hist-brewing: Cordial question...

Bruce R. Gordon obsidian at raex.com
Tue Jul 1 09:42:17 PDT 2003

     I suppose it's possible, but I wouldn't expect it. I've heard of 
it happening, saw it happen once myself, but my impression is that it 
is a rare occurance. It depends mostly on where you get the fruit from -
 store-bought fruit will have undergone a variety of processing methods 
which would tend to wash away most yeast - bags of frozen fruit pieces 
would be very clean, whole unchilled less so. Picked your own and cut 
it up in the kitchen immediately after? Might have some, might not - 
depends on the species to some extent. Ambient yeast in the air that 
swoops into your mason jar? Maybe - I've seen it happen, but not often.
     As to an unintentional increase in alcohol level due to yeast on 
fruit or in the air being a sort of brewing, well, it is, but that's 
not going to be an issue as such. "Brewing" is a rather vague term that 
covers a lot of activities - everything from making a cup of coffee to 
producing an industrial vat full of Everclear. As a number of writers 
to this list are pointing out, various SCA kingdom A+S establishments 
treat "brewing" differently - some keeping it strictly to beer and 
wine, others including cordials and sakanjubins. My Kingdom, the 
Middle, is one of the latter. But I don't think anyone is going to care 
much, or even note at all, if your cordial starts to ferment slightly. 
When it stops you will want to refilter it for clarity, but that's an 
entirely separate issue.

Bruce R. Gordon

> A question I did have, however, was that when you are making cordials 
from a pre-exsisting alcohol base (i.e. Rum, Vodka, etc), when you add 
the fruit, and the sugar to it, does that not ferment the fruit and 
increase the alcohol content?  Is that not considered brewing on some 
small scale?   I don't want to get anyone riled up about the subject 
again, I was just curious.  ^_^
Ex Tenebra, Lux


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