Hi everyone, I am looking to brew a skeeter pee without a slurry

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Stonks

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I will follow the recipe on this website exactly, with the exception of the Yeast Slurry. I would like to use Lalvin EC-1118 yeast packets instead.

I was looking at alternative solutions and searched elsewhere on the message boards, but couldn't really find a definitive answer.

I'm not interested in using any additional juice or anything beyond sugar water to make a starter, if you suggest going down the road of making a starter.

Is there a way to do this with the recipe and just yeast packets? or will the acid levels be too high for the yeast?

Please let me know you thoughts.

Best,

Stonks.
 

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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This is from the FAQ section of the Skeeter Pee recipe site..


Q: Can I make a batch of Skeeter Pee if I don’t have a slurry?

A: You can. Some people have had luck simply sprinkling the yeast on top of the must in the place of using a slurry. Be cautioned though, that the ferment will take much longer to get started. It helps to whip the must with a wire whisk to introduce lots of oxygen and keep the must warm. Be prepared to wait up to a week to see signs of ferment. An alternative method that has been successful is starting a 1 gallon batch of wine using frozen concentrate, letting it go for 5 days to a week to get good and active, and then using the whole thing in place of a slurry.
 

MaxStout

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Make sure your yeast packets are fresh. If the yeast is near its expiration date you're already behind the 8-ball.
Consider rehydrating the yeast using a rehydration nutrient, like Go-Ferm protect.
Oxygenate the must just before pitching.
Do not cut corners on the yeast nutrient and energizer additions during fermentation. The yeast needs all the help it can get with the low pH must.
Be patient!
Let us know how your batch turns out.
 
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Stonks

Stonks

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Make sure your yeast packets are fresh. If the yeast is near its expiration date you're already behind the 8-ball.
Consider rehydrating the yeast using a rehydration nutrient, like Go-Ferm protect.
Oxygenate the must just before pitching.
Do not cut corners on the yeast nutrient and energizer additions during fermentation. The yeast needs all the help it can get with the low pH must.
Be patient!
Let us know how your batch turns out.
Thank you sir! I will heed your advice and keep you updated!
 
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MaxStout

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While I've never made Skeeter Pee, I have made a few batches of hard lemonade from store juice, which is quite acidic. IIRC, I used Montrachet. Fermentation was a challenge, but ultimately worked each time. But it was very slow and took several weeks, maybe a month, to reach FG. But no off-flavors.

You didn't mention batch size (I'm assuming a standard 5 gal batch?) Wine yeast is cheap, so don't be afraid to pitch 2 or 3 packets. You might need to repitch more later.

Good luck!
 

Raptor99

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The original Skeeter Pee recipe uses Real Lemon juice, which contains both sulfites and sodium benzoate as preservatives. To overcome those odds you need to give your yeast every advantage. It deals with the preservatives two ways:
1) Mixing everything but the yeast in a bucket and let it sit for 24-48 hours, stirring frequently. This will dissipate the SO2 from the sulfites, but not the benzoate.
2) Using healthy sediment from a previous batch provides at least 1000x more yeast than a full packet, and the yeast are already fully activated. If you don't do that, the recipes that I have read recommend making a starter first for the same reason.

When I tried this recipe, I used the sediment from a batch of pear wine started about 5 days earlier. The fermentation took off within 24 hours without a problem. If you don't use a slurry and don't make a starter then it might be difficult to get the fermentation started.

EDIT: Above I corrected "potassium sorbate" to "sodium benzoate" as the other preservative in Real Lemon.
 
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klr

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I use that recipe and that yeast and never use a slurry.
Get two sanitized quart jars.
Fill one half full with your mixed Skeeter Pee.
Put about a quarter of an inch in the other and sprinkle your yeast on top of the water.
30 minutes later put a splash of Skeeter Pee in with the yeast. I put maybe a tablespoon. Swirl the jar to mix.
Over an hour later when that is nice and foamy add twice that amount of Skeeter Pee. Swirl.
Wait another hour or so when it is again nice and foamy and then add enough Skeeter Pee to double the volume in the yeast jar. Swirl.
Do this every hour or so until all the Skeeter Pee is transferred from the one jar to the starter jar. Swirl.
Let it sit overnight, swirl, and then pitch into your 5 gallon batch of Skeeter Pee.


