View Full Version : Reducing astringency

anir dendroica
10-13-2013, 12:30 PM
I am starting two batches of quince mead this week, using fresh-pressed juice. For the first, I simmered the juice for an hour hoping to change the color to red and to reduce the astringency. The color change happened beautifully, and the flavor/acid profile is very nice, but it is still mouth-puckering. Letting it sit with a double dose of pectic enzyme now, and will add honey and yeast later today.

For those with experience fermenting chokecherries/persimmons/quince/etc.:

1. Does fermentation reduce astringency?

2. If not, have you had luck with gelatin/eggwhite fining to bind and precipitate tannins?

Given that my simmering seems to have accomplished only a color change, while stripping some of the more volatile floral aromas, I am going to try only a mild pasteurizing heating with the next batch, and will see how the two compare.


10-13-2013, 04:11 PM
Quince ? dunno. Been looking for some, without much luck.

The only recipes using them tend to be cooked ones. While they're apple/pear family, I don't know their flavour so no idea whether they'll need something to mask the astringency or not.


Make the batch, then back sweeten in very small increments. Sweet can balance things quite nicely if done carefully.......

Medsen Fey
10-13-2013, 05:13 PM
I have not worked with quince, but there are other fruits that have similar issues. With persimmons, if you let them get super-ripe the astringency is much less pronounced. I don't know if that works with quince.

With carambola, after you press the juice, if you cold-settle for 24-48 hours and rack off the sediment before fermentation you cut the astringency. I believe that using a centrifuge would be even better, and possibly coarse filtration would be an option. You might try something like this.

After fermentation I have found egg whites to be a pain. I know PVPP will reduce tannic astringency, and gelatin can also help in some fruit where I've run into this. You'll have to tell us how it works on quince

anir dendroica
10-13-2013, 08:00 PM
I will let you know how it goes. I'm not sure why cooking the fruit eliminates the astringency while boiling the juice does not have the same effect. Perhaps the proteins that the tannins react with are present in the pulp but not the juice?

From what I have read PVPP is better for removing small, bitter tannins while gelatin and eggwhite are better for large, astringent tannins. Eggwhite does sound like an excessive pain (and possibly unsanitary), and it appears that gelatin is equally effective.

Chevette Girl
10-14-2013, 12:00 AM
I made a particularly bitter highbush cranberry batch years ago and it's taking the tannins a few years to drop out and make it drinkable, but it is improving every time I check...