Pear cider

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MikeBlick

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I just got 15 pounds total of 3 different types of pears. Since I have a 3 gallon better bottle open I was thinking of doing a pear cider when these get ripe. Here's the recipe.

15 pounds ripe pears chopped
3 lbs clover honey
1 lbs local wildflower honey
6 tsp acid blend
3/4 tsp wine tannin
1 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
1 packet montrachet yeast
Top to 3 gallons with water

I was thinking about slicing and coring the pears, then putting them into a food processor. After that putting the juice in the primary and the pulp in a nylon straining bag to ferment with the primary.

I'll be shooting for roughly a 1.08 starting gravity and will bump it up with a little dextrose if I have to. The recipe is based on one found in "The Joy of Home Winemaking" by Terry Garey.

Before I embark on this recipe I thought I would post here to see if anyone had any suggestions. The pears aren't ripe yet so it's going to have to be a few days before I can get started.
 

Pogo

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I'm thinking that, while this is an OK project to undertake at this time of the year, don't expect to end up with an award winning perry.

IIRC...strawberries will be the first things available to us here in the Northern Hemisphere.

For pears to be ripe this time of year in the USA, they must be picked green in South America, and ripen enroute to market.

Thus the need for the honey/sugar, or at least MORE honey/sugar than usual.

This doesn't mean that it can't be good.

Just keep in mind that vine ripened fruit IS optimal!

You might want to note the OG of this juice before sweetening, to compare with any later batches you may try with local pears in the future.

Pogo
 

gregbathurst

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I think in general terms you could call that a pyment, I don't know what else it is, especially considering all the ingredients going into it. Dessert pears are always picked unripe. I picked mine while still firm because the are easier to process that way if you are milling and pressing them, I got a SG of 1.055 and a pH of 4.5. I think your recipe sounds pretty good, though I think you should experiment with the acid addition to bring the pH down under 4.0
 
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MikeBlick

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I've actually never added acid blend before, this will be a first. What is achieving a ph under 4 going to do for the wine?
 

gregbathurst

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Bacteria prefer a higher pH so the wine will be safer, and if you want to use camden tablets or sodium meta, the pH needs to be below 3.8 or it has no effect. Wines vary in their buffer properties so it is impossible to predict how much acid you will need to achieve pH change so the only way is trial and error, add an ounce or 2 and see what the effect is. Adding acid will also improve the flavor to give it more "sparkle" on your tongue.
 
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MikeBlick

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Bacteria prefer a higher pH so the wine will be safer, and if you want to use camden tablets or sodium meta, the pH needs to be below 3.8 or it has no effect. Wines vary in their buffer properties so it is impossible to predict how much acid you will need to achieve pH change so the only way is trial and error, add an ounce or 2 and see what the effect is. Adding acid will also improve the flavor to give it more "sparkle" on your tongue.
So you think the 6tsp of acid blend already in the recipe might not be enough? I guess I might have to get some PH testing strips, not something I have used before.
 

giligson

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Carefull
if you are actually looking at the numbers then you have to consider not only the pH but the total acid content. They are not the same thing.
 

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Bacteria prefer a higher pH so the wine will be safer, and if you want to use camden tablets or sodium meta, the pH needs to be below 3.8 or it has no effect.
That's not so. Yes, sulfite works better at a lower pH, but to say it has no effect is wrong. You just use a different amount to get the sulfites to to desired ppm. See this calculator as an example: WineMaker Magazine - Sulfite Calculator

More interesting info on sulfites and pH: http://www.ccwinegroup.com/library/TA,_pH,_sulfites.pdf

You can use sulfite in a higher pH wine. It's more effective in a lower pH environment, so if you have a high pH, you might need more. However, almost always wine or cider falls into an acceptable pH. I don't mess around much with pH unless the wine is way too acidic, and then I add buffer to it, to bring the pH up. A too-high pH would be pretty rare.
 
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MikeBlick

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These pears aren't quite ripe yet, but I'm itching to go. Anyone have a suggestion on how ripe these need to be before I get started?

Thanks for the clarification and the links YooperBrew.
 

gregbathurst

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That's not so. Yes, sulfite works better at a lower pH, but to say it has no effect is wrong. You just use a different amount to get the sulfites to to desired ppm. See this calculator as an example: WineMaker Magazine - Sulfite Calculator

More interesting info on sulfites and pH: http://www.ccwinegroup.com/library/TA,_pH,_sulfites.pdf

You can use sulfite in a higher pH wine. It's more effective in a lower pH environment, so if you have a high pH, you might need more. However, almost always wine or cider falls into an acceptable pH. I don't mess around much with pH unless the wine is way too acidic, and then I add buffer to it, to bring the pH up. A too-high pH would be pretty rare.
I would be very careful of that calculator, when I studied wine science we were advised that pH had to be 3.8 or below for SO2 to be effective, preferably a max of 3.4. Even at 3.8 the amount of molecular SO2 is very low, above that you might have a tiny bit of molecular SO2 but not enough to be useful. That second link of yours advises a max of 3.6 which most professionals would see as too high. I get my info from researchers and wine professionals.
If you are testing pH you can get good digital sensors from ebay and electronics shops quite cheaply. I personally consider these essential for cider making so you know where you stand and what the quality of your juice is. Titratable acidity is useful to know but not essential or easily tested.
 

gregbathurst

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Just to clarify for Mike, the recipe sounds good to me and would be well worth a try. The amount of acid sounds about right but it is impossible to say if it exactly right. Apples and grapes are popular because the acidity is about right, but with pears you are in unknown territory and I would prefer to know what is happening. Still, someone has used that recipe before so it should work.
 

gratus fermentatio

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These pears aren't quite ripe yet, but I'm itching to go. Anyone have a suggestion on how ripe these need to be before I get started?

