Original Skeeter Pee Recipe

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Julie

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Skeeter Pee Recipe

The original, inexpensive, quick, easy to make, easy to drink, naturally fermented, lemon, hot-weather, thirst quencher.
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For a 5 gallon batch
3 bottles of 32 oz 100% lemon juice (e.g ReaLemon in the green plastic bottles or equivalent)
7 lbs sugar (or 16 cups) to ferment
3/4 tsp tannin
6 tsp. yeast nutrient (3 now, 3 later)
2 tsp. yeast energizer (1 now, 1 later)
Approx, 4 1/2 gallons water
Yeast Slurry
Potassium metabisulfite (Kmeta)
Potassium sorbate (sorbate)
Sparkolloid
2 1/3 lbs sugar (or 6 cups) to sweeten finished Skeeter Pee. Use more or less for your tastes.
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Many people have difficulty getting lemonade to ferment. This is due, I believe, to several factors. The high acidity, the lack of natural nutrients, and preservatives that are often included in the lemon juice. Therefore, I do whatever I can to assist the process.
I use reverse osmosis water; this is by choice and tap water should work fine since much of the chlorine should evaporate out during the initial steps. Make invert sugar by adding your 16 cups sugar to a large stainless cooking pot along with 8 cups water and 1/3 cup lemon juice (I keep lemon juice in the fridge for cooking, so I use that. Therefore, I actually have 1/3 more lemon juice than is stated in the ingredients above. If you don’t have the additional lemon juice, go ahead and use 1/3 cup from one of your three bottles; it won’t matter much). Stir sugar to dissolve and heat to just below boiling while stirring. Hold at this temperature for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and pour it into your primary along with 2 of the bottles of the lemon juice (reserve the last bottle until later), and enough additional water to make 5 1/2 gallons. Add the tannin, 3 tsp. of the yeast nutrient and 1 tsp. of the yeast energizer. Stir.
Test S.G with hydrometer and record. I shoot for an SG of around 1.070 which yields a beverage of around 10% alcohol if it ferments dry. If your SG is a little low, you can add granular sugar to bring it to the target level. Make sure you stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar; if you have undissolved sugar at the bottom, it will throw off your readings and your Skeeter Pee won’t turn out properly. Vigorously beat the mixture with a wire whip for a couple of minutes to introduce oxygen and purge it of artificial preservatives. I then cover the bucket with a dish towel and let the sit for 24 to 48 hours.
After 24-48 hours, give it another quick whip and then pour in yeast slurry from the first rack of another batch of wine. It sometimes takes a while, but you should have active fermentation within a couple of days. It helps to keep this must warm (70-78 degrees). You may need to occasionally whip in some additional oxygen with the whip if fermentation seems to be progressing slowly.
Periodically check the gravity. When it gets down to around 1.050, add the other 3 tsp of nutrient the second tsp of energizer, and the last bottle of lemon juice; vigorously mix it in. Don’t be afraid to introduce some oxygen to the mix at the same time. This late addition of yeast food and oxygen helps reduce the likelihood of your batch developing a sulfur-dioxide problem. (Because of the high acidity and low nutrition, lemon has a higher propensity to developing the sulfur-dioxide rotten egg smell.) After a couple of days, you can rack into a clean, sanitized carboy.
Allow the Pee to ferment dry and for fermentation to stop (SG between 0.998 and 0.995). Rack into a clean, sanitized carboy. Give the batch a quick degas (use agitation and vacuum if you have the equipment). Add 1/2 tsp Kmeta, 2 1/2 tsp sorbate, and Sparkolliod (follow directions on the package). After two weeks, the Skeeter Pee should be crystal clear. Rack into a clean, sanitized carboy, add 6 cups sugar, and stir to dissolve. Wait two weeks to be sure no new fermentation begins and bottle.
Notes:
1. I don’t call this “hard lemonade” because too many people have tried the commercial versions and they tend to make a mental impression of what it’s going to taste like before trying it. When it doesn’t taste just like the commercial versions (which are usually 5% alcohol, lemon flavored malt beverages) they conclude that it’s a poor reproduction. This stuff isn’t a reproduction; it’s the original home-style without the big marketing budget and price tag. Please be advised that you need to keep an eye on those you serve this to. Because it drinks easily on a hot day and the alcohol is about double that of commercial hard lemonades and beer, it is easy to accidentally over consume; it sneaks up on you real fast.
2. This beverage will often take on slight flavor characteristics of the wine that donates the yeast slurry, keep this in mind when deciding which flavors will blend well with lemon.
3. You want to use a healthy yeast slurry to start your batch. If the slurry is coming from wine that is being pushed to high alcohol levels, it’s possible the slurry is suffering from the effects of alcohol poisoning. Therefore, it’s best if the slurry is used while it is still part of an active ferment.
4. You may have noticed that you start with 5 ? gallons of must and this is a recipe for 5 gallons. This is because you’ll be leaving a bit more sediment behind at your first racking. Remember that you’re adding the slurry from a previous batch and it will be left behind along with the sediment created by the Skeeter Pee.
5. If you aren’t in a hurry, Skeeter Pee will often fall clear without the Sparkolloid (as long as you’ve done a good job of degassing). My batches often clear in 30 to 45 days without fining.
6. There’s no need to age this beverage. It tastes great soon after bottling. Serve chilled.

