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  1. #1
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    Default Cooking down fruit before fermenting

    So I've seen people make meads and wine with fruit jams. So I was curious does anyone cook down their fruit first before fermenting with it? Advantages/disadvantages?
    Stuff~

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
    If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.

  2. #2
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    I do not cook mine down (raspberry, black berry, oranges etc) I do wash them and sort out potential bad fruit. Sometimes we get good deals on frozen berry and I dump them in after washing. Maybe some fruit would benefit from heating to free up some sugars like the beer process.


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  3. #3

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    I learned the hard way that some pectic haze just doesn't clear with some fruits... be careful with heat. Not all fruit is the same. I've had great luck with boiling watermelon and bananas but berries are different. Plus if you boil too hot, I've noticed a cooked taste. Low boil at 150F works good for me.
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
    I do not cook mine down (raspberry, black berry, oranges etc) I do wash them and sort out potential bad fruit. Sometimes we get good deals on frozen berry and I dump them in after washing. Maybe some fruit would benefit from heating to free up some sugars like the beer process.


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    Some people say that mashing releases harsh tannins from the seeds but I never had a problem with mashing mine... maybe my palate isn't that sensative.

    Best policy is to freeze and let them soak on the secondary for no longer than 2 weeks... in a fine bag... u don't want seeds soaking in your mead for long periods. Most of the flavor is absorbed within that time frame.
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  5. #5
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    We mash up berries but not aggressively. I had not heard the tannin issue. Good to know. I added a healthy dose of pectin to my last batch of blackberry and it was still hazy. It has settled out in the secondary. We are debating adding some more to the secondary.
    My sister just told me they have used canned fruit for wine. But the cooked preserved fruit has a lot of white sugar added.


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  6. #6
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    Ive been messing with baking it followed with a flambé. Only 1 try so far but no problems with it, just a different flavor. Used it on a finished mead. Its pretty cool to light your fruit on fire. And makes you break the seal on the 151. Game over.

  7. Default

    I have been using a canning pressure cooker tosteam extract juice from fruit, and it has worked very well.
    Juice only, no pulp, seeds, or skins to deal with.
    Caveat: My pressure cooker is aluminum, and old (Circa 1950) and has started to corrode.
    I just had to dump five gallons of Cyser, five gallons of wild plum melomel and five gallons of persimmon mel because the aluminum leached into the juice, creating a taste not unlike connecting a penny to a filling with aluminum foil in your mouth.
    Now shopping for a stainless steel cooker.

  8. #8
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    Aluminium + Acids = Disastrous results. I did that a long time ago in my learning-to-cook years with foods, figured out the aluminium was the cause & have not used that type of cookware in about 30 years. I have read that even using an aluminium funnel for wine/vinegar/beer leaves a residual nasty as well, yes some people fill their bottles with funnels!

    As for cooking down fruit I would advise against that as pokerfacepablo pointed out there are certain fruits that set the pectins and are then near impossible to clear, if ever. Berries are particularly good at setting up firm once cooked down, desirable when making jams, but not so much for mead. I know that some people get good results from jams in the grocery store, but those would have less pectin in them than whole fresh berries just cooked to down to a sludge then added. Plus the whole flavor change. That is somewhat similar to a bochet, you loose the honey varietal character only to be replaced with a new and interesting one (my bochet still has a few more months to age at least). I make a fresh berry jam that is nothing like my cooked berry jams from the same batch of berries out of my own yard.

    IME YMMV...
    Mazerotic Encephalopathic Affective Disorder (M.E.A.D.) - Gntlknigt1

  9. #9
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    Yeah I had no real plans of trying it, was just reading how some people have used jams and was wondering if the process was any easier or tougher. but maybe I will now just to try it to see
    Stuff~

    Quote Originally Posted by fatbloke View Post
    If someone else doesn't think it's right, then ***k 'em. They can make their own.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
    I added a healthy dose of pectin to my last batch of blackberry and it was still hazy. It has settled out in the secondary. We are debating adding some more to the secondary.
    I hope that was supposed to be pectic enzyme...adding pectin to meads would have to be disastrous. Don't think I've ever drunk a jellied mead; might be interesting though. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by pokerfacepablo View Post
    Low boil at 150F works good for me.
    Hehe, is that like "high freezing" at 45°F? ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by kernel crush View Post
    Its pretty cool to light your fruit on fire. And makes you break the seal on the 151. Game over.
    Lighting my fruit on fire...now that brought all sorts of painful images to my mind. :-D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggyman View Post
    My pressure cooker is aluminum, and old (Circa 1950) and has started to corrode.
    Yep, Heat + acid + untreated aluminum (ie Reactive) = Nasty taste.

