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ash
09-26-2010, 10:36 PM
the topic title is obvois, I plan to make some fruit meads but it's kind of hard for me (i still consider myself a newbee) to know what's the best method for this.
Untill now I have only tried to chop the fruit and just adding it in the primary. This leads to a subtle taste of the fruit.

I would like to know what may differ in the final result if I do it otherwise.

akueck
09-27-2010, 12:36 AM
Well, it depends. Freezing, mashing or chopping helps break down the fruit, so you'll get full extraction faster. Fruit with seeds than can be broken during these operations are probably better to handle minimally--seeds tend to impart bitter or woody flavors. As for whole fruit vs. juice vs. extract vs. canned vs. whatever....it depends. Some fruit is easier to work with as a juice (apples are a good example), some fruit it's nice to use whole to get more impact from the skins (berries are a good example here), some fruit is hard to find fresh so you can get it canned, etc etc etc.

Timing is the other issue. Fruit added up front tends to provide less obvious fruity flavor than the same amount of fruit added after the primary fermentation is over (i.e. in secondary). On the other hand, fruit added up front is changed more by the yeast, usually giving you some complex "winey" flavors. One common method is to add fruit twice: once right away and once in secondary. This way you get the wine-like flavors plus the fresh fruit flavors.

ash
09-27-2010, 01:23 AM
I think I will mash some fruit for the primary and keep some whole for the secondary (in my case: masched for fermentation and whole for after racking, I don't know how this usually goes).

Do you think I get better result if I freeze the fruit first and do I need to unfreeze before adding or does that not influence the proces?

Medsen Fey
09-27-2010, 10:08 AM
Freezing may not help all fruits - Mangoes actually lose flavor when frozen - so it may vary depending on what you are using. The fruit does need to be thawed, but you can do that in your fermentation bucket.

jkane
09-27-2010, 10:16 AM
Most beginners under estimate how much fruit it takes to get a strong fruit flavor in the final product. Think big! Lot's of fruit. Like 20 lbs in a 5 gallon batch of mead.

Don't be afraid to go big on the fruit. Unless it's bananas. :eek:

akueck
09-27-2010, 01:31 PM
Freezing may not help all fruits - Mangoes actually lose flavor when frozen - so it may vary depending on what you are using. The fruit does need to be thawed, but you can do that in your fermentation bucket.

Good call, I forgot about that. Tomatoes also lose flavor, even if only refrigerated.

ash
09-27-2010, 11:45 PM
what is thawed ?

And why is using bananas in great quantities not good?

I would like to do something based on the JAO with strawberries, any tips?

akueck
09-28-2010, 12:40 AM
Unfreeze = thaw. ;D

ash
09-28-2010, 09:01 AM
ow sry, not a native english speaker ;-)

jkane
09-28-2010, 09:53 AM
I've never had banana mead! I am not a fan of them to begin with. It's just a joke. If you like them ... then what ever works!

Fruit juice is easier. Concentrates are very handy if you can find them.

Whole fruit has more flavors, but also might have flavors you don't want. It's a trade off.

Freezing comes in handy when dealing with thick skinned friut since it helps to break it open. On the other hand, there are a lot of bacteria in a freezer. So again, it's a trade off!

I and my wife disagree on chop vs mash. I am for chopping she says mash is easier. The trade off there is ease of removing the friut when you are done. If you run fruit through a food processor, it will be very fine, and gets pulled into a racking tube. If you slice, it's easier to leave it behind. But, in the end, time will settle it all to the bottom. So only if speed is important do you need to worry about the two methods.

skunkboy
09-28-2010, 07:38 PM
I like to mash a lot of types of berries (raspberries, blueberries, currants) in plastic bags before I freeze them. Then they are very broken up, but still in larger chunks rather than a fine mess...

Chevette Girl
09-29-2010, 12:32 AM
I and my wife disagree on chop vs mash. I am for chopping she says mash is easier. The trade off there is ease of removing the friut when you are done. If you run fruit through a food processor, it will be very fine, and gets pulled into a racking tube. If you slice, it's easier to leave it behind. But, in the end, time will settle it all to the bottom. So only if speed is important do you need to worry about the two methods.

Two words: MESH BAG!