Chester's Hard Lemonade


Konrad Haskins

R.I.P. 3/23/2014
Chester's Big Red Gundog Hard Lemonade

In most states and under BATF rules it is OK to make 200 gals. of Beer and Wine at home for personal use if two adults live in the house (1 adult only gets 100 gals.)

Hard Lemonade is all the rage and the first batch of this I made was a big hit at's first birthday party on Saturday. Just ask John he was enjoying it. ;)

It is very easy to make with sanitation being the biggest thing to watch. Your local bear and wine shop will have most of what you need although a good restaurant supply will work and will probably be cheaper for some things.

You will need a 6 or 7 gal. Container with a tight fitting lid or bung which can be fitted with an airlock. Bungs and air locks run around $1 each at beer and wine making shops. If using a large food grade bucket with lid you can use a hole saw to make a hole for a bung.

In a big stainless pot (12 quarts is the smallest that will work) bring 2 pounds each of "Cane" sugar and honey and 1 1/5 gallons of water to a boil. Slowly add 2 pounds extra light or light dry malt extract (it tastes like a malted milk ball raw) and stir. The DME will froth up at first. Boil for ten minutes and let cool.

Sanitize your fermenter after cleaning you can in a pinch use bleach but be very sure to rinse until no bleach odor is left. You will be better off buying some Iodophor which is an iodine based product used in hospitals it kills bugs on contact unlike bleach which needs time to work and at worst it leaves a light brown stain not a bleached spot. I prefer it to bleach and it works great at removing odors from coolers.

Pour you cooled mixture into your fermenter and add water to make 5 gallons. With the mixture at 60f to 80f Sprinkle two 5 gram packets of ale yeast such as Nottingham or one 15 gram packet of Coopers yeast on top of the liquid (one 5 gram packet is not enough and bread yeast won't work). Do not stir at this point. Stir after 12 to 24 hours. Add the airlock filled with water and wait 1 to 2 weeks until it stops bubbling.

Add 8 cans room temperature frozen real lemonade concentrate and two cans limeade. The kind that makes 64 fl. oz. when you add water. Stir. Replace airlock. Wait until a week or longer if the bubbling is vigorous. Siphon into a sanitized 6 gallon buck leaving the dead yeast and other sediment in the fermenter. Stir in 3/4 cup of cane sugar and bottle. In 9 to 14 days it will be carbonated from secondary fermentation. Refrigerate until consumed which should not be long. :)

Biggest area for failure is not making sure everything is sanitized at every step including the bottles you use.

For more info do a search on google groups.

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