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First time making perry!

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Moderator: MSOG

First time making perry!

Postby MSOG » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:16 pm

First time making perry!
At one of our community Apple Days this Autumn, we pressed half a builder's bag full of pears, picked from a very old tree in the garden of friends. They live in a local village which had several orchards in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which may have been the original source of this tree. The pears themselves were dumpy, egg-shaped and very hard and my friends usually cook with them. As there are always far too many each harvest to use up in this way, this year they brought them along to press for juice to drink.

The juice came out of the press golden, completely clear - which was a bit of a surprise - and sweet, with no discernible tannins. My friends were very pleased with nearly five gallons of juice pressed and I begged one, to see what would happen if I were to use it for perry...

The SG of the juice was 0.042, so not that much sugar in it, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! After a few days sitting in a cool, dark place in an enclosed 5 Litre spring water container, I set off the juice in a demi-john in early November, to ferment using its own yeasts. Starting off with a cotton wool plug in the demi-john neck, it commenced a 'fast fizz' almost immediately, but didn't throw off a foam. The airlock was put in a couple of days later and it has maintained a fast rate of fermentation since. The juice was pressed on 29-Oct-16 and I'm writing this on 22-Nov-16, so just over three weeks now.

There are 11 gallons of cider fermenting in demi-johns and a brew barrel alongside the pear juice and it's interesting to see how they compare. All the apple juice (a roughly half and half mix of heritage dessert and cider apples) was cloudy off the press and will be for some time to come. It was much more foamy at the start of fermentation, too, hence the use of the cotton wool plug at the start. One of the demi-johns still is foaming, three weeks later...

We'll see how it goes... :)
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