Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits, veggies and grains other then just mashing

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cranky
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Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Thu May 15, 2014 12:43 pm

For those who don't know, this thread actually started her
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 32&t=42465
when people began discussing the coming fruit season and the discussion began to drift away from the original subject which seemed to greatly distress the Original Poster who suggested that if we wanted to change the subject we should start our own thread, so that is exactly what I'm doing. :D

It's late spring here in the PNW and cherries, berries and other fruits are beginning to ripen. As everybody here knows but everyone elsewhere may not the Seattle/Tacoma area is literally over run with blackberries, which leads people to think about blackberry brandy in addition to that the area used to be a major apple producing area so there are many many old neglected apple trees. There is also a free to the public park with more than 3300 blueberry plants free for the picking. This leads the thrifty distiller and wine maker a huge resource of free fruit limited only by the space, equipment and free time of the individual involved.
So even if you don't live in the PNW feel free to chime in and lets get carried away with fruity goodness. :D

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Bob Loblaw » Thu May 15, 2014 2:32 pm

I'm right there with you. I've been thinking about making some Blackberry eau de vie for about the last six months. Can't want to try it out. I love them as long as the farkers aren't growing in my yard :D. I would love to hear recipes from others.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by MyUncleMo » Thu May 15, 2014 2:53 pm

We just chopped out a 50' row along our driveway to put in a fence. To keep the neighbors, not the blackberries out.
My wife used to make pies - and a friend of hers made a few batches of wine. What a PITA! Too many pokey pokes!
I will go to Remlinger and buy kilos already cleaned and picked berries if I feel the need.

In that other thread I mentioned Discovery Park in Seattle.
http://www.seattle.gov/parks/environment/discovery.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Old military site with apple trees and blackberries open to the public to glean.

Today I saw my first bag of cherries at the grocery store. Oh I can not wait!

Here in Snohomish we have lots of berry varieties, honey and lots of apples.

I really enjoyed my Early spring Rum Extravaganza... and would like to run some more using the saved dunder and feints before the fruit harvest season is truly here.

Oh the choices :D
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Red Rim » Thu May 15, 2014 3:05 pm

Has anyone tried other crazy sheeeite, like watermelon? Talk about something to make you do the watermelon crawl. A short trip go Hermiston and a guy could drive away with a truckload.

Or what about pumpkin? Those things are rotting in the fields everywhere in the fall.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Thu May 15, 2014 3:52 pm

One thing I mentioned in the other thread is Charlotte's blueberry park in tacoma.
http://www.metroparkstacoma.org/charlot ... erry-park/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
It is a former blueberry farm with more than 3,300 highbush blueberry plants cared for by volunteers and free to the public. It is a great day out and there are also very tall apple trees and some crabapples if you pay attention. This is the only free source of fruit I am ever going to share because it is so big I figure the few of you here wont be able to prevent me from getting a few gallons of them every week. :D but ain't nobody gonna get my apples!

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Thu May 15, 2014 3:59 pm

MyUncleMo wrote:We just chopped out a 50' row along our driveway to put in a fence. To keep the neighbors, not the blackberries out.
I have a special method if I absolutely have to cut my blackberries back. I wait until peak season then grab a pair of gloves and some clippers and pick as I cut, it gives me a ton of berries and thins them down at the same time.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Tokoroa_Shiner » Thu May 15, 2014 5:04 pm

Red Rim wrote:Has anyone tried other crazy sheeeite, like watermelon? Talk about something to make you do the watermelon crawl. A short trip go Hermiston and a guy could drive away with a truckload.

Or what about pumpkin? Those things are rotting in the fields everywhere in the fall.
I think there is a thread on "pumpkin whiskey" here somewhere. Although I believe they don't have very much sugar in them.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by JBAR9 » Thu May 15, 2014 5:42 pm

I would love to see a well done pumpkin recipe. If mine grow worth a darn this year, that will be my first ferment in the late fall. I love everything pumpkin and Halloween. Probably have to add some sugar to it though and maybe some pumpkin pie spice...

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Thu May 15, 2014 6:39 pm

JBAR9 wrote:I would love to see a well done pumpkin recipe. If mine grow worth a darn this year, that will be my first ferment in the late fall. I love everything pumpkin and Halloween. Probably have to add some sugar to it though and maybe some pumpkin pie spice...
I found a nutritional fact analysis that after doing some math says pumpkin is only 0.2% sugar, so additional sugar would be a must. Maybe use grape juice to thin it and add sugar or just add sugar. Jack Keller has a pumpkin wine recipe ( http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques53.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow ) I wouldn't use as much sugar as they call for but pretty much it would be a pumpkin flavored sugar wash.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by JBAR9 » Thu May 15, 2014 8:47 pm

Yeah looking at some beer brewing forums looks like pumpkin aint got much sugar in it. I am growing some sugar pumpkins out here though, which may have a slightly higher yield then jack-o-latern style, which I'm guessing most folks probably pick up from Walmart to use. I aint too proud to use some sugar if needed in my ferment. Cant have everything be an All Grain..er an All Melon recipe...

