Sign up ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have 1.5lbs of prickly pears and want to make a 2gal all grain batch from them.

My question is how should I add the prickly pears?

Should I smash them and only add the juice?

or maybe

Cut off the skin and add them in secondary?

share|improve this question
I ended up putting them in at the end of boil, and all I did to them was cut off the skin. The beer ended up being VERY tart. So much so that is must be drank extremely slowly as if I was drinking a liquor on the rocks. – corymathews Feb 8 '12 at 20:52

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Not having done this, I can only offer my thoughts and opinions on the subject. I would probably juice and add the juice to the boil (probably as late as possible to pasteurize/sterilize without driving off all volatiles. You'll want to figure the volume and sugar content of juice to add and what your gravity needs to be pre-boil to hit your final post boil volume.

I expect that you'll have a large than normal volume of trub at the bottom of the fermenter after primary so you may want to shoot for a slightly higher initial volume to combat losses in the trub.

share|improve this answer
Good advice. I did not even think about the extras after fermenting. – corymathews Dec 13 '11 at 17:16

I am currently doing my own experiment with prickly pear. I tossed the whole fruits in a blender, strained through a sieve, then strained through a clean t-shirt. This provided me with about a quart of drinkable juice (you are right about it being tart, though) which I froze in ice cube trays. I did this because I wasn't sure if i was going to be able to do some homebrewing or if I should just preserve the juice for drinking/baking. But then I found some preservative free cider and I am gonna go for it. Since i froze the juice, i don't have to worry about sanitizing with heat. I am planning on doing primary fermentation of the cider only (with yeast nutrient and energizer) and then I plan to add the thawed juice as part of secondary fermentation. That way, I hope to maximize the taste and aroma from the prickly pears while minimizing the mess (and the possibility of setting the pectin).

share|improve this answer

I wouldn't boil them if you like the aroma.

If your adding them to beer:

You should mash them up and add them (with juice) at flame out, whirlpool/sit for a few minutes to pasteurize. I would put the solids in a muslin bag for easy extraction. You can experiment from there, maybe even "dry pear" the finished beer:D I would keep the hops light until you know how this tastes.

If your just making a wine: I would mash them up with a potato masher and fill with water to desired quantity. Then hit it with campden. You should add sugar/honey/etc to hit the appropriate OG. I would put the solids in a bag and remove after fermentation is complete. Make sure to use a yeast nutrient if your not adding malt.

Let us know how this works out!

share|improve this answer
Yeah I put them in right at the end of the boil, only had .3 oz of hops for a 2.5 gallon batch and mashed the pears up a bit before adding but I left the entire pears in the fermenter. It fermented well for about 3-4 days and now is just waiting to be bottled in another week. – corymathews Dec 20 '11 at 14:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.