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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > My version of hard lemonade recipe? not quite right
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:22 AM   #1
Pjilek
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Default My version of hard lemonade recipe? not quite right

hey,
I just finished bottling my first batch of amber ale, tried it, odd after taste, but I'm hoping after carbonation it'll be fine. Anyway, after bottling the amber ale I transferred my hard lemonade to the carboy, and I snagged a cup during transfer. It doesn't taste bad, but it taste more like beer than lemonade. I was shooting for a harder mike's hard lemonade, and got more of a half beer/half lemonade drink. I used this recipe with a little modification

Quote:
1lb sugar
3.3lbs light malt extract (dry) OR 4.125lbs of light liquid extract
6 cans of frozen minute maid lemonade mix (or any other high quality lemonade mix)

Boil the sugar and malt for about 30 minutes in 2 gallons of water.
Transfer to your fermenter and add the cans of lemonade.
Fill with cold water till you hit 5 gallons of wort.
Pitch yeast - whatever ale yeast you've got will work, you won't really taste the yeast flavor compounds over the lemonade.

That's it. Prime and bottle like normal.

NOTES
Don't use a cheap lemonade concentrate, shell out the extra 50 cents for the good stuff.

Let the lemonade age 3-4 weeks in the bottles, it will come out very sour but age nicely.

Don't think about using this recipe for making pink lemonade - I was way ahead of you and it's undrinkable. I never tried limeade though, feel free to try that yourself.
I wanted to use real lemons/limes, so I substituted the concentrate for 18 freshly squeezed lemons and 10 freshly squeezed limes. Also I used dextrose, I don't know if that would make much of a difference. The lemon flavor is right, but the beer flavor is really noticable. I used briess dry LME. Wondering if you think the beer flavor will mellow out, or if I should do anything. It's been fermenting for a little over two weeks in the upper sixties. Thanks for any opinions/thoughts, sorry for the long post.

Paul
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:52 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjilek View Post
hey,
I just finished bottling my first batch of amber ale, tried it, odd after taste, but I'm hoping after carbonation it'll be fine. Anyway, after bottling the amber ale I transferred my hard lemonade to the carboy, and I snagged a cup during transfer. It doesn't taste bad, but it taste more like beer than lemonade. I was shooting for a harder mike's hard lemonade, and got more of a half beer/half lemonade drink. I used this recipe with a little modification



I wanted to use real lemons/limes, so I substituted the concentrate for 18 freshly squeezed lemons and 10 freshly squeezed limes. Also I used dextrose, I don't know if that would make much of a difference. The lemon flavor is right, but the beer flavor is really noticable. I used briess dry LME. Wondering if you think the beer flavor will mellow out, or if I should do anything. It's been fermenting for a little over two weeks in the upper sixties. Thanks for any opinions/thoughts, sorry for the long post.

Paul
The commercial hard lemonades and other alcopops do not have any malt flavor because they aren't brewed in a direct manner like a beer. With malt extract as the main ingredient I don't think you will be able to eliminate the malty/beer flavor. In the commercial products malt and adjuncts are used to produce a wort but after fermenting it is subjected to special processes, enzymes and filtering which result in an essentially colorless, tasteless "beer". Coloring, flavoring and sweeteners are then blended in to produce the final product.
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Old 12-07-2008, 03:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pjilek View Post
hey,
I just finished bottling my first batch of amber ale, tried it, odd after taste, but I'm hoping after carbonation it'll be fine. Anyway, after bottling the amber ale I transferred my hard lemonade to the carboy, and I snagged a cup during transfer. It doesn't taste bad, but it taste more like beer than lemonade. I was shooting for a harder mike's hard lemonade, and got more of a half beer/half lemonade drink. I used this recipe with a little modification



I wanted to use real lemons/limes, so I substituted the concentrate for 18 freshly squeezed lemons and 10 freshly squeezed limes. Also I used dextrose, I don't know if that would make much of a difference. The lemon flavor is right, but the beer flavor is really noticable. I used briess dry LME. Wondering if you think the beer flavor will mellow out, or if I should do anything. It's been fermenting for a little over two weeks in the upper sixties. Thanks for any opinions/thoughts, sorry for the long post.

Paul
Well, with that much malt extract, it's going to taste malty. That's as much malt as some people use in beer recipes, so you made more of a beer with lemonade rather than hard lemonade with some extract. It might age a bit, though, and not be too beer-ish.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:09 AM   #4
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Couldn't you use some apple juice and dextrose to boost the ABV while letting the lemons essentially dominate the flavor? Maybe use rice or corn for some of your fermentables instead of malt?

I've always noticed Juicy Juice brand juice always has apple and/or pear juice in ALL of its juices. Even the "grape" juice, and "berry" juice have them listed in their ingredients. I figure apple and pear juice have subtle enough flavors that any stronger fruit essense will override them.

I've never had a commercial hard lemonade though so I don't have much to go on.

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by goodbyebluesky82 View Post
Couldn't you use some apple juice and dextrose to boost the ABV while letting the lemons essentially dominate the flavor? Maybe use rice or corn for some of your fermentables instead of malt?

I've always noticed Juicy Juice brand juice always has apple and/or pear juice in ALL of its juices. Even the "grape" juice, and "berry" juice have them listed in their ingredients. I figure apple and pear juice have subtle enough flavors that any stronger fruit essense will override them.

I've never had a commercial hard lemonade though so I don't have much to go on.
I used some apple juice in my hard lemonade to give a nice base for my yeast. You can't taste it in the finished product but I'm pretty sure the apple juice was one of the reasons I didn't have any problem getting the yeast going in that acid environment.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies, and thanks for that information BigEd, I wondered how Mike's ended up being that colorless. If I try to make lemonade again I will definetly look into rice/corn instead of malt extract. That makes more sense, since if I'm not wrong thats how BMC ends up with such a clear, light beer. I used a decent bit more dextrose than was called, so I do not know if it would be a good idea to add any more fermentables to this batch. Hmm, well what I tasted was drinkable, not quite perfect, if the SWMBO isn't a fan, I can always use it for beer pong, and try again. Thanks again for all the informative, fast replies.

Paul

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Old 12-08-2008, 03:59 AM   #7
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Another think to consider is using champagne yeast. It'll ferment cleaner.

May the yeast be with you.

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