Hard Seltzer

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redrocker652002

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So, I went to my local MoreBeer and was going to get a kit for the first attempt at hard seltzer. They did not have a kit, but I was able to piece together the ingredients. They advised a Proper Seltzer yeast nutrient kit and said it had everything I needed mixed in. So, what the heck, right? Well, as I read on, I was supposed to buy Fermaid and DAP something or other. According to the clerk, who was very nice and seemed knowledgeable, all I needed is in this package. According to the directions on the package, I boil the sugar water for 10 mins, add the yeast nutrient, bring it down to temp and pitch yeast. According to what I read, the fermentation on this is quick, within 7 days. Then, add about 2oz of peach flavoring and bottle. Does this sound about right? So, I can have 5 gallons of seltzer ready to go in a week? Pretty cool if you ask me. I need to order or go get some carb drops as I am about out. Any input is welcome. RR
 

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well i just did up 20 gallons....all i did was add a cup of dry yeast to each fermenter....should be done in 5 days to 8% ABV.....


i used to use wheat germ tea for sugar water, but honestly dry yeast is cheaper....
 

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You should be fine with that. Depending on the yeast they gave you, it should be well and done in 7 days. Ales need a bit longer in primary for the yeast to 'clean up' after primary fermentation is done; basically, chewing up the by-products of the initial fermentation. Since seltzer is only simple sugar, there's really nothing for them to clean up afterwards. Would be interested to know what style/brand of yeast you're using, and how much they told you to pitch?
 

rburrelli

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Yes. The yeast used will be important. Following the instructions that were similar to your instructions my first seltzer came out very sulfur-y. Additional nutrients at 2 and 4 days made mine come out great on second batch. EC-1118 was my yeast.
 
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redrocker652002

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You should be fine with that. Depending on the yeast they gave you, it should be well and done in 7 days. Ales need a bit longer in primary for the yeast to 'clean up' after primary fermentation is done; basically, chewing up the by-products of the initial fermentation. Since seltzer is only simple sugar, there's really nothing for them to clean up afterwards. Would be interested to know what style/brand of yeast you're using, and how much they told you to pitch?
Thanks for the reply. They gave me Omega Lutra Ultra Kveik dry yeast. They said one sachet of it.
 

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I take the easy route when I make hard seltzer. Buy a bottle of the cheapest vodka you can lay hands on. Popov works well here. Use one of the online distillation site calculators to figure out how much water you need to add to get to about 5-5.5% for your batch size.


Then add your flavoring. I use flavors from Apex Flavors, which are specifically made for alcoholic beverages. They have hundreds of flavors:

 
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redrocker652002

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I take the easy route when I make hard seltzer. Buy a bottle of the cheapest vodka you can lay hands on. Popov works well here. Use one of the online distillation site calculators to figure out how much water you need to add to get to about 5-5.5% for your batch size.


Then add your flavoring. I use flavors from Apex Flavors, which are specifically made for alcoholic beverages. They have hundreds of flavors:

I am a bit confused. Do you not add yeast and do the fermentation? I just checked it, and it is bubbling along, not really fast, but a nice steady stream. So, I am going to go with what Omega has and wait about 7 days and see how it works out Add my flavoring and bottle. We will see. Thanks for the input, I appreciate all opinions and suggestions. RR
 

rburrelli

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I am a bit confused. Do you not add yeast and do the fermentation? I just checked it, and it is bubbling along, not really fast, but a nice steady stream. So, I am going to go with what Omega has and wait about 7 days and see how it works out Add my flavoring and bottle. We will see. Thanks for the input, I appreciate all opinions and suggestions. RR
User does not state how he carbonates the “seltzer”. No fermentation is done in this method,
 

bwible

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I am a bit confused. Do you not add yeast and do the fermentation? I just checked it, and it is bubbling along, not really fast, but a nice steady stream. So, I am going to go with what Omega has and wait about 7 days and see how it works out Add my flavoring and bottle. We will see. Thanks for the input, I appreciate all opinions and suggestions. RR
No I don’t ferment anything. It is very very difficult to get a clean ferment using just corn sugar.
 
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redrocker652002

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Tomorrow is day 7. I am going to check the gravity and see where it is. If I cannot bottle it tomorrow then it will have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest. Is that too long to have it sit in the bucket and ferment?
 

rburrelli

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Tomorrow is day 7. I am going to check the gravity and see where it is. If I cannot bottle it tomorrow then it will have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest. Is that too long to have it sit in the bucket and ferment?
What are the gravity readings? Seltzer should be below 1.00.
 
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redrocker652002

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On my hydrometer it says 1.020? It smells kinda lemony too. I don't know what is going on, but i am thinking of maybe getting a new hydrometer. This one seems like it may not be reading right.
 
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redrocker652002

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did you de gas your sample?
UMMMM, Nope, what is that. LOL. Funny thing, when I put it in the hydrometer I was wondering why there were so many bubbles. I kept thinking, hmm, it has not been carbonated yet. LOL. I think I remember reading that you have to stir it for a length of time. Right? I will look it up on the web. Thanks for the info.
 

