Pears - lots and lots of pears.... and more wine

Discussion in 'The GC 'Buttery'' started by Fat Controller, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    There is a couple of pear trees at the end of my road, and already there is loads of windfall pears under them; they are basically free for the taking, although nobody ever bothers with them, but I am tempted to try and make something alcoholic with them...

    I don't have a press, but I do have an industrial juicer (the sort used in smoothie bars) - any recipe ideas and advice to try them?

    I take it that it would be a case of cutting off any rough bits from the windfall ones?
     
  2. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

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    Pears will turn into a slurry that'll spurt out of airlocks if you try and ferment a pear puree.

    Even if you have a press, pears will turn into a soggy mess and resist your attempts to press them.

    But if you (slow) freeze pears for a few days, then press (still whole) ASAP after defrosting (adding sulphite to inhibit oxidation), they will yield just as much clear, pure juice as pressing pulped and pressed apples.
     
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    • Kimberley

      Kimberley Gardener

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      Oh I would have blended them down and dehydrated them as made fruit rolls...
       
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      • pamsdish

        pamsdish Total Gardener

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        Dried pears and a blue cheese, :dancy::Wino:
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          • noisette47

            noisette47 Total Gardener

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            Bung halved or quartered pears just as they are into clean plastic 100-200l containers, top up with water. Leave to stew for a few weeks. Strain off liquid and distill. Pear eau de vie.....yummy!
             
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            • Fat Controller

              Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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              Where is the fun in that - fruit was made to turn into alcohol :biggrin:

              @Scrungee - our freezer is full to the brim, so there is no opportunity to freeze them. So far, I have been starting any fermentation in a food grade bucket which leaves half a bucket's worth of headroom above the mixture; would this free space be enough to cope with the initial ferment and then transfer it to demijohns once it has calmed down a bit?
               
            • Scrungee

              Scrungee Well known for it

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              I normally allow about 1/3 extra headspace above a pulp fermentation, plus a bit more to enable a long handled spoon to be left in the bucket and be able to grab the handle without putting your hand in the must (one with a ring on the end can have a length of polypropylene string tied to it).
               
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              • Fat Controller

                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                I've got a long reach plastic spoon (although I have been cleaning and sterilising it daily rather than leaving it in the bucket - never thought to leave it in there); I've just bought a 25 litre fermenter, so that will compliment the 25 litre food grade bucket I have and should allow for plenty of room :blue thumb:

                I've just had a look in my CJJ Berry book, and there is a pear wine recipe in there that looks pretty good - - very similar to the link posted by WeeTam. I am happy to post the recipe if anyone wants it.
                 
              • Fat Controller

                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                We got quite a haul of pears today, some windfall and some off the trees whilst we were there - a couple of them even fell on my head as I was pulling the branches down to reach low hanging fruit :biggrin:

                W1.jpg

                There were loads around the bottom of the trees in various states of decomposition, and the air had a decidedly alcoholic whiff to it, so they were clearly already beginning to ferment.

                These were all washed, chopped up (any manky bad bits removed) and then simmered for 20 mins as per the recipe, then strained over the awaiting sugar in the washed and sterilised bucket - - three and a half gallons in all, so pretty good. I am just waiting for it to cool sufficiently then I can put the yeast in and start the fun :)

                The strawberry jam wine was transferred into the demi johns yesterday - loads of sludge left at the bottom of the bucket, so it had cleared quite a bit - and it smelled properly alcoholic too, so it seems that the yeast I am using is quite vigorous; fermentation has slowed down now, but I will give it another week or so before I chuck a campden tablet into them before racking them off into the interim storage bottles (the recipe states that it needs to sit for six months before bottling).

                w2.jpg
                 
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                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  I'm a tad confused as there is no foaming going on at all. Fermentation is definitely underway (I added the yeast just before going to bed last night, and have had to open the bucket to release the CO2 this morning, and it looks like it is needing released again), but there is no sign of any foam?

                  Should I be adding pectolase to this lot too? The recipe doesn't mention it, and I know that pears are low in pectin, but they still have some, don't they?
                   
                • Fat Controller

                  Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                  I spoke too soon - just had to vent the bucket again, and there is a fair old bit of froth now - smells cider-ish now, and appears to be clearing really quickly. I am now wondering if this yeast that I have been using is some sort of turbo yeast?

                  The strawberry jam wine appears to have fully stopped now, which seems mega-quick (just over a week) - is there any way to know if it has fermented out completely?
                   
                • Scrungee

                  Scrungee Well known for it

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                  Pear wine will often get off to a really vigorous ferment, and if there's too much pulp gone through a kitchen sieve used for straining will spurt out of airlocks, best started in a bucket with the sugar then transferred to demijohns when the ferment dies down. A fine straining bag is better for straining than a sieve. Williams pears release more pulp than Conference pears.

                  P.S. I add Pectolase to every wine, heat releases pectin and you simmered the pears, it also helps break down fruit and release juice/flavour/colour.
                   
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                    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
                  • Fat Controller

                    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                    I have no idea what type of pears they are - other than they are freebie pears :biggrin:

                    It is fermenting away good style now (I am having to vent the bucket frequently so there is loads of CO2 being produced), and I will transfer it to demijohns or possibly my new fermenting vessel if it arrives in time.

                    I will go and add Pectolase now, thanks @Scrungee
                     
                  • Fat Controller

                    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                    Ah, just as I have gone to reorder yeast, it is the high alcohol super yeast that I have been using, and I have been adding yeast nutrient to it too (apparently it already has nutrient in alongside the yeast) - no wonder fermentation is fast.
                     
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