It’s that time of year again.  It’s pressing time!  And this year I had the great fortune to be given a crop of perry pears.

Perry Pear

Last year I bought a workshop press with a 12 tonne hydrolic bottle jack to use as a press for making cider.  I managed to make some ok cider, and it gave me more confidence to experiment this year.  As said, I have been given some lovely perry pears (variety unknown).  So over the weekend I embarked on pressing them to get the lovely juice out.

The process of pressing I find incredibly enjoyable.  It involves firstly sorting the pears and disgarding any that are way beyond their best; washing them; mashing them; then pressing them.  Below shows the set up I have.

press

Once the pessing starts the juice collects in the plastic tray at the bottom.

close up of press

I’ve managed to get around 4 gallons of juice, which when measured had a gravity of 1.065 which works out to be a potential alcohol content of around 8% if the fermentation process is allowed to run its course, and no additional sugar is added.  I plan to allow this perry to be as natural as possible, so I will be relying on natural yeast rather than adding any years to the juice.  When I’ve done this in the past with cider I’ve had a good result.  I don’t wish to have a perry that is 8% as that would mean all the natural sugars have been converted into alcohol, and I’d like some sweetness to the flavour. So I will more than likely bottle early on and allow but will allow fermentation to continue in the bottle, which will give the perry a fizz!

perry

Above is the perry.  There is a weeks difference between the two on the left and on the right.  As can be seen the colouration changes as the sediment drops to the bottom.  Once the fermentation has got to the stage I am happy with I will syphon off the perry and put into smaller bottles.

I’ll report back once the whole process has had time to do it’s thing!

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