I was doing a search on brewing hard Lemonade and came upon this site.... I haev been researching for a while and my second attempt is getting close to hitting the bottle. I am not an experience brewer by any means so I tend to stumble a bit. I am also Australian, so think in metric (just like the rest of the world
My first attempt was just 1500ml lemon cordial, about 10 lemons crushed up, 1 kg sugar, 20Lwater and larger yeast. It bubbled for about a month. Tasted terrible - too weak and not nearly sweet enough. Was able to make it very, very drinkable by mixing it with Rosie's Lime Cordial, Angostura Bitters and a teaspoonful of sugar to a large glass on ice. My Aunty called it magical falling over water after she'd had a few one evening....
Second attempt is tasting better: 3.2L lemon cordial, 750ml Rosie's Lime cordial, 500ml lemon juice, 1 kg sugar, 1 Kg Lactose (non-fermentable sweetener, added after three weeks), 22 L water, lager yeast. The wort is tasting a lot better, and it is still bubbing after a month. Taste improves with lime cordial and bitters like before, but you don't need as much. I'm hopeless at accurately describing flavour, so I won't bother.
When I bottle this one, I am going to try the following on a few bottles each:
priming the bottle with different flavoured cordials (lime, lemon, raspberry) instead of sugar or glucose (calculating the sugar content carefully). Some bottles will also get sugar. Some bottles will get bitters as well at the bottling stage.
I'll also try late-hopping half of the Wort with cascade hops before bottling
What I have discovered since putting this one down:
Use a wine yeast. The acid and the lager/Ale yeast don't get along and the yeast works very slowly as a result.
Hopping will probably help, and also the use of some regular beer wort at the start (for the malt I think).
Don't bottle too early or else bottles will explode (it didn't happen to me).
What will I do next time?
Wine yeast, less water, Cascade hops, and bit of a beer wort - prolly just make it up in the dregs of a beer.
I'd love any feedback on what people think, advice comments or anything else. It seems that not many people go for this type of drink, but it's been a favourite of mine since Two Dogs (an australian-made brewed lemonade)came out.