What makes a shandy?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,759
Reaction score
960
Location
Spring Grove
Shandy style beers are a popular style amongst some of our friends. We're going to be making one. Other than brewers friend, there's not a lot of info on them and when you google it, it really just instructs you to take a beer and mix it with juice.

If you wanted to brew one though, how would you go about it?
 

Jag75

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2018
Messages
6,114
Reaction score
2,602
Location
Taft
Don't buy a kit . My wife wanted me to brew one . I decided to cut corners and get a kit .......nasty . Was so strong , maybe I added too much flavor .

I've seen people use frozen lemonade in a jug and toss in 4 cheap light style beers.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,759
Reaction score
960
Location
Spring Grove
I've been looking at Brewers Friend to see what some of the recipes do and a lot of it is the dry packets of lemonade mix in secondary.

I've seen some where they add juice to the keg.

Others was juice in the primary.
 

NGD

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
1,319
Reaction score
1,295
Really just any old pieces of lumber you have lying around. Usually a rectangular shape is preferred as it makes roofing a little less complicated

Edit: turns out I googled shanty. 😁

Joking aside, my understanding of a shandy is essentially a cocktail thats a mix of either a lager or wheat beer and citrus based juice thats mixed during the pour. I know many of the kits now include some type of citrus extract or lemonade packet to be mixed at packaging. Either way its a fairly simple recipe to have fun with.
 

Sammy86

Still thirsty
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Messages
2,482
Reaction score
1,301
My wife is a huge fan of shandys...she doesn't drink beer at all but will down some homemade Shandy...my recipe is simple...100% pils...noble hops at 60, 30, 10. i go with mittlefrue and mix half with limeade or lemonade whatever they have at the grocery store...delicious every time.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,393
Reaction score
5,936
Location
Arlington (DC)
I mean that's what a shandy is. Take beer and mix with juice. Some take Shandy and Radler to mean specific things. Cut beer 50-50 with juice and I'm fine calling it either one. You really can't "brew" a Shandy. It's more a beer cocktail than a beer style.

Hint: these obnoxious fruit puree beers (which are often more than 50% fruit) aren't beers. Like Shandy and Radler, they're cocktails made with beer.

If you wanna make a "traditional" Shandy, brew a light lager (Helles or therabouts) and mix it 50-50 with lemonade.
 

sfrisby

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
1,957
Reaction score
320
Location
Lake James
My standard recipe is a base blonde ale. After fermentation, I DO add Camden and potassium sorbate to inhibit further yeast production a couple days before kegging. Then add a bottle of simply lemonade into the keg before racking the beer. Good luck.
 

Transamguy77

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,098
Reaction score
558
Location
Perkasie
So if your mixing some sort of juice to your beer don’t you need to make something with a bit higher alcohol if your going to cut it 50/50?

Also I have made slims lemon lime heff that uses a bottle of limeade at the end of fermentation so it kicks back up and adds a bit more alcohol and in the end the lime flavor still comes through.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,393
Reaction score
5,936
Location
Arlington (DC)
So if your mixing some sort of juice to your beer don’t you need to make something with a bit higher alcohol if your going to cut it 50/50?

Also I have made slims lemon lime heff that uses a bottle of limeade at the end of fermentation so it kicks back up and adds a bit more alcohol and in the end the lime flavor still comes through.
No. Shandy and Radler are very low alcohol beverages.

If you let the fruit ferment, then you're making something different.
 

bwible

Born to brew, forced to work
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
525
Reaction score
524
Location
Oxford
So if your mixing some sort of juice to your beer don’t you need to make something with a bit higher alcohol if your going to cut it 50/50?

Also I have made slims lemon lime heff that uses a bottle of limeade at the end of fermentation so it kicks back up and adds a bit more alcohol and in the end the lime flavor still comes through.
No you don’t start with a higher abv to blend down. It’s supposed to be low alcohol.

I read somewhere that radler was something fairly recent that bicycle competitors came up with to have as a refreshment after competitions. I’m not sure how true that is.
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,393
Reaction score
5,936
Location
Arlington (DC)
Should really clarify "juice" is probably not the best term, "fruit beverage" is better- you want to use something you'd drink straight, grapefruit juice would work, orange juice would work, but I'd use lemonade or limeade, not straight lemon or lime juice. Some use lemon lime soda or grapefruit soda. Other fruit beverages would work too, though less traditional in a Shandy or Radler.
 

Davedrinksbeer

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2017
Messages
60
Reaction score
34
I made the Northern Brewer Summer Shandy, it came out pretty good and everyone liked it. Had a nice light lemon taste with a hint of tartness. Has great reviews on the website. If you don’t want to buy it they have the recipe online you can look at and get a idea on how it’s brewed.
 

Beer4All

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
37
Reaction score
9
Location
Pennsylvania
I typically make a base wheat beer with a bit more bitterness to help with the sweetness of the juice. Going to try simply lemonade next time. Added a sweet lemonade (turkey hill brand in PA)...very sweet. Was looking for more tartness.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
308
Location
St Louis, MO
I've had success* with a six-pack of pils or All Day IPA mixed with a tube of frozen concentrate. Instead of the usual water to reconstitute, I use a good spicy ginger beer such as Trader Joe's or Fever Tree.

