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Old 07-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #1
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Hi,
I am going to be making a 1 gallon batch of Hard Tea using bignick's recipe from this thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f79/hard-iced-tea-71079/ and have a quick question or two or three or lots...

I posted in that thread but it doesnt seem like many frequent it so I hope it is ok to post here?

When fermentation is complete(2 weeks,give or take)will I need to rack it into a secondary to get it off the lees or can I just leave it in the primary for the extra 6 weeks without a problem?

I also want to back sweeten this batch(for those that hate the taste of Alcohol)so you can imagine it may need to be extra sweet.
Could I get away with just pouring say a 23 ounce can of the same tea into the bottling bucket at bottling time and get away with it or will I need to also add sugar syrup to it as well?(say 2 cups sugar boiled in 1 cup? of water?). Then both added at bottling time?
And last but not least will there be a need to kill off the yeast when doing this?
I will be bottling in beer bottles and capping so maybe a little carbonation wont be bad?
Anyone ever had sparkling Hard Tea...is it better then still?

I haven't decided what yeast I want to use yet. I have Windsor,Nottingham ,Lavlin EC-1118 and Montrachet to choose from. I was thinking maybe the Nottingham? I would like a bit higher ABV but that isn't necessarily a requirement.

I'm only 2 meads and a batch of Apfelwein into all this(and they aren't even done yet)so I'm still trying to grasp a lot of this.

Any help is greatly Appreciated
Thank You

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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I rack whenever I have lees more than about 1/4" thick, or about every 60 days or so, but I've never fermented tea so I don't know how much you'll get in the way of lees.

As far as sweetening, all you have to do is let it ferment out fully. Then, stabilize with sulfite (campden tablets) and sorbate. Dissolve the sorbate and sulfite in some hot water (like 1/2 cup) and add to the carboy. Rack the fermented tea into it, and wait a few days. After that, you can sweeten to taste. The easiest way to do it is to pull out a sample. Then, sweeten that sample to how you like it and take the SG of it. Then, sweeten the whole batch to that SG. It seems to taste sweeter after being bottled a while, so you may want to sweeten a bit less than you really want it.

You can sweeten with anything you'd like- juice concentrate, honey, a simple sugar syrup, etc.

If you sweeten, you have to stabilize the tea so you don't have bottle bombs. If you do that, you won't be able to bottle carb.

I'd use wine yeast for this, but like I said, I've never made it. I use wine yeast for hard lemonade, though.

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Old 07-07-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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I use a very easy recipe....... I brew a fresh batch of Souther Sweet Tea then i pour a
5th of Limoncello into the pitcher. Umm tasty......

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Old 07-08-2009, 06:19 AM   #4
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Thanks YooperBrew,
I was pretty sure about all of that I just felt more comfortable having a pro confirm it all for me.
I will pitch the Montrachet instead of the Nottingham. I thought I had read on hear before about the Nottingham leaving a sweeter product but I cant seem to find the posts now
I'll just back-sweeten just before I bottle and see what happens from there. If everything works to everyone's liking I'll go a bigger batch next time.
If I did want a sweet finished product and still be able to bottle-carb it,is it correct that all I would have to do is just raise the O.G higher with say a sugar syrup(Honey or Concentrate or whatever)) so that the ending ABV will end up killing the yeast off? I'm still not clear on just how that works?

Thanks r3dn3ckstyl3z
I've been that route before just looking for something a bit more involved

I Appreciate all the help
Thank You
Les

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:07 PM   #5
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The recipe calls for Champ yeast. I wouldn't use the lemon zest either. I would listen to yopper on the backsweeten..but I have made four batches of this stuff (going on 20 gallons) I have never used any chemicals to stop fermentation, and I have backsweeten it with regular sugar, Splenda and lemonade concentrate.

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Old 07-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #6
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Hi Firstnten,
I don't have Champagne Yeast on hand just the two wine yeasts I listed above. Do you see there being a problem using either of those?
I'll forgo the Lemon Zest and just use the juice from the Two Lemons unless you don't think that is necessary either?
You mention never having had to stop fermentation before and were still able to backsweeten...did you end up with carbonated bottles or...?
I figured I would follow the recipe and ferment for the two weeks(or until fermentation stops)then age right in the primary for the 6 weeks then backsweeten and bottle.
I'm just not sure if I really want it still or carbed

Do you have the recipe on hand for how you made yours using the Arizona Sweet Tea?

Thank You

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