Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gift horses mouths - Banana Mead

While working yesterday, I was given a carrier bag full of banana's. Not wanting to "look a gift horse in the mouth", I was happy to accept the fruit.

But what to do with it ? Ok, banana wine, maybe banana mead, something like that.

A quick look round the net last night, showed that I need about 4 and 1/2lb of fruit per gallon. Having eaten two of the 'nana's yesterday, and Clare having taken some for banana bread, I've still got about 11lb in weight, so I can safely go for a 2 gallon batch.

I haven't used bananas before, though I'm aware that they can be used to increase body in a batch of country wine. Plus I don't know whether I'll actually need to use pectolase and/or amylase, as I don't know whether bananas contain pectin - they're certainly likely to contain some starch, but whether that's gonna be an issue or not, I don't know.

This is what 11lb of banana looks like once it's been washed, "topped and tailed" and chopped, then added to about 5 litres of water. I should probably have measured out the whole 2 gallons, but as we only have the jam making pan on the right, and I used the base of our pressure cooker (left), as it was too close for comfort with just the jam pan.

I've also been up to Paynes this morning and got 2 x 1.36kg/3lb buckets of "English" honey - which isn't very well named as it's local wild flower honey. I figured that I just need to have a medium flavoured honey, that doesn't or at least, isn't likely to detract from the banana flavour.

Initially, I'm just gonna strain off the banana water/liquid and wring the fruit pulp for the last of any flavour I can get out of it, then let it cool to room temperature. Then make it up to two gallons with RO water (Reverse Osmosis). I'll mix in the honey and sulphite it, while I'm working out whether I need to use pectolase and amylase in it or not. I haven't decided on the yeast yet, I'll have to get to see what I've got available first. And as my 2 x 2 gallon buckets have got brews in them at the moment, I've dug out my 13 litre water cooler bottle, and I'll use that to ferment in.

And before I forget, here's a picture of the banana bread that Clare made from some of the fruit.
I certainly don't mind her pinching some of the fruit, as the banana bread has come out very well. I don't think it's gonna last very long........

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