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by MDH » Thu May 15, 2014 8:57 pm

Pumpkins have 4-5g of starch and 1g sugar/100g. You'd need around 100lb in order to get a respectable yield when cuts are applied. After halloween, that shouldn't be hard. With enzymes you could plausibly get some yield of alcohol from them but much like mountain ash berry or any other esoteric distillate you'd have to use quite a lot.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Red Rim » Thu May 15, 2014 9:45 pm

Excellent, that sounds like a great project. I ran out of energy last year from smashing apples to get around to smashing pumpkins. This year I will do it. I am not afraid to use sugar but will work on the starch conversion first. Thanks for the input.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by firewater69 » Fri May 16, 2014 4:20 am

Red Rim wrote:Has anyone tried other crazy sheeeite, like watermelon? Talk about something to make you do the watermelon crawl. A short trip go Hermiston and a guy could drive away with a truckload.

Or what about pumpkin? Those things are rotting in the fields everywhere in the fall.
I was readin bout watermelon a while back the article said that to make a good wine the wort must be supplemented with white grapes or peach, ect.... they said it won't work right on its own. i've made alot of wine over the years but never watermelon.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by firewater69 » Sat May 17, 2014 4:05 pm

I mentioned in a recent post about using agave mixed with prickley pear cactus apples and it is expensive. i found what i think is a good buy.http://www.21missionsagave.com/bublagneb55.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow just thought id share.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Sat May 17, 2014 6:20 pm

Looks like 5 gallons of agave syrup. I like that it's organic and GMO free. I'm thinking it would work well with prickly pear. I don't know if that's a good price or not but I'm what my wife likes to call thrifty and my son calls cheap. That's what I like about blackberries, blueberries, apples and every other kind of free range organic fruit around where I live, they are all free. If I had access to prickly pairs/ cactus apples I wold pick them juice them and check potential alcohol. If it needed a boost I'd give it one and see how it turned out but the agave syrup might make an interesting tequila.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by firewater69 » Sat May 17, 2014 6:31 pm

Thats kinda what i was thinkin, i don't know how many. cactus apples i can get & mixed with agave might make a good redneck tequila, i'll wait on the fruit and see what i get. Thats the best price i've found on the net.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Sat May 17, 2014 7:24 pm

firewater69 wrote:Thats kinda what i was thinkin, i don't know how many. cactus apples i can get & mixed with agave might make a good redneck tequila, i'll wait on the fruit and see what i get. Thats the best price i've found on the net.
That sounds like a fun project. I would like to hear how it turns out.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Dood » Wed May 21, 2014 4:11 pm

We got what I think is a deal on 25 lbs of peaches off the side of the road the other day (running this Saturday). $20 for 25 lbs (22ish de-stoned) isn't too bad IMO considering that they are $2.59 @ lb in the local stores here; plus a few quick questions to the farmer about pesticides and such (all natural). So far this year, the blackberry bushes on our back 9 have proven to be a worthwhile investment in time pickin'; but waiting to see how the peaches go.

We've got steady eyeballs upon 8 pear trees scattered about my friends place and hoping they are good ones.

Which actually brought me to thinking...

Anyone ever messed with figs?
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Wed May 21, 2014 6:53 pm

Dood,
sounds like a good deal on those peaches to me. We don't get many peaches out this way, but we get everything else, especially blackberries and apples but the prices of both in the stores is insane. The other day I did see one store with apples for 49cents a pound and had to restrain myself from buying everything they had but I know I will have as many as I want this fall for free. :D Soon we will be up to our ears in blackberries but people say they produce low alcohol yield, of course a lot of that depends on the berry. Soon I will thaw out my remaining berries from last year and see just what potential alcohol they do have and report back. I haven't read very much about figs but it should be worth a try, I wanted to try them myself but the fig tree I planted didn't make it so I may never know about that. Pear however Is awesome! I have access to some pear trees and have been watching them waiting for pear time and hoping to get enough to do something special with them.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Dood » Thu May 22, 2014 4:36 am

Cranky,
.49 cents a lb IS damn tempting, lol. I've got access to a few apple trees, but the big one is Granny Smith and never done any but frozen bagged apples from Sam's; concerned that the Granny's might be a bit tart... dunno, but I guess we'll see.

We got 2 quarts and a pint of 120 off 2 gallons of blackberries + 6 lbs sugar; first run on new still and it had a couple of leaks that I've fixed since and hoping for a little more yield next run. I've got some more BB's on my side acreage that are ready for pickin' and planning a larger run soon. Just hope I can muster the intestinal fortitude to pick another 3 gallons to add to the gallon in the freezer (pickins fun for about 10 minutes then it's a chore) and run in a couple of weeks. It's some of the best I've made so far; but can't wait to run that peach round about this Saturday; high hopes. I'll let ya know how it turns out.

I've never done pear and been thinkin about how many it looks like we're going to have and the wheels in my head or just a spinnin, lol.

