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Old 06-04-2010, 03:20 AM   #131
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Man, once my batches got going, they fermented out in less than 2 weeks. I used 2 packets of EC-1118 (rehydrated) and pitched directly into 5 GAL of lemonade with no starter...

Oh yeah, as a postmortem on the yeast starter/no-starter adventures:

The second batch never started from the starter made from the liquid White Labs Champagne yeast. I used Campden and 24 hours later pitched 2 packets of rehydrated EC-1118, and got a few farts in the airlock, then nothing, which is odd because the first batch took off like a bat out of hell when I pitched the same thing. Waited 3 days (and 3 gravity readings later to confirm no activity), then pitched another 2 rehydrated packets, and it took off like a shot.

My theory so far is this: Campden, when applied to a regular wine or mead must, usually dissipates sufficiently within 24 hours to pose no threat to the yeast. In Hard Lemonade, however, which is already a severely hostile environment, there may still be enough sulfur dioxide remaining after 24 hours to make that environment that much more hostile (and as I'm thinking about this, I'm using RO filtered water, which has very little chlorine left in it to react with, and help dissipate the sulfur dioxide). After 72 hours and a vigorous daily stir, though, there was likely little to no sulfur dioxide left, and the yeast were able to go nuts.

And like I said, once they got started it was a photo finish -- after 24-48 hours there was less than a 10 point drop, but after that, it dropped 20+ points a day for 2 days, then it slowed down once it hit 1.010, but still finished in less than 2 weeks.

Batch #1 is finished at .992 and is up for backsweetening and bottling tomorrow. Batch #2 is at 1.031 and shows no signs of stalling.

I have a friend that started a batch of cherry limeade using EC-1118, and he said it took off in less than 24 hours. I'd be curious to see if anyone else has any luck double-pitching the same with no starter (and sufficient Campden dissipation time) and seeing if they have any success. My goal is to contribute a consistently reliable yeast solution to this recipe, as it sounds to me after reading this entire thread, that's the biggest obstacle most folks run into.

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Old 06-04-2010, 02:59 PM   #132
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Started my first batch last Saturday with an OG of 1.094. I started two packets of yeast and pitched them 24 hours later and it's been fermenting nicely since then. Checked the gravity today and I'm at 1.056 today. SWMBO tried the sample today and really likes it. This may be a mainstay in my brewing arsenal. I'm using a 4 1/4 gallon frosting bucket from Walmart to ferment in. I didn't have to stir as per the instructions as it seemed to realy take off right away. I will secondary in the same kind of bucket. Thanks again for this recipe.
DmentD,
I posted back on 3-22-10 about pitching with two packets of yeast (EC-1118). Worked very well for me too. Any future batches I make will always be fermented with two packets.

Cheers!
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:56 PM   #133
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Ok, my lemonade appears finished at 1.02, which is just fine for me.

I am going to start a limeade today, and double pitch EC118.

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Old 06-04-2010, 09:04 PM   #134
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DmentD,
I posted back on 3-22-10 about pitching with two packets of yeast (EC-1118). Worked very well for me too. Any future batches I make will always be fermented with two packets.

Cheers!
Gah! Sorry I didn't give you props! It must've been your post that gathered the neurons together in my head to fire off when I was getting frustrated with starters.
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:02 AM   #135
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Ok, some Hard Limeade is in the fermenter. I went the super easy route on this one. This is for a 2g batch.

Threw 4 cans of limeade in, added 4 1/2 c sugar, couple of tsp of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer, and a couple of crushed campden tablets. OG 1.080

I'm going to let this sit for 24 hrs then pitch 2x EC118 that I've rehydrated.

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Old 06-05-2010, 04:12 AM   #136
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Here's my first go at hard lemonade. I tried to keep it simple. 10 cans safeway brand concentrate, 5 lb. cane sugar, nutrient, and enough water to make 5 gal. Pitched one packet of red star premier cuvee (re-hydrated). We'll see...

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Old 06-06-2010, 11:19 PM   #137
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I have five gallons of it gone dry in my fermenter. I tasted some from the hydrometer without backsweetening, and it tasted harshly sour, more sour than I would expect lemonade to taste. I'm going to try killing the yeast and backsweetening, as I don't think it's an infection (it was just strongly sour, with a yeasty aftertaste).

To be certain, it's one campden tablet per gallon to kill the yeast, right? So I want to stir in 5 campden tablets, wait 24 hours, and backsweeten and bottle? I'm not worried about sanitization of the sugar, as I'm planning on making a simple syrup, bringing it to a boil to sanitize, and adding it to taste. I'd add the sugar at the same time I backsweeten, but I unfortunately don't have the sugar right now, and my fermenter is a glass carboy filled near the brim. I'm planning on backsweetening in the bottling bucket after going to the store tomorrow.

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Old 06-07-2010, 01:14 AM   #138
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sounds like a good plan, let us know how it goes

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Old 06-07-2010, 01:33 AM   #139
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I have five gallons of it gone dry in my fermenter. I tasted some from the hydrometer without backsweetening, and it tasted harshly sour, more sour than I would expect lemonade to taste. I'm going to try killing the yeast and backsweetening, as I don't think it's an infection (it was just strongly sour, with a yeasty aftertaste).

To be certain, it's one campden tablet per gallon to kill the yeast, right? So I want to stir in 5 campden tablets, wait 24 hours, and backsweeten and bottle? I'm not worried about sanitization of the sugar, as I'm planning on making a simple syrup, bringing it to a boil to sanitize, and adding it to taste. I'd add the sugar at the same time I backsweeten, but I unfortunately don't have the sugar right now, and my fermenter is a glass carboy filled near the brim. I'm planning on backsweetening in the bottling bucket after going to the store tomorrow.
No, campden doesn't kill yeast. You need sorbate and campden together. Sorbate doesn't kill yeast either, but it keeps it from reproducing. So, you rack off of the yeast into the sorbate/campden solution. (Sorbate works better in conjunction with campden, that's why you use it together.) Mix up 1/2 teaspoon sorbate per gallon with one crushed campden tablet per gallon, dissolve it in a little hot water or use some of the lemonade. Pour that into a carboy, and then rack the lemonade into it. There is still some yeast in suspension, but if it's clear much of the yeast has flocculated out. Wait three days. Then you can sweeten to taste. I wouldn't do that in the bottling bucket, since you want to add the sweetener and then let it sit a few days to ensure fermentation doesn't restart. You can use a simple syrup, lemonade concentrate, etc, whatever you want to sweeten. Then, after you're certain that fermentation hasn't restarted, you can bottle.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:29 PM   #140
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Update on dual pitching. It just works. 24 hours after pitching 2x EC118 onto 2g of hard limeade I have active fermentation. I've not had a start like that ever with lemon/limeade.

I'll be updating my original post with modifications

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