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Old 12-03-2009, 11:01 PM   #1
Thinkey
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Default Hard Lemonade...my crazy way

I read up a lot of different recipes and what may happen with hard fermentation and such, so i decided to do this:

Its a mixture of recipes I read here but mostly Lon's Skeeter Pee found on Jack Keller's site:

8 cans of lemonade concentrate(total)
18-20 cups of sugar (i lost count at that point)
tsp tannin
3 tsp yeast nutrient
tsp pectic enzyme
yeast energizer
about 4 gallons of water
Yeast slurry from my Damson Plum wine
1 pack ec-1118 yeast

- Added 4 gallons of boiled and cooled down water + sugar to the primary (mix sugar in warm water to make sure all sugar is dissolved.
- melt down and add 2 cans of lemonade concentrate - sitr
- add tanning, 2 tsp yeast nutrient, and enzyme. stir
- make sure water temp is good for adding yeast
- make a starter using your new pack of ec1118 yeast +juice from bucket (lemonade+ sugar and water) - leave set for 30 mins
- pitch yeast starter to batch, stir

It would have problable brewed just on this, however, from what I have been reading i decided to take it safe.

- night before i pitched my new starter of yeast, i added two cups of lemonade+sugarwater to my Yeast slurry from the plume wine. That along swelled in the container I had it in. Left that there overnight
- after pitching the new yeast starter, pitch the rest of the yeast slurry into your primpary. sitr well.

SG at this point was 1.085

Instead of adding a airlock to my bucket, i simply placed a plate over the hole for the rubber bung & airlock, and left it like that. This brew calls for a lot of oxygen, I just let it be to help it along. Every day since sunday afternoon 29th I'd open it, sitr it well then close it back up, plate on top, packed in blankets.

Tuesday I added 1 can of lemonade to the mix +2 more cups of sugar. Hard to assume the sg at this rate, but 1.085 is still a fair number (its probably higher than lower at thois point..but not by much).

Fermentation still going well. Today I opened it up, gave it my first taste - not too bad. Checked the SG - 1.050 - that was nice and fast. Estimated alchool is min 4.9% so that's great. Still quite active.

I melted down two more cans of lemonade concentrate, and added it to the mix plus a tsp of yeast energizer (it arrived in the mail yesterday, good time to use it!) and 1tsp yeast nutrient! Stirred and placed the cover back over and packed it up. Lon's Skeeter Pee recipe says add both energize and nutrient at this point, so i decided why not.

So far it tastes good. My mom approves and so does my dad. I find it doesn't have enough "lemony" taste yet - because there was far more sugar than lemon concentrate up until this point. Once I taste it again in 2-3 days I should taste the difference - and if i do it's going in the direction I want it to go.

Next steps will be:

Monitor the brew for the next few days, make sure it doesn't smell like burnt rubber bands. So far it's has a nice sweet smell to the ferment. In 2-3 days time I'll open it up, check the sg, if its down in the 1.030 range, I will add the last 2 cans of lemonade concentrate then check SG at that point W/ lemonade concentrate and decide whether to leave for 2 or more days, or cold crash then.

The temperature outside here now is at the 0 level, so my plan is to leave it outside a few days, siphon off to another bucket, let settle for a few more days there (check the SG at all times to see if its stopping.) Once its slowed and the SG isnt dropping much. Break back in house, add sorbate and sulfite, degas, add clarifier and let settle for couple weeks until it comes to my liking. I also have a bottle of whisky sour that i may toss in here as well at this point to make sure she's really nice n sour.

Anyone have any advice on my last steps? Always looking for tips thanks.

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Old 12-06-2009, 10:25 PM   #2
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Wow, sounds like it might turn out pretty good! I kinda like the whiskey sour mix addition idea, maybe add a tsp to a sample to taste the flavor profile first tho???

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Old 12-06-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by pirate252 View Post
Wow, sounds like it might turn out pretty good! I kinda like the whiskey sour mix addition idea, maybe add a tsp to a sample to taste the flavor profile first tho???
What's what I was thinking taste test first, i should know in the next couple days once she gets a little higher in alchool
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #4
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It has now reached 1.020. The taste is really tart for me, my parents like it. (I still think it will benefit from the whiskey sour personally!). With the help and advice of the dudes who brew beer in the chat (since this is more now of a beer issue than a wine issue). I got my following steps nearly figured out.

Decided agianst their advice not to cold crash it yet. Will move it from primary to a secondary bucket at 1.020 and airlock it. Leave it ferment then to dry.

