Name for fermented Lemonade

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The Experimenter

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I know this is the cider forum but I figured it was the most appropriate forum to post this question in since it's about brewing another fruit (I mean grapes are fruits too, but wine is its own category that I'm pretty sure lemonade would not fall under).

Anyway, my question is: Does fermented/brewed lemonade have a specific name, like how fermented apple juice is "cider" or fermented honey water is "mead"? Is there a name for the beverage which is lemonade that has been fermented with brewer's yeast?

Whenever I look on Google I never find anything. If I search "fermented lemonade" I get a bunch of health stuff about "fermenting" your lemonade with "probiotic-rich whey" to create an ultra healthy drink with plenty of "flora"... not what I'm looking for. If I search "brewed lemonade" I again get health posts mixed with the occasional brewing recipe like this one: Homebrewed Hard Lemonade - BrewTogether as well as the occasional post in forums on this site and others saying to not even bother trying it because the acid will just kill the yeast (but I quickly discovered those posts were false because I started a brew with Full Circle Market all natural lemonade and Safale S-04 a few days ago and it has been going strong since, even after I dry pitched only 1/4 of the packet... so far, when taking samples for hydrometer testing, it has tasted great). Anyway aside from those occasional recipes and occasional posts about how it won't work (even though it DEFINITELY can work), I haven't seen anything about what you would call a lemonade based brew. I want to know what type of brew this is so when I hand my buddies a bottle of it I can say, "This is my latest batch of...", of what?

I know "Hard" Lemonade is a category (which is what the person who made the above link called his brew), but pretty much every commercial Hard Lemonade I have ever seen is lemonade spiked with vodka, whiskey, or another distilled spirit. So correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Hard Lemonade is the correct term... unless it is the term used to refer to both brewed and spike lemonade? Or is there just no term at all because people don't do it frequently enough for it to have a name?
 
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The Experimenter

The Experimenter

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Oh wow, you're not making it up!

I looked it up (after momentarily pausing to question whether I should really type "skeeter pee" into my search bar) and that's totally (and unfortunately) what it is called.

Well, I suppose there will be more for me when my friends inevitably turn down a bottle of something homemade with "pee" in its name 😆
 
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The Experimenter

The Experimenter

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Thanks for the feedback on this.

Whatever you call it, it's delicious! Finally opened it last night... and finished it; It was only a 1-gallon batch, but me and my friends killed all of it last night! It fermented dry and was very good and refreshing in that form, but we also discovered that adding a dash of Monin Violet syrup to it made it slightly sweet and gave it a slightly purple hue with a mild violet flavor.

I will definitely be making some Skeeter Pee again and I should do it with the violet syrup... I wonder if I should add violet syrup at the start before fermentation (which since it's a sugar syrup would raise the gravity and give the brew the violet flavor, but if it ferments dry would negate the point of adding a slight sweetness to it) or if I should add it during bottling (which if I don't pasteurize still leaves the potential of fermentation occurring and getting rid of the sweetness, but could result in both the violet flavor AND a light carbonation occurring). Or maybe I should just do it like we did it last night and add the flavor to each bottle when you open them at the time you are consuming them so I don't have to worry about what the yeast might do to it? Any thoughts on any of this (adding a flavored sugar syrup to a brew and how to do it to retain a slight sweetness in addition to having the flavor present in the brew's taste profile)?
 
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bernardsmith

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You can chemically stabilize a wine after you have removed most of the viable yeast cells by racking after the active fermentation has ended. To stabilize you add K-meta and K-sorbate. When added according to directions these two compounds working in tandem prevent any residual yeast from fermenting any added sugar. Cider makers on this forum tend to "pasteurize" their ciders but most wine makers view cooking fruit as setting pectins and damaging the flavor though they would also view the idea of subjecting capped bottles filled with liquid saturated with CO2 as potentially more deadly than than juggling with machettes: shards flying glass under pressure being known as shrapnel by the rest of the world. :eek:
 

DaveC73

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I made a batch of Skeeter Pee this winter from my neighbour's Meyer lemon tree. Bottled in December at about 7.5% ABV, bone dry and bottle conditioned by adding 1 oz per gallon of sugar. Tried the first bottle this weekend and it tasted really good. Only problem was it needed sweetness to balance the tart and bitter flavours. Remedied this by adding one tbsp simple syrup to a 12 oz glass of Skeeter Pee. Perfect balance for me, and easier than going through the pasteurization process.
 
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I will definitely be making some Skeeter Pee again and I should do it with the violet syrup... I wonder if I should add violet syrup at the start before fermentation (which since it's a sugar syrup would raise the gravity and give the brew the violet flavor, but if it ferments dry would negate the point of adding a slight sweetness to it) or if I should add it during bottling (which if I don't pasteurize still leaves the potential of fermentation occurring and getting rid of the sweetness, but could result in both the violet flavor AND a light carbonation occurring). Or maybe I should just do it like we did it last night and add the flavor to each bottle when you open them at the time you are consuming them so I don't have to worry about what the yeast might do to it? Any thoughts on any of this (adding a flavored sugar syrup to a brew and how to do it to retain a slight sweetness in addition to having the flavor present in the brew's taste profile)?
I wrote the post above back in January and a week or two later decided to try a Skeeter Pee recipe based on my curiosity about adding Monin Violet syrup prior to fermentation... but just realized I never came back and posted about it!

