PDA

View Full Version : Is there a point to freezing cranberries?



Mead4Speed
12-04-2007, 08:52 PM
Washing 12 or so pounds at the moment and it seems to me like freezing them won't be much of an aid in breakdown since there's not much moisture to them... does freezing cranberries help in the flavoring or should I just put them back in a bag and chop them up this weekend?

ucflumberjack
12-04-2007, 09:14 PM
well... generally the theory is that freezing them pops all their cells walls which releases more of their flavor. even though the fruit is not very juicy, its cells still containe water, every living things cells do. i suppose its kind of a judgement call. you can freeze them in a shorter period of time if you spread them out thin on a baking sheet and hot water will help thaw them out.

wayneb
12-04-2007, 11:48 PM
I've tried freezing cranberries before, and I wasn't able to extract as much flavor as when I blanched them in boiling water just long enough to get the skins to pop. I then dump berries and water into the must, and add other ingredients as needed. Much more flavor that way, and no real change to the flavor over freezing them! BTW - you do have to use pectinase (pectic enzyme) in your must in order to prevent pectic haze from clouding your mead.

Oskaar
12-05-2007, 01:03 AM
OK,

Now I"m gonna go totally Dalmatinski on ya'll. I take the cranberries I get from the guy at the Farmers Market and put them in a couple of glass .... cookie jars for lack of a better term, but they're basically big heavy glass jars with heavy glass lids that hold about two gallons each. I fill them with cranberries after a quick rinse with vodka, and let them sit in the sun all day. Then I mush them and put them into my mead. Works like a champ.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

storm1969
12-05-2007, 01:07 AM
I just coarsely chopped mine in a food processor. Seems to work fine! (You should taste my sparkling cranberry wine!)

wayneb
12-05-2007, 12:06 PM
OK,

Now I"m gonna go totally Dalmatinski on ya'll. I take the cranberries I get from the guy at the Farmers Market and put them in a couple of glass .... cookie jars for lack of a better term, but they're basically big heavy glass jars with heavy glass lids that hold about two gallons each. I fill them with cranberries after a quick rinse with vodka, and let them sit in the sun all day. Then I mush them and put them into my mead. Works like a champ.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar


VERY COOL! Sun-popped cranberries!! Basically the same effect that I get with the blanching, but so very RE (renewable energy)!!! :cheers:

Mead4Speed
12-05-2007, 06:13 PM
heat popping... sounds reasonable. I guess anything that can somehow "digest" the berry a bit and let the flavor out helps. I was thinking of shredding them up frozen in a food processor then bagging them.

I didn't think of pectic enzyme for cranberries, is this pretty much a usual thing for cranberries? I have tons of powdered pectic enzyme to add but I didn't think there was as much cell structure broken down from a dry like berry.

Do you folks usually use enzyme in your cranberry? If that's the concensus then I'll use it too....

Do you expose the berrys to the enzyme for a period of time before putting in the must or do you add it to the must the same time as the berries? Seems like it'd be better to somehow soak the frozen berry dust in a little water and enzyme for a few days first, but I wasn't thinking of adding any additional water to the must when I added the berries.

This first mead is important to the wife since that was our first intro to mead and she loved the flavor. So the better this one turns out the easier it will be to walk in the door with more carboys later.

Anyone have a usual time to consumption with their cranberry meads?

wayneb
12-05-2007, 07:38 PM
Cranberry is one of the highest pectin berries out there. That is why you can make cranberry "sauce" (actually jellied cranberries) with no supplemental pectin addition, as you would need for other berry jellies. Especially if you blanch them or "sun pop" them like Oskaar does, use the pectinase - you will be glad that you did. I add it directly to the must, just before pitching yeast. It acts slowly as the fermentation progresses, so by the time you rack to secondary you have virtually no pectin left in the result.

Mead4Speed
12-05-2007, 08:54 PM
ok then, that makes sense to me. So how much then for 5 gallons water, 15lb honey and 12 lb cranberries?

wayneb
12-06-2007, 12:57 AM
Since it's an enzyme it doesn't break down, so any amount will do its work eventually. More will work quicker, but after a certain point it will be detectable in the final mead. I find that 1-1/2 tsp per 5 gallons works quickly enough for me in a recipe like yours, without leaving any noticeable chemical taste behind.

teljkon
12-06-2007, 03:58 AM
Did the cranberry mead happen to be honey run cranberry mead? If this is the type of cranberry mead your going for you may want to consider an addetion of cranberry nectar from the health food store as well. Also if you chose to back sweeten i would use cranberry nectar!