Skeeter Pee Starter.jpg
 

Snark_Wolf_Brewing

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I use that recipe and that yeast and never use a slurry.
Get two sanitized quart jars.
Fill one half full with your mixed Skeeter Pee.
Put about a quarter of an inch in the other and sprinkle your yeast on top of the water.
30 minutes later put a splash of Skeeter Pee in with the yeast. I put maybe a tablespoon. Swirl the jar to mix.
Over an hour later when that is nice and foamy add twice that amount of Skeeter Pee. Swirl.
Wait another hour or so when it is again nice and foamy and then add enough Skeeter Pee to double the volume in the yeast jar. Swirl.
Do this every hour or so until all the Skeeter Pee is transferred from the one jar to the starter jar. Swirl.
Let it sit overnight, swirl, and then pitch into your 5 gallon batch of Skeeter Pee.


View attachment 728519
Making a small starter to give the yeast a good headstart. 👍 Nice!
 

klr

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I cover the primary with a thin towel or cheesecloth in the belief that some of those preservatives will off-gas in the 24hrs or so it takes to get my starter up to speed. I also use tap water and wonder if the chlorine/sodium metabisulfite reaction helps reduce its effectiveness as a preservative?

In any event, my EC 1118 can't read the label and gets right to work. ;)

The last batch I did I used two quarts of ReaLemon and one quart of cranberry concentrate. I used Lavin K1-V1116 yeast and my same method of making a starter. It worked perfectly.

Here is a batch I pitched EC-1118 into this morning. It has two quarts of ReaLemon, eight lbs of sugar, one tablespoon of yeast nutrient, one teaspoon of yeast energizer, and 3/4 teaspoon of tannin. Due to other issues it sat for a few days before I could get around to making a starter. Seems to be going fine.

Skeeter Pee.jpg
 

bernardsmith

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The fact that Realemon brand juice uses benzoate and sulfites, adds another strike against the yeast.
Yeah, but you are using about - what a few pints of the lemon juice diluted in about 5 or 6 gallons of water. If you start by adding say, 1/3 of the juice to the TOTAL volume of water then there is really very little preservative in solution. Once the yeast are actively fermenting (And they will have reproduced many times) then you might add the 2nd third and the third third might be added to the secondary. In short the fact that there is some preservative should not have any impact on the fermentation.
 
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Stonks

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I use that recipe and that yeast and never use a slurry.
Get two sanitized quart jars.
Fill one half full with your mixed Skeeter Pee.
Put about a quarter of an inch in the other and sprinkle your yeast on top of the water.
30 minutes later put a splash of Skeeter Pee in with the yeast. I put maybe a tablespoon. Swirl the jar to mix.
Over an hour later when that is nice and foamy add twice that amount of Skeeter Pee. Swirl.
Wait another hour or so when it is again nice and foamy and then add enough Skeeter Pee to double the volume in the yeast jar. Swirl.
Do this every hour or so until all the Skeeter Pee is transferred from the one jar to the starter jar. Swirl.
Let it sit overnight, swirl, and then pitch into your 5 gallon batch of Skeeter Pee.


View attachment 728519

I took your advice and pursued this method.

Will tell you how it works!