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when I put it in the hydrometer


? are you using an easy dens? but when i check a sugar wash, it can have a hydro floating at 1.030-40, because of the co2 in it....actual gravity is more like 1.003 or even less then 1....

degasing is basically pouring your sample through a coffee filter...spinning the hydro, a few times, and waiting for 5-10 minutes helps get a good reading too.
 
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redrocker652002

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? are you using an easy dens? but when i check a sugar wash, it can have a hydro floating at 1.030-40, because of the co2 in it....actual gravity is more like 1.003 or even less then 1....

degasing is basically pouring your sample through a coffee filter...spinning the hydro, a few times, and waiting for 5-10 minutes helps get a good reading too.
Awesome!!!! Thank you for the info. I will check it again in the morning.
 
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redrocker652002

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So, near as I can tell, and with the research I have done, degassing is simply stirring the liquid after fermentation is complete to get all the gas out of the liquid. Another option I have found is to simply leave it until there is no activity in the airlock. Anybody have any input on this? Also, the instructions I have found said that fermentation should be 7 to 10 days, so I am ok there. Next weekend I might try the stir method and see what happens. Leave it a few days after, add the flavor and bottle. This is all new to me, so I am looking towards the experts. Any input is welcomed. RR
 

rburrelli

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On my hydrometer it says 1.020? It smells kinda lemony too. I don't know what is going on, but i am thinking of maybe getting a new hydrometer. This one seems like it may not be reading right.
Hydrometers are easy to check calibration.
I don’t think that is your issue. There are very little nutrients in a straight sugar wort. You should have been dosing with added nutrients every couple of days for the first 6 days.

I hope you find out your issue.
 
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redrocker652002

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Thanks for your reply. The instructions from the proper starter I bought said none of that. I followed the directions to the letter. I will check my hydrometer tomorrow. The only thing I didn't do, at least not yet, is degas. There were quite a bit of bubbles in the hydrometer when I checked the sugar wort, so I'm gonna try that. I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm just not cut out for any of this. My last two beers have not turned out that great either. Again, thanks for the reply.
 

seatazzz

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I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm just not cut out for any of this. My last two beers have not turned out that great either.
Don't get discouraged! Hard seltzer is a relatively 'new' thing for homebrewers, and it can take a while to get it right. Out of five batches so far (and I've been brewing beer for six years), only two of them have turned out decent; it's a learning process. Fortunately, except for the yeast (or fruit purees if you decide to use them), seltzer is CHEAP to make, compared to $20-$30 or more for a partial mash beer kit. Very few homebrewers make perfect beer on their first few tries; took me almost two years before I got there, with a lot of reading/practice, but I'm stubborn and was pretty cheap in the beginning.
 
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redrocker652002

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Hydrometers are easy to check calibration.
I don’t think that is your issue. There are very little nutrients in a straight sugar wort. You should have been dosing with added nutrients every couple of days for the first 6 days.

I hope you find out your issue.
I checked my hydrometer and it seems to be good. I put it in room temp tap water and it read 1.000. So, my next step I think is going to be to pull a small sample of the sugar wort and stir it up a bit, and then check the reading again. Thing is, there are still bubbles coming thru the airlock, and as I have read it, that could be the liquid degassing itself. Either way, I am not into this for a huge amount, so I am ok with however it works out. RR
 
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redrocker652002

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Don't get discouraged! Hard seltzer is a relatively 'new' thing for homebrewers, and it can take a while to get it right. Out of five batches so far (and I've been brewing beer for six years), only two of them have turned out decent; it's a learning process. Fortunately, except for the yeast (or fruit purees if you decide to use them), seltzer is CHEAP to make, compared to $20-$30 or more for a partial mash beer kit. Very few homebrewers make perfect beer on their first few tries; took me almost two years before I got there, with a lot of reading/practice, but I'm stubborn and was pretty cheap in the beginning.
Thnks for the encouragement. I have made about 6 or 7 batches of beer, and about half of them I liked. One or two were really good, so I guess I am getting the hang of it. My last two were BIAB and they did not come out exactly as I hoped, but my brother liked one of them so I guess that's a bit of success. LOL. Either way, I am into this and enjoy the process. Just need to get a few more good ones under my belt. Thanks again. RR
 
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redrocker652002

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Update to my last post regarding gravity I just checked it and we are at about 0.998 or maybe even a bit lower. I am happy about that, but it still has a bit of a lemon smell to it. I am guessing from the yeast, but we will see. I tasted it and it didn't have any taste at all, so that is good. Since I am not using the sample I am going to try the degas thing just for the heck of it. But, I am pretty happy with my gravity number now. Seems a few extra days was what it needed. Patience is a virtue as they say. Rock on. RR
 
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redrocker652002

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I could not wait a full week, I opened a bottle after 6 days. Smell calmed down a bit, and it isn't bad. I used about twice the peach extract they called for and it still doesn't have a huge peach taste, but I am guessing it isn't supposed to. I am going to see if I can find a can of White Claw and see how close I am. Wife did not like it, but my daughter said it was ok, so we shall see. Maybe a bit more time in the bottle will do it ok as well. All in all, not bad for a first try.
 
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redrocker652002

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Opened another bottle tonight. The smell is much less, almost nonexistent. The taste has calmed a bit as it aged in the bottle. This second bottle was much better and I think I will wait a bit more and see how it goes., but it isn't bad at all.
 
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