Traditional Perry (Pear Cider With Perry Pears)

How to brew perry

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Perry pears are traditional varieties of pear that are used to brew cider (perry) and wine. Here is how to brew perry with this heritage fruit.


Units Scale
  • 1 gallon of juice from perry pears (see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1/4 tsp pectin enzyme (optional)
  • 1/4 packet sparkling wine yeast (LALVIN EC-1118)
  • 1 cup of sugar (depending on the sugar in pears)

For priming

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water


  1. If this is your first time brewing wine or cider, see the section above for more details on each of the steps. Please note, this recipe won’t work with sweet pears (typical grocery store pears). If you want to brew with sweet pears, use my pear cider and wine recipe instead.
  2. Start by sanitizing anything that is going to touch the perry. Press or juice the perry pears, then pasteurize the juice. Pasteurizing the juice is optional, but it will provide a more reliable flavor. Wild yeasts can be great! They can also be not so nice. So it’s up to you, whether you want to experiment.
  3. When the juice is cool, test the sugar content. It needs to be at least 1.070 for perry. If necessary, add up to 1 cup of sugar, as needed to bring it to at least 1.070. 
  4. Add the yeast and yeast nutrient. Give the carboy a good shake to ensure it is well-mixed. Cap your carboy with an airlock.
  5. Place the carboy in a cool, dark location. Let it ferment for 2 weeks, then rack to a clean jug. Let it ferment for 2 more weeks before bottling. You want the fermentation to have mostly stopped before the bottle. To prime the carbonation, add mix 2 Tbsp of white sugar or dextrose in 1/4 cup of boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Then mix the sugar water into the perry just before bottling. 
  6. Leave the bottled perry to ferment at room temperature for at least 1-2 weeks, until it is carbonated. Since this recipe is a sulfite-free recipe the perry will continue to ferment, even in the fridge. So if you want a sweet perry, drink it within 1 month, otherwise it can age for several months for a more wine-like beverage.


  • You will need about 5 lbs. of ripe perry pears (not sweet pears) for 1 gallon of juice.
  • Perry pears were cultivated in northern climates as an alternative to wine. The flavors can vary from champagne-like to red wine. If you don’t want a sparkling beverage, don’t prime it before bottling. It’s also fine to age for several years, especially for a high-tannin perry.

Keywords: perry, heritage, cider, wine, sparkling wine, homebrew