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Gillian's First Perry

  • 50 lbs (approximately) of unknown variety pears
  • Yeastlab British Ale Yeast (A04)

I picked the pears and left them to stand for one week in a cool well aired area. I did not wash them or cut out any diseased parts. I did discard obviously rotten fruit. I cut the pears into small slices and ran them through my fruit juicer. This machine was made to cope with the odd orange at breakfast, not such a volume of pears! It coped well enough but took hours. I'll never do it that way again, next time I'll make, buy or hire a cider/fruit press.

The pears yielded approximately 2 1/2 gallons of juice to which I added 3 crushed campden tablets, 3 tsp of pectolase, and 3 tsp of yeast nutrient. I covered the juice and let it stand for 24 hours. The pH was 3.6 - perfect, and the O.G. 1065. I pitched the yeast and left the juice to get on and ferment. I racked after 4 weeks at which time the gravity was 1010. 4 weeks after that I bottled the perry and started drinking it just a few weeks after bottling.

I should have left the perry to mature for a few months so it could undergo a malo- lactic fermentation. It was a little sharp because I didn't do this. However, having said that, it was one of the best perries I've ever drunk, even if I do say so myself. I have no idea what variety pears they were I used, however the tree is very old (200-300 years) and I strongly suspect it is an old perry variety. Sadly the tree is dying, but I'm determined to get some grafts before its demise - a pear like that can't be wasted.

Gillian Grafton


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