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Old 09-27-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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Default What Temperature to Cook DME for Hard Lemonade

I'm a newbie so be gentle.

I'm about to start a batch of hard lemonade. I'll be using 3 lb. corn sugar and 1 lb. Briess ultra light dry malt extract as the base. My questions are:

1) What temperature should I cook the sugar and DME at? I searched this forum and the internet and see ranges anywhere from room temp, 70 degrees F, to boiling. I don't want to ruin the batch before I even throw the yeast.

2) How long should I cook this before bringing back to room temperature in order to throw my yeast?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I'll be posting my recipe and process when it's completed.... that is if it's any good.

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:00 PM   #2
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You don't have to boil the sugar, but you do want it to dissolve. I'd boil the DME up in some water, turn off the heat and add the sugar. Then mix up the rest of the batch and wait until it's 70 degrees and add the yeast.

I've never made hard lemonade with DME, but I make it all the time without it.

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the speedy reply Yooper! Is 20 minutes to boil 1 lb. of dme sufficient? If I were to replace the dme with corn sugar would it be a one-for-one replacement (1 lb. dme for 1 lb. sugar)?

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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Boiling wort for extended amounts of time is for the isomerization of hops (increasing your IBUs). Since your hard lemonade doesn't have any hops you don't need to boil for any extended period, you're only boiling to kill any potential microbes. You could also not boil at all and just use camden tabs. Actually if you're using store bought lemon juice it probably already has sulfates in it.

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:44 PM   #5
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Thanks mutedog. That's a great idea. The tabs will save some time and even a little fuel cost.

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Old 09-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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I forgot to mention that I plan on carbonating the lemonade in the bottle. Won't the campden tabs prevent this?

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:29 PM   #7
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Only if you add way too much, and then it will prevent your lemonade from fermenting before you ever get to the bottling stage.

Campden tabs are for killing off wild yeast and bacteria, but brewer's yeast and especially wine yeast has built up a resistance to it. For hard lemonade I recommend you pitch a good sized starter as well since the highly acidic environment isn't the most yeast friendly either. You probably don't really even need the campden tabs as long as you pitch a big starter (and aren't leaving your sweet wort/must around for a while before you pitch). The yeast you pitch will likely outcompete and kill off any stray wild microbes if you add a lot of it.

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Old 09-28-2011, 01:26 AM   #8
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This is off topic from ur original post........but it works really well to make hard lemonade on a yeast cake from previous brew.

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Old 09-28-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Interesting idea roadymi. This might be a stupid question.... but, I have a batch of Belgian Ale going right now. Would the yeast cake from that work for lemonade or would it impart a beer flavor to the lemonade?

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Old 09-28-2011, 02:53 PM   #10
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it will probably impart a slight beer flavor, the thing roadymi is talking about is called Skeeter Pee and it is usually done with the yeast cake from wine.

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