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Old 06-01-2008, 11:55 PM   #1
brelic
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I'm new to home brewing. So far, I've got two kits on the go (one wine, one beer). Over time, I want to go more and more towards doing everything from scratch. But I'm not there yet

Anyway, I thought a nice way to begin that process would be to make my own hard lemon iced tea. I bought a gallon of Nestea Lemon Iced Tea and need some advice on whether or not I can use it for what I want.

Here's what I want to achieve: refreshing alcohol-based summer drink, not too sweet, and with light to medium carbonation.

I've read here on this forum that certain preservatives or additives in juices are not good for use in creating wine/cider/mead (I think the Apfelwein thread was one of them). The gallon of Nestea stuff I bought has the following ingredients: Filtered Water, Sugar/Glucose-Fructose, Citric Acid (Controls Tartness), Concentrated Tea from Tea Leaves, Potassium Citrate, Natural Lemon Flavour.

Does anyone see any problem with those ingredients?

If not, here's what I would plan to do.

Throw the juice in a gallon container, take an SG reading, and adjust with sugar (or dilute with water) to get an appropriate starting SG (I'm thinking around 1.040-1.050 or so, hoping to end with 1.005 or a little less).

So, based on this, could I just follow the same idea as EdWort's Apfelwein recipe, but using Nestea ICed Tea instead?

Any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

 
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
brelic
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Anyone? I'm itching to get started on this hard lemon iced tea!

 
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:33 PM   #3
RodfatherX
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This guy did a hard tea malt beverage.........he never posted how it turned out. You might PM him and see how good it was.

link to thread

 
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
Yooper
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I don't know how this would work- my first inclination is to think "not good", because you'd ferment out all the sweetness and be left with an astringent dry drink (from the tea). You could always sweeten it afterwards, of course, if you stabilize and then sweeten it. It would be non-carbonated if you did that.

Still, I don't see any reason to not try- it should ferment. Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:28 PM   #5
brelic
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I think you're right Yooper... the sweetness would all be gone. Hmm.

Well, I'll give it a shot and report

 
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:50 PM   #6
jameswardpeterson
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I get some adventurous thoughts sometimes and i did once think about throwing a few cans of arizona ice tea into a fermenter, havnt, dont know if i will get to it, gotten to it. I would probably think you would loose alot of the tea flavor, but thats a complete guess. Also, if your really going for something good, go for a higher quality tea, with the less additives the better. nestea does satisfy, but i would think better quality would hold up better in the flavor.

 
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:37 PM   #7
brelic
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Well, I started a 1 gallon batch of this yesterday. I measured the SG of the Nestea Lemon Iced Tea, and it was already a nice 1.036, so I didn't add any sugar. I figure if I can ferment it down to somewhere between 0.995-1.000, it should be fine, giving me close to 5% alc/vol. Now, as Yooper mentioned, I will probably stabilize it at that point and sweeten it.

Fermentation has started. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:50 AM   #8
brelic
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Measured it today, after 6 days (5 and a half, really) fermenting. SG is at 1.018. Tasted quite nice Who knows, it might work out after all!

 
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:29 PM   #9
jameswardpeterson
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good to hear, please keep us posted, a recipe like this working with such cheap ingredients would be a sin to pass up trying myself.

 
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
brelic
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Took another SG reading today. It's down to 1.007. It tasted a little more yeasty than last taste test (at the time of the last measurement) and not as sweet. So, I do anticipate using some potassium sorbate to kill the yeast before sweetening a bit. I'll wait until I get down to an SG of about 1.000 or so before doing that and racking to a carboy.

Any suggestions on how to sweeten? I could use corn sugar, or even just regular sugar... is it better to first boil the sugar in some water to make sure it's dissolved before adding to the carboy? And how much would I use (approximately) for 1 gallon of hard lemon iced tea?

 
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