I've been doin some checkin and seems that figs may require some special attention; I've got enough to deal with in the berries and forthcoming loads of pears. I don't wont to bite off more than I can chew and take the fun out of it. So I'll probably freeze the figs and mess with them latter; when the rest of the fruits have run their course.

Ciao 4 now
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Dood » Thu May 22, 2014 4:52 am

Oh heck, I just remembered that a buddy has three Mulberry trees; I've heard of Mulberry wine, but I wonder... :-)
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Thu May 22, 2014 6:20 am

Dood,
Not to sound like I'm lecturing or anything but I hope you did all your cleaning runs before running the blackberries and did proper cuts (OK off the soap box now)

Some people here are totally opposed to added sugar but not me, however, I am opposed to beet sugar but that is a whole other subject (different soap box), everybody makes what's right for them. I personally like proofing with blackberry juice, it adds pure berry flavor back in and still keeps the proof where you want it.

Picking blackberries really does turn into a chore after a while doesn't it? I tend to pick a little every day, maybe a gallon, gallon and a half. Then I freeze them in a single layer on cookie sheets and pick out the blackest ones to save as whole berries, anything that turns even slightly red is eventually juiced and used for just about everything plus I fill 3 carboys and some gallon jugs. The whole ones are saved for special wintertime treats. When the next berry season comes around, everything that hasn't been used is all put into a carboy and I wind up with a nice mixed fruit.

I've seen a few threads on here about mulberries, I love mulberries but haven't had any in many, many years. From what I've read it takes about 15 pounds to make a gallon of juice, I have no idea how many pounds of mulberries are in a gallon. Prairiepiss did some a few years ago ( http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 38&t=22409 ) but used it for wine. I imagine it makes a damn fine brandy if you can pick enough.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Dood » Fri May 23, 2014 4:35 am

Not at all Cranky; did the cleaning runs and cuts accordingly. The leak issue was due to a small malformation where I had the seem of the pot TIG'd up and the lid had to be in a certain position or it was out of whack.

Proofin with the juice is something I thought about.

I hear ya on the + sugar and I do have makin a true brandy on my list of future things to do; but right now I'm pretty limited on free time (for fruit gathering) and doing what I already know (fruit, sugar, water & yeast) in small repetition; because that's what I was taught. I want to explore new things when I'm able to and why I joined up. ;-P

Buddy came over yesterday evenin and we picked a little over a quart before the light gave out on us; but it was the first time I'd actually walked the side acreage to check out the berries... and DAMN!!! I think there are more there than I will be able to pick!

Muleberries sound like a painful undertaking; considering the qty needed.

Oh yeah, runnin that peach tomorrow :clap:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by firewater69 » Fri May 23, 2014 5:58 am

Hope the peach comes out perfect Dood. i love me some peach brandy!
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Fri May 23, 2014 6:27 pm

firewater69 wrote:Hope the peach comes out perfect Dood.
Me too. I look forward to wearing about your results.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Tal » Sat May 24, 2014 1:18 am

I make a bit of fruit wine, Elderberry, blackcurrant, Peach, strawberry and cranberry. Also vegetable wine such as Parsnip, carrot. Have run elderberry wine through my reflux still and got a nice return of 4.2 litres of 180proof from 25 litres of wash...smooth taste too. Am considering making parsnip again this winter and running it through my pot still as parsnip is high in sugar, could be interesting?..makes a great wine also. An added benefit is after I have soaked my parsnip cubes in boiled water until they are just going soft, I remove them and my lady bags them up into 1 kilo bags and freezes them to be used as roasties when she's cooking a nice roast lamb!! They are bloody tasty too!..There are many ways to have your parsnips!
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Sat May 24, 2014 4:50 pm

Wow, I never heard of parsnip wine. I'm not a big fan of parsnips myself but I'm interested in hearing how parsnip would turn out.

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by Tal » Sat May 24, 2014 6:02 pm

It makes a beautiful wine but an acquired taste I guess....in fact it's the best way to have your vege's!..My old grandad and my uncle used to make it.I have an old recipe book my grandad used that was published in 1934 and here is a recipe from that book, hope it can be read ok. When ready to ferment, just use fermenting drum and cover until aerobic fermentation has slowed, then add airlock and seal down lid. Rack away from lees in about 2 months and put back in drum or glass carboy. I use 23litre and 60 litre carboys as glass is better than the plastic.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by cranky » Sun May 25, 2014 2:15 pm

Wow, 20lbs of parsnips to 3.5 gal water. To me that seems like a lot but it does sound like it might make a pretty tasty drink. I might give that a try who knows it might just change my view on parsnips. Do you ever try carbonating it or do you just drink it still?

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Post by JBAR9 » Sun May 25, 2014 9:52 pm

Cranky-You done hijacked your own thread on fruity goodness with parsnips (a root vegetable). Ha.

Anyone done a rhubarb wine and distilled? I know from what i've seen it would take alot. Probably better to infuse, I just dont like to go that route.

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