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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > is a high ABV hard tea doable?
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Default is a high ABV hard tea doable?

Im getting ready to make my hard tea and im using champagne yeast and aiming for 16-18 percent. I figured if i use:

30 extra strong tetley's tea bags.
2.5 pounds of sugar to start
1 tsp of yeast nutrient
1tsp of pectic enzyme
juice of two lemons and zest of two lemons.

once fermentation ends i was thinking of backsweetening to make the beverage sweeter (obviously) and perhaps adding more lemon juice/flavouring.

From past posts on the forum i understand the tea flavour is almost non existent, so do you think for a 1 gallon batch 30 extra strong bags will produce enough taste of tea? im counting on tea fermenters for help here. thanks.

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Old 08-22-2012, 09:19 PM   #2
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I made a 5 gallon version of something very similar to this. It was essentially a 17.5% abv sugar beverage with a lot of tea flavour. Not good at all. I dumped almost all of it. Generally, I find the Champagne yeasts shoot out all kinds of unpleasant by-products when one goes above 14% abv.

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Old 08-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #3
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Maybe if I stick to 15 abv? Keep it less intence? Lemon and sugar backsweetened

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Old 08-22-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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How long did it take until bottling??

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Old 08-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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Brew a sweet tea and add vodka?

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Old 08-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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If I am understand you correctly, you want something like a hard tea, akin to Mike's Lemonade. For something like that, do a sugar wash and then add tea afterwards for flavour. Here is a recipe that should give you good success:

For 1 gallon:

boil the following for 10 minutes:
2# Light Dry Malt Extract
corn sugar (dextrose) enough to get to desired % abv, but I'd reccomend staying below 13%
water to 1 gallon

cool to room temp (can put the pan with lid on in freezer)
add to sanatized fermenter
add 1 tsp yeast nutrient
add Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne yeast

ferment for about 2 weeks
take hydrometer readings until you reach target
then add sorbate-K to kill off all the yeast
syphon into a second fermenter, leaving as much yeast cake behind as possible
(you should then have slightly less than a gallon being transferred)

Now take 5 tea bags worth of tea, put in a french press, and add freshly boiled water. Steep 5 mins, press, cool to room temp and add liquid to fermenter.

back-sweeten to taste.

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Old 08-23-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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Would that not cause tea to settle soon after pouring it in?

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Old 08-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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I've done this with coffee to beers, and it mixes in very evenly. In this case, I expect stratification of the two liquids would not be an issue either. You could always gently shake the jug before serving, since you are killing the yeast, I am assuming this will not be a sparkling beverage.

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:27 PM   #9
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Not a sparkling, what would happen if I did not use malt extract??

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Old 08-23-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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You can skip the malt extract. If you do, the remaining sugar (dextrose) is 100% fermentable, so the resulting beverage will be very dry and thin. There is an increased potential for that "green apple" aroma which is not desirable, but you can counter that with good fermentation temp control and waiting a month before trying the product. I'd say go for it. Please post the result!

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