add some more to the secondary?

Any ideas muchly appreciated.

- magno

Dude 08-23-2006 10:28 PM

I've always wanted to do this--but where do you find the fruit? Do youhave access to the plants where you are?

Yooper 08-23-2006 11:25 PM

I have limited experience with mead- but with wine you always put the pectic enzyme in the primary. I would assume the same for mead.

Prickly pear (the fruit) is a favorite of mine- this sounds like a winner. I wish I wasn't 1500 miles away from the plants.


DesertBrew 08-23-2006 11:28 PM

My yard Dude :). Actually, I hacked most out of my yard. They grow like stinkin weeds and then the pack rats come which attract the rattlers but thats another topic. I could get 10 lb easy from what's left in my yard and their just now ripening.

Magno - if your own fruit, how did you prepare it before boil?

magno 08-24-2006 03:30 PM

I got the fruit from a local fruiteria. They came in 11 oz packages, already skinned. I chopped them up pretty fine and boiled them.

desertBrew, my grandma used to live in Tucson and she had the same problem as you. She made jam every year and still had a surplus.

Thanks for the advise lorenae, I will add it to the primary.

- magno

the_bird 08-24-2006 03:54 PM

I smell a swap in the air; five or six pounds of fresh prickly-pear fruit for a couple homebrews.

DesertBrew 08-24-2006 04:57 PM

I've been working from dusk to dawn and still haven't had a chance to see if they're all ripe now, or over-ripe and dropping to the ground. Heading out of town this weekend and then MN most of next week. Timing may be a problem here. There's a field near my house full of them as well. Just stuck a post-it note to my forehead to try and remember to check out the fruit. These buggers are nasty to deal with however. I know you flame off the needles. I'd have to do a little R&D on preparing them. Not sure if I'm up to shipping them out to others... Anyone know the shipping rules on fruit?


This link talks of different ways to prepare including a puree. Hmmm...


DesertBrew 08-24-2006 05:14 PM

Uhmm - Based on the recipe below, thats a lot of fruit. Think I may actually try this but based on 75-100 fruits I think shipping to others is out of the question. Won't be cheap - Mesquite Honey at my HBS is $2.99 per lb unless I can find it cheaper.


the_bird 08-24-2006 05:27 PM

Holy crap! How much does one of those fruits weight? Are they mostly edible (except, you know, the pricky bits) or is there a large amount of seed and other waste? That's a LOT of fruits.

DesertBrew 08-24-2006 05:57 PM

They're very meaty. Wild guess would be 3-4 oz each. That'd be about 20-25lb needed for this recipe as picked. I'll admit, I've never even had a drink of mead yet so am going to pick up a bottle on the way home tonight. After surfing that GotMead.com web site (better than working), I read it's a 1-2 year process which I could handle but I am concerned with their comments on keeping the ferment at around 60. That isn't going to happen with me for a year! Any mead'ers that can comment on temp? Is this most critical during the primary ferment and afterwards would 75-78 be a problem? If I'd short change the quality because of bad temp control I'd scrap this thought now.


There about the size of a large egg. There are seeds inside but not an outrageous amount. They need to be flamed to be rid of the prickers, I'd assume also skinned. After that I'm confused. Google will help. I'm going to pick one tonight and play.

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