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Hard Lemonade question - yeast additives

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Laurel

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So I want to make a hard lemonade. My intended recipe is:

11 cans lemonade concentrate
6.5 lbs sugar
1lb dme
a little pomegranate juice for color/flavor
Water to 5 gallons
cote des blanc

I understand that I need to spend about a week stepping up a starter in terms of acidity and size, and I've read that I need to use yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. I bought some yeast nutrient, do I really need the energizer?

Do I make my starter with my 1lb of dme, half a can of lemonade, and yeast nutrient? I'm unsure what to start it out as to get the yeast to start and and multiply before ramping up the acidity. In Yooper's thread, she said that she mixed up her "wort" and then slowly added it throughout the week and then pitched her huge starter. Will the unfermented lemonade mixture be ok for a week if I practice careful sanitation?
 

Yooper

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So I want to make a hard lemonade. My intended recipe is:

11 cans lemonade concentrate
6.5 lbs sugar
1lb dme
a little pomegranate juice for color/flavor
Water to 5 gallons
cote des blanc

I understand that I need to spend about a week stepping up a starter in terms of acidity and size, and I've read that I need to use yeast energizer and yeast nutrient. I bought some yeast nutrient, do I really need the energizer?

Do I make my starter with my 1lb of dme, half a can of lemonade, and yeast nutrient? I'm unsure what to start it out as to get the yeast to start and and multiply before ramping up the acidity. In Yooper's thread, she said that she mixed up her "wort" and then slowly added it throughout the week and then pitched her huge starter. Will the unfermented lemonade mixture be ok for a week if I practice careful sanitation?
I'm sure that I used some campden tablets at the very beginning, so that I was starting with a sanitized must.

Nutrient and energizer and different. For this acid environment, you probably need the energizer. If you don't have it, it'll probably be fine, though.

I'm not sure about the DME in the starter. That's easy for the yeast to ferment, so a little might be fine, but you may not want to use it all in the starter. If you make up the must, with a bit less lemonade, but with the DME in it, you could probably just use that to get the starter going.
 
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Laurel

Laurel

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So I should make almost all 5 gallons of the must (maybe with 1/2 the lemonade), add some camden tablets, and let it sit 24 hours for the camden to do its thing, then pull some out for a starter in my 1 gallon bottle, and slowly add more over the course of a week or so. Then pitch that after a week, and every few days(weeks?) feed it one more can of lemonade until I've fed it all 11 cans?
 

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So I should make almost all 5 gallons of the must (maybe with 1/2 the lemonade), add some camden tablets, and let it sit 24 hours for the camden to do its thing, then pull some out for a starter in my 1 gallon bottle, and slowly add more over the course of a week or so. Then pitch that after a week, and every few days(weeks?) feed it one more can of lemonade until I've fed it all 11 cans?
That's pretty close to what I'd do. I'd add the lemonade sooner, once it was going well. Like, as you're adding diluted must to the starter, and it's still going, add some more lemonade to the must. That way, you've got the starter going, and by the time it's ready, the must will be ready, too. There may be a very slight risk of infection, since the cans of lemonade aren't sulfited by you, but I'm sure that they are sanitary, and probably already sulfited or otherwise preserved by the manufacturer. Then, once I was adding undiluted must, and the starter was still going well, I'd pitch the whole thing into the full must. It should take a week or so altogether to get the starter and the must at about the same acidity.
 
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Laurel

Laurel

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So I should put all 11 cans of lemonade in to begin with and not feed the must gradually over the course of a couple weeks to slowly ramp up acidity/sugar content like one would with a mead or imperial apfelwein (ala: EvilTOJ)?
 

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I begin my starter about a week before I make and fill my primary with it's batch.

1)Begin the starter by pitching the yeast into a room temp 65*-75* F pint/quart of sugared water. Every other day or so, add a little more sugar, water, and some citrus juice, till you reach your desired volume for your starter, 1/2-gallon, 1-gallon, etc.

2)Then...just make your batch as per your recipe, and pitch your yeast starter when the primary's contents are also at room temp.

Note: If something happens to change your plans (interrupts your schedule) once you've began your starter, simply stick it in the fridge till you are ready for it. Bring it back up to room temp, and proceed with your plans.

Pogo
 

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So I should put all 11 cans of lemonade in to begin with and not feed the must gradually over the course of a couple weeks to slowly ramp up acidity/sugar content like one would with a mead or imperial apfelwein (ala: EvilTOJ)?
I'd add all the cans, and then feed the starter with diluted must to start. Each feeding, make it a little less water and a little more must. Start with just about 1/2 must and 1/2 water, and gradually add more and stronger must until you're adding just must and no water diluting it. That should take about 3-5 days, because you want to make sure the starter is still cranking along.
 

