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Old 09-09-2010, 01:38 PM   #1
Waunabeer
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So I made up a 5 gal. batch of a Light Lemon Ale, about 5 weeks ago, and just moved it to a keg two days ago. After one day of carbonating it (I know, I know way too early) I decided to take a little taste just to see how it was (my goal was a summer shandy like lemon beer) and it tasted like lemon dish soap with alcohol in it. My question is for those who have made lemon beers is: will it get better with carbonation or is my recipe flawed?

I zested and dried my own lemons and used 1 oz. during the last 10 min. of the boil and put 1 oz. in the secondary for 17 days. The rest of the recipe was a light ale from Midwest.

I know young beers don't tast nearly as good as a carbed beer, but it was nearly undrinkable. Any comments?

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:41 PM   #2
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Never tried it with actual lemons. I used lemongrass when I made mine.

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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Fermented citrus juice often produces odd flavors and aromas. Use lemon zest or lemongrass - not the pith and flesh (if that's what the inside is called). Alternatively, you can make a Berliner Weisse and spike it with some lemon or lime juice when serving.

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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I used lemon zest (homemade and dried in the oven @ 200 F for 1.5 hrs.).

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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The 17 day secondary addition may be where the overpowered ness is coming from. Should mellow eventually.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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In the future, I'd hesitate to dry in the oven. A lot of the more volatile essential oils will be driven off that way. A lot of people will soak zest in a small amount of vodka or everclear to extract the flavors and aromas (think making limoncello) then add that to the beer to taste.

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
In the future, I'd hesitate to dry in the oven. A lot of the more volatile essential oils will be driven off that way. A lot of people will soak zest in a small amount of vodka or everclear to extract the flavors and aromas (think making limoncello) then add that to the beer to taste.
That's the way I go. I just strain it through a coffee filter and add the extract at kegging.

It works great with lime zest, too.


 
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt_Kirks View Post
That's the way I go. I just strain it through a coffee filter and add the extract at kegging.

It works great with lime zest, too.

How many oz. of lemon extract/lemon zest do you guys recommend per 5 gal. batch?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waunabeer View Post
How many oz. of lemon extract/lemon zest do you guys recommend per 5 gal. batch?
One of the many cool things about kegging is you can add more to taste.

It really depends on how much lemon taste you want. My advice, add half the zest/extract you THINK you want. Let it sit for a few days, taste, and add more if needed. You can add more, but you can't take it back out (duh).

I find that lime has a stronger flavor than lemon. For lemon, the zest of two large ones, seeped in an ounce or two of vodka, makes a good extract. For limes, about one and half large ones should do it.


 
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:57 PM   #10
cheezydemon3
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I was thinking lemon, but everything I have heard is that it is SO easy to overdo.

 
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