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Good Hard lemonade

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tccoy

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Spilicers,
just bottled mine last night and I'm in the same boat I'm just praying that bottle conditioning turns this stuff around some.
 

SueMac

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So I used the original, recipe and directions and it tastes terrible.
I did two batches 5 gallons each in igloo water containers.

Batch one
5 gallons water
10 cans frozen minute maid concentrate
2 lbs sugar
1 packet champagne yeast

Batch two
5 gallons water
enough powder lemonade for the 5 gallons
2 lbs sugar
1 packet champagne yeast

I activated the yeast according to the directions on the packets and then added them directly to the lemonade, didnt have a problem starting they started to bubble and foam within the day. I let them both completely ferment out (took about 3 weeks) had to stir and add nutrient a couple times. I covered them with just some towels. In the end they both taste pretty bad, the powder concentrate is actually the better tasting one(actually had somewhat of a lemon taste to it) the other didnt even resemble lemonade. I have no idea what went wrong, any suggestions would be welcom.
I agree that it tastes terrible so it has to be backsweetened/flavored. If you're making it still or kegging it, then you can backsweeten/flavor with more lemonade, sugar, etc. If you're bottle carbing, your choices are more limited as fermentable sugars will carbonate and possibly, overcarbonate your lemonade.
I just bottled Hard Limeade last night, so I can't tell you that it was great or not so...Here's what I did:

Additional Ingredients:
8 oz Malto-Dextrine (a 96% non-fermentable sugar that adds body) found at LBHS*
True Lime (also have True Lemon) found at most supermarkets in the sugar/artifical flavoring section (see True Lemon® Home) and it has
neither fermentable sugar nor fermentation inhibitors.
Corn Sugar (less than 3/4 cup as Malto-Dextrine has some fermentation capacity)


For almost 5 gallons, I siphoned out about 2.5 cups to a sterilized container and added 4 oz. Malto-Dextrine. I stirred and stirred and pressed it against the side of the cup until all was dissolved. I then added about 15 packets of True Lime for flavoring and stirred and stirred. I added this back to the batch, stirred and stirred and then siphoned another 2.5 gallons. I repeated the procedure. It seemed to have a very lime smell flavor but wasn't overly sweet. I thought that I had some *Lactose (Lactose is a non-fermentable sugar used to add body and sweetness, also non-fermenting-100%). In retrospect, I would have used Lactose from the beginning and added more, until it was sweeter. This wasn't bad but it could have been sweeter. We'll see how it comes out and then I can post the whole recipe/thought process.
 

tccoy

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how would the yeast strain affect the flavor? the reason i ask is because after four weeks of bottle conditioning it has mellowed but is definetly not like a commercial hard limeade but more like a sparkling wine.
 

carbon111

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Potassium sorbate will render any surviving yeast incapable of multiplying. Yeast living at that moment can continue fermenting any residual sugar into CO2 and alcohol, but when they die no new yeast will be present to cause future fermentation.

Basically, it allows you to stop the fermentation before all the sugar is gone.
 

dderemiah

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I have a gallon of Mango Lemonade I wanted to try making hard. It is made from concentrate but already hidrated. What should I start the SG at to give me a sweet 7-8% final? Should I let it ferment all the way or will that give me a dry wine instead of hard lemonade? Should I add nutrient? What kind of yeast is best? I have the following on hand:

EC1118
Red Star Champaine
Red Star Montrechet
yeast nutrient
grape tanin
pectic enzyme
white or brown sugar
honey
some bottled water

a couple 1 Gallon carboys and airlock. Here is my idea of a recipe:
1Gal Mango Lemonade and sugar mix to SG 1.065
1 tsp pectic enzyme
1/8 tsp nutrient
1 gram Red Star Montrechet

mix a cup of lemonade mix with pectic nutrient and yeast at 78 deg for an hour or so to start it. Vigorous stir of the rest of the liquid to aerate it and pitch the yeast starter. air lock it and check SG when bubbling slows down. rack and stabilize at 1.000 SG. Drink?:mug: How long does hard lemonade typically take? 3-4 weeks?
 

