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Old 04-29-2010, 03:48 PM   #111
LooyvilleLarry
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Did you put the Campden/pot sorbate into the unfermented lemonade?
Likely, you won't have any problems. The pot sorbate should have killed the yeast in the fermenter anyway.

On the funny side, I have been fermenting in a corny this time for space issues. We had some cooler temps (<70 highs) and I hadn't got around to heating it up. At one week, I only had a 1 point drop.

Well /*someone*/ closed the vent on the top and it was placed near the heater ( aka computer).

I swear there was 50 psi in there !

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Old 05-04-2010, 05:43 PM   #112
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My first starter didn't work (1 week with no activity or change in hydrometer). I diluted to 5 gallons from a 3 gallon batch, adding water, yeast nutriant, and yeast energizer and another campden tablet in proportion, started another starter, and it's been going great!

The only thing I'm worried about is that it smells and tastes a bit sulfurish. I think I remember one person said that they had the rhino farts issue, and that they threw it out. It doesn't smell vile to me (but I have a pretty good tolerance for smell), but will that condition out? Could I also backsweeten with more concentrate or lemon juice if I want it tarter?

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:01 PM   #113
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Anyone tried this recipe with different juice variations with any success?

I'm thinking pink lemonade, limeade etc.

Just for the record, the recipe as is is fantastic!

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Old 05-06-2010, 05:04 PM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonBrew View Post
Anyone tried this recipe with different juice variations with any success?

I'm thinking pink lemonade, limeade etc.

Just for the record, the recipe as is is fantastic!
I may do a Limeade - Hard Limeade with a couple of cherries on the fourth of july !

I am also going to experiment with the current batch that is perking away. I'll draw off some 2L bottles and try a "secondary" with raspberries.

I just found a couple of bottles from last year that I didn't know about. Still great !
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:38 PM   #115
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LooyvilleLarry, I noticed way early on that you were using a stir plate to make the starter, but in your "expanded process" post (thanks for that, by the way... it's a great compliment to Yooper's original instructions), you just mentioned making the starter, waiting for a nice foamy layer, adding more must... lather, rinse, repeat. Actually, if I read your process right, it only accounts for 2 more additions to the original starter volume (reserve 1 QT, start with 2 C, add 1 C every addition... 2C+1C+1C=4C=1QT).

Using D-47 I made my stater, stirred vigorously on the plate for 30 mins for good aeration and combination, then killed the stir. After 3 hours, I had a killer head of foam. I asked myself "Self, should I add the next cup now?" "Sure!", I replied, and did, knowing that I was seeing a 12 hour wait from others in this thread between additions. Being of two minds, and a little concerned that I screwed up, I left the plate a-stirring overnight and did the second addition about 9 hours later, and left it a-stirring again.

After killing the plate for 30 mins, I had a tiny bit of foam starting on the top, and decided I might as well pitch since I was up to a 1L-ish starter. I haven't waited long enough yet to be confident one way or another that fermentation has started of failed, so I'll sit on it for a few more days before I start to sweat.

I guess my point is this: I'm trying to devise a solid plan for making the starter on a stir-plate, and hopefully that'll be useful to others following this thread as well. Stir-plate = more oxygen & better suspension = more efficient yeast reproduction = better acclimated yeast = win.

So, I'm theorizing this a-way: Reserve 1½ QT of must. Start with a 2 C starter and rehydrated yeast. Stir for 12 hours, pause for 30-60 mins to check for signs of foam. Add 1 C, stir for 12, pause to check for foam, repeat for a total of 4 additions. After the last addition, stir for 12, pause for foam-sign, pitch. There was also mention somewhereabouts of someone adding 1 TBS of sugar with each addition, with some measure of success (I think it was in conjunction with use DME at the start, so it may be moot), but I feel that may be unnecessary as there is a metric buttload of sugar in the must, or it may be excessive and should be cut to 1 TSP perhaps.