www.skeeterpee.com
 
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Droc

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I have been looking for this recipe for awhile! Thanks for posting it!


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sour_grapes

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Julie, Maybe it would be best to credit Lon D with that text above? It is written in the first person, so a neophyte would get the idea that you were writing that.
 

djrockinsteve

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Keep in mind that lemon juice does nothing to assist the fermentation so you could add half up front then half after fermentation is finished. Then rack to clear.

Marilyn is pushing me to make another Cranberry Lime Skeeter Pee. May have to break down and make it again.

Definitely thanks to Lon for the original recipe.
 

Julie

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Julie, Maybe it would be best to credit Lon D with that text above? It is written in the first person, so a neophyte would get the idea that you were writing that.
I added the website. We do recognize Lon on the front of the thread but you can never be to cautious.
 

bkisel

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The frugal in me wants to make this recipe after I've bottled and tried the DB I'm making. I would need/want to scale it to 6 gallons which is easy enough to calculate.
 

Julie

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The frugal in me wants to make this recipe after I've bottled and tried the DB I'm making. I would need/want to scale it to 6 gallons which is easy enough to calculate.
this truly is a great summer drink. I tell people you can four ways, always chilled, one just chilled, two over crushed ice, three winearita, in a wine glass rimmed in salt with crushed ice, four keg it!
 

Lornahdune

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Yes I've been searching for the original of this recipe. They get lost in the sea of posts - thanks Julie for re posting this for everyone. This is definitely a warm weather drink. And with any luck, there will be some warmth coming our way soon! I've got to get a batch or two started!
 

Lornahdune

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Keep in mind that lemon juice does nothing to assist the fermentation so you could add half up front then half after fermentation is finished. Then rack to clear.

Marilyn is pushing me to make another Cranberry Lime Skeeter Pee. May have to break down and make it again.

Definitely thanks to Lon for the original recipe.
Do you have a recipe for the cranberry-lime version you make, djrockinsteve?
I have all this lingonberry concentrate and it may be perfect for the skeeter pee. And is very similar to the flavor of cranberry. ..
 

beggarsu

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Is the recipe for US gallons or Imperial gallons? My carboy is US gallons = 6 or about 23 litres?
 
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Julie

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U.S. gallons
 

beggarsu

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U.S. gallons
It probably is, however there is no clue anywhere on Lon's website as to what is the the production in terms of 750 ml wine bottles or if it is British or American gallons.

...

What I got is bottles of lemon juice = 940 ml = approx 32 oz.
...
However formula written on side of bottle says 125 ml can make one litre of lemonade so three bottles of lemon juice = 2820 ml or can make 22.5 litres or six US gallons lemonade.

So perhaps he added more for taste so calculations should I should use 3.5 bottles for 6 US gallons if that is true.