Thank you all!
 

tkdgeek

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Starting a new batch with Nottingham yeast. I've made a 1gal batch similar to the original and had no issue with yeast since I used nutrient and energizer.
I don't believe, in looking at the specs for Nottingham, that it will ferment near as low as the wine slurry the original author talked about. 1.008 or so if I'm reading right? He's talking numbers like 0.998-0.995 ? I use it almost exclusively with cider and other fruit so wanted to see how well it did with lemon. It looks like it is definitely ABV tolerant well within what they expect. I'm looking at closer to 7.5 to 8% though unless I shoot for a much higher OG, which may compromise the overall product a bit? Will just take a test or three to find out I guess.
Also had to fudge the recipe a tiny bit here and there since I only use a 3gal glass fermenter not something to put 5.5gal in.
 

klr

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Starting a new batch with Nottingham yeast. I've made a 1gal batch similar to the original and had no issue with yeast since I used nutrient and energizer.
I don't believe, in looking at the specs for Nottingham, that it will ferment near as low as the wine slurry the original author talked about. 1.008 or so if I'm reading right? He's talking numbers like 0.998-0.995 ? I use it almost exclusively with cider and other fruit so wanted to see how well it did with lemon. It looks like it is definitely ABV tolerant well within what they expect. I'm looking at closer to 7.5 to 8% though unless I shoot for a much higher OG, which may compromise the overall product a bit? Will just take a test or three to find out I guess.
Also had to fudge the recipe a tiny bit here and there since I only use a 3gal glass fermenter not something to put 5.5gal in.
Sounds interesting. Please let us know how it turns out.

Tonight I emptied a 3 gallon fermenter. I also found a packet of Windsor yeast that I picked up last year, but I can't remember what I was going to use it for. I think I'll try it on a 2.5 gallon batch.
 

Apple_Jacker

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I've made it a bunch of times, never using a yeast slurry.
I always make a 1/2 gallon sized yeast starter with a small amount of lemon juice. I always use 2 packets of yeast.

After a few days, I add the starter to the bucket filled with the appropriate amount of water and sugar needed for the recipe, but only some of the lemon juice, maybe a third of the total amount needed. In a couple more days, i add another 3rd, wait a few days, then a few days after that I add the last of the lemon juice. Staging the lemon juice has worked for me every time.
 

bernardsmith

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I agree with Apple_Jacker. If you stagger the introduction of the lemon juice and if you begin with a starter to which you have introduced some lemon juice to reduce the pH to acclimate the yeast to the acid bath they will soon be swimming in then you won't have too much trouble. The big issue is the pH which can be very low indeed, and yeast really react as if they have acid reflux disease when they are forced to gorge on very acidic solutions and their discomfort will very quickly become the wine maker's discomfort. Yeast are very Karmic
 

tkdgeek

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Sounds interesting. Please let us know how it turns out.

Tonight I emptied a 3 gallon fermenter. I also found a packet of Windsor yeast that I picked up last year, but I can't remember what I was going to use it for. I think I'll try it on a 2.5 gallon batch.
Been pretty slow and steady. I gave it the other half of nutrient/energizer at about 1.046 along with about another 16oz of liquid I had reserved. Was worried it might be aggressive (never know) so I pulled some out at the start before introducing the acclimated yeast. Nottingham starter with a bit of nutrient was very aggressive in the quart jar over the 18hrs I gave it a bit at a time (per directions) of the lemon mix. Fairly steady with the Nottingham to take about 0.005 every 4 days so patience. I got one of those very long 15ml glass tubes with a little rubber squeeze on the end because I knew I'd be testing a few ml for my refractometer now and then, where I'd normally only 'brew' things that I set and forget. Very helpful item and has the reach to get a tiny sample from the 3gal glass fermenter in the freezer. It's setting in my floor freezer at solid 65°F where I'd typically set fruit cider things with Nott.
Gave it a taste finally with this sample. Still sweet, of course, but has a very nice lemon flavor. Really want this recipe to turn out nice so I have another for my very small success list I keep of stuff I love.
I believe the only wine yeast I've ever tried was Lavlin 1116. Might have been 1118 but I'm not sure now since it wasn't saved. I just know I picked to because of the fruit esters I think I'd like the next batch to use Lavlin and see how it does at keeping the nice lemon properties. Anyone have a strong opinion on which would be more appropriate to bring out the goodness of the Skeeter? I'd like the get the next batch going soon so I will have some of the Nott version to compare with.
 
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