Hard Lemonade

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scinerd3000

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yooper- how long did you age this. I did one gallon with real lemons from my tree, about 1/4 of a gallon and topped off the rest with water and sugar. SG about 1.060 and i threw in some montrochet. Fermented way down below 1.000, i figured i would backsweeten eventually once it cleared since this was an experiement anyways but damn its tart...im hoping some aging will do this good but i dont know...any ideas?
 
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yooper- how long did you age this. I did one gallon with real lemons from my tree, about 1/4 of a gallon and topped off the rest with water and sugar. SG about 1.060 and i threw in some montrochet. Fermented way down below 1.000, i figured i would backsweeten eventually once it cleared since this was an experiement anyways but damn its tart...im hoping some aging will do this good but i dont know...any ideas?
I siphoned some right out of the carboy and put in a pitcher in the fridge, so I didn't age it long at all! I did bottle some, but by then it was pretty tart.

Go ahead and sweeten it, if you're not carbonating it. You can stabilize it with sorbate and campden and then sweeten with sugar, fresh lemonade, honey, etc. I liked it best around 1.010-1.020 or so.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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My second starter worked !! WOOOHOO !
I started with a 1.040 DME, about 500ml. Added the yeast and gave it a little while.
Then about every 12 hours or so, I added about 1c of lemonade mixed per directions + 1 tbsp of sugar to the starter (on a stir plate). It took three days, but 10 hours after pitching (2000ml) , it;s bubbling away!
 

stoneman

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I started a batch today!
I upped it to 5 gallons, 10 cans minute maid lemonade, 5 lbs sugar (plus 3 cups at end to bring me to 1.08) I couldn't find any yeast energizer so I doubled the nutrient to 10 tsp and for good measure I used 2 pacs of 1118 wine yeast. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks Yoop!:mug:
 

Bluelinebrewer

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Just finished up a batch of this last night. FG was .994, got a little carried away!! Anyways, we tossed in some potassium sorbate, and sweetened it back up with some simple syrup to about 1.020. Tastes great!! Next project is going to be a cherry limeade I believe..... Thanks for the recipe Yooper!!
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Blue - I think I am doing the same. This thing has been chugging along forrrreeevvvvvvverrr ! Last I checked it, about a week ago, was @ 1.029. It sure was tasty there - ya know, a 2 liter 'hydrometer sample' :mug:

I had a starter for the limeade going good, then a frickin fruit fly made it's way under the foil and died the good way.

I'm going to rack this off onto some pot sorbate, and cold crash it. Then to 2 L bottles ( or that 3 gal keg on the way! ).
 

Bluelinebrewer

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Sounds like a plan!! :) Has anyone successfully made a limeade following this recipe? Would be interested in knowing how it turned out. I'm also thinking about using a different yeast strain the next time.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Update on my lemonade. I just racked this off, and it ended up at 1.020, for a 9.3% ABV. This one, based on my experience with it a week ago at 8.x, will be called August Bent Truth Serum... Sample tasted palatable, and will need just a touch of back sweetening.

If you read my previous posts, the malt is in there from the starter, but you'd have to be looking for it. Now, to keep it out of the hands of the younguns.
 

scray24

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So I tried this with a bit of a twist in the fermentation - basically same recipe:

3 gallons batch
6 cans of lemonade
1# of DME
1# of sugar
4c of sugar (sweetening)

I boiled some water and mixed in the DME, pound of sugar and yeast nutrient + DAP. Cooled and pitched into a carboy with about 2g of water and 1 can of lemonade concentrate. Rehydrated and pitched some champagne yeast into it and waited..

It was fermenting well by the next day so I added another can of the concentrate and a can of water (to rinse out the concentrate can). Put the airlock back on and waited.

Still fermenting well by day 2 so added one can in the morning and one that night and followed the same plan on day 3.

Its a bit backward from adding bits of the must/lemonade mixture back into a yeast starter but accomplishes the same thing.

