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Old 11-25-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
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Default First shot at hard lemonade...

I'm attempting my first batch of hard lemonade. I've done two batches of beer so far and figured I'd try my hand at something else. I (sort of) followed a recipe I found on here named "Extra Hard Lemonade". I say that I sort of followed it because I knocked it down from a 5 gallon batch to a 2 gallon batch. I also added just about 1.5 oz of light DME to my sugar water. This is what I did:

-3 cans of frozen lemonade
-1 can of frozen limeade
-approx 1.5 oz of light DME (half of a starter from AHB)
-approx 4# of regular sugar
-I used Red Star Champagne Yeast
-yeast nutrient and yeast energizer

I started by boiling about a gallon of water and adding the sugar. Once it was good and clear I added the DME.

While that was cooling, I mixed some warm water, yeast nutrient, yeast energizer, and yeast.

I dumped the frozen juices into the bucket, added the sugar water mixture and added water up to 2 gallons.

I cooled the mixture to 82 degrees, then pitched the yeast mixture.

My starting gravity was 1.110

It is now in the ferm bucket on my kitchen counter. My only concern is temperature fluctuation. Its already bubbling pretty nicely, not as vigorously as my beer brews have but about a bubble in the airlock every 20-30 seconds.

Anybody have any ideas on how much temp movement it should be able to handle? My home temp tends to fluctuate between 60-70 pretty regularly (colder nights, warmer days).

Any input will be appreciated!

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Old 11-25-2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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The temp range on Red Star is big enough to handle that no problem, but of course the closer you can keep it to the 70 side the better. The acids in the lemons tend to slow fermentation once a little alcohol has built up, so anything you can do to keep it active the better (adding the nutrients and energizer was a good first step).

I've tried a very similar recipe in the past and wasn't real happy with the results. IF you feel the same in the end, you might try http://skeeterpee.com/?page_id=17. It was suggested to me in this forum (sorry, don't remember name off hand) and have since talked to several people who have tried it and loved it... I have a batch chugging away right now (guess we'll see...)

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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I'm really hoping this one will be good. Maybe the wife will like it at least. If not, at least I'm only out about 5 bucks!

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Old 11-25-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 501irishred View Post
The temp range on Red Star is big enough to handle that no problem, but of course the closer you can keep it to the 70 side the better. The acids in the lemons tend to slow fermentation once a little alcohol has built up, so anything you can do to keep it active the better (adding the nutrients and energizer was a good first step).
What else can be done to supplement the yeast? Can I add more nutrient and energizer after the fermentation has begun?
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cees2u

What else can be done to supplement the yeast? Can I add more nutrient and energizer after the fermentation has begun?
How much yeast nutrient was added up front...what does your bottle/package say is proper dose per gallon because there are different products out there? You can supplement depending upon how much was added initially.

The things to do to maintain activity and keep yeast happy are to keep it warm consistently, 68-70ish; stir it from the bottom of bucket for a minute or so twice a day; and remove airlock on primary bucket and pop lid lose-you need access to oxygen...transfer to airlocked carboy when your SG has dropped by 2/3. Your yeast may have an issue with that high gravity start, so you may have a stall no matter what you do and may have to pitch another yeast if that happens.

I am thinking this may be light on the lemon factor when done, so when you are ready to backsweeten you may consider allowing one can of lemonade concentrate to thaw and add to taste instead of traditional sugar syrup.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:02 AM   #6
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I'm really hoping this one will be good. Maybe the wife will like it at least. If not, at least I'm only out about 5 bucks!
My quest as well. I've all but given up finding a beer recipe she likes, and I refuse to home brew a Miller Light clone!
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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Update: So far, so good. The airlock has been steadily bubbling for about 2 weeks. I've added nutrient once, and stirred every day or two. The gravity has been steadily coming down. As of yesterday, it was at 1.035. However, it was a little light on the lemon flavor.

My question is, can I back sweeten with more lemonade concentrate if I plan on carbonating via bottle conditioning?

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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Maybe u should add different quantities to the bottles, so u could figure out just the right amount for next batch.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #9
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Update: So far, so good. The airlock has been steadily bubbling for about 2 weeks. I've added nutrient once, and stirred every day or two. The gravity has been steadily coming down. As of yesterday, it was at 1.035. However, it was a little light on the lemon flavor.

My question is, can I back sweeten with more lemonade concentrate if I plan on carbonating via bottle conditioning?
You could, but you would need to stall out the fermentation by cold crashing the bottles once they are carbed. The problem with this is you would need to keep them very cold or risk activating the dormant yeast (can you say bottle bombs?). The best way would be to kill the yeast, backsweeten, then force carbonate (you could then bottle if wanted).
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:08 AM   #10
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Instead of coldcrashing the bottles you could pasteurize them once they're carbed: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/

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