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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: cheba420 on January 17, 2011, 04:12:02 AM

Title: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on January 17, 2011, 04:12:02 AM
Just got done picking this year's crop of Lemons. We usually have some many and dont know what to do with them all.  I've read a little about making Hard Lemonade. I plan on just making a standard batch of our house lemonade and ramp it up to 5 gallons. Lemons, sugar, water. Looking for advice from there.

I'm sure I need some yeast nutrient in there.
For the starter, should I just use lemonade? What type of yeast?
Metabisulfite to kill what was on the fruit?
I assume that this will ferment out pretty dry. Sorbate and back sweeten? To what gravity?

Thanks in advance!

Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: ryang on January 18, 2011, 04:41:38 PM
Your basic plan is good.  You could add more sugar to make it a bit stronger, but that's totally up to you.  I've made versions from 4% to 13%.

You will need lots of yeast with nutrients, but will also need to acclimate them to the acidic environment that they will be working in.  I make starters for hard lemonade and limeade with a bit of dme, some apple juice, and slowly introduce lemon/lime juice as the yeast is eating the dme/apple juice sugars.  (It was either Vinnie Cilurzo or Tomme Arthur who mentioned to make starters with apple juice for sour ales).  As far as type of yeast you can use pretty much anything given you grow them appropriately. I've used montrachet, lalvin 71b, cote du rhone, champagne.  I am interested in using sweet mead next time.

You shouldn't have a problem with infection from the fruit.  I just wash the outsides well with warm water and light soap, then juice goes right into the fermentor.

It will ferment completely out, yes.  I have not yet made a batch that is back sweetened (I don't keg, and like to have it carbonated) but I've read that you backsweetening is to taste, but somewhere around 1.005-1.010

One thing I like to do is also add some zest from the lemons.  It really adds a nice aroma that doesn't get swept away from fermentation.  The last batch of limeade I made, I put in the zest from 10 limes.  Lovely aroma.
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on January 23, 2011, 09:46:48 PM
Ryang-

Thanks for the feedback. I'm pretty excited to get this recipe going. Should turn out pretty good. Thanks for the tip on the zest. Great idea!
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: tubercle on January 23, 2011, 10:44:49 PM
Pickle some!
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: realbeerguy on January 24, 2011, 01:28:22 AM
Get some Everclear and make some Lemoncello.
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: ryang on January 26, 2011, 03:45:15 PM
Get some Everclear and make some Lemoncello.

got some of that in the garage too!  good stuff there.  but we just make it with vodka. 
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: dbeechum on January 26, 2011, 10:44:38 PM
I've always done mine with wine yeast, let it ferment dry, add sorbistat, sweeten with syrup (usual corn) and carbonate all to hell.

A dose of heading powder would probably not be a bad idea either.
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on January 29, 2011, 09:52:18 PM
I've always done mine with wine yeast, let it ferment dry, add sorbistat, sweeten with syrup (usual corn) and carbonate all to hell.

A dose of heading powder would probably not be a bad idea either.
Heading powder?
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on January 30, 2011, 06:41:48 AM
I've always done mine with wine yeast, let it ferment dry, add sorbistat, sweeten with syrup (usual corn) and carbonate all to hell.

Do you use just plain ol corn syrup or is it diluted? I was thinking about using concentrate like I do with cider. Ever try that?
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on January 30, 2011, 06:52:11 AM
Get some Everclear and make some Lemoncello.

got some of that in the garage too!  good stuff there.  but we just make it with vodka. 
Lemoncello....Check! I'll peel them first and make the lemoncello. Then I'll squeeze em and make them lemonade! I'll post results.
Title: Re: Lemons
Post by: cheba420 on February 17, 2011, 03:12:55 AM
So, the hard lemonade is off and running. I assume it will finish up in a week to two. How long to you condition something like this?