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I am real new to this. My first brew a light english ale and it should be ready to drink this weekend. My wife really likes Mike's hard Lemonade so that is what I would like to attempt next. Your recipe looks very similar to another I found, but the author of that recipe is no longer posting to the forum I found it on.

Here is the recipe that was posted there:
1 LB Light DME
2 LBS Corn Sugar
Sweet Mead Yeast
8 Cans Concentrated Lemonade
1 LB Frozen Rasberries
4 Gallons Water

boil the water for the DME and Corn Sugar.

Yeast nutrient and to leave a towel over the fermenter for the first night then to put the top on.


My question, is the Sweet Mead Yeast going to perform any better than a champagne yeast? The person who posted the recipe had tried an ale yeast initially and it didn't turn out well. Going through a few different sources and most of the recipes seem to use champagne yeast. Is there a reason I would choose one over the other?
 

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1 1/2 oz Jack Daniel's® Tennessee whiskey
1/2 oz sweet and sour mix
4 - 6 oz Squirt® citrus soda
1 splash grenadine syrup

Pour the Jack Daniels, Sweet and Sour over ice into a collins glass (or similar). Now pour in the Squirt Soda allowing the soda bubbles to do all the mixing. Drink and enjoy!

Adding a splash of Grenadine Cherry Syrup over the top will give it a sweeter flavor, almost like "pink-lemonade."
 

LooyvilleLarry

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SO I followed Yoopers recipe and instructions, but apparantly the starter wasn't going strong enough. It's been a week, same 1.090 as I started, no airlock activity.

Do I throw it out or start a new starter?
 

Saccharomyces

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As long as the must was sulphited with Campden it should keep OK so I'd try another starter.

This one is tricky, my first attempt ended up going down the drain, it did ferment to completion but the yeast were too stressed and produced too much sulphur. Nice thing about it is, it's cheap to try. :)
 

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I've had a 1.090 batch fermenting for about 3 weeks now. I initially pitched with a Pacman starter based on lemonade concentrate, but after 4 days had no gravity change, so I put in a packet of Nottingham. It finally started and began the long ferment. I got it down to 1.025 and put in campden and pot K to kill the yeasts, and now it tastes delicious. My advice is to pitch more yeast and RDWHAHB.
 
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Laurel

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I started mine today.

1lb corn sugar
3.75lbs table sugar
.5 lb light dme
1 whirlfloc tab
add enough water to equal 2 gallons, boil 10 minutes

In carboy
5 tsp yeast nutrient
5 tsp yeast energizer
5 cans lemonade concentrate
the sugar mixture
more boiled water to 5 gallons
=1.075

In starter vessel I put in
1/2 tsp nutrient
1/2 tsp energizer
2 packs cote des blancs
1/2 qt must

Then I added 2 more cans of lemonade concentrate and 5 campden tabs to the must

2 hours after pitching the yeast in the starter it was bubbling furiously. I'll wait 24 hours and add more must, then add some cranberry juice and 1 more can of lemonade.

I'll step up the starter a few times, and in 4-5 days I'll pitch it in the must and letit get going, then add 1 can of lemonade every few days til I'm out (3 more cans totaling 11).

I hope this tastes alright!
 

Dan_of_Earth

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I started some of this, but modified.

Bought 2 cans of lemonade concentrate, says to reconstitute to a half gallon per can.

I put 4 ounces of sugar in a gallon plastic jug, 1 tsp yeast nutrient, the concentrate, and enough water to reach about 3 inches from the top. Opened up a packet of champaign yeast and put about 1/3 in, then tucked it away. This was yesterday, and everything looks good today. It's starting to churn and tomorrow I'm sure I'll see bubbles flowing.

I plan to let this go until it ferments out, which according to my calculations should be around 7-8% alcohol. I accidentally broke my hydrometer so I'm just doing the math for an approximate for now. Then I'll just pop it in the fridge and sweeten it by the glass until I drink it up.

mmmmmmm (I hope)
 

SD_Ken

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My lemonade flopped big time.. I tried the recipe I posted with cote des blancs. I didn't have any trouble getting the yeast started. I put it in warm water with a small amount of DME and let it sit an hour. Then added it to the lemonade, by the next morning it was doing its thing quite nicely. I started with a SG of 1.090. and finished around 1.005, took about 2 weeks. About half way though I noticed a funky smell... I hope it would fade, and tried a could things that were recommended by a friend that had been making wine for quite a few years but the smell never cleared... I must not have missed something when I was going through the sanitizing process. I ended up pouring it down the drain... It was a sad day, but I will live to try again.. <g>

I am pretty new to this..... I have only done a couple batches of beer, which came out good, and I have some hard cider in a primary that is going well.... I am not sure what I missed with the lemonade...


