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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > Full Hard Lemonade recipe
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
Neysa
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Default Full Hard Lemonade recipe

I'm new. Like still squalling new, but I want to make something I will drink myself that doesn't take 18 months to enjoy. My husband will only drink something like Mikes hard lemonade so the two of us could readily enjoy that together. Issue being I have yet to find a complete recipe that is more or less idiot proof. I also was wondering about if you add fruit, say strawberries and kiwi to a recipe is that going to change the balance? Will it help the yeast to take off since the must would be a little less acidic? If you one of you lovely brewing geniuses wouldn't mind pointing this newb in the right direction, I sure would be appreciative!

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:52 PM   #2
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This is a really easy and good recipe for hard lemonade. It is a lot stronger than Mike's.

Ingredients (makes 6-7 gallons):

- 12 cans preservative-free Lemonade concentrate (I use Nature's best
brand from Aldi's cause it is cheap, Minute Maid is another option)
- 1 lb Extra light or Pilsen Light Dry Malt Extract
- 2.5 lbs corn sugar
- Yeast nutrient
- Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne Yeast (THIS YEAST IS VERY IMPORTANT, OTHER CHAMPAGNE YEASTS HAVE A HARD TIME WITH THE ACIDITY OF THE LEMONADE, BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE YEAST PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS BELOW AS WELL)
- Potassium Sorbate
- Appx 8 cups regular cane sugar

Rehydrate yeast:

Rehydrate yeast by combining 1 cup warm water with 1 tbsp of lemonade concentrate and just a couple yeast nutrient pellets with Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne yeast, Allow to sit for at least a half hour. You should see vigorous action in the yeast when ready.

Brewing the wort:

In a 2.5+ gal brew pot, combine 1 lb Pilsen Light Dry Malt Extract (DME) with 3 lbs corn sugar to appx 2 gal boiling water. This will give you appx 9% abv when finished. To increase alcohol, increase sugar and/or DME, use less sugar to lower ABV). Stir until completely disolved Remove from heat, and 7 tsp yeast nutrient.

Combine wort in large plastic fermentor bucket with 10 cans lemonade concentrate, and enough cold water to fill bucket to bring total volume to 6 gal. Make sure temp is between 65 - 75 degrees, and take initial hydrometer reading. Pitch in your yeast starter. Put lid and airlock on fermentor and allow to ferment at room temp.

Fermentation:

You should see steady fermentation within 2 -3 days, that will last 1-2 weeks. Allow to ferment completely out before attempting to bottle.

Bottling day:

Take hydrometer reading. You should be right around .998 – 1.002 specific gravity.

In a large sauce pan, add 8 cups cane sugar (or to taste), 2 cans Lemonade concentrate, and 3 cups water and, stirring continuously, bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and disolve 3.5 tsp potassium sorbate. Add lemon/sugar/sorbate solution to a 7 gal bottling bucket. Rack fermented lemonade from carboy into bottling bucket with the sorbate solution, stirring thoroughly.

You can bottle in beer or wine bottles, or you can keg. Even with the sorbate, you will probably get a little bit of carbonation as it sits, but it is usually not enough to pop a cork. I usually keg, and force carbonate.

It is ready to drink on bottling day.

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Old 08-20-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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That's EXACTLY the idiot proofing steps I was hoping for. My brewing books recipes are all spelled out like that, thank you!

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Old 08-21-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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I'm sure it will work out for you. This is an award winning recipe!

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Old 08-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #5
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What is equal to a pellet of yeast nutrient? Is that a tsp.?.

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Old 08-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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http://www.skeeterpee.com/
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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also wouldnt making lemonade, with or without other fruit, than adding rum or vodka to it and then carbonating it in a keg pretty much produce the same thing as mikes hard lemonade? thats all that crap taste like to me, lemonade with a cheap horrible liquor like smirnoff

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Old 08-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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Mike's hard lemonade is a very bland, tasteless beer (probably mostly adjuncts with a tiny amount of pale malt and no hops) with artificial lemon flavoring, artificial colors and sweetener added after fermentation is complete. It's not much different from a wine cooler.

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:03 AM   #9
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Could you replace the lemonade with any other fruit juice concentrate or would that screw up the fermentation with the champagne yeast?

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:15 AM   #10
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There are a variety of fruits that will work well with champagne yeast.

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