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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > a very effective way to "start" skeeter pee
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default a very effective way to "start" skeeter pee

If you have done any reading about skeeter pee you will quickly realize the hardest part about making it is getting it to start. If you make a typical starter or simply pitch the dry yeast directly in to the must the acids from the lemon and the preservatives (sodium benzoate, sodium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfate)slow down the yeast and it can take a week or better before it really starts to take off.

Another solution that is common practice among skeeter pee makers is to simply make the skeeter pee or SP on top of the lees from a previous batch of wine. This is highly effective, however has two drawbacks, first it means you can only make SP when you have just finished another wine or cider, and two if the "starter wine" had any color to it (like a red) those colors can muddy the SP.

I have come up with a third solution that is highly effective and gets the SP going within about 48-72 hours.

After I have mixed my lemon, water, and sugar to create the SP must I sanitize a clear beer bottle and then use it as a container to make a starter with 4 oz of apple juice (I use a 4oz juice box, also I have found yeast seam to really do well in apple juice) and the yeast I am using. I fit the bottle with an air lock and let it sit for about an hour or two, watching for activity. When I have vigorous bubbling I add about 4oz of my SP mix and weight until it starts vigorously bubbling again (usually takes about 6-8 hours) I then add 4 more ounces of SP and once again give it about 6-8 hours. At this point my beer bottle is full, and quite foamy at the top from the activity. I then pour 1/2 of my starter in to the SP must, give the jug a quick swirl and refill the starter bottle with more SP liquid. Again it takes about 6-8 hours for the starter to start bubbling vigorously again and when I get to that point I repeat the previous step only I pour 2/3 of the starter in to the must, again give the must a swirl, replace the liquid in the starter with more SP, and repeat. I continue this process until my jug of skeeter pee starts bubbling on its own, at which point I dump the entire starter into the jug and top it off. I used this technique and made a starter two mornings ago and by this morning only 48 hours later my SP was bubbling away on its own. I have found this technique works extremely well and I believe it minimizes the stress on the yeast so I figured I would share.

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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Nice! I'm planning to make SP and this'll be a big help.

Are you able to get it going and ferment completely with cool temps this time of year?

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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Just follow the temperature range on your yeast and it should be fine, but Skeeter Pee really does ferment better at a warmer temperature, as the recipe recommends. If you opt for a lower temperature it may take longer to finish.

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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I do all my fermenting in my basement which means it is around 60º + or - 4º year round. as to fermenting it out I make mine at a lower ABV, around 6% more like a store bought hard lemonade or wine cooler, so I don't have much issue getting it to ferment out. On this batch I used both nutrient and energizer.

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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I was also hoping to make a batch of this with an abv of around 6%. Did you follow the recipe and add less sugar to achieve that or do something else.

And would this stuff be good carbonated?

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:07 AM   #6
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Yes I made a 1 gallon batch and added 450g of sugar (about 2 &1/3 cups) to get the 6% PA. I plan on bottle carbonating mine then pasteurizing.

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:21 AM   #7
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When you bottle carb will you be left with any lees in the bottle after pasteurization?

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:26 AM   #8
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yes a little bit but as long as the brew was clear when you bottled the lees will be minimal

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Old 03-09-2012, 02:48 AM   #9
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Yeah I'm used to that not a huge deal. Is the drink it self good?

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Old 03-09-2012, 03:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daze View Post
Yes I made a 1 gallon batch and added 450g of sugar (about 2 &1/3 cups) to get the 6% PA. I plan on bottle carbonating mine then pasteurizing.
Did you keep the amount of lemon juice the same? (Or proportional, I guess - 1/5 of the original recipe?)
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