Hard Lemonade

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scray24

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when did you add the yeast compared to the campden tablets (e.g. 24+ hrs between additions?).
 

scray24

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i'd say at least 24 hrs, else he may have killed off his yeast - it wasn't clear (at least to this sod) if it was added in sequence or all at once from his original message.
 

sily_rabit

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I'd give it a few more days. That was some quick fermentation time. Note that later on, I just drypitched the EC1118 and was good to go.
After a week, no drop. I was talking to the local homebrew store and he seems to think 4 campden tablets is too much because each one was 150 ppm. He said they used to be 50 ppm. I stirred the crap out of it to help drive off some. I will start another pack of ec-1118 tomorrow and see if I can get this thing going.
Code:
 

sily_rabit

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when did you add the yeast compared to the campden tablets (e.g. 24+ hrs between additions?).
I added the yeast nutrient, yeast enegry and the campden to the must all at the same time. Probably 1-1/2 hour before I added the starter. Maybe not even that long, the whole process from start to finish was only about 2-1/2 hours.
 

scray24

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When using the campden tablets to kill any wild yeasts (or sanitize things), you should give it 24+ hours before you add your yeast starter or it will kill your yeasties too.

Guessing that this is probably what happened this time 'round. Repitch with some more wine yeast and you should be good to go.
 

sily_rabit

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LHBS only had 1 pack ec-1118, so that is what I went with. I added 1-1/2 cups of sugar to 1-1/2 qt of water. I rehydrated the yeast and added a cup of the sugar water to the starter every 1-2 hours. I let that sit for a day and it was looking pretty healthy, so I stirred up the lemonade must with a wine wip and added the starter. I capped the bucket and put in an airlock so that I could confirm any activity. The next day, there was some pressure in the bucket, but no activity in the airlock. I removed the lid and stirred it up. Something was alive in there, it was very frothy this time. The next morning, the air lock is bubbling and I am finally on track. Thanks for the confirmation and info.
 

carrie_mt

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If you add the premixed lemonade, make sure that you use some campden tablets or sorbate to stop the fermentation. Just say no to bottle bombs
I've got bottle bombs! After the first 2 gallon batch I did that was so successfull I did a 5 gallon batch. It fermented out around 1.00 after about 8weeks. I did 5 campden tablets and 1/4tsp sorbate (per directions on bottle) per gallon to knock the yeast out. To back sweeten I added juice concentrates to gallons of the lemonade - lime, lemonade, cherry pomegranite, raspberry lemonade, and cranberry. The ones backsweetened with cherry pomegranite exploded after being in the basement for 8 weeks - yikers!

Thank goodness I realize my limitations with this stuff and had it in a plastic rubbermaid container so no harm done expcept I've lost a few bottles. The cranberry ones didn't explode but I checked every flavor and those were carbed and next to go... I opened the cranberry ones up and let them foam out and poured the remaining 1/2 bottle into a pitcher. Served it the next day at my son's b-day party and it was declared "refreshing" and "wonderful" by all. :mug:

So - I'm wondering why only certain flavors used to backsweeten would carb up on me if I stabelized the entire 5 gallon batch at once? Where did I go wrong? Is stabelizing just a "hold your breath" to see if it works kind of process?
 
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Usually, I see a "dosage" of 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. It's possible you under-sorbated, but I think the real issue is that at 1.000, it probably wasn't done. Mine went to .990!

Sorbate and campden will work together to help inhibit yeast reproduction, but you have to make sure that the fermentation is finished, and the lemonade is clear and racked off of the lees. Once the yeast is finished, THEN the campden and sorbate work pretty well. It's almost impossible to stop an active fermentation with campden and sulfite, though!
 

carrie_mt

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I probably didn't let it ferment all the way then - I looked at my records and it was .998 when I added the campden/sorbate. Is there any harm in leaving it a carbouy for longer - say testing it and having it below 1 and then just leaving it for another month?
 

esarkipato

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Hey I'd like to make a variant of this, but instead of lemonade concentrate I ended up getting Minute Maid "Lemon Juice" from concentrate. Each bottle purportedly contains the juice of 7 lemons. My question is, do you think the lemonade concentrate contains anything to help the fermentation or finished wine that the juice wouldn't have? Otherwise, I can just add additional sugar to 1.080 or so. Thanks!
 

CA-LT1

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Yeah, I think that would be fine, I've thought of doing that, but it's cheeper to buy the cans :)

Lemon juice + sugar + water = Lemonade
 

bovineblitz

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So I decided to try this out. I used 7 cans of store brand lemonade mix and 4lbs sugar... my OG was waaay high at 3gallons (I don't want a 15% alcohol lemonade!) so I diluted it down to 1.080. I dry pitched two packets of EC-1118 and holy crap, it's ALREADY active 10 minutes after pitching! I've never seen activity that fast before!

I decided to skip the campden for 24h step, I figured between stringent sanitation, a very low pH, and a HUGE pitching rate, an infection is very unlikely.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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So I decided to try this out. I used 7 cans of store brand lemonade mix and 4lbs sugar... my OG was waaay high at 3gallons (I don't want a 15% alcohol lemonade!) so I diluted it down to 1.080. I dry pitched two packets of EC-1118 and holy crap, it's ALREADY active 10 minutes after pitching! I've never seen activity that fast before!

