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asian pear juice brandy


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We distill about 20,000 lb of pears a year. We grind the pears, acidify the mash slightly with malic acid to lower the pH, add yeast, and after a few days of fermentation run the pears through a screening machine to remove stems and seeds. Pears ferment easily, but are more prone to spoilage than apple mash due to higher pH so they need to be distilled promptly at the end of fermentation. We occasionally add pectin enzyme and a glucoamalyase if the pears are under ripe, but it is not critical. We've worked from juice a few times in the past for specific projects and haven't needed to add any yeast nutrients, but it was unfilitered & unpasteurized juice.

There is a producer in Oregon called Big Bottom who made an asian pear brandy, the flavor is relatively mild compared to using bartletts.

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We just did a few hundred pounds of asian pears fermented on the crushed fruit. We have not yet distilled. Juice in mash was in the 4s. That will probably drop during fermentation, considered some citric acidification, although malic like apples makes sense. We plan to distill on crushed fruit to get maximum aromatics. I would be concerned that without the peel, you might be light in aromatics for asian pear, compared to european pears.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We want a lower pH, targeting something closer to 3.3. The pears are fermented at relatively cool temperatures (~60F) so they proceed relatively slowly and are susceptible to bacterial problems at higher pH.

We avoid using citric acid for acidifying mashes, based on some materials from MSU which said

" During primary fermentation and subsequent aging fruit acids are
decomposed through bacterial activity. In most cherry mashes the
decomposition of malic acid to lactic acid occurs without adversely
changing the mash. In the production of wine the conversion of the
“hard” malic acid into the “softer” lactic acid is in sometimes desired and
a secondary malo-lactic fermentation in undertaken intentionally. The
bacterial decomposition of citric acid leads to formation of lactic acid,
acetic acid, formic acid, and acetaldehyde which can be detrimental to
the mash and can appear in the resulting distillate. Decomposition
processes are associated with an increase of the pH which increases the
susceptibility of the mash to bacteria. "

We've distilled probably 9 different pears, and bartletts are very distinctive. Having tried some asian pear ciders, I think the flavor/fruit notes might be pretty light. Seemed like it would make a good vodka base, where you just want a pleasant suggestion of fruit.

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