Author Topic: Shandy advice  (Read 10532 times)

Offline WesKinetic

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Shandy advice
« on: July 09, 2012, 06:33:51 pm »
The good news is that my wife wants to get into brewing and is planning her first batch this weekend.
The bad news is that she wants to make something similar to Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, and I'm kind of at a loss for the best way to do it.

She is going to do just a basic American wheat beer as the base. I know the traditional shandy is beer and lemonade mixed together when it's poured. But she wants to be able to bottle it.  So my questions are:
1. If she just adds the lemonade prior to bottling, am I correct that she'd need to brew a bigger beer to get the ABV she wants (e.g. brew an 8% beer to finish with a 4% shandy, if she uses a 50/50 ratio)?
2. I'm a little concerned about all the extra sugar in the lemonade from going that route. Worried about overcarbonation and bottle bombs. Anyone have any experience with going this route?
3. I've read about some people just adding packets of unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid at bottling. That would be my preferred route just because of ease and not worrying about the carbonation issues. Has anyone ever tried that?

I'm really hoping that third route will work, but I'm definitely open to suggestion.


Offline denny

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Shandy advice
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 06:50:05 pm »
Actually, a traditional shandy is beer and lemon lime soda.

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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 06:51:50 pm »
I'd mash high, maybe even add some powdered maltodextrin, and aim low on the IBU's to make a beer with a sweet impression. Then add that powdered lemonade without sugar.  I've never tried it, but I've thought about it.
You're correct that the yeast would eat the extra sugars in the lemonade and make bottle bombs. And if the beer is diluted with lemonade it will dilute the ABV.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2012, 07:04:05 pm »
Actually, a traditional shandy is beer and lemon lime soda.
Straight from wikipedia the source for all things accurate  ::) says "A shandy, or shandygaff, is beer mixed with citrus-flavored soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or cider."
I agree, I would mash a few degrees higher than normal for the style as the tartness of the lemonade will make the beer seem more dry and balance the sweeter beer.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 07:08:14 pm by saintsbrew »
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 07:12:18 pm »
The no-sugar lemonade is giving me all sorts of ideas of things to do with some wheat beer I have laying around. I've wondered how to make a "blue raspberry" beer and as gross as the initial thought sounds, Kool-Aid can't be much worse than any other cheap flavor extract. I might try out some of the "on the go" packets I have laying around in a bottle or two for the hell of it.
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Offline diybrewing

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 06:32:46 pm »
Be careful if you are bottle condition since the lemonade could lower your pH to a point where beer yeast might not ferment it.
 I would throw champagne yeast in there to be sure.
You could also experiment with a wheat beer and then throw some MIO in the glass and see what that does.
I don't know if it would be good but I think shandy's are already gross so how bad could it get.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 08:24:37 pm »
Make a Berliner Weiss instead.  You could add citrus zest to the secondary.  If you must, you can add some sugar-free lemonade powder dissolved in a little water with bottling sugar shortly before bottling.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 09:10:46 pm »
make the wheat beer normally.  throw it over ice with carbonated lemonade separately. you will be way happier in the end.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Shandy advice
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 06:33:47 am »
I agree with mixing them in the glass, less worry about bottle bombs or refermentation in the keg.

But if you insist, I would add 1-2 lbs of Country Time Lemonade Mix at knockout.  Mash high to counteract the fermentability of the sugar.  Let it ferment out and then bottle.

If you want to try the unsweetened packet idea - one of those kool-aid packets is 6.5 grams and makes 2 quarts.  Measure out a half gram and put it in a pint glass, then pour beer on top of it.  Use more if it's not enough flavor.  See if you like the flavor before you do a whole batch.
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