I decided to skip the campden for 24h step, I figured between stringent sanitation, a very low pH, and a HUGE pitching rate, an infection is very unlikely.
IIRC, the campden is to kill off the wild yeast too :)
 

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I wanted to make Skeeter Pee, but not having all the ingredients (k-meta, tannin, wine slurry), thankfully I found this thread. My starter has been going since Sunday, and is now cold-crashing. I'm really psyched. I tasted some of the lemonade off the top of the starter, and man does it taste good. Thanks Yooper!
 

HerotBrewer

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Just an update. I pitched on the 23rd, and the yeast is really impressive. It's going quite well. I was a little worried because when I adjusted the must to 1.070 from its original 1.1, I was left with no headspace besides the actual neck of my better bottle, but there's been no noticeable krausen.
 

bovineblitz

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Just an update. I pitched on the 23rd, and the yeast is really impressive. It's going quite well. I was a little worried because when I adjusted the must to 1.070 from its original 1.1, I was left with no headspace besides the actual neck of my better bottle, but there's been no noticeable krausen.
Mine is similarly impressive. Pitched on the 21st at 1.081, today (7 days later) I'm at 1.034. Pitching two packets worked quite well!
 

HerotBrewer

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BTW for those who care, I'm using 1118 yeast.

Looks like after about a week I'd down to 1.05 from 1.07. Should I add some more nutrient?
 
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BTW for those who care, I'm using 1118 yeast.

Looks like after about a week I'd down to 1.05 from 1.07. Should I add some more nutrient?
I just saw this, sorry it's so late! Hopefully it's finished by now.

I'm going to make this again, later this month. My daughter will like this on tap- she really doesn't like beer but she loves this recipe!
 
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Yooper said:
This has been requested many times, but I haven't been able to find my original recipe. This is a recreation from my notes.

3 gallon recipe

7 cans lemonade concentrate (without sorbate)
4-4.5 pounds sugar (1.5 pounds of sugar per gallon)
3 tsp yeast energizer
3 tsp yeast nutrient
3 campden tablets
Wine yeast (any works fine)

Sg should be in the range of 1.070-1.100. Use less sugar for a lower ABV, but don't go under 1.060.

This is a tough ferment, due to the high acidity of the lemonade. So, I recommend a yeast starter. A good way to do this is to start your must and then use some of it to make the starter.

Thaw the lemonade and put 1/2 in primary. Boil a gallon of water and dissolve the sugar (start with 3 pounds and add more later if needed). Add to the primary. Stir well, and top up to 3 gallons. Take out two cups of this must and put in a large bowl or measuring cup. Add a pinch of yeast nutrient and yeast energizer and put the remainder of the nutrient and energizer in the must. Make sure the temperature of the must in the starter vessel is 70-80 degrees, and add the yeast. When it's foamy, add a bit more of the must. Do this about 3-4 times by just adding more must a little at a time. Then, add the rest of the thawed lemonade and the crushed campden tablets to the primary and stir well. Check the OG and add more sugar if desired to raise the SG (but don't go over 1.100) Continue adding must to the starter, a little at a time, until the yeast starter is still looking foamy and going well, in about two days, and then pour the yeast starter into the primary. During primary, cover with a clean towel and stir frequently. After about 5-7 days, or when the SG reaches 1.030, pour into secondary and airlock. This will finish dry, so you can sweeten to taste if you'd like by adding unfermentable sweetners, or by stabilizing and then backsweetening. My experience is that this tastes best around 1.020. I actually siphoned it out of the carboy and into pitchers when it was in the 1.010- 1.020 range.
Bottle in beer bottles or soda bottles, carbonate if desired, or keg.

I liked the OG at 1.080, at the start after all ingredients are added.
Do entire 7 cans of lemonade go into fermenter? I know it says thaw lemonade but only to pour half into primary, when do I pour the other 3.5 cans of lemonade?

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Blackhawkbrew said:
My starter is going well. I used Yooper's method of starting with a diluted lemonade solution and added some of it a little at a time. When I got home this afternoon, the starter had a nice big head on it. I'm starting to add the full strength must now. I'll keep doing this several times for the next day or so then add the starter to the must.
I ended up putting all the lemonade concentrate in at once so my yeast starter is in full lemonade strength :-/ I hope this doesn't screw up my yeast starter !!!
OG was 1.112, I didn't want to keep diluting the flava to much so I left it! I got sugar happy and poured to much in boilin water :) prison hootch on it's way

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I put together the recipe as shown on page 1. Only thing I did differently is scaled to 4 gallons and subbed a couple of cans of Limade for Lemonade.

I started a starter with Pasteur Champagne yeast hydrated in 2 cups of must with a pinch of nutrient and energizer. I added a cup of must every few hours for 2 days till I got to about 2 qts. Temp was at about 70-71 degrees. Foaming away the whole time, maybe a 3/8"-1/2" layer in the top of the starter vessel.

