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Old 08-13-2012, 03:42 AM   #21
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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!
I've done it before. I wouldn't go half and half. That would be too much lemonade.

There's ways to stop yeast from eating your sugary lemonade.

Really cold temps is one way. Filtering the yeast out is another.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:57 PM   #22
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Radlers sound like a waste of a good pilsner beer.

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:09 PM   #23
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I was just in Bavaria two weeks ago. Radler is definitely not a mix-in of 7up/sprite. Traditionally it's lemonade but most places do use a lemon fanta equivalent these days.

+1 to those who said to just brew the Helles and mix it in separately. That way not only do you avoid having to argue the above ("you added the wrong thing!" - just let people mix in what they want), but you also dodge many possible complications.

More importantly, I think the way that larger brewers are able to pre-bottle these is by pasteurizing / sterilizing the beer to halt any additional carbonation and then by force-carbing the bottles. Don't expect the same results at home through bottle fermentation!

Also, I find that the pre-bottled versions such as Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy pale in comparison to the real thing and taste very "chemically" and not at all what it tastes like if you get the same on tap and mixed in fresh. I suspect that they make some trade-off modifications for shelf stability.

There's too many moving pieces here and you'd be trying to re-create something that isn't really a small batch bottling operation. Maybe there is a path to be found to good results but it would be a roll of the dice. Brewing and bottling a Helles on the other hand, is predictable!

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:18 AM   #24
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What about doing it this way:
Make a batch of pilsner/helles, bottle carbonate it.
then once done open the bottles, and pour half the beer into empty bottles (all sanitized of course). Now top up with lemon soda/lemonade, no worries about sugar, and recap all the bottles.
Next step would be to pasteurize them to kill the yeasties.
viola, pre-mixed Radler in bottles!

Beyond the extra work, any reason this would not work???

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:35 AM   #25
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The only Radler I've ever had was done with grapefruit instead of lemon and tasted absolutely delicious. Stiegl Radler on draft from King's Biergarten in Pearland, Texas. I don't know how it stands up to other Radlers, but it was a great, refreshing summer evening drink to start the meal before I moved on to the liter steins of Optimator.

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Old 05-08-2014, 09:58 AM   #26
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I was just in Bavaria two weeks ago. Radler is definitely not a mix-in of 7up/sprite. Traditionally it's lemonade but most places do use a lemon fanta equivalent these days.
I was in Germany 8 times over the last 14 years and I've never seen Radler made with lemonade (as per the US definition). It's always been lemon/lime based soda (similar to 7-up/Sprite).

This notion that lemonade is used is because often times, in Europe, "lemonade" is defined as the clear, lemon based soda, while in the US, lemonade is defined as lemon-based drink made at home (usually not clear).

Go anywhere in the UK and ask for a lemonade, you will get 7-up or Sprite.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #27
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I was in Germany 8 times over the last 14 years and I've never seen Radler made with lemonade (as per the US definition). It's always been lemon/lime based soda (similar to 7-up/Sprite).
It is lemon based soda, but rarely is it as sweet as 7up or Sprite.
To add to the original topic, a local brewery (I'm in southern Germany) is bottling their Radler with sugar-free "lemonade" to avoid having to pasteurize. Another brewery here is even advertising sugar-free non-alcoholic Radler as an isotonic sports drink...
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:27 PM   #28
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Coors has a Radler now. Not bad at all. Little sweet. I make them all the time at home. I like using Sierra Mist natural made with real sugar and I use maybe 1/3 MAX.

Also, I like it better with a good Hef, called a Rüs.


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Old 05-08-2014, 07:40 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by slamman190 View Post
What about doing it this way:
Make a batch of pilsner/helles, bottle carbonate it.
then once done open the bottles, and pour half the beer into empty bottles (all sanitized of course). Now top up with lemon soda/lemonade, no worries about sugar, and recap all the bottles.
Next step would be to pasteurize them to kill the yeasties.
viola, pre-mixed Radler in bottles!

Beyond the extra work, any reason this would not work???
Oxidation issues. It will be fine if you drink them within a few days though. But if you drink them within a few days then you probably don't have to worry about the yeasts feasting on the sugars from the lemonade.

I don't know much about pasteurizing, but taking a carbonated drink in a glass bottle and heating it to yeast-killing temps would possibly give you bottle bombs or flat beer. I think pasteurizing normally takes place before carbonation. But I could be wrong about this.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:08 PM   #30
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A Radler, is meant to be a german version of a sports drink for cyclists, hence the name "Radler" which mean cyclist....gotta love the germans. It's the same as the English Shandy in concept. Frankly the way I've done it, is after fermentation, to mix 2/3 pilsner, with 1/3 lemonade. At temps below 40 degrees you won't have to worry about futher fermentation. Plus it always goes real quick

At room temp bottling maybe you could filter with a super fine filter, and use campden to kill the yeast (like wine makers do) before adding the lemonade.

As always your results may vary....slainte!

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