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Old 10-09-2006, 10:36 PM   #1
Jangang
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Default A few questions before I buy my equipment.

Hello,

I've recently decided I want to try my hand at brewing. I'm really new to this however, and though I've read a bit here, and there about it, I still have some questions I'd like to ask before investing in anything.

A little preinformation. I want to try and brew hard lemonade, rather then traditional beer. I've read a little about this (Although the info is kinda hard to find heh.) I have found one set of instructions that looks like it might work:

Quote:
Chester's Big Red Gundog Hard Lemonade

In most states and under BATF rules it is OK to make 200 gals. of Beer and Wine at home for personal use if two adults live in the house (1 adult only gets 100 gals.)

Hard Lemonade is all the rage and the first batch of this I made was a big hit at TeedyBearBBQ.com's first birthday party on Saturday. Just ask John he was enjoying it

It is very easy to make with sanitation being the biggest thing to watch. Your local bear and wine shop will have most of what you need although a good restaurant supply will work and will probably be cheaper for some things.

You will need a 6 or 7 gal. Container with a tight fitting lid or bung which can be fitted with an airlock. Bungs and air locks run around $1 each at beer and wine making shops. If using a large food grade bucket with lid you can use a hole saw to make a hole for a bung.

In a big stainless pot (12 quarts is the smallest that will work) bring 2 pounds each of "Cane" sugar and honey and 1 1/5 gallons of water to a boil. Slowly add 2 pounds extra light or light dry malt extract (it tastes like a malted milk ball raw) and stir. The DME will froth up at first. Boil for ten minutes and let cool.

Sanitize your fermenter after cleaning you can in a pinch use bleach but be very sure to rinse until no bleach odor is left. You will be better off buying some Iodophor which is an iodine based product used in hospitals it kills bugs on contact unlike bleach which needs time to work and at worst it leaves a light brown stain not a bleached spot. I prefer it to bleach and it works great at removing odors from coolers.

Pour you cooled mixture into your fermenter and add water to make 5 gallons. With the mixture at 60f to 80f Sprinkle two 5 gram packets of ale yeast such as Nottingham or one 15 gram packet of Coopers yeast on top of the liquid (one 5 gram packet is not enough and bread yeast won�t work). Do not stir at this point. Stir after 12 to 24 hours. Add the airlock filled with water and wait 1 to 2 weeks until it stops bubbling. Add 8 cans room tempreture frozen real lemonade concentrate and two cans limeade. The kind that makes 64 fl. oz. when you add water. Stir. Replace airlock. Wait until a week or longer if the bubbling is vigorous. Siphon into a sanitized 6 gallon buck leaving the dead yeast and other sediment in the fermenter. Stir in 3/4 cup of cane sugar and bottle. In 9 to 14 days it will be carbonated from secondary fermentation. Refrigerate until consumed which should not be long
Biggest area for failure is not making sure everything is sanitized at every step including the bottles you use.
For more info do a search on google groups.
Enjoy,

Konrad "Teddy Bear" Haskins Experiment that's my advice!
What do you think of this recipe?

Is there anything you would change, or add?

I had a few questions about the recipe elements as well:

What exactly is DME? I know its a malt extract, but when I'm browsing online brewery stores there are a lot of options, some saying DME, others not. I want to make sure I get the right product for this.

Also it says to use "Cane" sugar, but I've seen "corn" sugar for sale on brewing sites, and wonder if one is better then the other?

The next question is about yeast. It says "Sprinkle two 5 gram packets of ale yeast such as Nottingham or one 15 gram packet of Coopers yeast on top of the liquid". I knowing nothing about yeast wonder what the difference is betwen the two suggestions, and of course if you would recomend another?

Of course anything you can add would also be appreciated.



I'm also wondering what equipment you would recomend. It seems this recipe is for a single fermentor method, but I've read that you make better product in a duel fermentation system when making beer. I assum the same would be true here as well.

To that end I've been looking around, and have found quite a few starter kits avialable for purchase in both single, and duel fermentor varieties.

This site seems to have the best prices for what you get. But cheaper doesn't always mean better, so I thought I'd ask what you think. I'm thinking of getting the "Brewing Intermediate Kit w/Glass Carboys".

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/produ...Cat=11166&fd=1

Link might not work, so:

www.midwestsupplies.com
Just click "Equipment Kits" on the column along the left side. (First box, pink)

Is this a good kit? Would you suggest a different one, from this company, or another?