Here is the recipe I tried and its result:
  1. 1 Gallon of Violet Skeeter Pee.
    • Used Full Circle Market Organic Lemonade.
    • Removed 13oz so I could add 13oz of the Monin Violet syrup (so the syrup, at 13 out of 128oz, was slightly more than 10% of the must by volume). I forgot to remove any volume for headspace and I am lucky that it did not foam up significantly at any point.
    • This mixture had a nice soft cloudy purple color to it (picture attached... in the picture the color isn't super visible, but in the right light the color was actually really pretty)
      Purple Skeeter Pee.png
    • Added a teaspoon of Diammonium Phosphate and 1/2 teaspoon of LD Carlson brand "Yeast Energizer" (Diammonium Phosphate mixed with yeast Springcell and Magnesium Sulphate). As a fruit juice it should have sufficient nitrogen and nutrients for the yeast, but I added these due to something I was reading online about how the citric acid makes it harder for the yeast to get started (not sure if that's true or not). So I added these to give it a better chance; this seemed to work well the last time I did Skeeter Pee (same recipe, minus the violet syrup).
    • Used Safale S-04 and did a dry pitch directly into the must. I used about 3/4 of a packet (left over from the last Skeeter Pee I did; had been left folded over in the fridge for 4 weeks, four times as long as Safale recommends keeping a packet of S-04 open before finally using it). After adding it, I shook vigorously multiple times to make sure there was good aeration and to make sure the syrup had dissolved (but when using Monin Syrup, dissolving it usually isn't a problem as their syrups readily and easily dissolve in water).
    • OG = 1.066
    • Placed in a room which averages around 69 to 70°F.
    • It fermented strongly for the first 10 days, dropping to 1.036 by Day 5 and 1.026 by Day 10.
    • By Day 15 it had only dropped an additional 6 points down to 1.020. At this point (Day 15), I transferred to Secondary.
    • Being impatient, I only left it in Secondary for 5 days (1/3 the amount of time it had spent in Primary). It cleared a little bit during this time, but remained mostly cloudy. When I bottled on Day 20 it measure 1.020, the same as 5 days earlier at the end of Primary.
    • The result was a beautiful smelling and fantastic tasting 6% abv Skeeter Pee that was moderately sweet and had just a hint of Violet flavor (one friend, who drank it straight from the brown beer bottle I put them in and never saw the color of it, actually didn't even notice the Violet flavor until I mentioned it). It was a phenomenal success among all of my family and friends and no one who tried it disliked it (some even asking me when I was going to have more for them). It was gone in less than 24 hours, just like my first batch.

I definitely think part of the success of my Skeeter Pee recipes is the use of the store bought organic Lemonade (not that it is superior to homemade lemonade, but that it allows my recipes to be consistent and predictable) as well as the Safale S-04 beer yeast (as opposed to wine yeasts which I see in a lot of other Skeeter Pee recipes). The latter is why I am now thinking of trying this recipe with S-05, Nottingham, or other popular ale yeasts.

I am also planning other future Skeeter Pees with other Monin Syrups... next up is Monin Desert Pear (made with the flavor of Prickly Pear cactus fruit). I think it will turn out great! I also might try some other floral ones (like Rose, Hibiscus, Lavender, or Elderflower) since the Violet worked out so well. Some of my friends suggested using Monin's Peach, Strawberry, and or Raspberry syrups or even their Exotic Citrus syrup to make an extra citrusy lemonade... there's so many options and I literally have about 2 dozen syrups saved in my Amazon "Homebrew" wishlist (most of which are rather uncommon flavorings for lemonade and would produce a truly unique Skeeter Pee, like Dragon Fruit, Huckleberry, Pomegranate, Passion Fruit, and Blackcurrant). The great thing is, most Monin syrups are made without preservatives and most are 22-24g of sugar per ounce, so if one Monin syrup works in a Skeeter Pee, pretty much any of their syrups will work (in the sense that it will ferment... not necessarily that it will taste good or be a hit among family and friends). With how many times I've used their brand name in this post, I should point out I am not endorsed and I am open to other syrup ideas as well... I've heard of people using SodaStream syrups (I'd love to try a "Lemon-Lime soda" flavored Skeeter Pee) and even Snow Cone syrups (imagine a "Blue Hawaiian" Skeeter Pee :p )!
 
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The Experimenter

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In my Previous Post I mentioned that I was going to attempt a Prickly Pear Lemonade... here's the Recipe and Result:

LemOpuntia (I named it "LemOpuntia", Opuntia being the Latin name of the Prickly Pear plant)
  • Used 1 Gallon of Full Circle Market Organic Lemonade
  • Removed 13oz of Lemonade so I could add 13oz of the Monin Violet syrup (so the syrup, at 13 out of 128oz, was slightly more than 10% of the must by volume). I forgot to remove any volume for headspace and I am lucky that it did not foam up significantly at any point
  • This mixture has a deep purple color to it:
  • unnamed.jpg
  • Added a teaspoon of Diammonium Phosphate and 1/2 teaspoon of LD Carlson brand "Yeast Energizer" (Diammonium Phosphate mixed with yeast Springcell and Magnesium Sulphate). As a fruit juice it should have sufficient nitrogen and nutrients for the yeast, but I added these due to something I was reading online about how the citric acid makes it harder for the yeast to get started (not sure if that's true or not). So I added these to give it a better chance; this seemed to work well the last time I did Skeeter Pee (same recipe, minus the violet syrup).
  • Used Safale S-04 and did a dry pitch directly into the must. I used about 3/4 of a packet (left over from the last Skeeter Pee I did; had been left folded over in the fridge for 4 weeks, four times as long as Safale recommends keeping a packet of S-04 open before finally using it). After adding it, I shook vigorously multiple times to make sure there was good aeration and to make sure the syrup had dissolved (but when using Monin Syrup, dissolving it usually isn't a problem as their syrups readily and easily dissolve in water).
  • OG = 1.071 (like most hydrometers, the lines on mine are for even numbers... but I stared at this for a good 5 minutes trying to decide if it was at 1.070 or 1.072 and instead ust split the difference and called it 1.071)
  • Placed on the floor of a room which averages around 69 to 70°F.
  • The following at the Notes I took throughout the Ferment:
    • By about 8 hours it was already showing some signs of fermentation with a very slight amount of foam
    • At 10 hours there’s even more foam and it has begun bubbling, though very slowly
    • At 12 hours there’s slightly more foam than before, but still not bubbling terribly fast yet. At this point I capped it and shook it a little bit just to make sure everything was mixed in as I noticed there was already a little bit of sedimentation... It might’ve just been lemon pulp and natural sediment rather than unmixed ingredients.
    • At 24 hours the foam head is gone but it is bubbling consistently at a rate of once every 1.5 seconds.
    • At 36 hours it is bubbling once every 1.25 seconds
    • At 48 hours it is about the same.
    • At 72 hours it is about the same.
    • At 96 hours it is bubbling once every 2.75 seconds. This is a significant slow down compared to the pretty steady rate over the past 3-4 days. I will be testing it tomorrow. It should be noted that the temperature is up significantly in the room, at almost 76°F. I’m not sure why the temperature spiked like this but this is above the ideal fermentation temperature for S-04 of 59-68°F (though it is not dangerous nor likely to do any harm).
    • At 108 hours (4.5 days) it is bubbling once every 3 seconds. It should also be noted that the temperature has gone down to 71°F. Still a little higher than the optimal range, but much closer than last night.
    • At 114 hours (about 5 days in) it measured 1.050, down 21 points from starting. This is a bit slower than both of my previous Lemonades (the Violet Lemonade was down 30 points after 5 days and the plain Skeeter Pee was down 35 points after 5 days). It’s not a huge difference, but something to be noted. The flavor at this point was still very sweet and while you could tell it was a lemonade, the prickly pear was coming through very strongly (not in a bad way though, it tasted good). Just like the Violet Lemonade, this will probably need to go for another 5 days in Primary at least.
    • At 1 Week it is bubbling once every 7 seconds.
    • On Day 10 it is bubbling once every 9.7 seconds. This is only slightly slower than 3 days ago. I also tested it on this day and it measured 1.044. This is a very insignificant change (6 points) over the past 5 days and is confusing me quite a bit seeing as the bubbling has not slowed down all that much but the gravity change has and seems to suggest that it is either stuck or finished. The sample did appear bubbly however, so I attempted degassing it and measuring again before returning it to the fermenter, but it did not drop any further, or if it did, it was by a negligible 1 or 2 points. The flavor on this day was unexpected. It seems as if the lemon and prickly pear have actually switched roles, with the prickly pear on the front and the lemon and the acidity taking a backseat with a slight tinge of bitterness on the sides of the tongue. Really quite interesting. Not what I was expecting or what I was planning for, but not bad either. Then again this could change in another 5 days (which is at least how long I will leave it again). The bitter/acidic sensation on the tongue really lingered... I wonder if the must has become more acidic and less hospitable to the yeast. Maybe I should add more energizer and nutrient?
    • The next day it is bubbling at the same rate as yesterday. I decided to add more nutrients and energizer. I added a half teaspoon of nutrient, and a quarter teaspoon of energizer, half of the original amounts that were added at the beginning of the brew. I don’t know if they’ll do anything, but hopefully it will help the yeast to pick back up a little and ferment a little bit quicker than the less than 10 points it did over the past 5 days.
    • On Day 12, 24 hours after adding a half measure of nutrients and a half measure of energizer, it is bubbling once every 7.5 seconds (a bit faster than what it was doing 2 days ago and only slightly slower than what it was doing 5 days ago at the 1 Week mark... in other words it is bubbling at a rate equivalent to what it was doing sometime between 2-5 days ago). It would seem the nutrients and energizer did something.
    • A couple hours later I noticed it was going slightly faster. It is now bubbling once every 6.5 seconds.
    • On Day 13 it is bubbling once every 5.3 seconds.
    • About 8 hours later, on the evening of Day 13, it is still going every 5.3 seconds. I honestly wasn’t expecting the nutrients to do a whole lot, but they seem to have helped (at least in terms of the rate of bubbling, which does not always reliably indicate fermentation).
    • On Day 14 it is bubbling once every 4.8 seconds
    • Early on the morning of Day 15 it is bubbling once every 5 seconds.
    • Later on Day 15 it is bubbling once every 5.36 seconds. I measured it again on this day and it read 1.032. This is only a 12 point change, more than occurred between Day 5 and Day 10, but only marginally more and it’s still a rather insignificant amount. I am uncertain how much longer I should leave this and when to transfer to Secondary. However, it is still bubbling at around 5 seconds or faster, so I will probably wait until it at least reaches a bubbling rate comparable to what it was at on Day 10 of almost as slow as 10 seconds).
    • Early on the morning of Day 16 it is bubbling once every 4.75 seconds.
    • Later on Day 16 it is bubbling once every 5 seconds
    • Early on the morning of Day 17 it is bubbling once every 5.5 seconds.
    • Later on Day 17 it is bubbling once every 6.3 seconds. I measured again on this day and it measured 1.030 (negligible to no change over the past 2.5 days). Despite not appearing to be a very gassy brew at any point, I decided to attempt degassing it to see what that would do to the reading. It only dropped the reading an additional 2-3 points down to about 1.028. The flavor on this day was very sharp and acidic and/or tart (it was hard to tell).
    • On Day 18 it is bubbling once every 4.8 seconds
    • Early on the morning of Day 19 it is bubbling once every 4.8 seconds.
    • Later on Day 19 it is bubbling once every 4.6 seconds. It measured 1.021 on this day, a significant drop from just 2 days ago. The Target Gravity on this brew was 1.017-1.014 (7-7.5%), so I’ll leave it another day or two to see if it continues to drop.
    • On Day 21 it is bubbling once every 5.3 seconds. It measured 1.014 (7.5%) and I transferred it off the lees to cold crash (I've never intentionally stopped a brew before, always having let them ferment until they're completely done, but I did not want this one to lose anymore sweetness seeing as how tart it already was in previous tasting of it). After 6 hours of cold crashing I siphoned it off of the new sediment that had settled out back into the original container and allowed it to continue to cold crash for an additional 14 hours.
  • On Day 22, after about 20 hours of cold crashing and a significant amount of sediment settling out, I bottled. It resulted in 10 bottles.
  • The result was a dark purple, beautiful smelling, and fantastic tasting 7.5% abv Skeeter Pee that was moderately sweet and had a sharp tart flavor from the Prickly Pear, but was still crisp and refreshing on the finish. It was a phenomenal success among all of my family and friends and no one who tried it disliked it. As with all of my Skeeter Pees before, it was gone in less than 24 hours.
Next up... "Skeeter Peech" (with Monin White Peach Syrup). Same juice, same yeast, same nutrients... everything the same except for the Monin syrup.
 

