The Art of Fermenting Fruit
Wine & Mead Making Tips & Recipe's from around the world

Raspberry Mead Pulque

Yes, once again I am head butting with the trends. I picked a butt load of Raspberries the other day as one of the local farms had a great deal on U-pick Raspberries for 99 cents a pound. Soooo I spent a few hours picking followed by a few days in pain. The resulting bounty was 20 pounds of berries which I quickly made into juice via my favorite steam juice extractor which you will see an amazon ad for on the left. I honestly cannot say enough good things about this juice extractor. It is by far my best investment when it comes to making wine.

OK, enough with the promotion of someone elses product and onto the wine making. If you do decide to purchase one though, please help out this blog (AKA my wallet) and buy it through the link on this page. Now onto the recipe

The resulting juice from the steam extraction was about 8 litres or just over 2 US Gallons which is 2 Canadian Gallons... Eh!
In the past, I have watered down the juice to save money but this time I figured I would go as close to pure as possible, sure I would end up with less wine, but with any luck it will be a much better product.

As with most of my endevours, I first checked out what Jack had to say on the topic. In case you don't know, Jack Keller has become known as a sort of online wine Guru of sorts (Sorry Jack) He has given me advice on a few ocassions, I usually listen to what he has to say and go ahead and do what I want. Nothing against his advice, I'm just a stubborn Kraut.

So back to the recipe. Focus Heinz, focus. (I blame the heat wave in Vancouver)

So like I said, Pure juice very little water if any.

Due to the size of my primary, I removed some of the juice and ended up with 7.5 litres (or Liters in US Speak) The specific gravity pre any sugar was already at 1.030 so I did not need to add much unless I wanted to make hooch.

Raspberry Mead-Pulque

7 1/2 litres juice
1 tsp Citric acid

2 cups agave brought it up to 1.050

2 cups honey brought it up to 1.076 so I added
1 cup honey which resulted in a specific gravity of 1.083
2 cups water brought it back down to 1.081
1 tsp Energizer
1 Pack Lalvin K1-V1116 Yeast, Why.... Because

Added After Primary Fermentation:

3 Teaspoons Powdered Stevia

As an experiment, I added 1 tsp of stevia to flask brought spec gravity up by
.04. In a previous post on using Stevia to sweeten wine, I mentioned Stevia as a non-fermentable sugar. I wanted to see of the addition of Stevia pre-fermentation had an effect on the Specific gravity... well it does. So for those looking at using Stevia to sweeten their wine should add it after your final reading as it will give you a false potential alcohol level seeing as Stevia does not ferment and you will never be able to ferment to dry (per your hydrometer reading)
You can see the Stevia post here

The specific gravity of the full batch ended up being 1.082 (keep in mind, a small amount of that was as a result of Stevia.

Just as a little clarification for those unfamiliar with Mead and Pulque. Mead is made with Honey instead of sugar and Pulque is made with Agave Nectar (The same stuff they use to make Tequila) In Mexico, the resluting wine is called Pulque, or Nectar of the Gods. Tequila is made by taking the Pulque and distilling it a number of times.

inocculated 8:17 PM Thursday July 8, 2010. Updates will follow as comments.

Cheers

Comments

Just a note. The morning after innoculation, i woke up to a bloody mess on the top of my fridge (Where I keep my primary while fermenting.) As it turns out, perhaps I did not need as much nutrient as I put in. I guess being used to a slightly watered down juice made me go heavy.

The must was all over the place. Luckily only a few cups escaped and most of it was pulp and foam so all is good.

I will let you know as things progress.

When I checked my batch of Rasberry Mead-Pulque this morning it was sitting at approx 1.014 but had lost alot of its' fermentation vigor. Soooo I added a sprinkle of energizer on the top and let it sit for a few more hours.

When I came back home I noticed the pulp was starting to settle and the Specific gravity was now at 1.006 and didn't really show any intent of going below that.

I gave the batch a bit of a stir and added in 3 Teaspoons of Stevia powder. From earlier in the post you may remember me mentioning Stevia is a non-fermentable sugar. In my initial experiment, I noticed Stevia add to the specific gravity of the Must. In this case, there did not seem to be any noticable change other than a sweeter wine. Perhaps the clumps of stevia need to break up to give me an accurate reading. I will check at the end of the day.

Very interesting data! I was hoping to make a good natural raspberry wine because so many commercial brewers utilize esters to flavor the solution and make it taste like raspberry, but you can tell the difference and its not a good one!

Quick notes:
1) As I was reading I was screaming "No!! Watch out!" when I saw that you did not strain your pure raspberry solution. The pure solution will have a lot of pulp, seeds, protein strains, and fibers and that all makes for a sticky concoction of solids. Those solids likely lifted to the surface during the early fermentation process to make a sort of organic cork at the top of your fermenting vessel. Pressure built up and solids and some juice shot out all over your fridge (don't fret, happens to everyone now and again. I have had it happen to me several times!) Just don't forget next time to strain out the pulp or ferment in a large top fermenter, such as a bucket.
2) Stevia...is gross...in my opinion though. Just fyi, specific gravity is the measurement of the gravity of your solution over the gravity of water. So if you add anything into your solution that is more dense than water (sugars, most solid particulates, proteins, etc) or anything less dense (ethanol, methanol, etc) then your specific gravity will change accordingly.

P.S. I made a wine and resweetened with stevia post-fermentation and my parents loved it, but I despised it. Although they are on a diet so maybe it is an acquired taste.

Sources:
1) 3 years brewing
2) B.S. in Chemistry
3) performed research on fermentation

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