Pear cider wine how to

CrealCritter

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Pears are my favorite fruit and my buddy at my local homebrew store (LHBS) knows it. So when I went to the LHBS today my buddy said he had a surprise for me a 96 oz. tin of Pear Wine Base :drool he said it make a wonderful 3 gallon batch of wine, following the recipe on the can. I said what about the 5 gallon recipe on the can? He said still good but not as good unless you add 3 or so lbs of fresh ripe Bartlett pears. So that's what I'll do. I like 5 gallon batches better because they make 2 cases of 750ml bottles, plus a bottle or so more.

So here's the 5 gallon recipe on the back of $15.00 Vitner's harvest 96 oz. can of pear wine base.
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Here's Walmart recipe for other ingredients.
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So far I have $26.50 in this batch of wine. I'll use yeast harvested from a previous batch of peach cider. The cider yeast is a high ester producing yeast and is quite expensive like $15 for 11 grams if you were to purchase just the yeast by itself. It's my favorite yeast to use and has won many awards and is the premier cider yeast of all others available. I really like the high ester content it produces in the alachol :drool. I got the yeast in a apple cider kit I bought for my daughters wedding reception and harvested it, so I don't ever have to buy it again. The other chemicals called for in the recipe, I already have on hand. Being very conservative... let's just say i have $30.00 in this so far after paying dick durban his taxes.
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I plan on making up this batch of wine later this weekend and I'll post the how to process then.
 
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The first step is to prepare your pears.
Wash and de-stem them. Then core and chop them into chunks, you want no seeds or core what so ever, but chicken don't mind the cores. Be sure to leave the skins on.
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Place the chunks in a plastic baggie and weigh them. You'll need at least 3lbs
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Next, crush the chucks in the baggie, then seal the baggie and place in the deep freezer to freeze up solid (overnight). Freezing fruit causes the pulp to rupture releasing juice, which making it easier for the pectic enzyme to break down and the yeast to devour and convert into alcohol and other tasty compounds.
 
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wyoDreamer

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That is very interesting about freezing the fruit to help the peptic enzyme and yeast work better. I freeze the fruit when I want to make peach spreads and pear jelly. I started making peach sauce once and got interupted so I threw teh fruit in the freezer until I could get to it the next weekend. It turned out really juicy and smooth afterwards so that is what I usually do now.
 

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That is very interesting about freezing the fruit to help the peptic enzyme and yeast work better. I freeze the fruit when I want to make peach spreads and pear jelly. I started making peach sauce once and got interupted so I threw teh fruit in the freezer until I could get to it the next weekend. It turned out really juicy and smooth afterwards so that is what I usually do now.
Yep freezing/thawing works well for juice extraction
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Combine all ingredients besides potassium sorbate, pectic enzyme and yeast into the primary fermenter. Gently warm 1 gallon of spring water. When warm remove from heat and add 10 lbs of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and water becomes clear. Add to the primary fermenter and stir in well.
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Start yeast in a separate container, I like pint size mason jars. Add about 2 table spoons of sugar and 1/2 table spoon of yeast nutrient, so the yeast has something to eat and multiple when it wakes up. Top off to about 7/8 full with spring water and shake well. Set aside with the lid cracked so no pressure builds up in the jar. It'll be ready to add to the wine must in about 24 hours.
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I harvest yeast for reuse. I store harvested yeast in the refrigerator in 1/2 pint jars.

Tomorrow morning I'll add in the pectic enzyme (about 12 hours after making up the wine must). The reason for this is pectic enzyme is a living culture. It takes about 12 for the campden (potassium metabisulfite) which is a sanitizer to gas off. If you were to smell potassium metabisulfite it smells like very strong ammonia. It sanitizes the must and evaporates about 12 hours after adding it. so the pectic enzyme and yeast have a clean environment to do their work.

Cover the primary fermenter with a old clean tee-shirt to keep the bugs out.
 
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CrealCritter

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That is very interesting about freezing the fruit to help the peptic enzyme and yeast work better. I freeze the fruit when I want to make peach spreads and pear jelly. I started making peach sauce once and got interupted so I threw teh fruit in the freezer until I could get to it the next weekend. It turned out really juicy and smooth afterwards so that is what I usually do now.
My understanding and I'm no scientist, heck I didn't even stay in a holiday inn express last night. But freezing ruptures the pulp, making fruit more juicy upon thawing. In wine making you really need to add pectic enzyme to break up the pectin in the fruit, unless your making jello shots :)
 

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Time to fire up the fermentation, my favorite part of wine making except for bottling.