Maybe next time I should try Laurel's recipe.
 

Dan_of_Earth

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Wow, well last weekend I drank the stuff from the above recipe...not bad. It was fermented to dryness, and I like dry so didn't sweeten. It was tart, ever sour, but it went down easy. I drank maybe 2/3 gallon of it...and was pretty hungover the next day as you might expect.

I picked up a gallon of lemonade from Walmart, and no corn syrup in that like there is in the concentrate from the last batch, so I'm curious how that'll taste.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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I've had a 1.090 batch fermenting for about 3 weeks now. I initially pitched with a Pacman starter based on lemonade concentrate, but after 4 days had no gravity change, so I put in a packet of Nottingham. It finally started and began the long ferment. I got it down to 1.025 and put in campden and pot K to kill the yeasts, and now it tastes delicious. My advice is to pitch more yeast and RDWHAHB.
This lemonade did start rocking , and it has been nearly 3 weeks. I did a check last night, and it looks to be 1.029.

I'd like to stop it, and I've all ready used the campden. Is Potassium Sorbate what I should use?
 

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Stopping an active fermentation is like stopping a freight train. You can try the campden and sorbate, but it might not work. You can chill the fermenter, too, to try to stop it. The problem is that when it warms back up, it will probably start back up again.
 

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Stopping an active fermentation is like stopping a freight train. You can try the campden and sorbate, but it might not work. You can chill the fermenter, too, to try to stop it. The problem is that when it warms back up, it will probably start back up again.
I've been trying this chilling in the fridge, with mixed results. I've found so far that after a few days it does slow it way down, and the yeast starts to settle out. However, it doesn't stop fermentation 100% so that if I have something in there I'm sipping on for a week or so the flavor changes over that time, becoming more dry. Also to be on the safe side I release a little gas every few days so it doesn't explode in the fridge, but if you throw it in there and seal it at the right time you will have a carbonated drink. BTW I've been using Premier Cuvee yeast, and I have no idea if different yeasts will behave differently under the colder temps.
 

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You can chill the fermenter, too, to try to stop it. The problem is that when it warms back up, it will probably start back up again.
I've been using that to my advantage, too. I've been making some sort of "summer refreshment" batches lately that are treated like hard lemonade in that they are consumed right after fermenting, but I am using all sorts of juice concentrates from the store. My favorite so far is the old orchard Apple/Kiwi/Strawberry, wow was that good. I bet it would make a great proper wine also.

Anyway, for these short life drinks I've taken to saving 2 liter soda bottles, using one can of juice concentrate and preparing in the container as directed, adding around 4 oz of sugar to up the alcohol, and a little yeast nutrient. When I've consumed one batch I have started adding juice right back to the yeast that has settled, and it jumps right back into fermentation right away. I only do this once though because I'm afraid of contaminates.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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I've been using that to my advantage, too. I've been making some sort of "summer refreshment" batches lately that are treated like hard lemonade in that they are consumed right after fermenting, but I am using all sorts of juice concentrates from the store. My favorite so far is the old orchard Apple/Kiwi/Strawberry, wow was that good. I bet it would make a great proper wine also.

Anyway, for these short life drinks I've taken to saving 2 liter soda bottles, using one can of juice concentrate and preparing in the container as directed, adding around 4 oz of sugar to up the alcohol, and a little yeast nutrient. When I've consumed one batch I have started adding juice right back to the yeast that has settled, and it jumps right back into fermentation right away. I only do this once though because I'm afraid of contaminates.
I like this idea! Wonder where I can get some 2L or 3L bottles. I think one of the colas have that in the summer.

Ohhhh- I have some 5l mini kegs ! Hmmm.
 

Dan_of_Earth

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I like this idea! Wonder where I can get some 2L or 3L bottles. I think one of the colas have that in the summer.

Ohhhh- I have some 5l mini kegs ! Hmmm.
Go for it, I've really liked the stuff I've cooked up so far. I've found if you leave it in the fridge a minimum of 2 days but up to 7 it tastes much better. Especially as you get closer to 7 days much of the yeast has settled out.
 

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BTW I've been using Premier Cuvee yeast, and I have no idea if different yeasts will behave differently under the colder temps.
No. The yeast really are tough to kill- so I always let it ferment out and then simply add sorbate and campden when it is done, then back-sweeten.

I do admit, though, that I was often siphoning out a gallon or so out of the carboy and sticking it in the fridge to drink before it fermented out. I started with a 6 gallon carboy, and ended with a 3 gallon carboy. The best stuff was around 1.010-1.020, if I remember correctly.
 

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WOW...drinking some of this summer refreshment fruit juice now. I fermented some old orchard cranberry till it was dry, then popped it in the fridge about 4 days...tastes so nice.
 
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