View Full Version : My pear is ... lacking something

Commander Toasty
06-30-2005, 07:21 PM
Just racked my fresh pear to long term aging, and of course reserved a fair amount to sample right away. I made this with fresh pears, and 1118.

Everything is fine. Nothing offensive at all, no bad odors or flavors. Has about the kick I expected, and nicely without any hint of alcohol in nose or taste.

It has a good fruit (pear) up front just as I hoped. It has a nice honey hint right in the middle. And then...nothing. No finish at all. There's no back end to this drink!

It certainly doesn't need any more sugar/fruit anything. But it is lacking something, and I can't peg it. Maybe a spice to work on the back of the tongue? As I just racked for storage I have an opportunity to fine tune. Any suggestions? Oak would round it but it is already pretty well rounded, and actually it's drinkable right now. So I suspect some spice might play well to make this more complex.

Ladies and gentlemen - your finely tuned skills are required!

06-30-2005, 07:36 PM
Try some citric acid, or an acid blend to give it a crisp ending, maybe a small amount of tannin to bring it out in the fore and late finish.

Hope that helps,


06-30-2005, 08:30 PM
Cinnamon & pear - a marriage made in heaven.

Since you want a liquid addition, boil a chpped-up pear in a little of the must with a cinnamon stick (for 20 minutes?), strain to get a concentrated cinnamon/pear syrup (and sweetened to match the must sweetness), then once it has cooled, add judiciously to the must to get the balance of flavour that you want.

Any left-over cinnamon/pear syrup can be sweetened to make a topping for ice-cream.

06-30-2005, 11:51 PM
Hey James,

I think the cinnamon is a great suggestion. Additionally a bit of citric or acid blend would help to turn up the finish.

The fruit would help on the wash, but Toasty indicated the fruit is well represented, so I think the cinnamon, citric/blend, and tannin would really help tune up the finish.



07-01-2005, 12:18 AM
... but Toasty indicated the fruit is well represented

... I was too busy thinking about it as a topping for ice-cream ;D

07-01-2005, 12:38 AM
LOL, right there with ya!


07-01-2005, 12:41 AM
I'm rather with Oskaar on this one -- a touch of acid. I find a nice tannin "bite" to be good to close off the finish, too, but this can easily over-power the rest of the mead if you have a heavy hand with it. Acid and tannin to taste only, I think, since it's drinkable as is -- no need to anticipate mellowing here.

Just my view.


Commander Toasty
07-01-2005, 06:17 PM
Thanks guys - I think you got it.
I took some must (one quart) and added a little honey and cinnamon, and put to boil. Meanwhile I added one tsp of grape tannin and tasted - improved. I adjusted the acid by taste, but then measured and on the wine scale it came to .65 and seems perfectly balanced. Threw everything around the room for a few minutes and racked, reserving a pint for experiments. Very interesting!

The pear is still up front, and no real flavor of cinnamon fighting it. But the nose is all cinnamon! What a wonderful thing, a delightful balance between the nose and flavor.

Taking the acid balance up did bring on the honey a bit more in the middle, and I would prefer it to be a bit more dry, but it's fine and strictly a matter of personal taste. Very happy with where it is now.

I did indeed pick up some mouth feel, and some noticable finish with just a barest hint of tannin. My inclination is to add a bit more. But since tannin should go in during primary, I'm not sure if what I have already done will develop with some time, so I'm not going to mess with it for a while to see if it goes anywhere. If it stays as-is I'll drop in perhaps another half tsp before bottling.

But all told this is a great little pear melomel, and I already can't stand the thought of waitng a few years to see where it goes!

07-01-2005, 07:42 PM
I find that the taste of pear juice is closely related to the taste of apple juice.
So, if you are still looking at adding a little bit of acid to bring the melomel into balance, consider using malic acid, which is found in apples.

The other two most commonly used acids are citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grapes). An acid blend is usually a combination of all three.

If you use an acid blend, try to find out the percentage of each individual acid. The acid blend I am currently using on my batches is 40% citric acid / 30% malic acid / 30% tartaric acid.

Brian K

07-01-2005, 10:56 PM
Glad that was helpful toasty. For different types of tannin that are very good at self disbusring, check out Scott Laboratories. They have several different type to choose from, and they each have their own nuances for dark and light wines.



07-02-2005, 03:31 AM
I have a question... when does one need to use acid?


07-02-2005, 05:50 AM
Generally acid is called for to bring some tartness back into the mead at the end. Acid will balance the sweetness of mead, as well as add complexity and bring a structure to mead that is lacking/low in acid. It helps to crisp the finish, and broaden/bind the mid.

As mentioned below there are generally three acids used in meads, malic, citric and tartaric. They each have their own nuances and using each individually, or a blend of the three is a pretty common practice.

Hope that helps,