Thanks for the clarification and the links YooperBrew.
I would think ripe fruit would give you better flavour & higher sugar content than green fruit. Ripe pears, at least eating pears (as opposed to true cider pears) should be a bit soft, and the proper color for the variety. True cider pears might be a bit different though. You might find this: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/scrumpy/cider/homepage.htm useful. Regards, GF.
 

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I would be very careful of that calculator, when I studied wine science we were advised that pH had to be 3.8 or below for SO2 to be effective, preferably a max of 3.4. Even at 3.8 the amount of molecular SO2 is very low, above that you might have a tiny bit of molecular SO2 but not enough to be useful. That second link of yours advises a max of 3.6 which most professionals would see as too high. I get my info from researchers and wine professionals.
If you are testing pH you can get good digital sensors from ebay and electronics shops quite cheaply. I personally consider these essential for cider making so you know where you stand and what the quality of your juice is. Titratable acidity is useful to know but not essential or easily tested.
Maybe an SO2 meter would be a valuable addition to your cider/winemaking equipment. Then you won't make blanket statements like "SO2 doesn't work at a higher pH". No doubt when you get at 3.8 or 4, the amount of sulfite you'd have to add would be much more than at a pH of 3.4. But it's not that it "won't work". Many people don't have pH meters, or SO2 meters, and make fine cider and wine. pH is important, but often it's not crucial for home cider makers. Generally, if it tastes good, and there is some acid added, then it'll be ok.
 

gregbathurst

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I don't know of any affordable accurate SO2 meters. Most wineries use lab apparatus which is beyond home winemakers. SO2 gets bound over time and the amounts you would need to add at high pH are not very healthy and possibly illegal. I don't know the legal limits but I wouldn't want to add that much preservative.
I agree totally with your comments re pH and cider. Of course you don't need a pH meter for cider, this thread is about pears. I like to know the pH because it is important info for juice quality and helps with decision making. I prefer not to add acid or preservative but i still like to know where i stand.
 

LastKnight

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I think in general terms you could call that a pyment, I don't know what else it is, especially considering all the ingredients going into it.
That's a negative. It doesn't have enough honey to be considered a mead (51% of the fermentables should be honey), but if it did, it would be considered a perry, same as the term for pear cider. A pyment is a grape-mead.
 

cimirie

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...but if it did, it would be considered a perry, same as the term for pear cider. A pyment is a grape-mead.
Isn't perry what he's making now? According to my cider and wine book, any cider made from pears is called a perry. It's not my strong suit so I'm not 100%, but that was my understanding.

If there were enough honey to be considered a mead and you used it in combo with pear, the correct term, I believe, would be a melomel. As mentioned previously, pyment is a mixture of grape, cyser is mixed with apples, and a melomel is a blanket name for any other fruit mead. The varieties are rounded out with metheglin (which is a very spiced mead), and braggot is blended with malt (a beer/mead hybrid).
 

gregbathurst

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Thats a valid point but these things aren't written in stone.

"When _I_ use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it
means just what I choose it to mean--neither more nor less.'" (Lewis Carroll)

To me a Pyment means a mead/wine blend, and thats what this recipe seems to be.

Edit: I posted at the same time as Cimirie who has better info to me. melomel it is.
 

Freezeblade

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dictionary.com said:
A mead that contains fruit (such as raspberry, blackberry or strawberry) is called a melomel, which was also used as a means of food preservation, keeping summer produce for the winter. A mead that is fermented with grape juice is called a pyment.
but, a definition of pyment IS written in stone, or, rather, in print. And that is a mead that is fermented with grape juice, not a "mead/wine blend"
 

gregbathurst

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but, a definition of pyment IS written in stone, or, rather, in print. And that is a mead that is fermented with grape juice, not a "mead/wine blend"
Yes, but the words came first, the dictionary came later. These are some very old words we are talking about here, and it is difficult to pin them down, they keep wanting to wriggle around when I look at them.
 
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MikeBlick

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This is now in the primary. Waiting 12 hours for pectic enzyme, 12 hours after that to pitch yeast. I'll put a pic up when it gets into the secondary. I have a really good feeling about it.
 

gregbathurst

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Did you do an SG on the pear juice? Let us know what the SG of the mix is, I would be very interested.
 
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MikeBlick

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Pitched a re hydrated pack of Montrachet. OG is 1.68 and that includes a pound of dextrose added. I decided to let it be at that.
 

joentuff

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ok I would like to add to this, I have a pear tree in my back yard, and for the first time in like 5 years it is full of pears, does anyone have anymore recipes for pears, im open for ciders, meads, and wines, just want to use what I have, since I will have tons of pears this year
 
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