Hello Fellow Brewers and Beverage Enjoyers,
Haven’t had any time to do any of my own posts since August. As you may or may not already know, I was invited into the Order of the Maunche at Pennsic 44. I am very humbled and thankful for being recognized.
It was a doubley nice event to enjoy because I was also celebrating the 20th Anniversary of knowing my Lady Sine Ruadh Friseal. We had met 3 months before Pennsic 24 and decided to go together. It was a brand new experience and someone had said that if we can survive Pennsic together, then we obviously could survive anything. They were obviously right because 20 years later, 2 kids, and a mortgage later, here we are.
Since then, things have been hectic and between the new job, planning for Birka and trying to balance a few other issues, I hestitate to say, things are starting to settle.
I even had time to make some English Style Cider and English Style Perry:
A very Pleasant Drink of Apples (1)
- 50 Pippin Apples
- 3 Gallons of Water
- 1 1/2 lbs Sugar
Original Recipe: (Quoted)
Take about fifty Pippins: quarter and core them, without paring them: for the pairing is the Cordialest part of them. therefore onely wipe or wash them well, and pick away the black excrescence at the top; and be sure to leave out all the seeds, which are hot. You may cut them (after all the superfluities are taken away) into thinner slices, if you please. Put three Gallns of Fountain water to them in a great Pipkin and let them boil, till the Apples become clear and transparent; which is a sign, they are perfectly tender, and will be in a good half hour, or a little more. then with your Ladle break them into Mash and Pulpe, incorporated with the water; letting all boil half an hour longer, that the water may draw into itself all the vertue of the Apples. then put to them a pound and a halfof pure dubble refined Sugar in powder, which will soon dissolve in that hot Liquor. then pour it into an Hippocrass bag, and let it run through in two or three times, to be very clear Then put it up into bottles: and after a little time, it will be a most pleasant, quick, cooling, smoothing drink… (2)
So, free fruit is free fruit. I can’t pass it up. My Sister-in-Law had a ton of pears (3) she was looking to be used and my friend Madog came over with a whole bunch of Macs (4)and we proceeded to discern the recipe.
First we cleaned, cored, and sliced the apples and quartered the pears.
We wanted to make sure the apples were not bitter due to seeds, so they were cored and sliced into coins and after consulting with my friend Chelsea Meisner (She’s a food scientist) concerning the seeds in pears sharing the same properties, I decided to just clean and quarter the pairs. Every Perry I’ve had before has always been a weaker version of cider so I was concerned the seeds would bitter the mash and be overpowering.
Next we filled two 7 gallon containers with water and put all the pears and apples into seperate pots:
According to the recipe, we then allowed it to simmer until the apples/pears became transparent, which was almost an hour since we didn’t actually boil them, we wanted to make sure they didn’t lose any flavor through evaporation.
We then used a spoon to pulp each batch and added the sugar to each batch (sorry, there wasn’t a pic of the sugar or the pulping) and went another 30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve into the mix. We did get pictures of the juices coming out of both batches:
Look at the beautiful color that came through in the juice on the apples. Primo! And the pears didn’t fair too badly either.
So, each was put into carboys and innoculated with years. We used US-05 and we are hoping to present it at the Paneling if they have one at Birka.
1) A Sip Through Time: A collection of oldbrewing recipes by Cindry Renfrow, Copyright 1994, pg 230, Recipe #108
2) The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened