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Old 05-30-2010, 02:28 AM   #1
completegeek
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Default Louisiana hard sweet tea

Here is my first "experiment". I'm from Louisiana, hence the name.

Not sure how this is going to turn out. I think I made quite a few mistakes and I'm actually wanting to do another batch right away and tweak the things I did wrong.

Here's the recipe I used:

96 bags Lipton tea
3 gallons distilled water
6 cups corn sugar
zest of 2 lemons and juice of 5
cotes de blanc dry yeast

First I boiled 1 gallon of water then added the sugar and zest.
Removing the pot from the burner I then let it steep for 5 minutes, removed the tea bags and added the lemon juice.

Here's where I think I messed up. I had a friend over at the time and became distracted. I placed the pot in my sink filled with cold water. In my carboy I added the distilled water which had been in my refrigerator. After probably less than two minutes I added the tea "wort" to the carboy and brought to volume with another cold gallon of water.

Then I pitched my yeast (without checking the temperature) to the carboy. I had made a starter and had it in my fridge and added it straight to the carboy.

I have no clue what temp my wort was before I pitched the yeast. I did take a gravity reading before pitching and it was somewhere around 1.012....kind of low. Guess I need to add a bit more sugar next time.

Well, it was an experiment that's for sure. I'll update once I see some activity...or not.

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Old 05-30-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
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Honestly, it's not too late to throw more sugar in there, particularly if you did this recently (the yeast are probably still just fine).

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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It has been about 24 hours. would I just throw it in and shake it up? Don't have much in the way of something to stir up a carboy.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
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I'd use corn sugar, boil it down in water and let it cool, then pour it into the carboy. To stir it up, a big piece of foil that's been dipped in no rinse sanitizer held tightly over the neck to keep everything in and some good swirling action would do it.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:35 AM   #5
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Should have used Luzianne tea for a real Louisiana hard tea.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:44 AM   #6
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That's true. Oddly enough my grocery store didn't have any. I was in a rush, that's no excuse but there you have it. I will definitely seek it out next time.

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Old 05-31-2010, 02:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypnolobster View Post
I'd use corn sugar, boil it down in water and let it cool, then pour it into the carboy. To stir it up, a big piece of foil that's been dipped in no rinse sanitizer held tightly over the neck to keep everything in and some good swirling action would do it.
I took your advice and boiled 6 more cups of corn sugar into 1 quart of water and added that to my carboy. It's bubbling away happily so now I'll just be patient and see how it turns out.
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Old 06-21-2010, 11:51 PM   #8
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Well it has been 3 weeks today so I could barely contain myself as I tried my experiment.

I boiled 6 cups of regular table sugar in 2 quarts of water, cooled it in an ice bath and added 4 crushed campden tablets. I then added the sugar water to my bottling bucket and then siphoned my tea from my carboy into the bottling bucket.

I didn't bottle it, I just siphoned it into 4 gallon jugs once mixed like I would a normal sweet tea.

Adding ice like I would to any sweet tea I took my first tentative sip. Honestly the first thing that came to mind was that it tasted like flat champagne. I could detect the lemon and tea flavors but they are weak. This surprised me since I used nearly 100 bags of tea!

Some friends of mine really enjoyed it and said they would recommend to others and definitely wanted me to brew more. My Father in law said it need just a little something more and added mint to his.

I actually quite like it. Very refreshing on a hot day and is easy to drink.
I may will definitely tweak the recipe. I will definitely up the sugar to increase my alcohol content next time.

Has anyone else done a tea like this? I would love to really nail down my recipe.

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