I added 3 tea spoons of pectic enzyme early this morning. Its been about 26 hours since making up the must, so time to pitch the yeast and get this bad boy rolling.

I grabbed my yeast starter and opened the lid, there's a little activity in there. Generally I like to see more but the house has been cool it is October after all and we don't turn on the heat until Halloween.
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Next close the jar up tight and sake it well, to cause the yeast to go into suspension. Then gently unscrew the ring and listen, if there's a lot of pressure release, the yeast is alive, also evidenced by lots of white foam. Now just pour the yeast into the must. No need to stir the must afterwards, the yeast knows what to do... Start eating and reproducing and making me some alcohol and esters and other tasty things.
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Now take a hydrometer reading, this is known as the starting or original gravity (SG or OG). It tells you how much fermentable sugars are in the must. Otherwise how much food for the yeast to eat, thereby producing alcohol to drink.

If you noticed i added 10 lbs of sugar to the must but the recipe called for 12 lbs. 12 lbs and just the can of wine base would have gave me about 1.080 on the hydrometer. But because i added 3 lbs of ripe pears and froze & thawed them and added petic ensyme, i got a lot of sugar from my ripe pears.

We'll call the OG 1.105 which is awesome... This means i have the potential for some HIGH OCTANE cider wine :)
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Now calculate the potential alcohol by volume (ABV) using this handy on line calculator for wine (not beer). 1.105 puts us around 15.6% ABV, that is if we let the yeast totally eat themselves out of house and home and have a totally dry wine. Drier than water which is right around 1.000 OG. So yes... The yeast will actually make this must less sweeter than water :eek: which no one would want to drink. Yeast will eat most everything, even the fermentable sugars out of water. They take their job pretty seriously!
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Now all you have to do is recover the primary fermenter with a clean tee-shirt for a couple of days until the yeast gets rolling real well. This keep bugs out but still give the yeast plenty of oxygen to get rolling. A postal rubber band stretched around the top of the bucket keeps the shirt in place pretty well.
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After a little less than 24 hours, the pectic enzyme and yeast is rolling along pretty well, lots of bubbles. It smells very good in the room where the primary fermenter is, like pears and yeast.
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Now is a good time to put the lid and air lock on the primary fermenter. Sanitize the clean lid a spray bottle with star San works well. Insert the air lock and fill about 3/4 full of sanitizer. After a couple of minutes the air lock should start bubbling which mine has, pretty violently.
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Its interesting to note in wine making that the alcohol produced by the yeast will get to a level high enough to kill off the pectic enzyme. You can read more about petic enzyme here --->http://winemakersacademy.com/pectic-enzymes-wine/

Now that we have the must fired up, there's nothing to do now but let it be for a about a week. When we'll check its progress with a hydrometer and see how much alcohol it's produced. And determine if it's time to rack into a 5 gallon glass carboy secondary fermenter.
 
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Well its been 8 days since I pitched the yeast. It's been blowing bubbles through the air lock steadily and I wanted to see what was going on in the fermentation bucket. Here's what the pear cider wine looked like with the lid removed. I would say the cider yeast has pretty much ravaged the pears.
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Next take the gravity to see how much alcohol has been produced in 8 days. The gravity is right around 1.040 which is about where I like to be for racking into secondary fermentation vessel (5 gallon glass carboy).
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My starting gravity was 1.105, gravity now is 1.040 which equals about 8.44% alcohol by volume. That's a good fermentation rate :)
Handy online calculator --->http://www.aussiehomebrewing.com/AlcoholChart/BrewCalculator.html
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So I gave the top half of the must a good stir with a clean and sterile slotted spoon. Of course I had to taste it too. It's still quite sweet but I was very surprised how mellow the pear flavor was, quite good actually.

Here's what it looked like after a good stir. The must is still pretty chunky, so I'm going to give it until the weekend before I rack it into 5 gallon glass carboy. Give the yeast a little more time, to devour some more pear pulp.
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