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Old 06-12-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
Gilbey
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Default Lemonade Help

I have hard lemonade problem. I made a starter with 1/2 pound of table sugar, a bit of lemon juice and a quart of water two weeks ago. I pitched two packets of Red Star Champagne yeast, and I had good activity with a few hours. Over the next few days I added a bit more lemon juice, and when things slowed down to a stop I added a bit more sugar and got more activity. I thought I was in good shape.

Fast forward to Saturday. I mixed up my batch of lemonade (no sorbate or additives) with 1/2 the lemon juice I normally use and 10# of table sugar. My plan was to add more lemon juice once fermentation kicked in. I pitched the starter, but now after 3+ days I have hardly any fermentation activity.

I used this same method last Summer and it worked out just fine, although fermetation was slow....took 5 weeks to reach desired FG.

I did not add any yeast nutrient. Should I now???

Any help is appreciated.

Alan
Thanks

Alan

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #2
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If your activity hasnt picked up by now I'd sterilize and throw some nutrients in.

The issue with starters and some exotic styles is that if you dont have a malt of some sort (or added nutrients) not do your yeast not have anything to repair/build cell bodies with as they consume the sugar, the yeast used all the available proteins that came with them in the packet while they grew in the starter. Now they're likely in the dormant survival mode.

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Old 06-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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I'm planning on some hard lemonade soon, so have been looking into this.

I wonder if a little olive oil in the starter would help with the nutrient and yeast cell body issues?

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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My lemonade didn't do much with nutrient, so I added yeast energizer. It perked up pretty quickly.

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Old 06-13-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
I'm planning on some hard lemonade soon, so have been looking into this.

I wonder if a little olive oil in the starter would help with the nutrient and yeast cell body issues?
I"m not 100% sure if yeast can metabolize oils, but that still wont give them any proteins (oils are lipids aka fats). Normally this isnt an issue in beer because enough proteins from the grain makes it's way into your extract/wort, but if your using only sugar/juice you need to add something.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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It is likely you have a combination of problems yielding an unhealthy environment for the yeast to thrive.
1. Low nutrient/sugar ratio
2. really low pH from the lemonade
3. possibly old/bad/weak packet of yeast

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