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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > Louisiana Hard Lemon Sweet Tea
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Old 05-30-2010, 03:24 AM   #1
completegeek
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Default Louisiana Hard Lemon Sweet Tea

Here is my first "experiment". I'm from Louisiana, hence the name.

Not sure how this is going to turn out. I think I made quite a few mistakes and I'm actually wanting to do another batch right away and tweak the things I did wrong.

Here's the recipe I used:

96 bags Lipton tea
3 gallons distilled water
6 cups corn sugar
zest of 2 lemons and juice of 5
cotes de blanc dry yeast

First I boiled 1 gallon of water then added the sugar and zest.
Removing the pot from the burner I then let it steep for 5 minutes, removed the tea bags and added the lemon juice.

Here's where I think I messed up. I had a friend over at the time and became distracted. I placed the pot in my sink filled with cold water. In my carboy I added the distilled water which had been in my refrigerator. After probably less than two minutes I added the tea "wort" to the carboy and brought to volume with another cold gallon of water.

Then I pitched my yeast (without checking the temperature) to the carboy. I had made a starter and had it in my fridge and added it straight to the carboy.

I have no clue what temp my wort was before I pitched the yeast. I did take a gravity reading before pitching and it was somewhere around 1.012....kind of low. Guess I need to add a bit more sugar next time.

Well, it was an experiment that's for sure. I'll update once I see some activity...or not.

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Old 05-30-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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Good luck! I'm curious how yours turns out so please do come back and update!

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Old 05-30-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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Will do. I hope it turns out ok.

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Old 05-30-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
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Here's a few pictures from brew day.







Plus a few from the next morning. Minimal krausen and airlock activity. OG was low like I said. Hopefully a happy mistake. Not sure how much alcohol twang would be good for a sweet tea.




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Old 06-01-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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Let us know how it tastes

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Old 06-01-2010, 04:36 PM   #6
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Plugging a rough estimate of your recipe into a calculator gives you an OG of somewhere around 1.018-1.024 so it might be higher than you thought. That'll only put you at 1.7% ABV though.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:05 PM   #7
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Actually I boiled 1 quart of water and added 6 cups of corn sugar to it the next day. Such low ABV just wouldn't do for me

I will definitely let you know how it tastes.

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Old 06-20-2010, 09:42 PM   #8
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Default I like it!

Well it has been 3 weeks today so I could barely contain myself as I tried my experiment.

I boiled 6 cups of regular table sugar in 2 quarts of water, cooled it in an ice bath and added 4 crushed campden tablets. I then added the sugar water to my bottling bucket and then siphoned my tea from my carboy into the bottling bucket.

I didn't bottle it, I just siphoned it into 4 gallon jugs once mixed like I would a normal sweet tea.

Adding ice like I would to any sweet tea I took my first tentative sip. Honestly the first thing that came to mind was that it tasted like flat champagne. I could detect the lemon and tea flavors but they are weak. This surprised me since I used nearly 100 bags of tea!

Some friends of mine really enjoyed it and said they would recommend to others and definitely wanted me to brew more. My Father in law said it need just a little something more and added mint to his.

I actually quite like it. Very refreshing on a hot day and is easy to drink.
I may will definitely tweak the recipe. I will definitely up the sugar to increase my alcohol content next time.

Has anyone else done a tea like this? I would love to really nail down my recipe.

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Old 07-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #9
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Two years ago I tried fermenting Tea with Trader Joes Irish Breakfast Tea, two (maybe three) pounds of turbinado sugar and a generic champagne yeast (i think). It was an off the cuff experiment to make 5 galls for under $10, so I didn't take notes on brew day. I never went back and wrote notes because it turned out so terrible. The yeast annihilated the turbinado sugar and left me with highly alcoholic and undrinkable bitter tea.

After thinking about this for two years, I think the key would be either back end sweetening or using Splenda in addition to the fermentable sugars. I hate the taste of Splenda, but it might be different in this kind of situation. I never thought about trying to make this without carbonating it at some point, but it might be worth giving flat a shot. Maybe something to try would be back end sweetening with a low sugar lemon juice and Splenda or sugar? If you put it in the fridge immediately the yeast should stay dormant.

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Old 07-12-2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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If you want a better tea flavor- try Tetley tea bags instead, I have used lipton and Tetley and highly prefer the Tetley for ice tea much nicer and stronger flavor compared to the Lipton... Just my opinion.
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