Just for a little clarifacation you wouldnt need pectic enzym if you didnt heat the cranberries right?
:happy10:

wayneb
12-06-2007, 11:31 AM
Its true that if the pectins aren't heated they don't "set," and you should be good to go. The trouble is you never know how those berries were handled before they were sold to you (and especially if you use "nectars" or such that may have been reconstituted from condensed juice -- they heat it to evaporate the water in a lot of cases), so I usually throw the enzyme in my recipes that use any high pectin fruits -- just to be sure.

JephSullivan
12-06-2007, 05:21 PM
I just coarsely chopped mine in a food processor. Seems to work fine! (You should taste my sparkling cranberry wine!)


Care to share your sparkling cranberry wine recipe? Sounds great! :icon_thumright:

Medsen Fey
12-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Just to clarify - enzymes are proteins and they may breakdown or be denatured or inactivated by their environment. Pectinases (apparently there are a great number of different enzymes in this category) may be deactivated by heat, so you wouldn't want to add them to honey you were about to boil or pasteurize, and by low pH (some work best between 4.8-5) which typically develops during fermentation. The increasing alcohol through fermentation may also denature some proteins (even at the relatively low concentration). For these reasons, it makes sense that adding pectinases to the primary fermentation requires a lower amount, and may work more effectively than trying to use it later in the process such as using it to try and clear a haze.

Medsen

wayneb
12-06-2007, 08:05 PM
Absolutely correct, Medsen! It was an oversimplification on my part to claim that they never break down. However if they are added to musts lower in temp than 125F, all the pectinase enzymes that I have worked with maintain their efficacy. I also don't believe (but I have to admit that I don't have data to back this up, just anecdotal personal experience) that the amount of alcohol in finished wine breaks them down rapidly enough to compromise their ability to do their thing in a finished wine. I have cleared many pectin hazes in finished wines with a dose of pectic enzyme in the past.

Mead4Speed
12-06-2007, 08:55 PM
now this is the kinda data I make notes from! Thanks you guys. I thought pectin was a waxlike substance... wouldn't it return to the same state once it cooled or does the heat permanently change it's structure to keep it floating?

I think then I'll add a tsp to the 5 gallons after I innoc, seeing as how I'll be around 100 by then it should work well.

And if at the end it won't get brilliant on it's own, should I try more pectinase rather than a fining treatment like superkleer? Should pectin be the problem if it doesn't clear with nothing more than cranberries added?

wayneb
12-07-2007, 01:20 AM
In the presence of heat and low pH, the pectin forms intra-molecular bonds that result in it changing physical characteristics that do not revert back when the pectin is cooled. Part of the changes that can happen is formation of a semi-soluble polysaccharide (think "starch," or complex carbohydrate) that creates a haze in water solutions that will not precipitate out. That's the pectin haze.

Pectinases will break those intra-molecular bonds, and the liquid will clear as a result.

That said, pectins aren't the only substances that can cloud your mead, so if you've already dosed it adequately with pectic enzymes and it still doesn't clear after several months, I'd try a fining agent like hot sparkolloid or SuperKleer.

teljkon
12-07-2007, 04:25 AM
Ok hear its comes the anoying question for us all naturall pepes. Is there a natural sources of enzym?
:happy10:

Oskaar
12-07-2007, 08:57 AM
Pectinase is a natural enzyme.

Mead4Speed
12-07-2007, 05:11 PM
I was just re-reading through the thread and I noticed I haven't even thought about pH. Is pH as important in mead as it is with grape wine?

Are there differing pH values for different honeys? I've actually never even checked the pH of the water that comes out of my faucet, but I would think it should have a minimal deviation being city water.

Also, does pH affect aging mead like grape wine?

Medsen Fey
12-07-2007, 08:55 PM
The pH can be very important, but with that said, there are many people (several I have met) that never worry about it and still seem to make good mead. If the pH drops too low (below 3.0 or thereabouts) it can cause the yeast to slow down dramatically. This is why most folks on GotMead will recommend that you avoid acid additions to the must at the beginning (even though you will see many recipes instructing to do so), because this can sometimes lead to a sudden drop in the ph (as some honeys and musts have less buffering capacity than others) and give a stuck fermentation. It is better to add acid to taste when the yeast have finished their work. In cases where a fermentation is stuck, checking the pH may allow a correction to be made to get things going again.

Different honeys do have different levels of pH and acid. You can see some listed on the Gotmead site (not the forums) under Mead Research here (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=744&Itemid=64). Just scroll down to the table.

Good luck,
Medsen