MBM30075

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I am in the middle of trying this recipe, slightly modified.

I used 8 cans of frozen lemonade (Minute Maid) and a little bit more than 2 pounds of corn sugar, plus 1 tablespoon of yeast nutrient. I'm currently at about 4 gallons and plan to add the other 2 cans with about another 1 gallon total of additional must to bring the batch size up to 5 gallons while giving the yeast time to work without overloading them with acid.

I re-hydrated and pitched Nottingham yeast in an attempt to get a rather neutral yeast profile.

After 24 hours I had ZERO airlock activity. I know, I know, airlock activity isn't a good indicator... whatever, mine work :).

Feeling like the yeast wasn't working, I guessed that maybe the environment was a little too acidic for them yeasties to get started. So I re-hydrated some Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne yeast. After it was sort of creamy, I added a little bit of corn sugar and stirred, then let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then I added a little bit more sugar and let it sit again. When I felt like the yeast had probably gotten a good start, I pitched that solution into my carboy.

The next day, I had very good airlock activity. Now, the airlock is rocking and rolling and I can see particles rising and falling (but only on the edge since it's so cloudy). The smell from the airlock is a nice, lemony smell. Pretty much like lemonade.

What concerns me is the "stuff" that's floating on one half of the top of the must(?). It's white, but it's not like any foam I've ever gotten from a beer, cider or mead. It's a lot denser. It seems to me like it could be either pulpy "stuff" from the lemonade mixture, or maybe it's a bacterial infection.

I'm leaning AWAY from the infection due to the smell and the rest of the activity appearing normal, but I was wondering if anyone has encountered an infection while doing a hard lemonade.

If it's infected, how would I know? Would an infection appear like a normal fermentation? The surface of the liquid is fizzy like a normal, active fermentation normally appears to me. Like I said, I can detect no off smells. Would a taste test from a sample tell me what I need to know?

Thanks!!!
 

oatc05

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I started a 3 gallon batch with Minute Maid about 4 days ago and I see the white stuff your talking about. I have a strong feeling it is pulp as you suspected. I saw the bits floating before any nasties had a chance to make themselves comfortable.
 

uhohohno

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I put 3 packets (total of 21 grams) of Fleischman's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast into about 1.75 liters of store-bought, NO PRESERVATIVE apple cider with a bunch of confectioners sugar (probably a whole cup or something). I know I put in way to much yeast, I didn't do enough research before I started this project about three hours ago. What effect will having way to much yeast have on it? And how alcoholic will it get if I leave it alone for four days?

ALSO, I'm brewing it in the same container that the cider came in and I'm wondering if I should filter out the yeast with a coffee filter when I'm done.
 

Moonshae

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I put 3 packets (total of 21 grams) of Fleischman's Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast into about 1.75 liters of store-bought, NO PRESERVATIVE apple cider with a bunch of confectioners sugar (probably a whole cup or something). I know I put in way to much yeast, I didn't do enough research before I started this project about three hours ago. What effect will having way to much yeast have on it? And how alcoholic will it get if I leave it alone for four days?

ALSO, I'm brewing it in the same container that the cider came in and I'm wondering if I should filter out the yeast with a coffee filter when I'm done.
Throw that stuff out and do a search on this site for Apfelwein, since that seems to be close to what you're trying to make. Bread yeast won't help you, you need wine or beer yeast.
 

howabouttheiris

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just about to finish drinking a keg of the following....

10 cans store-brand lemonade (sorbate free)
2kg dextrose
water to 5 gallon
champagne yeast
fermentation took almost 5 weeks (and added a new starter at 3 weeks) to reach FG.
back sweeten with 1 2/3 cups of splenda (based on taste testing small qty and scaling)
force carb in soda keg

It was quite strong (and the alcohol taste did come thru some), but it was really a great drink. It must be noted, however, that I think moonshine and lime rickey is one of the best drinks ever, so my opinion may not count. Definitely a hit with the wine-drinking/margarita-gulping friends of the wife.

I plan to try the "high class" version of this sometime with malt vs dextrose to give it some body. May also do some honey at kegging to add some flavour variety.
 

rue

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Started a batch of lemonade about 4 weeks ago and it is still going, i tasted it tonight and doesn't taste much like lemonade can i add another can or 2 to make it taste better or will it hurt anything?
Didn't do any gravity test but i know its good, used the 1 pound of ultra light dme and 4 pounds of sugar i think 10 or 12 cans of strawberry lemonade.
Thanks for the info. new to this.

Rue
 

zman

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Started a batch of lemonade about 4 weeks ago and it is still going, i tasted it tonight and doesn't taste much like lemonade can i add another can or 2 to make it taste better or will it hurt anything?
Didn't do any gravity test but i know its good, used the 1 pound of ultra light dme and 4 pounds of sugar i think 10 or 12 cans of strawberry lemonade.
Thanks for the info. new to this.

Rue
care to post your recipe? I am interested in making this also
 

BrewBud07

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interested in trying to do some home brewing and hard lemonade seems like a great place to start and you guys have some great tips. I just have 2 questions that I dont really have clear answers for. #1) should the sugar or DME and water be boiled to dissolve the sugar before fermenting or is sugar just thrown into the bucket? and #2) does hard emonade need to be carbed?..if so i saw some posts about carb tabs and they seemed really easy to use.

Thanks for the help ahead of time!
 

zman

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interested in trying to do some home brewing and hard lemonade seems like a great place to start and you guys have some great tips. I just have 2 questions that I dont really have clear answers for. #1) should the sugar or DME and water be boiled to dissolve the sugar before fermenting or is sugar just thrown into the bucket? and #2) does hard emonade need to be carbed?..if so i saw some posts about carb tabs and they seemed really easy to use.

Thanks for the help ahead of time!
you want to heat the DME and sugar in 170F water for 15-20 min so it dissolves. Check out Yooper's recipe here, https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/hard-lemonade-problem-12104/. It will answer all your questions. I did it her way and it is fermenting nicely, slowly but nicely
 

TVarmy

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Does Montrachet yeast work well? I seem to remember it hates the acidic environment and gets stressed and puts off sulfur, but would yeast nutrient counteract this?
 

BrewBud07

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Got most of this figured out to make some hard lemonade as I am new to this, but I am still stuck on carbing. What exactly is bottle carbing? and should it be done to lemonade?..and if so I saw some cheap carbing tabs that are added to the bottles...do these work?

Thanks!
 

Satori

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Those of you who are used to making wines can just skip this post. You won't miss anything as it is slightly :off:

Those of you asking about this who obviously aren't very familiar with wine making... .

When I start a new batch I always add 1 crushed Campden tablet per gallon or 1/4 tsp potassium metabisulfite if I'm doing 5 gallons. You need to let that sit with a sanitised cloth or napkin over it for 24 hours before you pitch your yeast to allow the gas to escape. This will kill off almost all of the nasties that might be in the juice, including any wild yeast which might want to compete with whatever strain you choose to pitch. I know a few people who don't always, but you really should do this whether the recipe calls for it or not.

After you pitch the yeast, you still want to keep it covered with just a cloth or napkin secured with a rubber band for the first 4-7 days. This part is called primary fermentation. It needs air! If you fit an airlock during this stage it can cause all sorts of weird problems.

I'm a little new to this myself but I've found that stirring it once a day during this time also seems to help it out. I'm not positive that it helps, but since I'm not the only person who does this, I feel comfortable recommending it. Just remember to first sanitise anything you might be sticking in the juice at this point!

When primary is done you want to rack to another fermentation vessel and fit an airlock for the duration.

I know this last topic has been covered already, but I'd like to add my 2 cents: The choice of using potassium sorbate or not is up to you.

If you plan to leave it dry, there is no need for potassium sorbate at all, so don't even worry about it.

If you plan to sweeten and consume very soon after fermentation, you can start out with only enough sugar to ferment to the desired alcohol level and then sweeten to taste afterwards, you can get away with skipping the sorbate. However, if you don't plan to consume all of it soon after, you really should add the sorbate anyway just to be safe. Trust me, you don't want to drink something with active yeast in it.

Alternatively, you can add enough sugar to ferment to a higher alcohol level and then add potassium sorbate to stop it at the desired alcohol level and preserve any unfermented sugars at the point you find enjoyable. It wouldn't hurt to also do the Campden tab/potassium metabisulfite again at the same time as the sorbate if you choose this route.

As far as carbing... I think that's up to the individual. It doesn't sound good to me.
 

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Sometimes you just have to RDWHAHB. I bottled the hard lemonade last night and it is So awesome and very tasty. It has just the right balance of tart and sweet. It also packs a pretty nice punch!! A BIG thanks to YOOPER for the recipe (I added some DME to my version) and for answering all my questions. SWMBO, who is a beer drinker, said that we have to do more hard lemonade and less Apfelwine. At roughly $15-$18 for 5 gallons even my fiscally conservative self can get into that.
 

Captive

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If you like hard lemonade, try Skeeter Pee. I can't make it fast enough to keep up with demand. I found the recipe on another forum, but there's a website too: http://www.skeeterpee.com I just finished bottling up another 5 gallons and oh my... is it good. It's a good drink for backyard gatherings and BBQ's.
 

PimmsOClock

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Hi Guys,

My first post here! Been lurking a while and just starting to really get into this whole homebrew thing. Have beers, and ciders on the go, and some already in bottles capped and happy!

This whole hard lemonade thing is really appealing to me. However I'm having a problem with all the recipes here on HBT. I'm in the UK and here we don't have this whole "Frozen concentrate" thing that seems very prevalent in the USA. We do however have something we call "Squash" or "Cordial" or "Diluted juice". Its sounds really similar to this concentrate you guys talk about, and recently due to rocketing fuel prices and transport costs the stuff has become twice as strong (use half as much for same flavour).

For example I have 2 bottles of the newer double concentrated variety, one in lime, and the other "Cherries and Berries". Both say to use 1 part concentrate to 9 parts water. So for 250ml of end product you would use 25 ml of concentrate and top up to 250.

The ingredients list the concentrate itself as having around "20% juice from concentrate" along with water, aspartame, saccharin, sodium metabisulphite and potassium sorbate.

What I want to do is create a hard lemonade type drink, using this as flavouring. Probably lemon-lime-mint or a lemon-raspberry type thing.

The metabisulphite and sorbate doesnt worry me too much as its a small amount that would get diluted a lot and hopefully boiled off when I heat to dissolve sugar. (Boiling/agitation makes this stuff go away right?)

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this stuff or similar, and if not could someone post some information about these frozen concentrates being used here. Information like the ratio of dilution that these frozen concentrates are designed for, how much sugar or sweetener is in them, and how much juice concentrate is in them would be really appreciated.

Sorry about the rambling post! :mug:
 

77bawls

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Both say to use 1 part concentrate to 9 parts water. So for 250ml of end product you would use 25 ml of concentrate and top up to 250.


I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this stuff or similar, and if not could someone post some information about these frozen concentrates being used here. Information like the ratio of dilution that these frozen concentrates are designed for, how much sugar or sweetener is in them, and how much juice concentrate is in them would be really appreciated.
Holy cow that's strong. The frozen concentrate comes in 12 oz cans and you mix in 4 and 1/3 cans water. So about 4 to 1.

The end product is only 15% juice. Total juice is 64 so pure lemon juice would be 9.6oz, the rest is water and sugar.
 

BeerBrods22

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2 questions...
1) the original recipe called for DME... do you have to boil that or just add it to the juice?

2) Has anyone had success kegging it?
(and if so I assume I could drop the sodium carbonate)
 

LloydRenee

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Enough lemonade concentrate(check label to make sure there is no potassium sorbate) and water to make 5 gallons. (10 cans)

2 pounds sugar, 1 pound ultra light dme

(more or less depending on target alcohol percentage)

1 pack champagne yeast

Ferment, add potassium sorbate when finished gravity is reached, enjoy.

This stuff is awesome, and the ladies love it.
Can you give me a step by step play on this? Imagine I am an ignorant noob.

What temps, for how long, is what I am looking for. Thanks in advance
 

AImhoff88

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Hey guys,

I'm relatively new to brewing, so I have a couple questions about this hard lemonade.\

1. Is any secondary fermantion necessary, or is it OK to drink after primary fermentation? I guess a follow-up question is whether or not bottling is necessary or can you drink it straight out of the primary plastic keg if you're using it for a party?

2. I've seen from this thread that champagne, wine and beer yeasts have been used. Is it OK to use any kind of yeast or will the flavor be affected greatly?

3. What exactly is yeast nutrient and how important is it when making hard lemonade?


Thanks for your help guys!
 

zman

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Hey guys,

I'm relatively new to brewing, so I have a couple questions about this hard lemonade.\

1. Is any secondary fermantion necessary, or is it OK to drink after primary fermentation? I guess a follow-up question is whether or not bottling is necessary or can you drink it straight out of the primary plastic keg if you're using it for a party?
It is not necessary per se but it will keep fermenting if you do not rack it off the yeast or add K Meta. I had it go form 1.020 to 1.010 in 3 days (OG was 1.100). You can drink it right away. I prefer to bottle mine so I secondary, cold crash and carb to 2.3 volumes of CO2. I would bottle it in a growler, jug, or a pitcher instead of out of a carboy or bucket


2. I've seen from this thread that champagne, wine and beer yeasts have been used. Is it OK to use any kind of yeast or will the flavor be affected greatly?

Yes it is. Some people on here have used Beer Yeast I believe. I have always used Cotes de Blanc (yoopers recipe) You want something that is going to tolerate up to 12%ABV. The batch I just bottled is in the 11% area

3. What exactly is yeast nutrient and how important is it when making hard lemonade?
Yeast Nutrient and energizer, is very important. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-9-1.html. It is really important to the Hard Lemonade because the lemonade is very acidic and you need to get the yeast acclimated to the environment and give them the extra nutrients. I think the starter is the most important part of this beverage.

I made batch 2 last night for a party we are having in a few weeks.

Thanks for your help guys![/quote]

10char
 

LloydRenee

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Aimhoff,

I dont know if you want to drink it straight out of the primary keg. It seems to me you would have to still deal with the by product or stuff on top. Unless you planeed to skim it or something?

I used a montrachet initially in my Hard Lemonade and then Champagne Yeast. I had to restart it because it just didnt work the first time.
 

LloydRenee

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Zman,

So yo are saying your stuff will be ready and drinkable in 2 weeks? Please explain more please?
 

AImhoff88

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Aimhoff,

I dont know if you want to drink it straight out of the primary keg. It seems to me you would have to still deal with the by product or stuff on top. Unless you planeed to skim it or something?

I used a montrachet initially in my Hard Lemonade and then Champagne Yeast. I had to restart it because it just didnt work the first time.
So you're saying that the wine yeast (montrachet) did not work, but the champagne yeast did?
 

LloydRenee

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I notice everyone asks how it tastes and what not after after asking questions on how to do it and not many people answer. I will try and remember to let folks know how mine tastes when its done. Whenever that may be. Hopefully this goes well!

What I did:

7 Minutemaid Lemonade concentrate
3 Minutemaid Pink Lemonade concentrate
5 Lbs Cane Sugar
5 Gals Spring Water
1 Package Montrachet Yeast
1 6.5 Gal Ale Pail
1 5 Gal Pastic Carboy

Step 1:
I added the 10 Minutemaid Concentrate containers after they were defrosted to the bottom of the Ale Pail

Step 2:
I warmed a gallon of Water in a brew pot and added 2.5 lbs of sugar to it disolving the entire contents. (Repeat with remaining sugar)

Step 3:
When the solution suagar solution was done I poured them into the ale pale mixing with the concentrate.

