Limoncello, Everclear / Vodka Question

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

Mike Parisi

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
38
So what is the weight of lemons per 750 ml ?
I use 2 pounds per 750ML of 190 proof Everclear. I had 7 Sorrento lemons from my tree that weighed out at 3 pounds, so I used 1125ml of Everclear. I think tomorrow will be about 3 weeks for the peels in the Everclear, sop I will make the limoncello tomorrow if I have time.

Whoa, CDrew! That will be some very strong limoncello. because 3.5 cups of sugar to 5 cups water would make it over 90 proof. I assume by "pure grain alcohol" they mean 190 proof.
 

CDrew

California Garagiste
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
591
Reaction score
655
Whoa, CDrew! That will be some very strong limoncello. because 3.5 cups of sugar to 5 cups water would make it over 90 proof. I assume by "pure grain alcohol" they mean 190 proof.
I use the calculator to get the Limoncello to 30% alcohol. THat for me has been the sweet spot for taste, freeze point etc. The dilution syrup I like is 2 cups sugar per 5 cups water, so a bit less sweet.

Very helpful calculator:
https://limoncelloquest.com/limoncello-calculators/limoncello-alcohol-percentage-calculator
 

Mike Parisi

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
38
I made my own calculater using an Excel spreadsheet, but thanks for this. I'm sure it will be easier to use.

Your recipe is a bit less sweet and a bit stronger than we like. But that recipe had 3.5 cups of sugar and 5 cups water for twice the amount of Everclear -- 1.5 liters. I didn't use your calculator, but that would have to be over 90 proof.
 

winemanden

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2009
Messages
142
Reaction score
42
You're quite right Mike P. It doesn't say what proof. I just put the link on as a matter of interest. I'm not defending them, but Limoncello is similar to Pizza, everyone has their own version and everyone thinks theirs is the best.
As for the Sorrento lemons, whilst we were on holiday in Amalfi we came across a lady peeling lemons for Limoncello. They were huge and she used just the skins. When I asked her how many days, she held up one hand and two fingers. What the proof of her spirit was I don't know.
As I say, it's all down to personal taste.
Regards to all.:)
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
265
Reaction score
115
Location
Raleigh NC
I use 80 proof vodka -- for a 3.5 liter batch, upwards to 10 lbs of lemons, and I typically let it steep for 4 to 6 months. I dilute mine down to 30% ABV with a 1:1 sugar syrup, basically 1 cup syrup to 3 cups lemon base.

[Originally I used a 2:1 sugar/water ratio, but the result is far too sweet for my taste. My sister likes 2 cups of 2:1 sugar syrup to 1 cup lemon base, so as noted above, tastes vary!]

If I use a stronger alcohol, I will have to dilute the lemon base more to achieve 30% ABV. Is the extraction from 150+ proof alcohol that much better to compensate for the increased dilution? Or do I need to simply add more lemon zest?

My wife loves it when I start a batch of limoncello, as the house smells of lemon for a couple of days. Conversely, she doesn't care for the taste.
 

Mike Parisi

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2019
Messages
104
Reaction score
38
The extraction will definitely be better with the higher proof alcohol. Use about the same amount of lemons, but the time will be cut drastically. I use about 2 pounds of lemons for each 750ML of 190 proof Everclear. So 8-10 pounds for 3.5 liters would be about right. Here is the link to my thread on making limoncello using Sorrento lemons.

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/limoncello-using-sorrento-lemons.70866/
 

winemaker81

wine dabbler
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
265
Reaction score
115
Location
Raleigh NC
Mike, thanks for the feedback. I just bottled a batch -- 13x 375 ml bottles, and have 8 bottles from a previous batch, so I have no need to start another one immediately. However, I will try whatever proof Everclear is available in NC.

Who am I kidding? I'll probably buy the materials over the weekend and start another batch.

;)

No such thing as too much!

Anyone making limoncello -- make enough to let some age. I told this story in another thread -- a few years back I made a batch with limes. At bottling time it was lackluster -- it smelled great but had no flavor. A few years later the last 2 bottles were fantastic!

As good as it tastes at bottling time, this stuff gets better with age.
 
Group Builder
Top