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Old 06-04-2008, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Hard Lemonade


This has been requested many times, but I haven't been able to find my original recipe. This is a recreation from my notes.

3 gallon recipe

7 cans lemonade concentrate (without sorbate)
4-4.5 pounds sugar (1.5 pounds of sugar per gallon)
3 tsp yeast energizer
3 tsp yeast nutrient
3 campden tablets
Wine yeast (any works fine)

Sg should be in the range of 1.070-1.100. Use less sugar for a lower ABV, but don't go under 1.060.

This is a tough ferment, due to the high acidity of the lemonade. So, I recommend a yeast starter. A good way to do this is to start your must and then use some of it to make the starter.

Thaw the lemonade and put 1/2 in primary. Boil a gallon of water and dissolve the sugar (start with 3 pounds and add more later if needed). Add to the primary. Stir well, and top up to 3 gallons. Take out two cups of this must and put in a large bowl or measuring cup. Add a pinch of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer and put the remainder of the nutrient and energizer in the must. Make sure the temperature of the must in the starter vessel is 70-80 degrees, and add the yeast. When it's foamy, add a bit more of the must. Do this about 3-4 times by just adding more must a little at a time. Then, add the rest of the thawed lemonade and the crushed campden tablets to the primary and stir well. Check the OG and add more sugar if desired to raise the SG (but don't go over 1.100) Continue adding must to the starter, a little at a time, until the yeast starter is still looking foamy and going well, in about two days, and then pour the yeast starter into the primary. During primary, cover with a clean towel and stir frequently. After about 5-7 days, or when the SG reaches 1.030, pour into secondary and airlock. This will finish dry, so you can sweeten to taste if you'd like by adding unfermentable sweetners, or by stabilizing and then backsweetening. My experience is that this tastes best around 1.020. I actually siphoned it out of the carboy and into pitchers when it was in the 1.010- 1.020 range.
Bottle in beer bottles or soda bottles, carbonate if desired, or keg.

I liked the OG at 1.080, at the start after all ingredients are added.

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Old 06-07-2008, 04:35 PM   #2
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the recipe looks great, and not too complicated either. How long do you leave it in the secondary until its at a drinkable point for taste?

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Old 06-07-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
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the recipe looks great, and not too complicated either. How long do you leave it in the secondary until its at a drinkable point for taste?
I'm not sure what you're asking.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:52 PM   #4
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i have a lemon tree and i want to use the lemons for some hard lemonaid but everyones using concentrate. Any idea how i would adapt this? i dont know how many lemons equal a can of concentrate

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Old 06-29-2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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Well, if you juiced the lemons, you'd have the basics. I'm not sure how much sugar you'd need, though, since that concentrate is loaded with sugar. I'd juice the lemons and add sugar to get to 1.080 (or lower if you wanted less ABV) and make a yeast starter (since lemons are so acidic).

Of course, this is all just my opinion, since I've never done it.

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Old 06-29-2008, 07:00 PM   #6
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any idea how many lemons though? thats where i get stuck. i guess worst comes to worst i could always add more water if its too strong right?

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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Right- I mean, just juice the lemons until you have a gallon of juice, I guess. I'd probably make a one gallon batch first, just to make sure it worked before you try a bigger batch.

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Old 08-20-2008, 01:23 AM   #8
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dang i just posted a question on your grape wine but i saw this and think id rather make it instead. what do you use to ferment this in? all i have is some bucked and and 6.5 and 5 gallon carboys

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Old 08-20-2008, 02:27 AM   #9
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dang i just posted a question on your grape wine but i saw this and think id rather make it instead. what do you use to ferment this in? all i have is some bucked and and 6.5 and 5 gallon carboys
I use a bucket with a cloth over it, then put it in a carboy for secondary. It is nice to use a similar sized vessel in secondary- so you could use the 5 gallon carboy for secondary for a 5 gallon batch.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:44 AM   #10
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This looks amazing and Id love to give it a try. I just have a few quick questions--

What temperature do you recommend fermenting it at? I cant really maintain anythign lower than 70 degrees F right now but I in about a month once it cools off Ill be able to do that.

In your opinion is it better carbonated or uncarbed?

Is there a non-fermentable sugar you could recommend for sweetening it.

Edit: Also, what sugar do you normally use? Granulated white sugar or dextrose (corn sugar)??

Thanks!

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