Garfield43

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Looks like starting with a prefab lemonade is much easier than the original recipe that has you start with lemon juice. With its high acidity lemon juice is tricky to get to ferment.
Has anyone just started with a sugar water wash and fermented it to get the alcohol and then flavored it with lemon juice and more sugar after fermentation?
 
OP
The Experimenter

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Looks like starting with a prefab lemonade is much easier than the original recipe that has you start with lemon juice. With its high acidity lemon juice is tricky to get to ferment.
Has anyone just started with a sugar water wash and fermented it to get the alcohol and then flavored it with lemon juice and more sugar after fermentation?
The prefab organic lemonade with no preservatives/stabilizers makes it more consistent from batch to batch... Idk about "easier" though. I'm not sure you could make Skeeter Pee easier. It's just about the easiest thing I've ever made and since I originally started this thread 3-1/2 months ago (back when I made my first batch) I've made something like 7 batches of it and never once worried that it might turn out wrong or worried that I would need to do something extra during the fermentation or intervene in some way... as soon as I dumped the S-04 in the fermenter with the lemonade, I fitted an airlock and walked away knowing I wouldn't need to come back for 1-2 weeks and when I did eventually come back I knew it would be good to go. It's so incredibly simple and delicious. In my experience it is a fast and simple fermentation without many hiccups.

As to your question about starting with a Sugar Wash and then back-flavoring, I have heard of people doing that, yes. However, I've also heard some people claim that the juice should be in there during fermentation and that this somehow has an effect on the flavor (somehow it is better for the yeast to do their thing with the lemon juice in there I guess). I've also seen people do a little of both (here's a video from Doin the Most in which he uses about half the juice at the start and then adds the rest later on during the fermentation process:
). Everyone's got their preferences on things and if you want to try it as a sugar wine that is flavored afterwards to taste like lemonade, then go for it (just make sure you come back and let us know how it is). Someone out there will probably nit pick and complain that that is not actually Skeeter Pee, but if it works for you, who cares.

Finally, as to your point that the acidity is tricky with getting it to ferment, I don't find this true. In theory, it should be true. A strong acid like citric acid should make it harder for the yeast. However, I've NEVER experienced a skeeter pee that struggled to start or struggled to ferment strongly and in all the videos I've seen on YouTube, few others have either. Again, in theory it should be true, but in practice I don't see yeast struggling with the acid as much as you would think. That's just my experience though... if anyone out there has citric acid horror stories I can learn from, I'm all ears.
 

Garfield43

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What makes me hesitant is the whole start with used yeast thing. There just is so much variability there I figure I will screw it up. Plus as of yet all I am making is apple cider and I don't know if used cider yeast (I usually use champagne yeast) would work. I see the way you make it you start with fresh yeast so that seems easier/ safer to me. Presumably the original lemon juice and sugar mixture wont get started on fresh yeast.

Also in your version I didn't see anything about hitting it with pills to kill the yeast or clarifiers or anything. I would prefer to do it your way. I do have a nutrient question. I have DAP mixed with Urea. Can I use that or do I need to buy some straight DAP. (It is funny when I started home brewing I went ahead and got the 1 pound bag of nutrient. I told my wife if the home brewing thing didn't work out she could always use it in the garden since it is essentially is fertilizer).
 
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The Experimenter

The Experimenter

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What makes me hesitant is the whole start with used yeast thing. There just is so much variability there I figure I will screw it up. Plus as of yet all I am making is apple cider and I don't know if used cider yeast (I usually use champagne yeast) would work. I see the way you make it you start with fresh yeast so that seems easier/ safer to me. Presumably the original lemon juice and sugar mixture wont get started on fresh yeast.

Also in your version I didn't see anything about hitting it with pills to kill the yeast or clarifiers or anything. I would prefer to do it your way. I do have a nutrient question. I have DAP mixed with Urea. Can I use that or do I need to buy some straight DAP. (It is funny when I started home brewing I went ahead and got the 1 pound bag of nutrient. I told my wife if the home brewing thing didn't work out she could always use it in the garden since it is essentially is fertilizer).
In your last post you said "as of yet all I am making is apple cider"... so are you new to this? If so, welcome to the community!! I'm less than a year into it myself, having started back in September.

I've only ever used recycled yeast once... I used yeast from a cider to make mead (and it was excellent). As you said, unlike most recipes which use recycled wine yeast, I am using fresh Ale yeast, and I'm guessing that makes a huge difference (but I can't really be sure since I've never attempted it both ways).

"Presumably the original lemon juice and sugar mixture wont get started on fresh yeast"... I'm not sure why you're assuming fresh yeast wouldn't work with the original recipe of lemon juice with sugar and water... I may be using store bought juice, but that's all mine is. It's organic lemonade, so there are no added nutrients or preservatives or anything. The ingredients label literally says Water, Lemon Juice, and Sugar and nothing else. It's the same thing as the homemade stuff and fresh yeast works fine for me with it. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there's something different, but fresh yeast has always worked fine for me.