Step 4: Add the remaining 3 gallons of water to the pail. Stir gently if needed. Take OG. Mine was 1.084.

Step 5: Extract 2 to 3 cups of mixture in a sanitized jar or Pin Glass or whatever. Pitch your yeast into it, stir it up a little. Cover with plastic wrap (I put a rubber band around it to keep sealed). Let sit for 20 minutes plus.

Step 6: If the yeast has activated and started working its magic in your jar then pitch it in the pail. Stir lightly.

Step 7: Cover pail and insert airlock.

So thats what I did. My yeast didnt take as well as I liked (no airlock activity) so at day 3 I extracted another two cups of the mixture and pitched a different yeast (Champagne). The air lock started right up and has been going well since. I will take a reading this weekend to see where we are.

I plan to rack it to a secondary carboy in two weeks and let it sit for at least two more. From there I will rack it to a bottling pail with a priming sugar and hope for the best!!

Any suggestions or thoughts?
 

LloydRenee

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So you're saying that the wine yeast (montrachet) did not work, but the champagne yeast did?
Yes sir that is what I am saying. But it well could have been a bad batch or user error. Otehrs had success with montrachet its just I didn't. But the champagne started right up and it has been going now for at least 4 days.
 

AImhoff88

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Can you buy champagne yeast from a grocery store? I called a local wine store chain and they didn't have any.
 

zman

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Zman,

So yo are saying your stuff will be ready and drinkable in 2 weeks? Please explain more please?
Yeah pretty much depending on whether you want it still or carbed. I carbed the batch last Saturday and tried one yesterday and it is carbed I got it from 1.110 to 1.010 in about 10 days or so. I wanted it to get to 1.030 but I spaced checking on it and it dropped pretty fast. It can be a tough ferment but I have not really seen this issue since the first batch.

The key is in the starter. My version of the recipe calls for #5 cane sugar as well as #2 of DME in 2.5 gal of water. after I let it sit @ 170F for 20 min I add 5 cans of Minute Maid Lemonade and stir it all in and chill it down. Each can reportedly makes 64oz of lemonade. I then take out a quart of it in a sanitized mason jar to add to the hydrated yeast ( that I already added the nutrient and energizer to). I start with 300ml of must in the flask then add some every 6-8 hrs for a total of 800-1200ml's. I use a stir plate for the stater.

Once 24hrs has passed I make the remaining 2.5 gal. of lemonade and add it to the carboy and pitch the yeast. Yoopers recipe calls for an open fermentation. I did that once and now I cannot get the lemonade odor out of the bucket so I use a carboy and loosely fir the bung and airlock on the carboy. Unlike Beer, Lemonade does not get funked by the introduction of O2. I thought of using foil or a dish towel but I ferment in the basement so I want to avoid any critters getting in there.
 

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I have a couple questions regarding carbonation for hard lemonade:

1. Can I simply bottle the hard lemonade once carbonation is nearing its end so that no additional sugar is needed?

OR

2. By racking the the hard lemonade and then adding more table sugar to the bottling keg (since some people said it was not sweet enough after fermentation), will that be sufficient for carbonation once its bottled or do I still need specifically priming sugar (corn sugar)?
 

zman

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I have a couple questions regarding carbonation for hard lemonade:

1. Can I simply bottle the hard lemonade once carbonation is nearing its end so that no additional sugar is needed?

OR

2. By racking the the hard lemonade and then adding more table sugar to the bottling keg (since some people said it was not sweet enough after fermentation), will that be sufficient for carbonation once its bottled or do I still need specifically priming sugar (corn sugar)?
if you use DME in the recipe you do not need to back sweeten it. Do you men can you bottle once fermentation is complete? If you do not some how stop the fermentation it will just keep going. I had an issue with a this last summer when I did it before I left for vacation and waited two weeks before bottling. It was very sour. You bottle as you would a batch of beer. I would not do more than 2.3 vols of CO2. I use Grolsh bottles but it still sounded like a gun shot when I opened one
 
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