*Measured by whether there's any left by the time the meat's off the grill.
 

Lefou

Danged rascally furt
Joined
May 1, 2016
Messages
2,261
Reaction score
1,157
Location
East of Filthadelphia, south of Nyack
Lemon soda can also be used to mix with Helles, but in my opinion, the addition of sugar in a Radler can drown out the malt flavor of the beer and turn everything into a sweet mess. I've tried one particular commercial US version marketed by a well-known New England brewery and decided this hybrid drink - as they brewed it - wasn't for me, just like their seasonal Octoberfest that's loaded with crystal.
If I was to make my own I'd go easy on the sugar and use a hop like Amarillo or Mandarina Bavaria.
 
OP
Rob2010SS

Rob2010SS

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
2,759
Reaction score
960
Location
Spring Grove
Thanks for the info everyone. I appreciate it. That's fairly straight forward - make something light and blend 50/50 with juice.

I do have a question in regards to this though...

So if your mixing some sort of juice to your beer don’t you need to make something with a bit higher alcohol if your going to cut it 50/50?

Also I have made slims lemon lime heff that uses a bottle of limeade at the end of fermentation so it kicks back up and adds a bit more alcohol and in the end the lime flavor still comes through.
No. Shandy and Radler are very low alcohol beverages.

If you let the fruit ferment, then you're making something different.
If you make something that's 5% and mix it 50/50 with juice, that brings it down to 2.5%, correct?

Leinie's Summer Shandy (just as an example) is 4.2%. In order to get that with mixing with juice at a ratio of 50/50, you'd have to brew an 8% base beer, wouldn't you? Or am I missing something here?
 

Qhrumphf

Stay Rude, Stay Rebel, Stay SHARP
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
16,393
Reaction score
5,936
Location
Arlington (DC)
The ones I recall seeing have been in that 2.5-3% realm. They're probably using a concentrate or puree or something more concentrated than a straight up juice (which makes business sense). By all means blend to taste regardless of ratio.
 

DBhomebrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
308
Location
St Louis, MO
I don't think there's any real category definition that requires a certain ABV range.

For my purposes, I started making them when I lived in Phoenix. During spring and fall there's a lot of perfect weather for evening get-togethers where it's 80° with 20% humidity once the sun goes down. I would schedule dinner coming off the grill at about 7p with people welcome to come over as they left work. That 5:30-6:30 timeframe was still hot and sunny in the 90s. A refreshing citrus drink at about 2% was the perfect answer. Some beer flavor to transition out of the work day, low enough ABV to provide some hydration.

On the other hand, I've got a beer punch recipe which is pretty much my shandy fortified with a concentrate can's worth of gin.
 

Transamguy77

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
2,098
Reaction score
558
Location
Perkasie
So a little while ago I brewed a wheat beer using all Sorachi Ace and it didn’t turn out how I was expecting so I was adding about a half inch of lemon juice to a 16oz glass and the rest beer, that made it palatable to drink. Now the juice is concentrate so would that be considered a shandy? It was only a 4.5% beer so I would think it falls in that category

As I’m reading this I’m having the first glass off a freshly tapped keg of skeeter pee Which is what made me think of the wheat beer with lemon juice question.
 

DuncB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
615
Reaction score
269
Location
Paremata New Zealand
In the UK pubs you have a few choices,
Lager Shandy = Lager and Lemonade ( like 7up)
Bitter Shandy = Bitter and Lemonade ( like 7up)
Ginger Beer Shandy = Bitter or lager and Cloudy Ginger beer ( like Jamaican ginger beer ) not Ginger ale. Can be called Shandygaff.

You do need to watch the bar staff if you request the Ginger beer shandy as a Ginger Beer and Lemonade is often proffered and its rank.

Usually all mixed 50/50 unless you are having a lager top which is about 90 percent lager with some lemonade on the top but this isn't really a shandy.

Better to brew a keg of beer you want or don't want but suits the shandy drinker and then mix it up!
 

Velnerj

Simul justus et potator
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
349
Reaction score
484
Location
Czech Republic
I made a shandy last summer and it was great. Though looking at the above posts my approach seems to be a bit unorthodox.

I brewed up and keged a 5 gallon batch of an American wheat (used S-04). Then I mixed up a batch of kool-aid lemonade in a separate container. I added a bit of kool-aid to my glass before I tapped the beer onto it.

This was advantageous for several reasons. Firstly, I was able to enjoy 5 gallons of beer plus the juice. Secondly I was able to balance the juice to my liking and to the liking of others, some liked it sweeter. I also discovered that it didn't take much Kool-aid to make a big difference. If you mix a whole keg 50-50 I think you'll be very disappointed. I used about 4l in my 20l batch so the ratio is more like 20% but your taste may vary. Lastly if you don't feel like a shandy, you always have just beer on tap.
 
Top