I don't think the use of recycled yeast is so much about having a yeast culture that's already active as it is about the fact that most people out there are either into Beer, Wine, Mead, or Cider and few people out there want to "waste" fresh yeast on something called Skeeter Pee that's basically lemony sugar wine... but to me, it's so delicious it is well worth the sacrifice.

In regards to killing the yeast... I do generally try to kill or suppress the yeast at the end, but I usually do so with cold crashing since that is a relatively reliable method of slowing/stopping the yeast and forcing them to go dormant. And then you just keep it cold because that's how lemonade is enjoyed anyway. If I'm tryna be fancy, especially if I am giving it as a gift to someone, I will pasteurize it (I have a Sous Vide I use to control the heat to a precise degree). Otherwise, I avoid most chemicals and stuff, but not for the reason you may think. I'm not taking a hippy dippy approach and worried about being all natural or anything like that... I'm just lazy. I prefer to do my brewing in a way that is simple and involves the least chemicals and equipment necessary. I'm just lazy lol.

I used a single measure of DAP and a single measure of LD Carlson Yeast "Energizer" (the latter is a little DAP mixed with dead yeast hulls and some other chemical the name of which I am forgetting at the moment). I'm sure DAP with Urea would be fine. Ultimately it is fertilizer and you are just trying to fertilize the must to give the yeast a better chance just like fertilizing a crop field. I'd say try it and see what happens.

Ultimately, that's my most common piece of advice to many people... "Just try it and see what happens". You won't know until you try it, so just give it a go!
 

bernardsmith

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Has anyone just started with a sugar water wash and fermented it to get the alcohol and then flavored it with lemon juice and more sugar after fermentation?
I haven't but I have used perhaps 1/3 of the total lemon juice at the start and when the fermentation was going like gangbusters I added a second third and the final third as the fermentation was coming nearer the end of active fermentation. But there is no reason why you could not add half the LJ at the start and half in the secondary.
 

Garfield43

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In your last post you said "as of yet all I am making is apple cider"... so are you new to this? If so, welcome to the community!! I'm less than a year into it myself, having started back in September.
I started in February I think it was.
I kept thinking about making my own cider since it is so expensive.
I started watching some videos on YouTube and I thought "It can't possibly be that simple."
Turns out it is.
I haven't cloned Woodchuck original yet (that's my goal) but every batch has been drinkable.
Every batch but the first has been enjoyable even.
 

Garfield43

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I have a question about the sugar wash.
I have some Red Star DADY, seems like that would be the ideal thing.
Looks like it will go to 15%
How do I figure out ho much sugar I need to make that happen?
Is there a calculator someplace?
 

Raptor99

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The original Skeeter Pee recipe used Real Lemon juice, which contains both sulfites and sodium benzoate. The reason to use lees containing active yeast from a previous batch of wine is to provide a strong active yeast culture to overcome the preservatives. A cup or two of healthy lees from primary contains thousands or millions of times the number of yeast cells you get from using "fresh yeast." If you are using fresh lemon juice or organic lemon juice without any sort of presevatives then using "fresh yeast" is probably fine.
 
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The original Skeeter Pee recipe used Real Lemon juice, which contains both sulfites and sodium benzoate. The reason to use lees containing active yeast from a previous batch of wine is to provide a strong active yeast culture to overcome the preservatives. A cup or two of healthy lees from primary contains thousands or millions of times the number of yeast cells you get from using "fresh yeast." If you are using fresh lemon juice or organic lemon juice without any sort of presevatives then using "fresh yeast" is probably fine.
Yep, I'm using Organic lemonade without preservatives, so I guess that would be the difference with mine is that it doesn't have the preservatives found in store bought lemon juice.
 
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The Experimenter

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I have a question about the sugar wash.
I have some Red Star DADY, seems like that would be the ideal thing.
Looks like it will go to 15%
How do I figure out ho much sugar I need to make that happen?
Is there a calculator someplace?
ADY stands for Active Dry Yeast. The extra "D" on the front of the stuff you have stands for "Distiller's" (I don't know if you already know what DADY is, but I figured I'd explain it anyway). Distiller's Active Dry Yeast (DADY) is designed to produce as much alcohol as possible in a high sugar wash so that a distiller gets as much distillate as possible. Some DADYs go up to 20-22% (so I hear). Whereas many wine, cider, beer, and mead yeasts are designed to achieve certain flavor profiles and mouth feels and all that based on the phenols and esters (and other chemicals) that they produce, DADY is just designed to yield high alcohol (some DADYs will do so very quickly as well, sometimes in less than 72 hours, and are known as "Turbo" Yeasts). The strain of saccharomyces cerevisiae cultivated for DADYs is not designed to produce good flavors and instead focuses on fast and efficient yeast with high alcohol tolerances... that being said, I have heard of them being used for non-distilled recipes and have even heard of people being pleased with the outcome (just because they're not bred to produce good flavor compounds doesn't mean they won't still do it I guess).
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I've never used a DADY, but from what I understand I think what I just said is right.

In regards to your question about how much sugar to use, it depends on your sugar source and the type of sugar as well as the volume of the batch. I once made a Kilju (Sugar Wine) with 3 pounds and 3 ounces of Domino White Granulated Sugar (which is a cane sugar; many "white sugar" companies make their product with beet sugar, which will still work, it's just different). I did this in a 1 gallon recipe and the OG reading on the hydrometer was 1.141 with a potential of up to 18.5% alcohol if it ran completely dry to 1.000. I used Lalvin K1V-1116 which in theory has a tolerance of up to 18% (though as any homebrewer can tell you there are plenty of stories of yeasts going 1-2% beyond their max tolerance). I don't think I used the right kind of water and did not use enough nutrients and therefore the yeast did not do well and it stopped at 1.044 (~12.7%). It was obviously very sweet (1.044 is almost exactly what Mott's Apple Juice is, so there was still a lot of sugars left) but that was fine because the K1V produced a lot of citrusy esters that made the final product rather delicious (especially when mixed with lemon and lime juice to make something that tasted a bit like limoncello)...