Since this is such a harsh environment for the yeasties, and that makes it an occasional hit and miss to get a starter that will work, I'd like to labor toward a reliable process for making a hearty starter. Everything else, from type of lemonade (concentrate, pre-mixed lemonade, fresh lemon juice ), type of fruit (lemon, lime, orange, durian *grins*), and variances in type and quantities of sugar should essentially be inconsequential with the starter equivalent of roid-rage.

Thoughts, additions, corrections, criticisms... thrown rotten fruit and veg? Bueller? Bueller?
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:20 PM   #116
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Perhaps my count was off, but I step up to a 1.5l starter.
I think I pitched a little soon, followed by temperature issues. Once I was able to get it started, it is perking along fine.

In my experience, I was stepping about every 6 hours (on the stir plate) I should have waited an additional 6 at the end before pitching, then make sure that is at 75* or so.

As for additions, I kept everything @ 1.080.

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:39 PM   #117
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Ok, so if my brain is assembling this correctly (on too little coffee this morning... working on remedying that as I type), the sum-up should be:

  • Reserve 1½ QT of the starter must (or 1½ L -- basically 48 OZ vs 50.7 OZ).
  • Add hydrated yeast (in this case, D-47) into 2 C of the reserved must and stir for 6 hours. Pause 30 - 60 minutes for foam-sign.
  • Add 1 C, stir for 6, pause, check. Repeat for a total of 4 additions.
  • After the last addition stir for 6, pause, check.
  • Make sure your must in the fermenter is 75°F - 80°F and very well aerated, then pitch your now ~1½ L/QT starter.
So, if this works reliably, adding a stir-plate to the equation can cut a 48 - 72 hour starter build down to about ~30, and hopefully yield some mucho hearty yeast.

The baker in me (ok, and let's face it, my OC brainwaves) want to build a reliable, reproducible process with as few bits of guesswork, superstition, and just plain luck as possible. Even with as tricky a fermentation as this, it must (ha!) be possible to devise a simple and reliable method. So sayeth my inner optimist.

Once the whole shebang can be done reliably, my intention is to make a number of batches of hard lemon/lime/whaterveraid this summer. Since it's a relatively short ferment (once it gets started), and almost no conditioning before you can consume I'd also like to work on some hybrid recipes. I have a coupla' 1 GAL jugs just begging to be used. Can you say pomegranite lemonade? Raspberry lemonade? Cherry limeade? I mean, I'll never put Mike's Hard out of business or anything, but this is a summertime brew just begging to be played with and expanded on... as is evident by the number of great recipe additions already in this thread.

Plus, I just like tinkering.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:49 PM   #118
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I would plan on at least a month of fermenting.
I started mine on 4/18, and even with a weeks delay on the start, it is still burping @ 5 sec intervals.

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Old 05-12-2010, 05:11 PM   #119
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Hrm, I wonder if EC-1118 may be a better yeast choice.

It's got a higher alcohol tolerance, performs well in less hospitable environments, has good flocculation, is tolerant to a wider temperature range, and has a reputation for fermenting at light speed (using it in a bochet mead right now, and it took off like a shot -- fastest start I've seen yet).

It tends to put out a lot of sulfur dioxide when the nutrients are low, and when it's stressed -- so maybe follow Yooper's sage advice of daily stirrings until re-rack at ~ 1.030, and maybe throw another nutrient dose in there (like when making mead), say ½ - 1 TSP each of nutrient and DAP once fermentation kicks in and gravity reaches 1.045 - 1.050 (somewhere between ½ - ⅓ fermentation... meads typically call for the last addition before the midpoint, but this ain't a mead, so I'm playing "pin the nutrient on the yeastie" here).

Edit: ... and maybe double pitching, since the ABV is so high?

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Last edited by DmentD; 05-12-2010 at 05:35 PM. Reason: Random neuron firing off.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:13 PM   #120
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Ok, having determined that I successfully committed yeastocide on the first starter, I began another last night using a spare packet of EC-1118, and following the 6 hour spin between additions outlined above.

We'll see what this accomplishes.

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