Only drawback I can see is that its difficult to accurately measure your OG - I can get FG (it was in the 1.004 range when I kegged, added sorbistat k and the 4c of sugar dissolved in a quart of water to sweeten).

Anyone else see any major flaws in this alternative (if you would even call it that)?

Thanks for the recipe Yooper, its likely to become a standard offering during the summer.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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BTW, Thanks Yooper - after letting some of my Truth Serum out, it seems that I'll be tying up a carboy & a 3gal keg all damn summer :) This is going down well, especially with the ladies, with no backsweeten.

I'll be kicking in another batch this weekend, hoping it will be done for my bday in August !
 

NeonBrew

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Thanks for the recipe! I'm just a noob and have a couple dumb questions if you don't mind. I saw this and had to try it. I started a 3 gallon batch yesterday, hope it turns out. I've done everything according to recipe except I could not find yeast energizer, so I just used the same amount of nutrient on the advice of home brew store. It's been about 30 hours and the starter is bubbling along nicely on its own. Every few hours I add a cup or so of must. So, as long as the starter is foaming away, would it be safe to add it to the must, say tomorrow?

One thing I'm curious of is adding the campden tablets. I thought the purpose of these is to halt fermentation? Why are these added at the start?

I would like to carbonate I think. I'm confused how to do this. From what I can understand, I need to ferment down to 1.000, then stabilize and sweeten back up to 1.020 at bottling time if I dont want carbonation. If I do want carbonation, do I just add my priming sugar and accept it will be a much dryer drink?
 

LooyvilleLarry

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I hope that Yooper will chime in on this, but I'll give an early thought.
The campden early is so that any of the wild (unwanted) yeasties in the lemonade are annihilated before the good yeasties come to dine.

I had a tough time with the starter, others have done it easier. From my lessons learned, step that starter up like your doing and pitch it tomorrow.

You should be ok with the nutrient, but you might as well order some of this energizer for that next batch when you find out that 3 gal doesn't last very long at all:)
 
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I hope that Yooper will chime in on this, but I'll give an early thought.
The campden early is so that any of the wild (unwanted) yeasties in the lemonade are annihilated before the good yeasties come to dine.

I had a tough time with the starter, others have done it easier. From my lessons learned, step that starter up like your doing and pitch it tomorrow.

You should be ok with the nutrient, but you might as well order some of this energizer for that next batch when you find out that 3 gal doesn't last very long at all:)
Yes, what he said! Sort of. Since it is such a tough ferment, I add the campden to the must so it's not growing wild bugs during the time of making the starter. Wine yeast are pretty tolerant of sulfites, so it works ok. Campden/sulfite don't kill yeast, nor do they halt fermentation. Many people may tell you that, but they are wrong. Campden is used to sanitize equipment (in a much stronger mix), and to sanitize must, as well as to preserve wine and prevent oxidation. In conjunction with sorbate, it can be useful to prevent refermentation during sweetening by inhibiting yeast reproduction, but it doesn't kill the yeast.

If you want a sweet carbed up drink, you can use a non-fermentable sweetener like lactose or splenda to sweeten and priming sugar to carbonate.
 

NeonBrew

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Thanks for replies!

So then...would I be correct about it just being dryer when carbonating unless I sweeten it up? Thanks again.
 
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Thanks for replies!

So then...would I be correct about it just being dryer when carbonating unless I sweeten it up? Thanks again.
Oh, sorry- I guess I didn't answer that, did I? Yes, it'll be dry and carbonated. It's pretty good like that, but I don't have a sweet tooth at all and don't like many sweetened things. I did like this drink best at between 1.010 and 1.020, though.
 

NeonBrew

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Oh, sorry- I guess I didn't answer that, did I? Yes, it'll be dry and carbonated. It's pretty good like that, but I don't have a sweet tooth at all and don't like many sweetened things. I did like this drink best at between 1.010 and 1.020, though.

Thats great...thanks yooper. I prefer my drinks dry also, so I think it'll suit me fine!
 