But I digress. Your question was how much sugar. In my experience (and from what I've read), 1 pound of sugar per gallon yields a starting gravity of about 1.044-1.046. Also in my experience, 2-3 pounds of sugar per gallon batch will produce 12-17.5% alcohol potential (I say "potential" because that's IF it ferments dry, which is always part of the gamble, right? You want a specific percentage but what if it stops after only eating 80% of the sugars? What if you add extra sugars hoping it stops at 15% with some residual sweetness, but it stops too early and it ends up extra sweet like with my Kilju described above?) Anyway, to get 15% (IF it runs dry) you need about 2.54 pounds of white granulated sugar in a 1 gallon batch. If it were me, I'd add a little bit more than that (maybe 2.7 to 2.8 pounds) so that if it goes past it's labeled tolerance up to 16-17% you get a little more alcohol and if it does stop at 15% you get a bit of residual sweetness (once again the gamble being that if it stops shy of 15%, it might end up too sweet).
 
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Going back to the way I used to use this thread (as a repository for my Skeeter Pee recipes), I wanted to share my most recent one.

Skeeter Peech
  • Used 1 Gallon of Full Circle Market Organic Lemonade
  • Removed 13oz of Lemonade so I could add 13oz of the Monin White Peach syrup (so the syrup, at 13 out of 128oz, was slightly more than 10% of the must by volume). I forgot to remove any volume for headspace and I am lucky that it did not foam up significantly at any point.
  • Added a teaspoon of Diammonium Phosphate and 1/2 teaspoon of LD Carlson brand "Yeast Energizer" (Diammonium Phosphate mixed with yeast Springcell and Magnesium Sulphate). This is the same nutrient treatment that I used on all previous recipes that seemed to work well.
  • Used Safale S-04 and did a dry pitch directly into the must. I used about 1/3 of a packet (3.5g). After adding it, I shook vigorously multiple times to make sure there was good aeration and to make sure the syrup had dissolved (but when using Monin Syrup, dissolving it usually isn't a problem as their syrups readily and easily dissolve in water).
  • OG = 1.070
  • Placed on the floor of a room which averages around 69 to 70°F.
  • The following at the Notes I took throughout the Ferment:
    • At about 11 hours there is a significant foam head, but it is not bubbling much yet.
    • At 15 hours it is bubbling once every 9.2 seconds. I decided to cap it and shake it to make sure there’s good aeration and make sure everything is mixed.
    • At 20 hours it is bubbling once every 3.75 seconds.
    • At 24 hours it is bubbling once every 3.65 seconds. I decided to cap it and shake it one last time to make sure there’s good aeration and make sure everything is mixed.
    • At 36 hours it is bubbling once every 2.3 seconds.
    • At 48 hours it is bubbling once every 2.4 seconds.
    • At 62 hours it is bubbling once every 4.5 seconds.
    • At 72 hours it is bubbling once every 5 seconds. After some necessary degassing it measured 1.050 (give or take two points, it was still a bit foamy even after degassing), meaning that in the last three days it has already dropped 20 points! The flavor was quite good, though obviously still very sweet. I added 1/2 teaspoon of nutrient and 1/4 teaspoon of energizer, half the amount added at the start three days ago. Then the entire fermenter was shaken up and put back.
    • At 96 hours it is bubbling once every 3.96 seconds.
    • At 120 hours (5 Days) it is bubbling once every 5.75 seconds.
    • On Day 6 it measured 1.044. It tasted good but still has a ways to go.
    • On Day 7 I measured again because I realized I did not degas yesterday. It measured around 1.036. I thought the flavor was a little bit off, though I only got a very tiny sip and a family member said they actually liked it a lot and didn't taste anything off.
    • On Day 10 it measured 1.030. It appeared to be slowing down quite a bit, but I let it go for a few more days still.
    • On Day 11 it is bubbling once every 6.25 seconds. I haven’t measured the rate of bubbling in a few days, but this rate is actually comparable to what it was doing 6 days ago.
    • On Day 12 it is bubbling once every 5.6 seconds.
    • It should be noted that the temperature in the room has been getting high recently as the weather begins to warm up, and over the last day or two it has consistently been over 70° in the room, sometimes as high as 77-78° (well above the recommended temperature range for this yeast, and a couple degrees above the recommended max temperature of 75°). However, it seems fine.
    • On Day 13 it is bubbling once every 8.6 seconds. It has slowed down three seconds in the past 24 hours. It measured 1.021 (9 points down over the past 3 days). The taste was mellow and sweet, with a slight sourness or bitterness. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but not bad. I will leave it another 2 days (until Day 15; hopefully by then it will be somewhere between 1.013-1.016 and be 7-7.5%), at which point I will cold crash and then bottle on Day 16.
    • On the afternoon of Day 15 it is bubbling once every 21 seconds. It measured 1.019 (6.7%). The taste was sweet and had both elements of lemonade and white peach in it, but otherwise was rather unremarkable and almost bland (in my opinion). In my family and friends opinions it was amazing and one friend (who owns a brewery) said he'd buy it regularly if it was on store shelves. In my opinion though, this one would've definitely benefited from running a little dryer as well as some light to medium carbonation.
    • As usual, it was a big hit with everyone and was gone within 24 hours.
For my next recipe I'm going to switch it up and move away from the Monin syrups, opting this time for using some LorAnn concentrated flavoring oils... not sure yet which one though.
 

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You can always add more sugar during fermentation, but you can't take it out if the yeast craps out. I have read some stuff on hear about folks making super large beers by adding stepped amounts of fermentables and nutrients.
 

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I have made a couple of batches of skeeter pee now and the last batch I just used like 2 cups of lemon juice and added the rest before kegging and it’s quite bitter, if you like ta hat then try it but I’ll be going back to adding a whole bottle of juice at the beginning of fermentation.

