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Old 04-09-2013, 09:23 PM   #1
snowgirl812001
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Default Prickly Pear Cactus

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Montrachet
Yeast Starter: no
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: no
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.100
Final Gravity: .990
Boiling Time (Minutes): 0.0
Color: magenta?
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 5
Additional Fermentation: no
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 2 weeks
Tasting Notes: Yummy!

6 cans of welches frozen white grape conc.
9 lbs sugar
3 tsp energizer
3 tsp pectic enzyme
6 tsp acid blend
6 crushed campden
prickly pear juice to 6 gallons

To get the juice I had previously boiled the fruits for 35-45 mins, mashing them every so often to release juices. Discard fruit and strain juice through 2-3 layers of cheesecloth to remove all seeds and spines. **Make sure to wear thick gloves as those spines are no fun when they end up in your hands!**

Cleared fairly quickly. I sweetened this with 3 reg size bottles of light agave nectar and 2 cups of sugar. This came out to 15%, next time I think I will add less sugar

This is the first recipe I've ever posted and I am still pretty new to this, so if anything is unclear just ask and I will try to answer.

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Last edited by snowgirl812001; 04-09-2013 at 09:39 PM. Reason: adding pics
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:31 PM   #2
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This maybe a stupid question,BUT, what is a prickly pear and what does it taste like?

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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Prickly pear are the fruits of an opuntia (sometimes called a nopales, or paddle) cactus. They have a ripe, sweet, mellow flavor that IMHO taste somewhere between a ripe pear and a fig. They make a wonderful jam/jelly or sweet candy and have been working their way into ciders and wines for a while now.

To harvest them, wear leather garden gloves and hold one with a pair of tongs or pliers. With your other hand, cut them off the pad of the cactus with a sharp knife. The fruits are covered with small spines, that can either be burned off or just rubbed off with a bit of burlap bag. Before using, they should be carefully peeled and washed (thin skin like a grape) using only the soft sweet flesh inside. They do contain edible seeds which can be removed if desired.

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:01 PM   #4
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The red variety tastes exactly like a combination of watermelon, raspberry, and tomato. The green variety is more tart and less berry-like in flavor.

I prepare them like this, then I juice them with fresh lime juice, water, and organic light agave nectar. You have to strain through a China Cap and Chinois to remove the seeds and pulp. For a wine, beer, or mead, the fruit tastes best fresh. NO COOKING.

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:07 PM   #5
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Did you boil the prickly pears with their skins on?
I had no idea you could do that.
I thought they might have a few too many tannins.

I lived in AZ and you could pick hundreds of lbs of prickly pears from the desert if you so desired. I really like the flavor.

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Old 04-11-2013, 03:31 AM   #6
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I boiled with skins and all. That's how I always did it when I was making jelly. I already had the juice frozen when I decided to make wine. The color & flavor are great even when boiled. I've never done it the other way yet so I can't really compare the two.

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Old 09-25-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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Hi I'm new to this.
A couple of questions, how many pounds of fruit went into this ? Gallon batch (5 or 6), and which recipe did you use , the listed one or the one with agave nectar.
One more. How many ounces are in a regular sized bottle of agave ?

Thanks in advance

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Old 09-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finishwizard
Hi I'm new to this. A couple of questions, how many pounds of fruit went into this ? Gallon batch (5 or 6), and which recipe did you use , the listed one or the one with agave nectar. One more. How many ounces are in a regular sized bottle of agave ? Thanks in advance
Well... Since I'm still kinda a rookie, I didn't weigh the fruit. Or pay attention to the size of bottle for the agave nectar. Sorry. But you will want to sweeten to your own taste anyway.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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Snowgirl,

I hope mine looks this good when I bottle it. I've got it in the primary now and pretty much used your recipe (sugar instead of agave).

For those asking questions on prepping the fruit...
We picked our fruit, used a flame thrower to singe off all the spines, then froze the fruit whole.
After it was frozen for a few days, I allowed them to thaw, then used a steam juicer. (the first time around I did the chopping, boiling, mashing , draining method. Steam juicing is sooooo much easier)
I had so many to burn, freeze, and juice that I only really paid attention to the weight vs juice content at the very beginning and wasn't really scientific or diligent with it. I think the first batch of 15 lbs yielded around 1.5 gallons of pure juice.

Snowgirl, did you do two batches or just one?

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Old 09-29-2013, 12:03 AM   #10
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Hi snowgirl
Was the grape juice diluted orl left as concentrate ? Thanks

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