    That stinks big time. I hope you said a few choice words over it as you threw it out. I know I would.

    Quote Originally Posted by McJeff View Post
    So I've seen people make meads and wine with fruit jams. So I was curious does anyone cook down their fruit first before fermenting with it? Advantages/disadvantages?
    I would be afraid to use any jams at all; seems like too much work to try and get it into a nice final product without the pectin thickeners in it. I always opt for fresh whole fruits, or maybe a little simmer at 150° to sorta pseudo-pasteurize it. But that's it. No more boiling delicate florals and fruits for me. If it can't survive the mazering process without heat, then I don't need it.

  11. #11
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    Yes pectic enzyme, you are correct. But now you may have just found a new taste sensation, Mead Jelly.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaggyman View Post
    I have been using a canning pressure cooker tosteam extract juice from fruit, and it has worked very well.
    Juice only, no pulp, seeds, or skins to deal with.
    Caveat: My pressure cooker is aluminum, and old (Circa 1950) and has started to corrode.
    I just had to dump five gallons of Cyser, five gallons of wild plum melomel and five gallons of persimmon mel because the aluminum leached into the juice, creating a taste not unlike connecting a penny to a filling with aluminum foil in your mouth.
    Now shopping for a stainless steel cooker.
    Just a curiosity question, would you equate that to " distilling" your fruit with the pressure cooker?


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingnut View Post
    Yes pectic enzyme, you are correct. But now you may have just found a new taste sensation, Mead Jelly.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have three jars of delicious mead jelly in my fridge right now. I highly recommend it. No kidding. Search the net and you will find several good recipes for it.


    Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.

  14. #14
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    Thanks! I'll do that.


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  15. #15
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    Just avoid the Pomona Pectin one. Not enough sugar makes the end result yucky IMO.


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  16. #16
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    I have been known to extract juice from pears and crabapples and wild grapes the same way for wine/mead as I would for jam/jelly. I don't find it leaves a cooked flavour (although I try to be minimal about it, only just simmer and only long enough to release the juice) and I've never had a problem with clearing anything I've used pectinase on (except that damn banana wine that is resisting all efforts to clear).

    And because I came from a winemaking background before I got into meads, standard operating procedure for me even if I hadn't heated the fruit to release the juice was to boil my water and sugar together (partially to make sure the sugar dissolved completely, partially because I sometimes buy sugar in bulk and who knows who's put what in there, best to boil it) and then pour it over my mashed fruit in my mesh bag. There's some discussion about whether this quick scald is helpful in setting the colour, a lot of people report losing colour with certain fruits and I think the only time I've had a mead lose its colour has been when everything was done cold.

    Mashing fruit shouldn't release tannins unless you're cracking the seeds, this is why using a blender isn't recommended. I have heard though, that aggressive squeezing of the fruit bag can release tannins from certain fruit skins (pears for one) but I haven't really noticed a difference myself.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannye View Post
    I have three jars of delicious mead jelly in my fridge right now. I highly recommend it. No kidding. Search the net and you will find several good recipes for it.
    I have a little jar of mead jelly someone gave me years ago that I've just never opened... I bet it's fantastic though.

    ...but I have made a lot of jams and jellies, including some using wines I've made.

    My standard recipe for jelly using juice or wine is to follow the standard procedures for BerNARdin or Certo (bring juice and pectin to boil, add sugar, return to boil, boil hard 1 minute, bottle), using 4 cups liquid, 5 to 5.5 cups sugar (5 cups will give you a jelly that's just on the trembling edge of set, 5-1/2 cups will give you a nice firm jelly, I usually go for about 5-1/4 for something in the middle), and one package of pectin crystals. Makes around six 1-cup jars of jelly by the time you're all done. You may want a quarter-tsp of acid blend or a few tsp of lemon juice (remove equal amount of liquid from the 4 cups or it might not set) if you use a mead or mel that's really sweet and doesn't have much bite to it.

    And you don't have to worry about using a wine that's been treated with pectinase either, as boiling it as per the directions will denature the pectinase!
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
    "When you consider that laziness and procrastination are the fundamentals of great mead, it is a miracle that the mazer cup happens." Medsen Fey, 2014
    "Sure it can be done. I've never heard of it, but I do things I've never heard if all the time. That is the beauty of being a brewer!" - Loveofrose, 2014
    "I tend to....um, er, experiment, and go outside the box. Sometimes outside the whole department store." - Ebonhawk, 2014

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