NeonBrew

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My batch has been hard at work now for 4 weeks. I thought I'd take a sample today to see where it's at. Tastes pretty good! Very stiff, and slightly yeasty still. It measured 1.003. Do you think I'm good to bottle now, or should I wait till its at 1.000 in probably a few days?

I also got a bit of a brainwave...maybe it's been tried before. How about adding crystal light (which is sugar free, lemon flavor obviously) at bottling to sweeten it up a bit, and to give it perhaps more lemon taste?
 

Bullshivit-brew

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??? when useing splenda dose it read on the hydromiter like fermentable sugars or do you just sweeten to taste. Just woundering you say it is best around 1.020 and I would be bottle conditioning. Thanks
 
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I wouldn't bottle it until it's completely done. It should go lower than 1.000.

If you use splenda, I would just sweeten to taste. Make sure you use the 100% splenda, not the real sugar/splenda mix that is sold.

Something like Crystal Light would probably work. I have never sweetened with artificial sugars or with Crystal Light, though, so I don't know exactly what the results would be.
 

NeonBrew

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I wouldn't bottle it until it's completely done. It should go lower than 1.000.
Ooops...I did end up bottling it. I checked it 3 days later, and it still read 1.003. I used 3 oz corn sugar in the 3 gallon mix to carbonate. I hope that'll be ok along with the 1.003 fg?? I also did add the crystal light. Tasted quite good, so I hope it stays that way!
 

PBRmeASAP

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Might need a little help on this one...
got it fermenting on the 4th. SG 1.094, by friday (7th)it was down to 1.054, temps got warm here, and it was up to 85-86 degrees. Got it cooled down to 75-78 degrees, but there has been no action since, checked the gravity today still sitting at 1.054.

It took 2 yeast starters to get this rolling, will there be any problems to make another starter and try to get this rolling again....smells good, tastes good, don't want to dump it, but how many times can you add yeast?

Thanks in advance

Jeff
 

NeonBrew

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Ooops...I did end up bottling it. I checked it 3 days later, and it still read 1.003. I used 3 oz corn sugar in the 3 gallon mix to carbonate. I hope that'll be ok along with the 1.003 fg?? I also did add the crystal light. Tasted quite good, so I hope it stays that way!

Just like to mention I am now consuming this :drunk: and it tastes fantastic! I tried some a week ago and it was still just a little too yeasty. Today I can still detect a very slight yeast taste, but other than that...awesome!! I expect in one more week there will be no yeast taste. I'm curious now what it would have tasted like without the crystal light. One thing though. I did add 3 or so oz of corn sugar to carbonate, but there is zero carbonation after 3 weeks. It's been sitting at 71 degrees all the while. Anyone know why?
 

Bullshivit-brew

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Hmmm I wounder if maybe a little live yeast would be good to add when its time to carb. since its such a harsh invierment for the little guy's?
 

guillaume16

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So I decided to do this one as a first time brew but with some vairations. Instead of concentrate I just bought 3 half gallon bottles of minute maid lemonade, added 1lb of cane sugar and a half packet of champagne yeast without any yeast starter or nutrient. It took a while to ferment, maybe a little after a day? It really kicked in around the 4th day and by the 7th day it was done. I tested a little today and its a little tart but if sweetened and served cold it tastes like mikes hard lemonade, it does taste a lot stronger however but im not sure of the %alc because I didnt take any og or sg readings. A question I have is, to sweeten the whole batch, am I better of stopping the fermentation and sweetening with cane sugar or sweetening with splenda or some other sweetener?
 

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I'm starting up a 5.5 gallon batch of this as we speak. I'm planning to rack it onto 5# cherries with a quart or so of cherry juice from Trader Joe's. OG is around 1.090.

The only problem is that 5# of cherries is going to set me back about $30 if I go through safeway, Puree from the LHBS would set me back the same. Anyone got any suggestions where to get some cheaper? I'm in Sonoma County, CA.
 

Apollofrost

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Ok, followed instructions on the starter and had a lively one going too. I pitched it and three days later... nothing. I'm gonna re-pitch with some safale 04 tonight.
 

