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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > is tea a tough ferment?
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Old 06-01-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
George7845
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Default is tea a tough ferment?

Ive been trolling forums and it seems no one has a hard tea recipe besides tea and vodka haha. I know there are two guys here trying it out, you would think it would actually be simple. Steep your tea, add enough sugar to 1.050, use a yeast that ferments to like 5% and bottle carbonate? There is obviously some element im over looking? I was also thinking, for hard lemonade couldnt you just use lemonade concentrate in frozen cans, balance to 1.050 og, and use a yeast that dies at 5%? I would like to make some sort of tea or lemonade because my lady would like it, and she may even promote my brewing haha.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #2
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I've been wondering about this too. Your "hard tea" recipe doesn't sound too good though. Think about what you'd have if you dissolved table sugar in water to 1.050, and fermented it. Not something that could be saved with a little tea.

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Old 06-01-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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maybe if you steeped tea, then proceeded to add lemon concentrate from cans to bring up og, then you would have lemon ice tea in theory. Or maybe steep tea in lemon concentrate, but that would sound sticky, idk, just throwing out ideas and thoughts.

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Old 06-01-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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What yeast stops at 5% ABV?

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:11 PM   #5
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I don't know of a yeast who's alcohol tolerance is so low it automatically would die off at 5%. Stopping at 5% would be more of a function of the yeast naturally finishing the fermenting process once a certain attenuation level has been acheived. If the sugar water ferment idea was used, most yeasts would attenuate close to 100% anyways because sugar is so simple for the yeast to eat.

Another idea would be to use DME as a base (or mash pale malt) and add your tea concentrate and ferment that. I'm not sure how that would come out, but the attenuation of the yeast would be closer to a standard 70-76%.

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
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yeah im new, i was under the wrong impression.

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Old 06-02-2010, 02:42 AM   #7
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Well I'm trying the sugar water method myself right now. It certainly looks like tea right now. Who knows, could be a disaster or a pleasant surprise. I feel a bit like a mad scientist though.

I will find a workable recipe. Such lofty goals I have.

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Old 06-02-2010, 03:54 AM   #8
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Default Oow Oow Me Me....

You guys are talking my kind of wierdness...

I have fermented coffee & tea along with several other things that arn't exactly beer or wine, & here is a summary of what I've learned.

DO--In a 5 gallon batch you want to add at least 3#'s Dry Malt extract otherwise your "beverage" will have no body, and be alot like tea and vodka. You can add cane preferably corn suger to you desired OG.

DO--You have to use 150% the flavorings or it will have a thin taste. The fermentation carrys away alot of the flavor/smellenoids {yes I just made that word up}, but the point is true. Brew with 1 & 1/2 times product. For some of us it will be the first time in a long time we have had tea and not hops in a "Tea ball"

Do-- Ph test and add citric acid"lemon juice" or you'll have fun finding this "lactic acid" for coffee, Add lots of yeast nutient, you are trying to ferment faintly brown water after all.

DoNOT-- Oversteep your tea, just like grains you do not want to release too much tannin (read bitter) from the leaves, coffee etc.

DoNOT-- use any chemical flavorings, everyone iv'e tried is amplyfied in the finished product

I have been kickin around the idea of bittering a beer with some black chi tea, and dry hopping with a noble hop.

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Old 06-05-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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i did a green tea , cran ras mead and it came out awesome ...after 2 yrs of aging... i can dig up the recipe if you want just pm me. sadly i didnt have that kind of patience and drank 95% of it after a few months hahaha luckily i gave some away and they were able to wait to drink it.

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Old 06-05-2010, 02:37 AM   #10
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George, if you're kegging, this answer's easy.

Steep tea, add sugar and maltodextrin to an OG of 1.070ish, when the gravity's down to 1.020 or so, add campden to kill yeast, crash cool and force carbonate.

If you're bottle carbing, the only thing that sounds decent to me is:

Steep tea in water
Add sugar, honey, and maltodextrin until you get an OG of 1.110 or so
Ferment with normal ale yeast and let yeast die out around 1.020 or so, keeping some sweetness.
Age for a year to let alcohol calm down.

Only thing is if the yeast is dead, bottle carbing won't work, and if you add more yeast it might ferment down to 1.008 or so.

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