Pitched in to my fermenter last night and nothing 12-14 hours later, not a bubble on the surface. Should I give it another day or so to take off or did I miss something in my starter process?
Thank you
 

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Yooper, I know you don't sweeten most brews, but what do you think would be the best way to sweeten this recipe? I was thinking of Camden with a bit of Potasium Sorbate sweetener. I let it go to almost 1.000, and it is too dry.
 
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Yooper, I know you don't sweeten most brews, but what do you think would be the best way to sweeten this recipe? I was thinking of Camden with a bit of Potasium Sorbate sweetener. I let it go to almost 1.000, and it is too dry.
Yeah, if you're not carbonating, 2/3 teaspoon of sorbate per gallon and 1 crushed campden tablet per gallon would be fine. You'd have to rack into that (I dissolve them together in about 1/2 cup boiling water) into a carboy, let it sit a day or two, and sweeten to taste. I'm NOT a fan of sweet things, but I sure like this recipe at 1.010-1.020 which is pretty sweet. You could sweeten with sugar syrup, more cans of lemonade, etc. Then, before bottling, make sure fermentation won't restart by waiting about three days before bottling. It also helps if you crash cool it before racking and stabilizing- to knock out more of the yeast.

I'm going to keg this batch, because my daughter likes it sweet and fizzy. She doesn't drink beer so this is "her" beverage. I'll put it in a 3 gallon keg and use a picnic tap because I don't want lemonade in my beerlines!
 

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OK that makes good sense BUT, now my wife says she wants some carbonated. I have heard Splenda leaves a Splendaish taste. Any suggestions? Also, I am not kegging.....yet.
Thanks very much!
 
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OK that makes good sense BUT, now my wife says she wants some carbonated. I have heard Splenda leaves a Splendaish taste. Any suggestions? Also, I am not kegging.....yet.
Thanks very much!
Are then any artificial sweeteners that you like? Those would work, if you can find one that tastes good. It's easy to carb up a dry lemonade by priming it but it's not so easy to do it with a sweet one. You could take a look at Papper's instructions on carbing a sweet cider, then pasteurizing it. I've never done it, so I can't really give any advice.

Another thought I have is to bottle the to-be-carbonated ones in soda bottles. Keep them at room temperature, and stick them in the fridge when they feel hard. Then, never, ever let them warm up because they'll explode. But I do this with soda all the time. That's the SOP for soda- since there is more sugar than you want the yeast to consume. You just put them in the fridge when they're carbed up to halt further fermentation. You'd want to definitely use plastic bottles for this though!
 

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I like the soda bottle idea. We just bought our 9yr old a root beer kit so we are doing the hard bottle thing right now.
Thanks much.
 

Derrick123

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Hi,

I would love to try this recipe.

Do I understand correctly that Yooper is saying to just add the two packages of dry yeast. Meaning to just sprinkle it on the must?

Thanks
 
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Hi,

I would love to try this recipe.

Do I understand correctly that Yooper is saying to just add the two packages of dry yeast. Meaning to just sprinkle it on the must?

Thanks
No, lemonade is a tough ferment. You need to make the yeast starter as instructed in the instructions.
 

Derrick123

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Hi,

Ok...great. Thanks for the clarification.

So, the only change is that you used t
 

Derrick123

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Derrick123 said:
Hi,

Ok...great. Thanks for the clarification.

So, the only change is that you used t
Sorry, I hit send too soon.

So the only change is that you used two packages instead of one?
 

bovineblitz

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Sorry, I hit send too soon.

So the only change is that you used two packages instead of one?
Yooper's strategy is a well-controlled starter which babies the yeast along is probably the best way to do it. Later in the thread someone came up with the idea to just greatly overpitch which worked for him. Given my space restrictions I decided to take a shot with the double pitch method and I got good results. The double pitch method probably results in a ton of the yeast dying but seems to work most of the time.
 

Derrick123

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Hi,

Ok...glad it worked well.

Being a newbie I was getting a bit lost in the terminology. In this case to "pitch" means to make the starter and not just sprinkling the dry yeast on top of the must, like you do with a wine kit.

So glad I found this forum. I have learned lots already.
 

LooyvilleLarry

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Just finished testing my latest batch.. Yummmy !

Finish by adding
2 1/3# sugar
1 can concentrate
Juice from 4 fresh lemons.

Perfect!
 

bovineblitz

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Hi,

Ok...glad it worked well.

Being a newbie I was getting a bit lost in the terminology. In this case to "pitch" means to make the starter and not just sprinkling the dry yeast on top of the must, like you do with a wine kit.

So glad I found this forum. I have learned lots already.
Pitch means add the yeast. You can pitch your starter once it's ready and you can pitch your dry yeast packets.

So when you make the starter, you pitch your yeast into the starter then when you get enough yeast, you pitch the starter.

So yeah you've got the idea. Isn't HBT great?
 

Derrick123

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Excellent!

I understand now.

I will go back and have a good read and hope to make a batch this weekend.

Would you recommend that I just follow the directions on the first page of this thread or is there an updated version?

Thanks again
 

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