His formula works out to 564 ml per gallon so 6 gallons us is 3384 ml total.

3 and a half bottles is 3290 ml so I'll use that 3.5 bottles for 6 us gallons so I have a clean .5 bottle left over for the next batch.


=====>

Also I'm wondering whether to use EC-1118 or K1V-1116 yeast - those are may only two choices as there is only one wine store here for 100 miles..

I'm going with K1V-1116 , I think?
??? advice anyone ???
 
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Julie

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It probably is, however there is no clue anywhere on Lon's website as to what is the the production in terms of 750 ml wine bottles or if it is British or American gallons.

...

What I got is bottles of lemon juice = 940 ml = approx 32 oz.
...
However formula written on side of bottle says 125 ml can make one litre of lemonade so three bottles of lemon juice = 2820 ml or can make 22.5 litres or six US gallons lemonade.

So perhaps he added more for taste so calculations should I should use 3.5 bottles for 6 US gallons if that is true.

His formula works out to 564 ml per gallon so 6 gallons us is 3384 ml total.

3 and a half bottles is 3290 ml so I'll use that 3.5 bottles for 6 us gallons so I have a clean .5 bottle left over for the next batch.


=====>

Also I'm wondering whether to use EC-1118 or K1V-1116 yeast - those are may only two choices as there is only one wine store here for 100 miles..

I'm going with K1V-1116 , I think?
??? advice anyone ???
Since Lon lives in the United States, it would be very safe bet that it is US gallons. I have made this several times. Don't overwork the recipe
 

beggarsu

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Since Lon lives in the United States, it would be very safe bet that it is US gallons. I have made this several times. Don't overwork the recipe
Yeah I could see he was from the US, but I don't make any assumptions - maybe he is using a British carboy for some reason. I left a message on his website to ask him.



The "overwork" you are looking at was the calculations to determine volume for a 6 gallon batch based on 3 time 32 oz bottles for a 5 gallon batch.
...

From the details comes a simpler bottom line - 3.5 bottles juice for 6 US Gallons - standard 30 bottle wine batch.


I'm still wondering whether to use EC-1118 or K1V-1116 yeast - those are may only two choices as there is only one wine store here for 100 miles..

I'm going with K1V-1116 , I think?


I used to get EC-1118 but last time I saws some different advice on the bin at the wine store.

Not sure - I'm going up there in the next couple of hours.

I also just happen to have a wine slurry from raspberry mist box wine that just went into the carboy so I will use that as well as make a yeast starter this afternoon. In the meantime I will keep stirring my prepared must to aerate the sulfides out - this technique I have used successfully before.
 

Julie

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add an additional 20 oz of lemon, add another 3/4 of a gallon of water, add enough sugar to bring your sg 1.080, I would keep the nutrient, enerigizer and tannin the same amount, k-meta would be the same, and additional 1/2 tsp of sorbate and when backsweetening, add enough sugar to bring your sg around 1.010. I would do this slowly and taste as you go along and take to the level that you like.
 

Arne

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I would bet after you make this a couple of times you will start tweaking it and find that Lon's origional recipe is a good starting place. If you like it that way which I do, you can keep the recipe the same. But most of the folks I have run into that make wine have a hard time not changing things just a little. Arne. Still making Skeeter Pee but change it almost every time. Using different slurrys also changes flavor a bit. Think that is what got me started changing things up.
 

Vertumnus

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Beggarsu may have addressed this question indirectly already, but can one simply use a fresh yeast starter if there is no appropriate yeast slurry laying around?
 

djrockinsteve

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Yes. You may start it with a fresh yeast and create a starter for it or use the slurry from another.
 

beggarsu

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Yes. You may start it with a fresh yeast and create a starter for it or use the slurry from another.
I did both together - going for overkill.
After judging from the way the yeast starter took off when I added must juice to the starter after 12- 18 hours - I figured I hadn't really needed the slurry.
..
If you use the slurry - it change the colours for sure unless you got a lemon slurry. I regretted not having the yellow for the first batch - just to see it.
 
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