Thyri Gullinvargr wrote:I'm not a mead maker at all, but my understanding is when you make melomel (mead with fruit) that you'll get more of the fruit flavor if you put it into the secondary fermentation. You also might not ferment out all of the fruit sugars.
Alex Riddles wrote:I have made a few batches of mead and found the fermentation goes much slower that in wine. Honey is a much more complex sugar than fructose. I would think the pears would ferment faster and if the fermentation is not complete it would be the honey left behind. If you are concerned about an incomplete fermentation you can always pitch a yeast with a higher alcohol tolerance.
Also when you add the pears you are adding tannins which will alter the taste. Tannins will break down over time so this may not be a problem even if you overshoot what you intended. I have found I really don't like the taste of my mead until it is at least 3 years old and I know it keeps getting better for 5 years. So, have fun but be patient.
wayne fajkus wrote:I make wine. In my research i found that pears have little flavor, leaving a moonshine taste to the wine. They advocate adding other fruit to pear wine to add flavor.
Im hoping my tree will produce enough fruit next year to actually try it.
James Freyr wrote:I've made some meads before and they do tend to ferment slower than wine or beer. I did make a couple melomels many years ago, the watermelon being the best, and I've also done traditional mead and I did a cyser once (apple cider as the fruit). The meads I made were big, with starting gravities around 1.120 or higher. My primaries took many months ferment, with secondaries taking even longer. I seem to recall having fruit in the primary fermentation. It was a few years before I could really enjoy a glass after they had about a year in bottles to mellow. Meads always had this astringent, somewhat unpleasant bite that only time would take care of. I remember the watermelon meade being so good I drank it all within a year. But I found that 5 year old meads to be really nice and mellow.
Scott, what was your starting gravity and what kind of yeast did you use? Some strains of yeast will leave more residual sugars behind while other like champagne yeast will munch through just about everything leaving a dry mead. If you want to add pear, I would advise that you puree the pear, and also heat it to near boil to kill wild yeast and bacteria that are on the skin of the fruit. A once delicious wort that's been infected with acetobacter becomes quite unpleasant. I've had my share of undesirable infections. One more thing, think about splitting the batch. Leave 2.5 gal traditional, and add fruit to the other half. I did that a lot, splitting batches to make two different beverages. If something goes south with the pear, it's not a total loss.