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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Hard Lemonade Pitch on Beer Yeast Cake?
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
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Default Hard Lemonade Pitch on Beer Yeast Cake?

Fighting to get a batch of lemonade fermenting. It starts enough to get condensation in the primary, drops a few points (Attempt 1: 1.070 to 1.065 and then Attempt 2: 1.065 to 1.060), then stalls.

Here is what I have done so far.

Added 10 cans of frozen lemonade (no sorbate) and 2.0kg of dextrose to 23l.

1. Pitched Champagne yeast on top. Started after 12 hours, dropped 5 pts and then stalled for a few days.

2. Created starter with Champagne yeast and .5kg of dextrose. After 8 hours it was underway, so I added to primary. Restarted almost immediately, dropped 5 pts and then stalled for a few days.


Just had a simple beer complete primary (Coopers Draught Can and dextrose), should I...

a) transfer onto this cake
b) try another starter
c) try another yeast type

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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Default I make a killer hard lemonade

What is missing from your recipe is 2 things, yeast nutrient and O2. I use grapenuts broth and I do a lot of shaking of the fermentor.

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Old 01-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #3
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I would read what Yooper has to say here. I have not done one, but I remembered people saying the acidity makes it a tough ferment.

Now can you tell me why the vegetable mix I serve at work is called prince edward island blend? Do you all eat green beans and carrots that much?

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Old 01-06-2010, 02:26 AM   #4
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Do not put it on beer lees. Do not put it on any used lees, as it will cause off flavors. You should always use new clean yeast, and it is cheap, so there is really no reason not to.

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Old 01-06-2010, 05:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandleWineProject View Post
Do not put it on beer lees. Do not put it on any used lees, as it will cause off flavors. You should always use new clean yeast, and it is cheap, so there is really no reason not to.
one man's opinion... which is not backed up by this man's experience.

I have harvested a LOT of yeast... I have pitched stout yeast into pale ales... and I would put my beer against anyone else.

Harvested yeast does NOT carry flavor over. Much experience from many people will back this up.

And besides... that is not what the problem is here anyhow.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:21 AM   #6
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I'd give it more time.Ours always comes out but we let it ferment for 4 to 6 weeks.

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Old 01-06-2010, 05:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefmike View Post
one man's opinion... which is not backed up by this man's experience.

I have harvested a LOT of yeast... I have pitched stout yeast into pale ales... and I would put my beer against anyone else.

Harvested yeast does NOT carry flavor over. Much experience from many people will back this up.

And besides... that is not what the problem is here anyhow.
True, beer people/brewery sometimes reuse lees. Beer has a high turn over, so sometimes they are reused after they are cleaned. But this is not beer and shouldn't be treated as such.

It may not be the problem, but it was one of proposed solutions AND the title of this thread, and that is why I addressed it.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:48 AM   #8
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i do concentrated oj all the time. ec-1118. very nice. i have 1056/fat tire in some 75% oj/25% lemonaide as of 2 hours ago.

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Old 01-06-2010, 08:16 AM   #9
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I don't know about hard lemonade, but because this is in the cider forum I figured I'd answer it from a cidermaker's point of view. You can use a beer yeast cake. Don't dump all of the trub in but a decent slurry will be fine. The concern for this being that you use champagne yeast wanting a higher ABV and the beer yeast will yield a lower alcohol content.

As for the cause of the problem, my vote goes to what Chef said. Frozen lemonade seems very acidic and I think your pH levels could be very low. What reading do you have?

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Old 01-06-2010, 11:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback....

The reuse of the yeast cake was to see if established known-active yeast would survive the acidity. I had overlooked the poor yield of the ale yeast. I will not do this.

Just yesterday I attempted another yeast starter (2 l water, 1/4 kg dextrose, champagne yeast, nutrient, shaken well for O2), I plan to add in some of the lemonade once it gets going. I will try the Yooper method, as best I understand it.

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