From some math the guys in the chatroom have helped me with, the assumption is that overall my initial reading would have been 1.120 (i added the additional sugar through the lemon concentrate as I went along every few days). Right now the potential alchool would be 13.4% it may be wrong...but the taste it certainly is as strong as my plum wine which was at 9.9% last checked. Either way its strong enough for hard lemonade, if not stronger!

I'm working on what to use to back sweeten without using potassium sorbate and metabisulfite to stop fermentation in order to back sweeten. Hoping to get my hands on the proper stuff soon. Either Splenda, but i've been told it does a bad job, or lactose, if i can find it (but it worries me, a firend of mine who wants to try this is lactose intolerant, so any other ideas welcome!)

Then I will use Sparkolloid fining agent to clear. And corn sugar to carbonate before bottling.

I am hoping to have it drinkable by Christmas for my friends as a party favor. Wish me luck!

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Old 12-10-2009, 10:29 PM   #5
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So I placed the hard lemonade in the secondary today. Last sg reading was 1.010. My bud's estimation on the added sugar with the concentrate is correct that's down from 1.120 which comes out to about 14.7%

My original SG reading (without the extra concentrate counted) was 1.085 which makes 10% at the very least - strong stuff.

I placed 3 gallons in a secondary to ferment to dry (16% potentially). I will back sweeten with splenda and clarify with something...geletin or something this time maybe. Then corn sugar for carbonation before bottling.

I placed the other 4 liters roughly in a small plastic jar for an experiment. It won't be carbonated (at least i don't assume it will be..I added sorbate). Anyway in 4 liters I added this:

- 1/2 splenda sugar (not the packets, the splenda sugar that equals the sweetness of cane sugar as measured by a cup...i never went overboard on the sugar basically)

- 1 cup whisky sour (i added it by 1/4 cups until I got it to my liking)

1g potassium sorbate

1/2 sparklloid powder

Its see-through now, if it clears even better this stuff should be good for an ice punchbowl for sure.

The waiting game on the clearing begins

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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Can you clear this stuff up using gelatin?

I started at 1.070 and am now at about 1.025.

I put some into 2 liter soda bottles, can I stop the process by simply letting them carbonate a bit then chill down to 32-34 degrees? I read somewhere that you could, or do I need to let them ferment to dry and back sweeten, and add sugar to force carb?

Once I have a finished product (carbonated or not) does this need to be stored in the fridge, and how long will it keep?

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flander View Post
Can you clear this stuff up using gelatin?

I started at 1.070 and am now at about 1.025.

I put some into 2 liter soda bottles, can I stop the process by simply letting them carbonate a bit then chill down to 32-34 degrees? I read somewhere that you could, or do I need to let them ferment to dry and back sweeten, and add sugar to force carb?

Once I have a finished product (carbonated or not) does this need to be stored in the fridge, and how long will it keep?
I could say you can use gelatin fine, I am thinking about picking up some liquid gelatin myself for my 3 gallon batch here.

Cold crashing as you're suggesting might be tricky and cause bottle bombs (at least that's wahat the pros in the brew chat told me). They recommended i ferment to dry (below 1.00) and then back sweeten. I have bought splenda to backsweeten and I plan to force carb with corn sugar.

Leave it ferment dry before you add anything. Move it to your secondary now (or just wait until it drops below 1.00 in your primary) then siphon to a new bucket/seconday and allow it to settle. Once it is fermented dry, feel free to add the gelatin to clear but DO NOT add potassium sorbate or sodium metabifultire (campdem tablets) as it will inhibit any more fermentation that you need for carbonation. Leave it set and clear for about a month or so (just keep an eye, you'll know when its clear). Siphon again - then you backsweeten to your taste - wait a week for the taste to mix in, add corn sugar to carbonate and bottle in the same day.

That's my plan with my 3 gallon batch at the moment, and I already have all the stuff but the gelatin (the sporkalloid powder i got..i dunno if i wll like it i am trying it in a sample of some other stuff right now)

Hope that explains some stuff to you!
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #8
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For how long it will keep, i would assume the same length of wine in most cases (about a year if kept chilled and well preserved in bottles)

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Due to the extremely low pH I would think it will keep longer than a Twinkie. Maybe a hundred years...

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Old 12-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #10
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Due to the extremely low pH I would think it will keep longer than a Twinkie. Maybe a hundred years...
LOL - I'll make sure to include a bottle in my casket when I die then
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