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Started this up today. Made a starter with Lalvin EC1118 and it is literally boiling in there with all the particles flying around.

Is it normal for it to smell like rubber?
 

Apollofrost

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Re-pitched with safale 04 and it's slowly eating the sugar. Down from 1.100 to 1.068 in ten days. No real smells except a hint of lemon. Once it bottoms out I'll rack onto the cherries.

+1 on stirring.

I aerated my wort and gave it proper nutrients so that could be why I have no strange smells. The high acid environment stresses the hell out of the yeast.
 

Dauntless

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Still haven't pitched (its a 6 gallon batch) but that rubber smell is essentially gone and the mixture still churning. I add sugar every 2 or so hours and shake it up to get some oxygen in there too. This is with the full strength must too.

I'm using nutrient but no yeast energizer.
 

Dauntless

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This is turning out to be a very steady fermentation, dropping about 8 points a day (gravity, not plato). I'm really surprised that the hydrometer sample I pulled tasted so good. I guess there won't be a 4 week primary on this one...
 

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Has anyone tried a less attenuative high-alcohol yeast like WLP720 to get this to stall out closer to 1.010-1.020? I didn't know if a sweeter "finished" fermentation could be engineered just by switching up yeast.... seems people in the mead and sweet wine world have great things to say about it...?
 

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Did the basics of this about 3 weeks ago, using the Lavlin EC1118. Racked to a secondary last week on a friend's advice when he saw the layer of stuff on the bottom of the bucket. After moving to a secondary, the fermentation kicked in again. Gravity is at 1.00, and the flavor is good, surprisingly sweet, but dry, if that's possible. Very strong yeast taste, so I will have to wait that out. Had the same issue with my batch of cider using the Lavlin yeast. Took about 2 weeks for the yeast flavor to calm down. I'm kind of excited.
 

MrInternet

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I just did two one-gallon batches of this to break in my new jugs. :) One batch had two cans of lemonade concentrate, the other had three cans, one of them pink. Each batch had 2.5 Cups of table sugar as well. Did the stepped-up yeast started over two days, also using 1118... was rolling like a hot boil, I think I'm in love with this yeast. :) Gravities were 1.088 and 1.092, respectively. If this ferments out to 1.000... some people are going blind at our New Year's party. :)
 

Dauntless

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Well mine fermented out to 0.996 which is retarded sour. Backsweetened with splenda, primed and bottled. With all that nice tough as nails yeast cake I pitched another batch on top. This time it's orange juice (fake stuff) with lots of orange zests. I can't wait.
 

Trislism

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Okay, sorry I am a giant newb but when you say
"1# of DME
1# of sugar
4c of sugar (sweetening)"

Does # mean pound? how does that work
 

scray24

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Yes, # typically mean's a pound (16 oz/453g).

Not sure what you're asking with the "how does that work" - if its in response to the sweetening, the potassium sorbate will knock the yeast out and prevent it from fermenting any additional sugars. This will allow you add additional sweetening sugar to your personal taste without fear of bottle bombs (overcarbonation) or further fermentation....

hope that helps.
 

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I'm looking to start some of this right after Christmas, getting some new brewing supplies that I want to break in, and I've been wondering; how long should the secondary be on this? I realize that it varies by brew and ambient conditions, but what's the average, or what have people been finding is their secondary length, after the weekish primary?
 

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sorry to keep bring this up in this thread but everyone keeps throwing in parts and its kinda hard to follow. basically what i have to do is have an amount of lemonade that i want. put it into the fermenter. I get confused at this point. So do i add sugar for sweetness or fermentation so basically if i have drinkable do i still add more sugar at this point? Now do i add all the yeast or do i add a little bit per day. Or do i add all the nutrient at once and a little yeast per day. now once the gravity is around 1.00 i add potassium sorbate and back sweeten so it's not super tart. do i basically have the main idea the biggest part I'm confused with is how to add the yeast and nutrient and also what type of yeast should i use.
 
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