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Old 04-11-2011, 09:34 AM   #1
JezzaUK
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Hi All,

I'm planning on making a Perry (as it is known over here in the UK) - or probably Pear Cider over in the States.

I found this link which gives a bit of history, and some useful pointers

http://www.nottinghamcamra.org/Cider.htm

One thing to point out from this link is that it says that pears can often carry a decent amount of non-fermentable sugars (Sorbitol), which should result in a retained sweetness, but still allow for carbonation without running too much risk of bottle bombs.

I have also got a homebrew book, which says the same thing.

The only issue is that as far as I have read, it is not possible to tell how much non-fermentable sugar exists?

Guess the only way to tell will be to let the brewing commence and take note of OG and see what the FG comes out at?

The other thing to bear in mind is that apparently the Sorbitol content of pears can vary from year to year, so it is always going to be a slightly moveable feast.

So here's my plan:

I've got myself some pasteurised juice - 90% pear and 10% apple with Ascorbic Acid - so should be good to ferment with. Also worth noting that it is cloudy.

1) Take SG Reading

2) Working on the basis of 4.5 litres, I'm going to pitch some 71B, which should be good to take it to 14% - although I'm sure that there will not be enough sugar to take it that far.

3) I'm also going to add a little yeast nutrient at the start as well to ensure that it gets going well.

4) Also plan on degassing for the first few days to ensure that fermentation doesn't stick

5) Take FG once the gravity is consistent for about a week (obviously will be keeping an eye on temperatures as well). I'm anticipating to leave this probably for about a month to ensure it's all done.

6) Rack to secondary off any lees. Take Gravity reading again. Check Gravity 1 week later to ensure we've reached the FG.

7) Once we are there, then obviously I'll be doing some number crunching to figure out the amount of non-fermentable sugars (and the fermentable) in the juice.

8) Once I'm at this stage, then I will obviously know how much kick my Perry is going to have, and will be able to add more juice is needed to hit my target ABV (which would be around 5%-7%)

9) Once 7 & 8 is done, I plan to prime the bottles with an appropriate amount of the pear (10% apple) juice to allow carbonation - what do we think? 0.010 worth on the gravity for this?

Anyway, wanted to run a few ideas past you all for a bit of input.

From what I've read, apple juice typically has an OG of about 1.050, but I've also read that Pear juice can be as high as 1.090 - which could lead to something quite strong.

Anyway, appreciate any thoughts/input/experience from you all to figure out the best way to take this forward, but I am very excited about this.

Once I've got this down, I am contemplating introducing some honey to the mix as well - but need to get the basic lined up first.

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Old 04-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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I think "Typical" results with Perry made from actual pressed pear juice has a finished gravity somewhere between 1.01 and 1.02..... It has a very different flavor than "Cider" type sweet, though.... a 1.02 perry tastes nothing like a 1.02 cider.... It's not nearly as sweet to me....

YMMV here - as several well respected folks on the board have made perries that run completely dry.... My own opinion on why... most commercial "Pear Juice" is really pear puree + lemon juice + water + sugar.... Not actual pear juice from pressed pears.....

My batches of Perry were from pears picked from ornamental pear trees - the SG was like 1.09 range.... Once again - the SG varies quite a bit depending on the variety and ripeness of the pears themselves.... Just like apples can run 1.03 to almost 1.1 SG depending on the apples....

Since you are there in the UK - why not wait till fall when you can get a batch of proper Perry Pears - press them and make actual "Perry".... rather than starting with some sort of "Juice" that's probably made of puree from bland dessert pears. If you start with dessert pear juice - you will likely have a very bland perry... kinda like making cider out of bland, dessert apples....

Thanks

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:11 PM   #3
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Thanks truckjohn. Appreciate the feedback.

My juice is direct from the farm, and I spoke to the farmer himself. It is bottles from the crop last Autumn - so it is pure juice - not from concerntrate. Therefore I am optomistic on the tast outcome.

He has said that come September/October later in the year though that I can give him a call and he will sort out some juice straight off the press, so unpasteurised. Which I will obviously be taking him up on at the time - and it will be less than half the price!

