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THawk
10-22-2011, 08:54 AM
Browsing "Oskaarz Blue Berriez Cyser" recipe gave me some inspiration for this...

I'm making a blueberry melomel JAO style (probably also with bread yeast) though I might consider adding the berries to the "blank canvas" (see the Mead Log) must I just prepared...

I tried to get frozen blueberries today but couldn't find any. I guess the question I have is whether rehydrating dried berries would make a difference (no, I don't plan to rehydrate them and then freeze them!!) :)

I guess one difference would be that unlike the frozen berries, rehydrating these won't have a syrup/sauce that the fruit will come in... will they be sweeter though, is another question...

Does the rule of thumb still hold for this (approx 1lb / gallon for mild fruit taste -- more if you want a stronger taste)?

Any comments/advice/suggestions welcome.

fatbloke
10-22-2011, 09:47 AM
Well the "wine maestro" over at another forum I post at, recommends that however much fresh fruit you might use normally, then with dried fruit to achieve (roughly) the same level of "fruitiness", then the dried fruit should be 25% of the original fresh fruit level, so if it says 3lb of whatever then 3/4's of a lb should be subbed if using dried fruit.

Dunno if that's any help......

TheAlchemist
10-22-2011, 10:17 AM
Most dried berries are dried with apple juice (if called "natural") or with corn syrup. Read the label carefully. Also look for sulfites. You're only getting pure dried berries if you dehydrate them yourself.

Midnight Sun
10-22-2011, 01:48 PM
Before making my own blueberry cyser, I did quite a bit of searching these forums and others with regard to dried fruit versus fresh fruit. The consensus was exactly as stated by fatbloke: 1 unit of dried fruit is about the same as 4 units of fresh.

One thing additional to what was stated by TheAlchemist: sometimes an oil is added so that the fruit does not stick together much. The dried blueberries I used had sunflower oil added. When I rehydrated them, there was a little oil on the surface, but it could only be seen in by reflection. There was not enough to make an effort to remove it.

Oh, and if you're going to rehydrate the fruit for a day before pressing, consider letting the berries sit for two days. I only waited one day and a lot of the berries were still hard. I was using a potato masher and the hard berries made my arm tired. Spoilage shouldn't be a problem if kept in the refrigerator, and you can sulfite them if you are feeling cautious.

Chevette Girl
10-22-2011, 05:49 PM
I use raisins a lot and small amounts (up to 1 lb per gallon) the oil's not too much of a problem, but I've found my favourite way to mash rehydrated dried fruit is to put it and its soaking water into the blender for a few seconds, WHIZZZZZ, done. Especially small things like blueberries, my potato masher's holes are all too big and I miss squishing a lot of small berries.

THawk
10-22-2011, 06:43 PM
so how do you de-oil 2 lbs of rehydrated berries? :)

what's the effect of not removing the oil?

YogiBearMead726
10-22-2011, 06:52 PM
so how do you de-oil 2 lbs of rehydrated berries? :)

what's the effect of not removing the oil?

Can't tell if you're being sarcastic in regard to CG's post, but on the off chance you aren't, I like rehydrating berries in a 1 gallon carboy. After a day, I vigorously shake to remove oil, pour off the resulting liquid, and then add fresh water. By the second day, the berries are rehydrated, and most all of the oil is gone. Of course, you could always do this a third time if the berries were really coated in oil.

I've never actually seen this as an issue, but I've heard that the oil can cause spoilage. How, again, I'm not sure. Maybe someone with more o-chem knowledge can chime in about the negative effects of oil in fermentation.

In small amounts, I've heard of it being added to supplement oxygenation of the must. Again though, I can't say I have any experience with trying this out.

THawk
10-22-2011, 07:00 PM
Can't tell if you're being sarcastic in regard to CG's post...

Nope. Before today I didn't even know that dehydrated berries are in oil... then again, I'm not terribly fond of dried berries (as a snack) to begin with. :)

In terms of mashing them, I could do it Oskaar's way -- mashing them manually... though that might be messy. I was thinking of using a 2-gallon ferment bucket since I'll be adding the must to that vessel anyway...

YogiBearMead726
10-22-2011, 07:41 PM
I was thinking of using a 2-gallon ferment bucket since I'll be adding the must to that vessel anyway...

Sounds like an excellent idea. Less clean up at the end.

THawk
10-22-2011, 09:58 PM
Most dried berries are dried with apple juice (if called "natural") or with corn syrup. Read the label carefully. Also look for sulfites. You're only getting pure dried berries if you dehydrate them yourself.

what would the effect of sulfites in the berries be?

Again, I'm not being sarcastic or facetious -- just something I've never come across before.

I'm assuming that the 1:4 ratio is because the flavor is more concentrated in the dried berry than the fresh/frozen ones?

Midnight Sun
10-23-2011, 01:40 AM
The sulfites are added to some fruit to inhibit bacterial growth. Someone else may know better, but it is my understanding that if you rehydrate the berries over a day or two, the sulfites will dissipate. No different than if you dose with a campden tablet.

You are correct regarding the concentrated flavor in dried berries vs fresh. I have not bothered to weigh my rehydrated berries, but I bet that 1 lb of dried berries weighs near 4 lb when rehydrated. Whatever the exact ratio though, I can tell you that the 5 lb of dried blueberries in my 5 gallon mead smells and tastes like BLUEBERRIES!;D

Chevette Girl
10-23-2011, 11:53 AM
Sulphites in dried fruit also protect the colour. Soaking them overnight and discarding the soak-water will get rid of most of it but I haven't had to deal with that, the only dried fruits I get that have been sulphited tend to be apricots, which I eat too fast to make into wine.

Raisins and other dried fruits are often given a light coating of vegetable oil to keep them from sticking together all in a clump. I buy most of my dried fruit in bulk and it indicates whether the fruit contains sulphites and/or oil. When I made my raisin sherry (8 lb raisins/gal), I rehydrated in hot water in a stock pot which brought out a fair amount of the oil which floated while the raisins sank, I then left it overnight to cool and skimmed off what oil I could and then swirled the surface around as I was ladling the stuff into the blender, it kept the oil particles I couldn't catch to the sides of the pot while I scooped out of the middle. I haven't bothered with any form of treatment as long as I was keeping the amount below about a pound per gallon, you may not notice even with two pounds.

THawk
10-24-2011, 01:44 AM
The ones I have at home are in Sunflower oil. Kirkland brand (costco, I believe)... 600g bag. No sulfites (at least, it's not in the ingredient list)...

THawk
10-24-2011, 01:55 AM
so if I were to rehydrate dried berries, should I put the vessel into the fridge overnight or just leave them on the counter?

Chevette Girl
10-24-2011, 11:36 AM
I leave mine out overnight. If I weren't able to deal with them that day, I might refrigerate them, but overnight they'll be OK.