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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Radler
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
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Hey everyone, thanks for taking the time to read this! I have a friend who is interested in homebrewing so I told him to pick out a style he likes and we would make a batch and I'd teach him the basics. Of course he picked something totally off the wall! So I know in Germany/Bavaria they typically mix it at the tap but Sam adams has a premixed radler "porch rocker".
My question is: how would you mix 1/2 lemonade with 1/2 Helles Beer without blowing all the caps off the bottles due to the sugar in the lemonade fermenting in the bottle? I would be using a brewers best Helles kit that has a lager yeast which will work at ale temps.

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Old 07-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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You could try dumping crystal light lemonaide mix in there. It's just flavoring with no sugar in it.

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Yes I could try crystal light, and I saw a previous thread where someone suggested real lemons for the lemonade and replacing the sugar with splenda. I want that fresh lemon flavor if I do this (isn't the freshness factor a ig reason we all homebrew to begin with?) I'm not opposed to doing the splenda thing with real lemons but I just wanted to see if someone has tried (and had sucess) making radler this way? I would hate to show someone interested in brewing how to do it and have it end up being foul.

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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I haven't done this at all, but when I'm cooking and want an intense lemon flavor I use lemon zest.

So, I'm thinking maybe you can A) add zest of like 4 or 5 lemons and bottle a couple days later. B) zest 4 or 5 lemons, soak in decent vodka for a week, and add the vodka to the beer. You wont have to add to much vodka so it won't effect your abv much at all.

IMO, ive had beers with fruit juice added to them(mainly 21st amendments watermelon wheat) and to me the beers taste sorta watered down. So I'd consider trying to find a way to isolate the flavor/aroma without to much juice.

But again, I've never done this, but if seems logical.

And maybe someone can answer this, would the acids in a lemon effect head retention?

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Old 07-31-2012, 12:18 AM   #5
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I agree with you about watering it down and if it were just for me I wouldn't be doing this style, but since I'm helping a friend I'm looking to stick with a true Radler (1/2 Helles and 1/2 lemonade). It seems like I'm going to have a problem with finding people who have done it before. Thanks for the input though!

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Old 07-31-2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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I too am interested in brewing a Radler beer for the end of summer but am uncertain of how to tackle it right now. My initial thought is that the acidity in the lemonade might lower the pH of the beer to a point where standard beer yeast will not be able to operate, but it looks like lemonade averages a pH of ~3 (sacchro can withstand down to a 2.8 in some cases). You could filter the beer and counter-pressure fill the bottles out of a keg, but it sounds like that may not be an option?

Not certain if the acidity in the lemonade will reduce head retention though - that's a great question.

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Old 07-31-2012, 12:27 AM   #7
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Well every Radler I drank in Germany when I lived there was simply 50% pilsner beer and 50% Sprite. It's not pre-made like that Sam Adams idiocy. Thus, two points:

1) Your friend is a wuss. Is his next request Zima?
2) Make yourself a pilsner and buy him a 2-liter of Sprite.

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Old 07-31-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Thanks Matt, you are bringing up things i haven't even thought about. No kegging isn't an option for me yet. Assuming the acidity isn't a problem I guess I'm left with the question of when to mix the lemonade with the Helles. My original thought was to ferment 5 gallons of Helles, in an ale pale, then split it between 2 carboys and top them off with the lemonade. I'm not sure if, given 2 weeks to ferment, I would even end up with something that tastes like a beer/lemonade mix. I'm thinking that mixing them in the bottling bucket may be the way to go. I am concerned about the head retention, Ive had enough issues with beer being undercarbed.

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Old 07-31-2012, 03:51 AM   #9
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why not add the lemonade during secondary? I've never had a radler nor have I had Porch Rocker, but I have had and made Brandon O's Graff (cider-beer hybrid) and I think you may be able to treat it the same way. I would brew your 2.5 gallons of hefe and ferment for a week or two, then add 2.5 gallons of lemonade (I would go with the real stuff here, not the powder), leave in secondary for at least two weeks, til you get consistent hydro readings, then bottle up.

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Old 07-31-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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I am adding some lemon flavor to few bottles of my last brewed "plisner ale". I know it is not Radler but it may help you, my process is:

1. Peel thin part of lemon skin with potato peeler.
2. Soak it in cheap vodka and leave it for 2-3 weeks.
3. Find out best concentration/bottle by adding small volume of lemon solution to bottle of similar beer (with syringe).
4. Add solution in few bottles at bottling time.

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