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Old 08-19-2009, 05:44 AM   #1
jcobbs
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Last year when my mother-in-law canned some of our backyard pears, she for some reason decided to can some of the juice (actually nectar) as well. Since we have absolutely no use for half-pint jars of pear nectar, I snuck it out the back door and decided to make something useful out of it. I started with:

5 pints home canned pear nectar
1 can Welch's white grape juice concentrate
1 cup sugar
1 sachet Red Star Montrachet

Edit: Oh yeah, and water to make up 1 gallon. Gotta give the yeast some chance at survival in all that sugar...

Well after a few weeks in the primary, it was amber colored, cloudy, and tasted like Nyquil. Actually almost exactly like Nyquil. So I racked it to secondary and let it sit a while. A few weeks later I added some pectic enzyme (yes I know it's supposed to go in the primary, but I didn't have any then), potassium sorbate, and acid blend, and waited. Meanwhile I made up a gallon batch of apfelwein. After some more time in the secondary the pears had mellowed from Nyquil down to rocket fuel with some fruity notes.

So today I had some time to kill, so I blended the pear rocket fuel and the apfelwein together equally. It's now starting to taste pretty good, and my eyes don't cross anymore when I sample it. I think I'm on to something here...

The first gallon turned out a beautiful clear amber color--not like any wine I've ever seen. I'm not that adept with the siphon, so the second gallon has to re-settle. So I bottled the first gallon into some 187ml bottles for Christmas gifts. Hopefully by then it will have morphed from rocket fuel into something more suitable for an Indy car.

I've decided to name it Pfearwein. Pronounce it any way you want.

Before anybody asks, no I didn't take any hydrometer readings. But considering how much sugar was in the original nectar, and I added some more, if the yeast didn't die just from the first bite then it's probably potent enough to strip paint.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
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I think you mean Birnewein...
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:54 AM   #3
jcobbs
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I'm thinking as in "fear wine"... this is some stout stuff... I'm having a small glass tonight....sipping it slowly....
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:45 AM   #4
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OK, a play on words always works...
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:43 AM   #5
jcobbs
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I keep tasting along and this is beginning to mellow. Still very sweet and with a good bit of alcohol warmth, but not the cough syrupy taste it started out with. I went ahead and labeled a couple of bottles for my friend's birthday next week, with suggestions to serve over ice or as a mixer. My verbal suggestion will be to put it up and admire the pretty labels for a while before opening.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:52 AM   #6
jcobbs
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Well I gave up on the silly names, just called it Pear Wine, and bottled it and gave it out for Christmas. Today a co-worker told me it was a hit at their family get-together and her relatives want the recipe. Must have aged out pretty well...
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:04 AM   #7
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Don't give up. All alcoholic beverages must have a German name! Deutschland über alles!

 
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:49 AM   #8
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Hmm, about your pear batch... a couple of thoughts. I kind of wonder what the OG was and if you really needed to add grape juice or sugar. Apple juice might have been a better choice to ferment with? Actually, what most commercial pear ciders do is ferment apple cider and then back sweeten with pear juice. That's because actual perry contains special breeds of pears that are pretty much inedible and therefore not really grown. Having said that, I have had a Bartlett pear wine and I know of a winery that made a Bosc pear wine (no tasting for me - sold out). Just some ideas for next time.

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Old 01-06-2010, 06:15 AM   #9
jcobbs
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This batch was mostly just an experiment, and probably didn't need both the grape juice and the added sugar. Actually I've been thinking about doing another one sometime and just add the pears or nectar to a gallon of apple juice and fermenting that. This one ended up tasting pretty nice, which is a testament to the benefits of aging more than to anything in this recipe.

The pears were from a Bartlett tree my grandmother planted for me 20 years ago. I wanted to make something "homegrown" from the backyard. I also have a blueberry bush and made a very nice blueberry wine this year too. I recently discovered a wild pear tree on the back of my place; it produces small, hard, astringent fruits about an inch in diameter. They sound kind of like what you are describing. I didn't harvest any of them this year but I'm thinking next fall I might try to create something with them. Perhaps fermented with apple juice, or just by themselves. With the fickle weather we have here it's best to wait and see if I even have pears. Thanks for the thoughts. I'll be interested to hear how your winemaking business venture goes.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:17 AM   #10
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Hadn't tried a taste of this in a while, so I had a glass tonight. Oh, so much better! Definitely a dessert wine; but the sharpness and alcohol bite has mellowed out and left a nice delicate flavor. Reminds me of a Moscato. So now I can tell all the friends to whom I gave a bottle it's safe to drink! No more Nyquil
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