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Old 08-26-2007, 05:21 AM   #1
Adolphus79
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Default Wicked Tea (beta) (Twisted Tea clone)

OK...

For those that were part of the dicussion a couple months ago about a Twisted Tea clone, I've got one for you...

I've started a test batch, I'll let you know how it goes...

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MX001 - Wicked Tea (beta 0.1) (Twisted Tea clone)

1 gallon brewed iced tea (Sun Tea)
1 pound of corn sugar
1 lemon
1/2 packet Montrechet

I wanted to make sun tea for the base, but here in Northern Maine, we've kinda lost our sun for the last few weeks, so I just boiled a gallon of water and brewed a gallon of tea using the plain Lipton iced tea (yellow box, iirc).

I was originally gonna only use 1/2 pound of dextrose, but my hydrometer reading showed a potential of only like 5%, so I bumped the sugar up another 1/2 pound, and had a OG of 1.048, a healthy 6.5%'ish...

Let the boiled water/tea/sugar cool to 80, and throw the half packet of Montrechet in.

I'm thinking I'll rack it in a month, and squeeze a half or maybe a whole lemon into the secondary, figure a couple weeks or a month in the secondary and it'll be good.

---

NOTES: After starting this first test batch, I've realized that it really isn't a Twisted Tea clone, since TT is pretty much flavored beer. Henceforth, the label reads "Wicked Tea, Iced Tea Wine". I'm thinking about doing 6 packs of 375ml wine bottles instead of 12 oz. beer bottles, an extra 0.7 oz., and an extra point above TT.

This is also only the first batch, gimme a couple batches to get it perfected, and feel free to start a beta 0.2 yourself and tell me what you changed and why. I figure I'll give it the same rule as my 'experimental cooking', gimme 3 tries, and the 4th batch will be perfect...

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Last edited by Adolphus79; 08-26-2007 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:48 PM   #2
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Awesome thats pretty close to what i was thinking. I just wasn't sure about the yeast. So thanks 4 the ideas

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Old 08-27-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
Adolphus79
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Default Update...

I started MX001 on 08-23-07. About 12 hours later, I started seeing some very light krausen. As of 08-27-07, there is a very thick (1/2 inch?) krausen, bubbles every 3 or 4 seconds, and the only aroma I have so far is a very faint 'southern sweet tea' smell. She's working away, and not giving out any real fermentation smell. I figure next update will be after a week, I'll do a SG reading then too.

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NOTES: If anyone knows of a yeast that could shorten this process from a month to a week or two, let me know. I was looking at some lager yeasts, but do not know beer brewing at all, would something like that do the trick, or maybe some of that turbo yeast for distillin'...

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Old 08-27-2007, 02:03 PM   #4
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Very interesting! I'd love to hear how this turns out!

For a yeast, I would suggest going with any ale yeast. Nottingham would probably work out good - just keep it around 70F or so. Ale yeasts are less attenuative than the Montrachet or other wine and champagne yeasts and will leave the tea a little sweeter - which can be a good thing, IMO. Nottingham will get you somewhere around 6% ABV with a pound of corn sugar.

Ale yeasts ferment quickly, especially at warmer temps (though don't go over 70F), but there is still a lot of sugar in there for them to work through. They do produce a lot of krausen, so that is something to be mindful of.

A few concerns for me though - I think it would be a good idea to get a strong-flavored tea and understeep it a little bit - like an Assam or an Irish breakfast tea (which is mostly Assam anyway). When you oversteep tea (which can be anywhere from 3-5 minutes depending on variety), tannins are released which results in that bitter 'bite'. Understeeping will give you a nice mellow and smooth flavor.

Also, I wonder how 'fresh' the tea would taste after fermentation is complete.

Are you planning on carbing it? This is a very interesting experiment! I wonder how the alcohol will come out since you are only using corn sugar.

Keep us informed!

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Old 08-27-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
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I was looking at some of the ale & lager yeasts in the NB catalog. You say the ale yeasts ferment quickly, are we talking a week instead of a month with the montrechet? Residual sweetness would be nice, as I want something that still kinda tastes like sweet tea in the end.

no, I do not plan on carbing it...

I thought about understeeping also, as when the MX001 batch was first started, it was quite dark in color, but it has already started lightening the slightest bit. This batch was 1 gallon of water, and 3 of the 'family size' Lipton iced tea bags (Lipton's recipe for 1 gallon of sun tea). I was thinking about maybe only using 2 next time, depending on how strong the flavor is when this is done.

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Old 08-27-2007, 05:15 PM   #6
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You could try Coopers Yeast. Look in the cider area under my yeast test going on right now.

The Coopers yeast took off like a shot and is almost completely clear at 2 weeks. I used the whole pack on 1 gallon but the lees look very compact on the bottom. I still have some bubbles so I didn't check the gravity this weekend. Will try next weekend if the Ren festival doesn't get in the way!

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Old 08-27-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adolphus79
I thought about understeeping also, as when the MX001 batch was first started, it was quite dark in color, but it has already started lightening the slightest bit. This batch was 1 gallon of water, and 3 of the 'family size' Lipton iced tea bags (Lipton's recipe for 1 gallon of sun tea). I was thinking about maybe only using 2 next time, depending on how strong the flavor is when this is done.
I'd stick with the 3 bags. You'll get plenty of flavor; I think 2 would leave it a bit watery and wouldn't balance well with the alcohol/lemon. Bring your water to just below boiling, toss in the 3 bags, and pull out promptly at 3 minutes. That should reduce the amount of tannins released.

Coopers would work well, too. It would definitly ferment faster, but I couldn't say how fast.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgayer
You could try Coopers Yeast. Look in the cider area under my yeast test going on right now.

The Coopers yeast took off like a shot and is almost completely clear at 2 weeks. I used the whole pack on 1 gallon but the lees look very compact on the bottom. I still have some bubbles so I didn't check the gravity this weekend. Will try next weekend if the Ren festival doesn't get in the way!
I'm already watching that thread closely, as one of my future tests will be a quick and dirty cider.

Arr, we have no faire around here, drink a pint of grog for me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny013
I'd stick with the 3 bags. You'll get plenty of flavor; I think 2 would leave it a bit watery and wouldn't balance well with the alcohol/lemon. Bring your water to just below boiling, toss in the 3 bags, and pull out promptly at 3 minutes. That should reduce the amount of tannins released.

Coopers would work well, too. It would definitly ferment faster, but I couldn't say how fast.
I steeped them a little longer this time, trying to get all the flavor I could. I figured I would need a good strong tea flavor to make it through fermentation. I steeped for 5-6 minutes.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:40 PM   #9
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I planned on starting a another trial myself this week. It sounds to me that your really on the right track. I think ill try the coopers yeast. If i use it will it ferment violently. Will it be ok in a 1 gal jug or should I do the primary in a bucket.

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Old 08-28-2007, 11:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutchboy62
I planned on starting a another trial myself this week. It sounds to me that your really on the right track. I think ill try the coopers yeast. If i use it will it ferment violently. Will it be ok in a 1 gal jug or should I do the primary in a bucket.
Coopers wasn't violent but it was fast starting. It didn't have the massive head of foam like the knottingham. I started the 3/4 gallon to be safe and then topped off in 7 days. No issues with the airlock blowing off or foaming over. Last night the Coopers yeast carboy was very clear! I can clearly see the face of my watch through the jug. So we are into 2 weeks and it appears like it is just getting rid of the suspended CO2 right now.
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