Lemon

Discussion in 'Country Fruit Winemaking' started by Loner, Dec 4, 2017.

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating using the link above.
  1. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    I was gifted some lemons ... lots of lemons. Ended up with 7 gallons of juice. Any ideas on how much water to use to ferment the whole batch ? I'm guessing this is not something you want to try using juice only ???
     
  2. Quin

    Quin Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    So Cal
    Hi Loner. I only make 6 gallons of lemon wine per year (the Dragon's Blood variant). I find that the volume of lemon juice needed changes with each batch. I just used 3 quarts of Meyer lemon juice for the 2017 batch. I used less last year. It also depends on the lemon variety, or if you throw in some limes (yummy!). So, you may have to start with a small batch, and then scale up from there. I believe that my target pH is about 3.2.

    I would not attempt using only lemon juice. I am guessing that your pH would be too low for the yeast to handle.

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  3. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    I have my doubts too but for the sake of this thread I will document progress. I used 5 gallons of lemon juice .. 10 gallons of water..20 lbs sugar (SG 1.070) .. 3 tsp yeast nutrient .. 7 tsp pectin enz and 9 lbs of triple berry fruit. I have fermentation this morning. If it stays on track I will add additional sugar to bump it up 20 pts..bentonite will be added after letting pectic work for a few days.
     
  4. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
  5. Johnd

    Johnd Middle Aged Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    3,393
    Likes Received:
    2,744
    You'd do well for yourself by checking the pH prior to pitching yeast and trying to get it going, and adjust it upwards as needed, lest your next thread be "Help, Lemon Won's Start"
     
  6. Quin

    Quin Junior

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    So Cal
    That is great news about your fermentation starting. The yeast look really active in your photo. Your lemons must have been much sweeter than mine.

    It is not unusual for the pH to drop during fermentation. So if you’re near the limit of your yeast’s acid tolerance, you may stress them. As Johnd recommended, I would check the pH. If you don’t have a means to test the pH, try tasting it. Is it super tart? My lemon wines taste well balanced and ready for a splash of vodka before I pitch the yeast. I do adjust the pH with the aid of a meter prior to pitching the yeast.

    Also, you might want to consider adding a little more yeast nutrients (DAP) and yeast energizer. I typically follow DangerDave’s Dragon Blood recommendations, which is to add 3 teaspoons of DAP and 1 teaspoon of energizer for a 6-gallon batch. I step-fed the yeast in my current batch. The yeast really seem to like that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  7. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    Quinn, being lemon the must is fairly tart but not overly so. The fruit came from a tree in Louisiana strait to me. I do plan to feed it dap in intervals and will add yeast energizer as well at the next addition. Thanks for the feedback.
     
  8. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    Over the last week the temps in my brew house dropped more than I expected and my brew chilled more than I wanted. I've got the heat back in the 70* range and the SG keeps slowly dropping. I bumped it back up 20 points to allow for the initial low starting point. Today it's dropped to 1.040 - I removed the fruit and added 5 tsp of bentonite. Slowly but surely with addictions of energizer and yeast nutrient its working on toward dry.
     
  9. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    Hydrometer reading 1.010 this morning. Xfer to carboy's to finish out.
     
  10. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    They say it’s not true without a picture so here you go. This has been xfer’d three times with my AIO pump and drill stirred as well. I played around with back sweetening today and settled on 1.030 .... it sounds high but we are dealing with lots of lemon juice and it needed it. I forgot to mention earlier but I added 8 teaspoons of potassium bicarbonate to the mix pre ferment to bring ph in line. The finished product tastes exactly like 100% grapefruit juice. Give it a few months to finish out and clear and should be very good.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    Quin, pgentile and EvolvingCaveman like this.
  11. AkTom

    AkTom Supporting Members Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    222
    It's gorgeous, George.
     
    Loner likes this.
  12. Loner

    Loner Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    40
    Clearing nicely. Added sparkoloid a couple of weeks ago and transferred a couple of times with AIO. Still a little gassy but very drinkable. It’s holding a prominent grapefruit flavor.
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page