Pear Cider and late honey addition?

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mooface

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Hi.

Some friends and I recently pressed about 200# of fresh organic pears to make 10gallons of pear cider. O.G. 1.053, Current Gravity 1.010.

Pear cider usually ends up slightly sweet tasting. I want to take 1 or 2gallons and rack it into a carboy with honey.

How much honey do I need to dry out the flavor. Or rather, how much honey to hit about 12% ABV? How do I use gravity units to figure this out?
 

wayneb

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I think that the best way to figure out what you'll get from a given amount of fruit juice and honey is to use Hightest's Mead Calculator, which, if you're familiar with excel spreadsheets, is very easy to use. Check out his FAQ, also - there's lots of good information there! (BTW - Hightest's FAQ is the first thing at the top of the Mead Forum, and it should be the first thing that any new meadmaker reads!)
 
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mooface

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I read that 1 pound of honey per gallon delivers 35 GU.

So if I want The equivalent of 1.100 OG which if it ferments down to 1.005 would yield 12.8% ABV, then:

1.100 - 1.053 (first OG): 47 GU left

47 GU / 35 GU per LB = 1.34 LB

So, 1.34# of honey needed in a 1-gallon sub batch.

Is this right, is there a better way?
 

wayneb

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The actual equation to use is this one:
S1*V1 + S2*V2 = St*Vt, where S1 is the specific gravity of the first liquid, S2 is the gravity of the second, the V's are the volumes of each, and St and Vt are the net specific gravity and volume of the total.

So, for your pear juice, S1 = 1.053 and V1 = 0.875 gallons (remember for a one gallon total batch some of the volume will be from your honey addition). Adding 1.5 lbs of honey (roughly 2 cups, or 1/8 of a gallon), S2 = 1.417 and V2 = 0.125.

Then 1.053*0.875 + 1.417*0.125 = St*1.0, or,
St = 1.099 (close enough to 1.100).

Your calculation didn't take into account the difference in volume once you add the honey. That's one of the reasons that I use Hightest's spreadsheet these days - I always make simple mistakes like that when I try to do the calculations by hand.
 

wayneb

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BTW - With "perry" (the name for a pear cider/honey blended fermented beverage), when it goes dry, the aroma and flavor of the pears will be initially suppressed, and can take a long time to come back. So plan on aging this one for an extended period, since when drunk young it won't be balanced.
 
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mooface

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Hey thanks for the formulas. :)

What's a good time frame for aging? Do you have a recommended honey?
 

wayneb

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Every batch is different, so it is difficult to predict how much aging will be enough for your recipe -- however based on my experience I'd bet that you won't get much pear aroma for the first 6 to 9 months after fermentation is over. It will likely take a year or more for the stuff to get really good.

I like the pear components to dominate, so I would use very light, delicate honey for a perry. So I'd use something like acacia, fireweed, white clover, or a light wildflower.
 
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