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Old 06-30-2009, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default General fruit additions

How do you prepare your fruit for a mead? I know freezing is important but what else is? Do you use a food processor to break the fruit down more for more of a puree or leave it whole?

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Old 06-30-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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It largely depends upon the fruit. Large fruits like peaches and apples should be partially crushed or cut into small slices. Bananas should be sliced. Grapes should be crushed, taking care to leave the seeds intact. Contrary to popular belief, cherries don't need to be pitted. Other than that, I don't do anything for raisins or small fruits other than freezing them. The freezing/thawing process breaks them down well enough. No need, of course, to freeze raisins.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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It really depends on the fruit. For berries, grapes and other fruits that release their juices fairly easily, I'll just freeze them, then give them a quick "hand crush" with a sanitized potato masher before adding them to the must. For fruits with more structure (such as apples, cherries, etc.) I like to either get them processed thru a juicer, or I'll shred them in a food processor (leaving them as basically small bits, rather than completely pulverizing them).

That's my way - but there are lots of different ways to process fruit before you use it, and most of them work fine! The key is to break them up enough so either the yeast (if added in primary) or the alcohol (if in secondary) can extract all the character that you're after. In fruits added to secondary, take care to add as little oxygen as possible -- I don't generally food process anything that's going in secondary since I don't want to introduce the potential to oxidize my mead.
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