If you’ve been reading along, you know that last month I started a test batch of perry. For reasons I still don’t understand, while it was in primary fermentation it separated into a hazy upper layer and a cloudy bottom layer. To avoid transferring the cloudy layer, I only racked the upper two-thirds into secondary fermentation. Now I’m watching it closely because it has a lot of head space, making it vulnerable to oxygen exposure which could turn it to vinegar.
Rather than sit and wait to see what happens (will the perry come out? will I like it?), I jumped right into experimenting with new pear juices and yeasts, because why not?
I put together four test batches, using two kinds of pure pear juice and two kinds of yeast.
The few true perries I’ve had (that is fermented pear juice, not fermented apple juice with pear flavoring) were made from nothing more than juice and yeast. Pear juice has more sugars, including more unfermentable sugars, than apple juice. When fermented, perry finishes a bit sweeter than cider. Which is why I didn’t feel the need to add sugar to these.
I also didn’t take any hydrometer readings. I planned to. I bought this combination wine thief/tester:
It’s supposed to make taking hydrometer readings less wasteful by allowing you to take a quick sample, measure the juice, and put it back into the jug. Since I’m making small test batches I don’t always take readings because I don’t want to sacrifice any juice. Unfortunately, the juice levels in the gallon jug weren’t high enough to get any hydrometer readings. I’d guess, however, it works great with three gallon carboys or larger.
The cydery is now at capacity, or so J. has told me. Nothing else can be started until all of this is bottled.