Making Passion-fruit Mead

Is fermenting cooking?  At any rate, it's food related.  Wine or mead is something I make with excess fruit.  And right now it is passion-fruit, known in Hawaii as lillikoi.  Lots of it around here, some of which I've given away, some made into sorbet, or syrup.  Jam is good.  But, I have to say the easiest way to deal with large quantities of fruit is to dump it all into a nylon straining bag and ferment.  Yea, no worries about the seeds.  The bag will be pulled out at the end of the week, with only seeds left in it.

This tested out with high acid content (yes there is an acid test for wine), so I had to add some food grade calcium carbonate.  Since I added mostly honey with a bit of sugar, I'm calling it mead.  Technically fruit wine made with honey is called melomel, but most people have never heard of that before and the response would be, "you're making what??"  I call it Passion-fruit Mead.  Simpler.

So, now it's bubbling away in the primary fermenter - a 5 gal. plastic bucket with air-lock on top for the escaping gases.  After about a week I take another PA (potential alcohol) reading with my handy hydrometer and see if it's about done.  A cessation of active bubbling is also a clue.  The initial reading was 13%, so that will be what the finished mead is. I also added things like tannin, yeast nutrient, champagne yeast and some pectic enzyme (you don't want cloudy wine caused by pectin in the fruit).

After another week or so, I will rack (siphon) it into a glass carboy (3 gal. jar).  It will  join the others (jaboticaba mead right now) in the cupboard.  The empty bottles will have to be moved to make room.

There it will age for a few months before needing to be racked off the sediment into another clean carboy.  Wine 101.  Simplified version. So, a few rackings down the line over at least a 2 year aging period and we'll have something that should be nice and drinkable.

If you're at all interested in making your own wine or mead, I highly recommend Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking.  Wouldn't do without it.  I'll share this little fermentation overview with Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event.


Beth F said...

How fun is that? I have some friends who make their own beer but I don't know anyone who makes wine or mead (except you!).

Mae Travels said...

Coming from a passion-fruit desert (the MIdewst) I'm jealous of your bounty. I'm sure I would love your mead.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Vicki said...

Interesting! I don't drink but I know a few people who would probably love to do this.

Carole said...

the passion fruit we have are much darker skinned. And are only ripe when the skin is wrinkly. Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Deb in Hawaii said...

I always turn any excess lilikoi into jam or lilikoi butter but mead sounds far more interesting! ;-)

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

Wow, you are ambitious, making your own wine and mead!

My Cozy Book Nook said...

FASCINATING! Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this unique experience.