And I have been using S05, no nutrients or anything. When I make cider I usually just pitch on top of some light colored light hopped beer so I might try that with the lemonade sometime this summer.
 

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FWIW I am drinking cider I made with Red Star DADY.
Taste fine.
I will have to try fermenting a sugar wash with it and see if I get any off flavors.
The cider has the apple flavor to cover off flavors.
The sugar wash wont.
If the batch with the DADY turns out bad I will try it with champagne yeast.

If anyone has a link to the calculator (how much sugar to get such and such gravity and ABV) I would apricate a link to it.

Thanks
 

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I have made a couple of batches of skeeter pee now and the last batch I just used like 2 cups of lemon juice and added the rest before kegging and it’s quite bitter, if you like ta hat then try it but I’ll be going back to adding a whole bottle of juice at the beginning of fermentation.

And I have been using S05, no nutrients or anything. When I make cider I usually just pitch on top of some light colored light hopped beer so I might try that with the lemonade sometime this summer.
The batch (recipe) I made used FC lemonade and extra sugar and no straight lemon juice. That made it easier, back sweetening was also easier because you just added in one can of the FC lemonade.
 

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Going back to the way I used to use this thread (as a repository for my Skeeter Pee recipes), I wanted to share my most recent one.

Skeeter Peech
  • Used 1 Gallon of Full Circle Market Organic Lemonade
  • Removed 13oz of Lemonade so I could add 13oz of the Monin White Peach syrup (so the syrup, at 13 out of 128oz, was slightly more than 10% of the must by volume). I forgot to remove any volume for headspace and I am lucky that it did not foam up significantly at any point.
  • Added a teaspoon of Diammonium Phosphate and 1/2 teaspoon of LD Carlson brand "Yeast Energizer" (Diammonium Phosphate mixed with yeast Springcell and Magnesium Sulphate). This is the same nutrient treatment that I used on all previous recipes that seemed to work well.
  • Used Safale S-04 and did a dry pitch directly into the must. I used about 1/3 of a packet (3.5g). After adding it, I shook vigorously multiple times to make sure there was good aeration and to make sure the syrup had dissolved (but when using Monin Syrup, dissolving it usually isn't a problem as their syrups readily and easily dissolve in water).
  • OG = 1.070
  • Placed on the floor of a room which averages around 69 to 70°F.
  • The following at the Notes I took throughout the Ferment:
    • At about 11 hours there is a significant foam head, but it is not bubbling much yet.
    • At 15 hours it is bubbling once every 9.2 seconds. I decided to cap it and shake it to make sure there’s good aeration and make sure everything is mixed.
    • At 20 hours it is bubbling once every 3.75 seconds.
    • At 24 hours it is bubbling once every 3.65 seconds. I decided to cap it and shake it one last time to make sure there’s good aeration and make sure everything is mixed.
    • At 36 hours it is bubbling once every 2.3 seconds.
    • At 48 hours it is bubbling once every 2.4 seconds.
    • At 62 hours it is bubbling once every 4.5 seconds.
    • At 72 hours it is bubbling once every 5 seconds. After some necessary degassing it measured 1.050 (give or take two points, it was still a bit foamy even after degassing), meaning that in the last three days it has already dropped 20 points! The flavor was quite good, though obviously still very sweet. I added 1/2 teaspoon of nutrient and 1/4 teaspoon of energizer, half the amount added at the start three days ago. Then the entire fermenter was shaken up and put back.
    • At 96 hours it is bubbling once every 3.96 seconds.
    • At 120 hours (5 Days) it is bubbling once every 5.75 seconds.
    • On Day 6 it measured 1.044. It tasted good but still has a ways to go.
    • On Day 7 I measured again because I realized I did not degas yesterday. It measured around 1.036. I thought the flavor was a little bit off, though I only got a very tiny sip and a family member said they actually liked it a lot and didn't taste anything off.
    • On Day 10 it measured 1.030. It appeared to be slowing down quite a bit, but I let it go for a few more days still.
    • On Day 11 it is bubbling once every 6.25 seconds. I haven’t measured the rate of bubbling in a few days, but this rate is actually comparable to what it was doing 6 days ago.
    • On Day 12 it is bubbling once every 5.6 seconds.
    • It should be noted that the temperature in the room has been getting high recently as the weather begins to warm up, and over the last day or two it has consistently been over 70° in the room, sometimes as high as 77-78° (well above the recommended temperature range for this yeast, and a couple degrees above the recommended max temperature of 75°). However, it seems fine.
    • On Day 13 it is bubbling once every 8.6 seconds. It has slowed down three seconds in the past 24 hours. It measured 1.021 (9 points down over the past 3 days). The taste was mellow and sweet, with a slight sourness or bitterness. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but not bad. I will leave it another 2 days (until Day 15; hopefully by then it will be somewhere between 1.013-1.016 and be 7-7.5%), at which point I will cold crash and then bottle on Day 16.
    • On the afternoon of Day 15 it is bubbling once every 21 seconds. It measured 1.019 (6.7%). The taste was sweet and had both elements of lemonade and white peach in it, but otherwise was rather unremarkable and almost bland (in my opinion). In my family and friends opinions it was amazing and one friend (who owns a brewery) said he'd buy it regularly if it was on store shelves. In my opinion though, this one would've definitely benefited from running a little dryer as well as some light to medium carbonation.
    • As usual, it was a big hit with everyone and was gone within 24 hours.
For my next recipe I'm going to switch it up and move away from the Monin syrups, opting this time for using some LorAnn concentrated flavoring oils... not sure yet which one though.
Great amount of details on your process and how it progressed. As a newer brewer and less with cider this helps me more than a fair amount. I've never used a 'beer' yeast when making cider experiment with organic juice. I've used a champagne yeast (too dry of a result in for my taste) and I've used Nottingham because I had some left over from a Cream Ale Beer I had made. Nott is a world different and brought more fruit taste forward from cider/peaches/raspberry/etc for me personally. You have me very curious what it would do to a lemonade experiment. I'm going to need to get a couple gallons and do Nott in one and S04 in the other. I've used S04 in an ale or two. Like you mentioned in one of these, I took my last cider and put it in the chest freezer about 40ish for a week or so to clarify before bottling. Helped the flavor. I'd tried a bottle and then cold treated and re-bottled some. I did use a bit of chemical to stabilize and then chilled so it pulled the yeast flavor out and made the pear flavor come out better. (yeah pear 'cider' isn't called cider but I use that term generic with diff fruit because I'm new and lazy)

