Ramble: This recipe for pear cider or pear wine is simple and delicious. At our farmers market right now pears are going for $2.50 for 8 quarts! That's almost enough for two gallons of this delicious beverage!
4 lbs. Pears peeled and sliced
boiling water to 1 gallon
6 cups sugar
1/8 tsp. tannins
1/2 tsp. pectic enzyme
1tsp yeast nutrient
champagne or wine yeast
Peel and slice the pears into small chunks. Place in a sanitized stock pot. In another pot, bring your water to a rapid boil. Carefully pour the water over the chopped pears, place lid over them, and allow them to sit until the entire mixture reaches room temperature, or at least under 100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 38 centigrade). Add the pectic enzyme and stir about to mix it in.
Let sit overnight. The following day the pectic enzyme will have made your pears quite mushy, use a very well-washed hand or better yet a sanitized potato masher to squish the pears even more. Give the mixture time to sit and let the pear juice work its way out of the fruit. This can be anywhere from a few hours to overnight. More time generally means more pear flavor.
After having sat a while, use a cheesecloth (two layers is best) or a few turkey stuffing bags, or beer boiling bags to strain the juice from the pears. Do not squeeze the juice out if you can help it, just let it sit!
Add in all other ingredients, making sure that the sugar, tannins, and yeast nutrient are dissolved, and place the entire mixture into your sanitized fermenter, with an airlock attached. All for fermentation, and bottle when clear!
How to make it bubbly: I know I like my pear cider bubbly, so here's how it goes: If you're filling a beer bottle/small bottles: add 1 tsp sugar to each bottle before filling. If using wine bottles add 1 1/2 tsp. sugar to the bottle before filling. Store at room temperature for a few weeks to get carbonation, and keep the bottles in a Rubbermaid bin or leak-proof container if possible. If you have added too much sugar your corks could pop or your bottles could explode. This has only ever happened to me once, a long time ago, when I added way way too much sugar when bottling. With these proportions I have never had a problem! Also, good synthetic number 9 corks stay wedged in the best!
Related Recipes: meddyglyn, light mead, medium mead, sweet mead, apple cider