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Old 08-24-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
Brobi593
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Aug 2012
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Being in Texas, it is prickly pear season and I just ordered some mesquite honey. This will he my first mead and I have some questions:

1. Do I have to boil the fruit or can I just pasteurize it? I don't want to set the pectin but I'm worried about the mouthfeel of the end result if I do not boil. I'm not using the whole fruit, just the innards.

2. Has anyone used the champagne/sherry yeast mixture? If so, do I add the sherry yeast to the secondary as suggested by white labs? Is the combination of yeasts a preferred flavor?

3. Any other tips or tricks for a first time brewer?

 
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
avidhomebrewer
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Sep 2007
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1. Pasteurize will be fine.
2. No.
3. I would add about 7-10# of pears for a typical 5-gallon (about 10% or 10# of honey) batch, seeing as pear is a subtle tasting fruit to begin with.

 
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
MrSweet
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Jun 2012
Damascus, MD
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Would doing an additional fruit in the secondary be a good idea to impart more of the flavor of the cactus since its so light on flavor?

This is one I want to try too... maybe with a different varietal though.

 
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:49 AM   #4
avidhomebrewer
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Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSweet View Post
Would doing an additional fruit in the secondary be a good idea to impart more of the flavor of the cactus since its so light on flavor?

This is one I want to try too... maybe with a different varietal though.
It wouldn't hurt. I've been using frozen concentrate in 12 oz plastic containers to great affect for this. I add 3 or so 12 oz containers for a 5 gallon batch. If you don't want to use this technique, I would add about 1# of pear juice in the secondary.

 
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
GinKings
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Apr 2008
Bridgewater, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidhomebrewer View Post
1. Pasteurize will be fine.
2. No.
3. I would add about 7-10# of pears for a typical 5-gallon (about 10% or 10# of honey) batch, seeing as pear is a subtle tasting fruit to begin with.
Not sure which avidhomebrewer is referring to, but to avoid confusion, prickly pears and pears are completely different fruits. Prickly pears grow on cactus.

Some people boil prickly pears and some don't. Charlie Papazian made prickly pear mead famous. He boils the fruit first. I believe he does it because prickly pears can be kinda slimy, which can affect mouthfeel. I've made a few prickly pear meads. I boil the fruit and add pectic enzyme after cooling. I also prefer this sweet, so I use about 20 lbs honey in 5 gallons. The first, and best, one I made had an OG of 1.164.

 
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #6
mrdillon5
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Aug 2012
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I use prickly pear (tunas) fruit differently. For primary I use the whole fruit (without skin) after freezing them. Let them unthaw in the primary bucket, the juice really comes out. In secondary I top it off with prickly pear juice. The juice is the frozen tunas thawed and brought up to boil and then mashed with a potato masher thru a sieve. I use 15 tunas per gallon for primary and 5 tunas (juice only) for secondary. I strongly recommend lemon zest and lemon juice in the must. It really highlights the prickly pear flavor. 3-5 lemons per 5 gallons. My yard has a ton of these to pick!! Time for a 5 gallon batch.

 
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
Brobi593
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Aug 2012
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Put it in the primary last night.

5.75 # puréed and strained prickly pear.
18 # Mesquite Honey

O.G. 1.120

 
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
chronlord
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Sep 2011
San Diego, California
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I'm just about to make a batch of prickly pear mead myself. Anyone have a good source for bulk mesquite honey? I found one, but they don't ship to CA.

Edit: Just found a vendor on ebay that was selling 3 gal. bottles.

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
Brobi593
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Aug 2012
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Home brewers outpost is where I bought my mesquite. They have 11.75 # bottles

 
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:26 AM   #10
Brobi593
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Aug 2012
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I just checked my mead brewed last night and my airlock has zero activity. I know the temp was good when I pitched and I used nutrient and energizer. I have another batch I brewed last night with the same problem. Two different packs of yeast....I'm not sure what to do

 
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