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Leadgolem 09-24-2012 07:39 AM

Hard Limeade, first attempt
 
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I wasn't sure if this should really go in this section of the forum, but I didn't see anywhere else that seemed better.

I just pitched my first attempt at a hard limeade, and thought it would be a good idea to publicly document the attempt. That way others can help/learn from the attempt.

Batch size is about 3.5 gallons. My fermentor is a 4 gallon water bottle I got for cheap at my local sams club.


EDIT: Corrected batch finances.
EDIT2: Added OG, FG and ABV info. Filled in missing info for bentonite. Updated and added picture.

OG: 1.105
FG: 1.022
ABV: 11.1%

Ingredients:
7 12oz cans of frozen limeade concentrate. Great value brand. $1.18 per can.
5 fresh limes. Kuniko brand. $2.98 for a bag of 13 limes, 3lb bag. About $0.23 per lime
4.88 lbs granulated sugar. $0.56 per lb
3 1/2 tsp pectin enzyme. $0.14 per tsp
5 tsp yeast nutrient. $0.11 per tsp, as near as I can figure.
2 tsp yeast energizer. $0.17 per tsp, as near as I can figure.
12 grams distillers yeast. $0.03 per gram

Procedure:
1. Zest and juice limes.
2. Add lime juice to primary.
3. Spread lime zest on a cookie sheet to dry.
4. Add thawed limeade concentrate to primary.
5. Add half the sugar to primary.
6. Add filtered water until you reach just short of your desired 3.5 gallon volume.
7. Shake the bottle until the sugar has dissolved.
8. Take a gravity reading.
9. Add sugar until you reach your desired OG, target was 1.1 actual 1.105.
10. Add pectin enzyme to mixture.
11. Reserved 1.5 quarts of mixture in 2 quart bottle.
12. Add half the yeast, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer to primary.
13. Add remaining half of yeast, yeast nutrient, and yeast energizer to reserved mixture in 2 quart bottle.
14. Install caps and airlocks on primary and 2 quart bottle.

This was all done about 2 hours ago. This yeast likes to finish really dry. If it ends at 0.98 like I'm thinking it may, that would make it 16.7% abv. Batch finances as of right now make it $13.89 for everything used.

Will have to wait for these steps.

15. Wait until fermentation is in full swing in 2 quart bottle.
16. Add 2 quart bottle contents to primary.
17. Wait until fermentation is complete.
18. Move to secondary.
19. Add dried lime zest to secondary, from steps 1 and 3.
20. Add 3 1/2 tsp dried bentonite to brew sample, make slurry? May not be needed, will have to see if the brew clears.
21. Add bentonite slurry to secondary?

Questions, comments, drunken ramblings? ...Wait, it's the wrong section for that last one. So just the first two, ok?

EDIT2: Update
FG is 1.022, making the ABV 11.1%.
A total of 1.75 tsp of bentonite slurry made with the limeade at FG has been added to the various splits of the limeade. $0.06/tsp
4 tea bags have been added to 2 quarts drawn from the main batch. $0.0125/bag This sample has a much more complex flavor and practically no alcohol flavor. Adding enough tea bags for the whole batch would cost $0.35. I wasn't going to do that, but both my bottling buckets are in use as dispensers atm, so I am going to add tea to the rest of the cleared batch in secondary.

This brew has cleared remarkably. The flavor is excellent, though I much prefer the tea addition variant. The ending batch finances with the tea makes this a $14.35 batch. That makes it $4.10/gallon.


Leadgolem 12-18-2012 05:15 AM

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Just a minor update. I did add tea to the entire remainder of the batch. The alcohol flavor has mellowed nicely with a little time. The brew has continued to clear, and it is now crystal clear. The attached picture is of a shot glass, but it should give you an idea.

The aroma has changed a little. The alcohol aroma has been dialed back. The aroma comes across as definitively citrus, just not specifically lime.

I'd like to see if I can figure out how to get a more definitively "lime" aroma in the next batch. I will probably bite the bullet and just add food coloring the next time around, it bugs me to have something this nice look like BMC.



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