How to Make Pear Cider:
2 Perry Recipes

how_to_make_pear_cider

Perry is the name for a fermented beverage made from the juice of pears (the same as hard cider is made from the juice of apples). 

That being said, you’ll often see this beverage referred to as ‘pear cider’ in restaurants and grocery stores (especially in the U.S.).  Regardless of what it is called, perry is delicious and offers a great alternative to a standard hard cider batch.  The biggest down side to making pear cider is that pear juice is not commonly available in large quantities at reasonable prices.  For that reason, many pear ciders are made with blends of pear and apple juices.

I’m including two recipes because there are typically two types of people interested in making perry:

  • People who make hard cider and want to switch things up.  For this crowd, you will most likely be interested in the 1-gallon perry recipe that uses a 50/50 blend of store-bought apple juice and store-bought pear juice (or nectar).
  • People who have lots of pears (maybe they have a tree) and want to do something fun with them.  For this group, follow the 5-gallon perry recipe which uses 100% fresh-pressed pears.

Both recipes aim make a carbonated perry with mild sweetness and noticeable pear notes.  The pears will leave some residual sweetness (due to naturally occurring sorbitol) which you don’t want to overpower with too much added sweetness.  Follow these pear cider recipe and you will be well on your way of knowing how to make pear cider.

These perry recipes assumes you know the basics of making hard cider.  If you don’t (or want a refresher), review the guide to making hard cider.

Pears

1-Gallon Batch with Store-Bought Juices

Ingredients and Equipment

Ingredients 

  • Half gallon (64 oz) store-bought apple juice/cider
  • Half gallon (64 oz) store-bought pear juice or nectar
  • 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
  • 1 packet Safale S-04 yeast

Equipment

Fermentation

Primary fermentation is pretty standard. After sanitizing your equipment, combine the apple and pear juices into a 1-gallon glass carboy. Take a specific gravity reading with a hydrometer and record the starting gravity. Next pitch the yeast and attach an airlock or blow-off tube. Fermentation should be complete within 2-4 weeks, as indicated by lack of gas escaping the airlock and a stable specific gravity.

Bottling

After fermentation is complete, you can measure the specific gravity for a final gravity reading.  Next, add the apple juice concentrate.  You can add this directly into the fermentation container.  However, if you have an extra container, it’s best sanitize that container and rack the cider into it.  Doing it this way allows you to stir in the concentrate and still leave the sediment behind.

Sanitize 10, 12-ounce glass bottles and caps. Rack the cider into the bottles and attach the cap with a capper. Leave the bottles around room temperature for 1-2 weeks for the added sugar to ferment and carbonate the cider. After that, refrigerate and drink when ready!I hope you enjoy this 1-gallon perry recipe!

5-Gallon Batch with Pressed Pear Juice

Ingredients and Equipment

Ingredients 

  • ~100 pounds of fresh, slightly under-ripe pears; enough to yield 5 gallons + 48 ounces of juice
  • campden tablets
  • 1 packet Safale S-04 yeast

Equipment

Make Raw Pear Cider

This perry recipe starts by making raw pear cider.  To do this:

  • Pick the pears slightly under-ripe.
  • Let the pears ripen slightly off the tree (a process called sweating).  This works best when stored in a single layer (not stacked in a box or bin) so they are exposed to air.  This should take 1-2 weeks.
  • (Optional): Some people say that freezing and thawing the pears at this point makes it much easier to proceed by turning the pulp into mush.
  • Wash the pears and cut out any rotten portions.  Remove seeds and cores.
  • Crush the pears using a fruit grinder and let sit overnight to oxidize the tannins, which reduces some of the bitterness
  • Sanitize the pear cider.  Either:
    • Crush and add 6 campden tablets and wait 24 hours
    • Heat to 140 degrees for 20 minutes
  • Press the juice by using a fruit press or cheese cloth to remove some/most of the pulp.

Fermentation

Primary fermentation is pretty standard.  After sanitizing your equipment, pour the pear juice into a fermentation bucket or glass carboy (putting the extra 48 ounces in a sanitized container and into the refrigerator).  Take a specific gravity reading with a hydrometer and record the starting gravity.  Next pitch the yeast and attach an airlock or blow-off tube.  Fermentation should be complete within 2-4 weeks, as indicated by lack of gas escaping the airlock and a stable specific gravity.

Bottling

After fermentation is complete, you can measure the specific gravity for a final gravity reading.  Next, add the 48 ounces of pear juice you set aside (or enough to add approximately .05 to the specific gravity for carbonation). You can add this directly into the fermentation container.  However, if you have an extra container, it’s best sanitize that container and rack the cider into it.  Doing it this way allows you to stir in the concentrate and still leave the sediment behind.

Sanitize enough bottles and caps to fit 5 gallons (approximately 50, 12-ounce glass bottles). Rack the cider into the bottles and attach the cap with a capper. Leave the bottles around room temperature for 1-2 weeks for the added sugar to ferment and carbonate the cider. After that, refrigerate and drink when ready!I hope you enjoy this 5-gallon perry recipe using fresh pressed pears!

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