Two questions:
1) Any details on bottling? Like how long you bottle condition (age it) before opening, if you carb with dextrose or something or just leave it flat/still like I do.
2) Why on earth have we not donated you another glass gallon so you can make more than 10 bottles?!!!! Might last more than 24hrs. LOL

Thanks greatly for the info. I've been talking to my wife about making one of the new lemonade fufu wine kits because I just want to know but don't want 6 gallons to see if I like it. THIS will likely cure that bucket list item 1 gallon at a time.
 
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Great amount of details on your process and how it progressed. As a newer brewer and less with cider this helps me more than a fair amount. I've never used a 'beer' yeast when making cider experiment with organic juice. I've used a champagne yeast (too dry of a result in for my taste) and I've used Nottingham because I had some left over from a Cream Ale Beer I had made. Nott is a world different and brought more fruit taste forward from cider/peaches/raspberry/etc for me personally. You have me very curious what it would do to a lemonade experiment. I'm going to need to get a couple gallons and do Nott in one and S04 in the other. I've used S04 in an ale or two. Like you mentioned in one of these, I took my last cider and put it in the chest freezer about 40ish for a week or so to clarify before bottling. Helped the flavor. I'd tried a bottle and then cold treated and re-bottled some. I did use a bit of chemical to stabilize and then chilled so it pulled the yeast flavor out and made the pear flavor come out better. (yeah pear 'cider' isn't called cider but I use that term generic with diff fruit because I'm new and lazy)

Two questions:
1) Any details on bottling? Like how long you bottle condition (age it) before opening, if you carb with dextrose or something or just leave it flat/still like I do.
2) Why on earth have we not donated you another glass gallon so you can make more than 10 bottles?!!!! Might last more than 24hrs. LOL

Thanks greatly for the info. I've been talking to my wife about making one of the new lemonade fufu wine kits because I just want to know but don't want 6 gallons to see if I like it. THIS will likely cure that bucket list item 1 gallon at a time.
I see it says you joined today! Welcome!!

Yeah, I always write in a ton of detail. It's my OCD, it won't let me write anything lacking in details haha. I'm glad it helps!

I've thought about using Nottingham as well. I have both Nottingham and S-04 from when I first started brewing back in September and I was big into Cider which is what I used them on. I still love cider, but I decided to try the lemonade at random a couple of months ago (before I even knew Skeeter Pee was a thing; I just saw the organic Lemonade at the store and thought to myself, "Hmm, wonder what would happen if I threw yeast in that?"... My tendencies to try random things like this are why I call myself The Experimenter). It turned out so well that I've just kept doing that the past few months. The S-04 worked so well too that it's been pretty much my only Skeeter Pee yeast for a while. I've considered using Nottingham and S-05 as well just to see what happens, but haven't done it yet.

To answer your questions:
  1. No details on bottling. I haven't carbed any of them, nor have I done any aging. That's one of the beautiful things about Skeeter Pee... It's immediately ready. As soon as it is at the gravity/sweetness/ABV (whatever the cutoff is in my mind for that specific batch for where I want it to stop) I cold crash for 24 hours and it is good to go. So far, I've been bottling and slapping on my own labels (and even using some custom crown caps I made and ordered from BottleMark Custom Bottle Caps and Labels: Design Custom Bottle Cap just because I thought it would be fun... and it was) for no reason other than it makes it look nice when I share it with family and friends. It is purely aesthetic. I could just as easily bottle it in my 1-liter swing tops, divide it into 2 different 64oz growlers or plastic juice jugs , or just rack it into a different 1 gallon jug (to get it off the sediment from cold crashing) with no difference in taste or quality as compared to when I put it in my 12oz bottles. There's no reason I put it in the bottles other than aesthetics... At least not yet. I have considered carbing. Sometimes the lemonade seems a bit too flat for me and I have considered carbing, especially on my recent Skeeter Peech. However, my friends all told me flat is fine because that is how lemonade is usually enjoyed anyway and that if I do carb, to do only a very light carbing (like 2-3 priming tablets at most for a light sparkle).
  2. I have Four 1-gallon glass jugs, Two 3-gallon plastic carboys, and a 6.5-gallon "Catalyst Fermentation System" conical fermenter. I'm not making small batches for lack of equipment. I'm doing small batches for 2 reasons. First of all, I've been doing small batches in order to try to find the right recipe before I step it up and go big... but why only 1 small batch at a time? Well, I do not have a lack of equipment but I do have a lack of space. I live with others and there's only so much space in our living areas I can claim for fermenters. I store my fermenters in the basement and will soon be able to brew down there again, but during the winter it has been too cold down there to brew (average daily temp has been hovering around 45-50 all winter). However, temps are rising and soon the basement will average around 60-65 (as it tends to do throughout the non-winter months), the perfect temp for S-04 fermentation. Hopefully, I will soon be able to get all of my equipment going and ideally be able to fill all my fermenters and have 15+ gallons of Skeeter Pee going at once [shrieks excitedly just thinking about it]. I'm thinking about doing just an original Skeeter Pee or replicating the Violet Skeeter Pee from earlier in this thread... both of those are still my favorite (the Prickly Pear and White Peach were good, but not the best in my opinion).
 
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