Is there anything else I should consider getting? (Besides the kettle and bottles I'll need to order seperatly?)

I'd like the finished product to be carbinated. Is there anything special I'd need to make the drink carbinated?

Anything anyone can add about the recipe, equipment, or anything else regarding this would be really appreciated.

I definatley want to get into brewing, but I don't want to waste time, and money buying the wrong equipment, or ingrediates if it can be helped. Of course its a learning process but I'd like to limit the earlly mistakes as much as possible.

Oh yea, and purley to rest a freind of mines mind at ease. What risk is there of everything exploding on me? From what I read its minimal as long as you have the right equipment and allow time to take its course, not rushing anything, but I figured I'd ask.


Anyway, thanks in advance for any help. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:38 PM   #2
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Interesting.

I read your entire post and will hazard a few comments.

1 - Glass is always preferable IMHO to plastic, durability and ease of cleaning are my biggest issues. I would use a 6 1/2 just because I could.

2 - DME is an abbreviation for Dry Malt Extract. It is essentially beer wort (google it) that has been reduced and dried. For this recipe I would use as pale or light as I can find.

3 - Cane sugar is refined and typically not fermentable, I am told however that once it is boiled, it will un bind into fermentables. I will pass this to the extract guys since I dont use sugar in my brews at all.

3 - The yeast is ok, I personally would use a Calif common or Calif Lager for a lighter taste but it will have little effect on taste once you dump in all that lemonaide.

4 - Equipment wise you dont need much. I note that you didnt mention bottling/kegging. That is a big piece of this. Racking to a secondary will improve clarity at the least. A starter beer brewing kit has everything you might need, concider it strongly.

On the recipe itself, I have little comment. Basically, you are making a light ale and adding lemonade, it is hard to mess that up.

I will suggest you first brew some beer, get used to making it, then start your lemonade.

baby steps.....

Cheers,

knewshound

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Old 10-10-2006, 12:14 AM   #3
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Cane sugar is extremely fermentable and will disolve in water as is.

A lot of people have discontinued the use of glass fermenters due
to the injuries received when they shatter. I still use them. I'm just extra
careful when handling wet glass carboys, full or not.

My .02

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Old 10-10-2006, 01:42 AM   #4
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I knew I forgot something. I'll be bottling, kegs are unfortuantly illegal here.

The kit I was looking at appears to have bottling equipment, minus the bottles so I should be covered in that regard.

I'll be brewing some beer as well, but the main focus will be hard lemonade. I can certainly start w/ beer the first couple times just to get the hang of things though.

Thanks for the comments.




I thought of one more question, when choosing a Hop (assuming the malt is unhopped) is there a rating, that determines how bitter it will be? I like a little bitterness, but not a whole lot. The lemon has its own bitterness, would hops even be required?

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Old 10-10-2006, 02:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jangang
I thought of one more question, when choosing a Hop (assuming the malt is unhopped) is there a rating, that determines how bitter it will be? I like a little bitterness, but not a whole lot. The lemon has its own bitterness, would hops even be required?
You're looking for the AA (Alpha Acids)rating. The higher the AA's the more IBUs (International Bitter Units). In that recipie I wouldnt use hops at all but thats just me.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:43 AM   #6
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You can find hard lemonaid kits as well..... Try Northern Brewer or Austin's Homebrew. I believe they are in the Wine section.

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Old 10-10-2006, 05:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jangang
I knew I forgot something. I'll be bottling, kegs are unfortuantly illegal here.
Where is this that kegs are illegal?
So that I never go there and never contribute any tax money to that repressive government.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:18 AM   #8
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Since everyone seems to be recommending glass carboys, I'll play devil's advocate. I absolutely love my 6.5 gallon Better Bottle (plastic carboy). Got mine from William's Brewing, but you can find them elsewhere (probably cheaper).

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Old 10-10-2006, 12:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Since everyone seems to be recommending glass carboys, I'll play devil's advocate. I absolutely love my 6.5 gallon Better Bottle (plastic carboy). Got mine from William's Brewing, but you can find them elsewhere (probably cheaper).
I will be getting the same kit, but with the better-bottles.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Where is this that kegs are illegal?
So that I never go there and never contribute any tax money to that repressive government.
Utah, kegs are illegal and beer is only 3.2% (really closer to 2.8 as the beer companies don't wanna get in trouble.) You can get higher % at the state liquor stores, but not name brands, stuff like Ice 800, and a couple other brands.

Thats why I started looking into this in the first place heh.
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