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Old 09-25-2007, 01:52 PM   #1
jobe05
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Had an employee out on a job today that found a few huge cactus bushes nearby. He stopped and asked the owner if he could pick a few of the prickly pears off of them for his boss who makes wine, the old man said he could pick as many as he would like, just bring him a bottle of wine.

So he picked me a box full, containing about 2 bushels of them......



These are a sample of them. Having never had prickly pear, or the wine of, I was at a loss for information on how to prepare them. So I did the next logical thing a man (or woman) could do............. I called George! Mark answered and I told him of my delima........ he kinda laughed and said that George is gunna have to answer that one, so George came on the phone wanting to know why on earth I would want to do prickly pear wine??????? Well............ It's free..............

Anyway, George said that I had to burn off the little prickly's, peel them :



Then dig out the pith and the seeds in the center......... Very hard to do:



There are a lot of little seeds in them that are like little rocks! Very hard seeds, and very hard to dig out of the delicate flesh that is left:



After talking with George, and following his preperation advise, I did the only logical thing a good boss could do, I reprimanded my employee and sent him home with a box full of prickly pears and said HOW DARE YOU! Don't come back till these are cleaned and ready for wine making!

Looking for a good recipe.

Stay Tuned!

Edited by: jobe05

 
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:20 PM   #2
Waldo
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Look this one over buddy
http://scorpius.spaceports.com/~good...lypearwine.htm
What do they taste like?

 
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:37 PM   #3
jobe05
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Thanks Waldo, I will look at the recipe to see if tis works.

The taste?.......... Very good taste, flavor? Depends on ripeness. I had one that was ery ripe, very soft and it had a grapeish - floral taste, with a deffinate pear after taste. I had another one that was ripe, but not overly (the one pictured that is cleaned out). I had my wife, my son and myself try a peice. My wife said it tasted like kinda like a mild blackberry (or berries), my son said it tasted like a musk melon (green melon) with a slight cherry taste. I thought it had a cherry / Grape taste and we all agreed that we tasted the pear in the end, So the flavor is mixed, yet interesting.

If you need a couple bushel picked, cleaned and ready I can let you borrow my employee for a day or two


 
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:34 PM   #4
Wade E
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<h2> Prickly Pear Cactus </h2>

<center>"Be careful with the spines or the wine could have a bite!"</center>








The Texas prickly pear cactus is the Opuntia lindheimeri. The broad leaves, called pads or nopalitos,
produce pretty yellow to red flowers in spring, which in turn produce
red to purple fruit in fall. Both the pads and fruit are edible, but
both have tufts of spines protecting them. The spines can be long and
large on the pads, but those on the fruit are usually extremely small
but just as painful. The peeled fruit has an aroma similar to
watermelon. The fruit is the part of the cactus from which wine can be
made.




One word of caution. There is a substance in the pigmented fruit
of the prickly pear cactus that nearly 1% of the population has an
allergy to. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food
Safety &amp; Applied Nutrition lists the Opuntia species of the Cactaceae genus on their "Vascular Plants List"
of the "Poisonous Plants Database." This listing simply means that
toxic effects have been associated with the plants listed by one or
more researchers and should not be cited as a definitive conclusion of
safety or toxicity. I have drank large quantities of this wine and
suffered no ill effects, but you may be among the 1% that would suffer.
Thus, you have been advised....




<center><h3>PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS WINE</h3></center>
<ul>
[*]5-6 lb. prickly pear fruit
[*]2-1/2 lb. granulated sugar
[*]1 tsp. acid blend
[*]1 gallon water
[*]wine yeast and nutrient
[/list]

Put prickly pear cactus fruit in large crock or pail. Pour one
gallon boiling water over fruit. Wait two minutes (to loosen skin) and
drain off water. Allow fruit to cool and carefully peel skin off, being
especially watchful not to touch spines. Cut fruit into pieces not
larger than one inch, put in pot, add 1/2 gallon water, bring to boil.
Reduce heat to maintain gentle boil for 15 minutes. Cover pot and allow
to cool to luke warm. Pour fruit and juice into large nylon grain-bag
(fine mesh) or sieve and squeeze juice into primary fermentation
vessel. Discard pulp. To juice, add sugar, acid blend, yeast and
nutrient and stir to dissolve sugar. Cover well and set in warm place
for seven days, stirring daily. Siphon off lees into secondary
fermentation vessel, top up with water, fit airlock, and let stand
three weeks. Rack and top up, then rack again in two months. Allow to
clear, rack again if necessary, and bottle. May taste after one year,
but improves with age. [Author's own recipe.]


This is off Jack Kellars site Jobe just so you have a few to compare.


 
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:19 PM   #5
JWMINNESOTA
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Feb 2007
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Ive had jelly from Prickly Pear cactus when we lived in AZ, never a wine from them, would think it would be good if the flavors come forward in it, what in the world are they doing growing in your neck of the woods?

 
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:54 PM   #6
jobe05
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They grow everywhere here. I had never really noticed them for some reason till this year. Now, everywhere I look I see a huge prickly pear cactus growing right out in the open. I would guess if I just spent a day driving around my normal areas in a day, I could fill the bed of my truck with these things in a days time. Most people don't even know what they are, some of the older people and the Mexicans however know what they are, they'er tighter than a tics butt in letting you have them also.




 
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Old 09-25-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
dfwwino
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Aug 2006
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A deceased winemaker friend used to make outstanding prickly pear wine. I loved it. I just never had the patience togo a bit West and spend an afternoon picking prickly pears and then burning off the thorns. But if you have slave labor, it is well worth the effort. My friend made a slightly sweet blush with the fruit.

 
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:07 AM   #8
le_tex
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Aug 2007
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I actually have some prickly pear wine in my primary fermenter right now using the recipe from Jack Keller's website. The SG was good by itself, but I had to add some acid blend for the acidity.


It was easier than I thought to pick and process the fruit. With heavy rubber garden gloves, I just picked them, washed them, cut them in half and threw them in my steam juicer. I didn't do a good job weighing the fruit, but I estimate out of 20 lbs. I got 8 quarts of juice. The juice from the steam juicer had a slightunderlying vegetable taste that I didn't taste when I triedeating the fresh fruit, but it was still sweet with teh distinct prickly pear taste. The juice is afun neon pink color.

 
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
jobe05
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Le tex, I was thinking of doing the same thing with about 1/2 of these, then go ahead and mash some in a straining bag to ferment with. Burning off the the little prickley things seem to be the easiest way, but I'm concerned with the flames scorching the fruit and leaving an burned taste in the must, and later wine.............. Still gonna do it though, just scorch lightly as I think most of the color and flavor is in or near the skin. Does the color pigment fall out during the clearing stage?

 
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:18 PM   #10
le_tex
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Aug 2007
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This is my first batch of prickly pear wine, so I don't know about the color later in the process. I'm five days into primary fermentation and it is still a pretty bright neon pink.


I didn't do anything about the spines or glochids when I processed the prickly pearsin the steam juicer (the juice ended up pretty clear). I figured any spines that got past the steam juicer, I would filter out through racking and then finally a gravity filter. I've never used a gravity filter before so that may be naive, but right now that's the plan.

 
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