I'm not sure what pear type is used, but pretty sure that it is not Perry Pears. I'll have a proper look come harvesting time.

The farmer did say that his son has had some success from brewing with the juice, so well worth the experiment in my mind. Although given that they are highly unlikely to be Perry Pears, it is why I need to have a check of the SG reading for OG & SG, but also why I am contemplating the introduction of other flavours - such as Honey (or maybe raspberry) - if flavours aren't sitting right.

I've read that the distinctly different flavour of apple vs pear on this basis is down to the amount of Tannins that pears carry, so understandable that the flavour is very different, even though from similar FGs.

Will post the SG and recipe later this week when I make a start.

Cheers

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Old 04-11-2011, 02:54 PM   #4
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Good to hear you can get the real thing....

I highly doubt you are getting Perry pear juice - Most is extraordinarily bitter and quite astringent (When you taste it, it gives you severe cotton mouth and makes your mouth feel like it's going to implode....) The word "Undrinkable" comes to mind immediately.....

If it was me.... Buy a small sample and taste it very critically.... Is it smooth, buttery, sweet, mild, and kinda bland or is it quite tart? If it's the first type - it won't make particularly good cider without adding quite a bit of acid blend or blending with very sour apple or pear juice.

Thanks

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Old 04-12-2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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Just took the OG of the juice. It's 1.038...

Pretty low really.

Pitched some 71B to see how far it will go, but I'm thinking that we are going to need some more fermentable sugars. Thinking honey may be the best shout to compliment the pear.

Taste wise, the juice is fairly smooth. Trying to think what I could add to beef it up a bit. Any suggestions anyone?

Will post how far it ferments as soon as the fermenting allows!

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:00 AM   #6
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Honey sounds good, remember to add some nutrient if you end up adding honey. I could also imagine a brown sugar to go well with a pear-flavour.

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:59 PM   #7
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I think another option would be to freeze concentrate the juice itself, then ferment.... Say you remove 1/2 of the water - that gives you an OG of 1.076 - which is pretty respectable.... My guess is that it would finish up somewhere between 1.01 and 1.02 - so it's the equivalent of cider that started with "Standard" 1.05 juice.....

Thanks

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Old 04-15-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
freeze concentrate the juice itself, then ferment
I've heard about this... But not sure where to start. Do you know of any threads/stickies which talk through it?

I'm pretty limited on space in the freezer too - fridges & freezers in the UK are tiny compared to the US & other parts of the world. Top that with living in central London, gives no space for anything of any size as well!

Given that I'm only doing trial batches of 4.5l at present (although still waiting for the trial jar to stop fermenting), I'm contemplating giving a few ideas a go.

I'm thinking about a pear & honey wine (or cyser) and maybe going for a pear & raspberry sider too.

I'll definitely be able get the OG up with the honey, but thinking about just giving the pear & raspberry a trial without adding additional sugars - although would need to do the maths to make sure I have the right quantity of raspberries.


On an unrelated note (despite living in London), I have a small garden, and last year SWMBO and I planted a couple of Hops. It's never going to produce much, and I know far too soon to contemplate too much, but has anyone got any ideas on recipes which they could come in handy on? I'm looking to stay away from the Beer making world. We're quite lucky over here with the number of different beers & ales, and the quality of them - so I figure best to let the masters concerntrate on that, but I'm really keen to see if I can't do something with them.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:23 PM   #9
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It's real easy to concentrate juice......

Step 1 - put juice in a plastic bowl or jug. Cover with plastic wrap. Mark liquid level with some tape
Step 2 - Put in the freezer
Step 3 - Wait till it's starting to ice over
Step 4 - Scoop ice out with a slotted spoon till you have removed however much ice you desire..... Alternately, you can wait till it's frozen over, but still sloshy inside, then pour the liquid into another bowl and check your volume...

The interesting bit about this is that while it's fairly dilute - you won't really remove much actual "Juice" component as you will remove Water....

Don't let it freeze solid.

Don't overthink it too much - just try it out.

Thanks

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Old 04-16-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
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check that "ice cider" post - GinKings had some great info on freeze concentration

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