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Hard Lemonade

Started by DandyMason, February 07, 2012, 08:33:10 AM

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Hey guys, Ive got a hard lemonade thats about ready.. first one ive ever made.

I am likely looking to backsweeten a bit and need to carbonate. For carbonating I had planned on just adding some priming sugar, but I was wondering can I add more lemonade concentrate to backsweeten AND for carbonating?

Whats the best way to go about this?

Chris Craig

You won't be able to back sweeten if you're going to carbonate it in the bottle unless you use an unfermentable sugar like lactose.  The yeast will eat any fermentable sugar you give it, so all you'd get is more alcohol.

So, you can back sweeten with lactose, and carbonate with priming sugar, or you can back sweeten with the lemonade concentrate or sugar after stabilizing, and have no carbonation.

You could think about sweetening when you serve.  A bit of simple syrup works well in the glass.


Okay makes sense. Could I backsweeten with splenda or something? and then just carbonate with sugar? Any idea how much to backsweeten 23 L?


You can backsweeten with any non-fermentable sugar. The best choice IMO is something along the lines of stevia as it tastes almost exactly like sugar. Watch it, it's strong and a little goes a very long way.
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You could back-sweeten with splenda/stevia/etc but the result will taste different than if you used  lactose.

Do you have kegs? I'd just stabilise the yeast w/campden or whatever, add real sugar (sucrose), and force-carb.
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Chris Craig

Yes, you can use Splenda.  I'll taste like a "diet" drink though, so if you don't mind that, you're good.

Take a sample of the lemonade of about 1L.  Sweeten it a bit at a time until it's where you want it.  Then, sweeten the rest at the same proportion.  

Carbonate with 3/4 cup dextrose as normal.

::EDIT:: When I made mine, I actually stopped fermentation when it got down to 1020. Not sure how Splenda would affect the gravity.


Yeah I am planning on kegging this... but I have ~23-24 L of it so I was going to bottle 6 or 7 L. So yeah Richard that sounds good for my keg... and Im thinking I will just add a bit of stevia/splenda for sweetening and some priming sugar for the bottles.

The 1 L sampling is a good idea... I have no idea how much ill need. I don't want it to be too sweet, so I won't be putting in a whole lot.


I've done back-sweetened, carbonated non-beer things in the past. Basically, what Richard suggests is the way I do it:

after fermentation, stabilize to kill yeast; add a small amount of sweetner (preferably dextrose disolved in boiled, cooled water) to keg; stir, sample; add more to taste;
then force carb to about 3.5 volumes.

As for the left over, I'd just pop that in another keg!
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Thats true Kyle. Might just put it in two kegs, im not big on bottle conditioning anyway.


OK - so what is the recipe you used? I'd like to find a good recipe for hard lemonade...
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Chris Craig

Quote from: "brew"OK - so what is the recipe you used? I'd like to find a good recipe for hard lemonade...

Try this brew.  It's pretty good.  http://skeeterpee.com/


hahah Thats an awesome site. Recipe looks good too

I accidentally bought some pink lemonade concentrate so I have a mix in mine. Still tastes good so far. But yeah I guess the only thing with concentrate is, some of them have potassium sorbate... I read this after mine was in the primary but the gravity seemed to go down so Im hoping its fine.

Chris Craig

Yeah, I've made it with the frozen concentrate too.  It turned out great.  Didn't last too long this summer past. The girls drank it as fast as I could open it :D


hahah yeah definitely more of a summer drink, Ill let you know how mine turns out..


Yeah I gotta try this... did you finish it all the way down below  1.000?
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