Need help - using Everclear for infused vodka...
This is the first time I have attempted to make a home made infused alcohol. I took fresh pineapple and poured Everclear over it. Now that I am reading all the warnings about Everclear, I am beginning to get slightly nervous! How long should I let it sit before straining the fruit? Is it safe to eat the fruit? what should I add to this to make it less potent? Any links or recipes that you have used would be very helpful!
Everclear is as safe to consume as vodka is (once it has been diluted down). Typically, vodkas are distilled to 190+ proof to remove flavors and then diluted down to with water. This is the undiluted form.
The only thing you should worry about that is not an issue with vodka is flammability.
It would be safe to eat the soaked fruit but it would sting a bit from the alcohol content so it wouldn't be all that pleasant. And it would be rather dry as the high alcohol content would squelch the pineapples sweetness.
For infusion time, it would depend on how small the pineapple pieces were. You could taste it every few days until it does not become any more pineapple flavored but a week or two should be sufficient assuming the pieces aren't too large. To dilute down your infusion, using distilled or filtered water would be preferable.
Equal parts water would put it in the 70-80 proof range (possibly more/less depending on how much water the pineapple contributed) assuming you have 190 proof instead of 151 proof Everclear (the max limit depends on what state you're in). If you have the 151, I would go 2 parts spirit infusion to 1 part water. If you pick out the big pieces, you can estimate how much water to add, although that means that you'll have to filter twice as much. And if you you use coffee filters, it will mean that filtering will take twice as long (you should crudely pre-filter through a mesh strainer first).
Google "pineapple vodka infusion" for more pointers. It seems that the one site I went to recommended 2 weeks for pineapple.
Also, feel blessed that your state trusts you to buy Everclear. Massachusetts does not, and I needed a bottle smuggled to me to do some of the infusions I needed to get done. If price wasn't an issue, I am guessing that for pineapple that vodka would be sufficient.