Ol’ Pear Wine


Posted by Nate

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Last Update: September 6, 2010

We’ve got pears dropping like mad in the front yard, more than I can ever remember having. So, what do you do with an excess of ripe fruit? Brew some pear wine.

20 Lb.Ripe Pears (weight after coring, trimming)
4 Lb.Raisins
8 Lb.Sugar
1/2 CupHoney (Optional sweetener)
3 tsp.Acid Blend
4Campden Tablets
3 tsp.Pectic Enzyme
4 tsp.Yeast Nutrient
1 packageCote des Blancs Wine Yeast

Total price of supplies was $8.04 (free pears, already had some raisins and wine yeast).


After rinsing them, I cut all of the pears into small chunks while removing the stems, cores, and any bugs or bad spots that were on them. The cut pears were put into a 5 gallon brewing bucket, and then the sugar and raisins were added.

This was my first time using Campden tablets. From what I read, they will inhibit the growth of wild yeasts and infectants in the must, but in larger quantities they will also stop the fermentation of the wine when desired. The Campden tablets were crushed and added to the pears and sugar, and then roughly four gallons of boiling water was poured into the bucket. I mixed the pears and water until all of the sugar was dissolved.

After letting the must cool to room temperature I added Pectic enzymes, another new ingredient for me, which will help break down the cell walls of the fruit and get lots of good liquid for fermentation. This requires a bit of time to take place.

I waited 24 hours to let the enzymes work. I then pitched the Cote des Blancs yeast into the bucket, secured the lid and airlock, and put it away to ferment. I plan on letting it primary for two weeks before racking it to secondary for about 3 months. According to this timeline, it will be ready to drink around Christmas.

Put into Primary on 9-8-09.  Original Gravity measured at  1.090 (12.0% potential alcohol).

Racked to carboy on 9-22-09.  Specific gravity measured at 1.000. Added 1 pound of sugar and 1 gallon of water after filtering.

Racked again to a 3-gallon bucket on 10-21-09. Specific gravity measured at 0.990, which brings the %ABV up to 13.36%. The volume of the wine was just over 3 gallons, and the wine is looking pretty clear already. Added about a quart of water to top off the container before sealing with the lid and airlock.

Racked to 3-gallon bucket on 11-18-09. Specific gravity measured at 0.990. The wine is already very clear. I added 3 crushed Campden tablets to kill any residual yeast, and hopefully in a couple weeks I can bottle this wine.

Bottled into 41 12-ounce bottles on 12-5-09. To the last 16 bottles (1.5 Gallons) I added 1/2 cup of honey to sweeten the wine. I marked those bottle caps with a “+” so that I can compare the two and see which I like better. I will let these sit a two or three weeks before trying them.


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2 Comments on "Ol’ Pear Wine"

  1. avatar Nate says:

    Well, adding honey to the bottles at bottling time wasn’t the best idea after all. The bottles that had honey added to them renewed fermentation and are exploding out of the bottle when opened. Apparently the Campden tablets didn’t kill the yeast completely, so I should use either fresher tablets or a few more tablets next time to make sure the yeast is dead. I could also try using potassium sorbate instead which will stop the yeast from reproducing instead of killing them outright, but achieves the same effect of stabilizing the wine and allowing for the addition of sweetening sugars.

  2. avatar Nate says:

    I decided to try adding a bit of sugar to some of this wine and see how much extra it would need to be sweetened properly. I know it won’t taste as if I added it during fermentation, but it will give me an idea for the future.

    I took 2 oz of wine and put it into a glass. I then added different amounts of sugar. Without sugar it is tart and dry. With ½ tsp sugar it was far too sweet, still tasting dry. And with ¼ tsp sugar it was just a bit too sweet but tasting better. That was all the wine I had to sample with and I was pleased with the result, but don’t know how it will affect my next pear wine yet.

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