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