Skeeter pee comin' in hot!

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BarrelMonkey

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My Meyer lemon tree has been extremely productive this year so I thought I'd try my hand at making some lemon wine. As with most of my projects, I reviewed lots of recipes (including those here, of course) and ended up doing my own thing. But I'm afraid I may be on my way to making rocket fuel...

Briefly, for 1 gallon I planned to use 0.85kg (1lb 14oz) sugar, 9 lemons and 950mL (1 qt) white grape juice. I inverted the sugar (2:1 v/v sugar: water ratio + juice 1 lemon, 30 min @ just below boiling), then mixed the sugar solution, grape juice, lemon juice (about 300mL/10 fl oz) and lemon rind with water to ~1 US gal. (I left out the lemon pith and seeds since that's where most of the pectin is). Pectinase, grape tannin and yeast culture (DV10/Go-Ferm) to round out the party. I plan to gradually acclimatize the yeast cuture by adding lemon juice/sugar mix bit by bit, and add Fermaid-O as things progress to help things along.

I measured OG before pitching the yeast culture and it's... 1.118. 27 brix. I guess there's more sugar in those meyer lemons and/or the grape juice than I thought.

Does anyone have experience making lemon wine/SP this strong? I was hoping for something more light and refreshing but this looks like it's going to be more like a fortified wine (assuming it takes off...)
 
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toadie

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I keep mine around 9 or 10 % abv. I would add more lemons and some water. However others might not agree (@DAWG ). Maybe you are more in limoncello territory though that seems thicker(?) to me.
 

BarrelMonkey

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I'd be OK with limoncello if it turned out nicely! But I agree that watering back is probably the right thing to do. Maybe I'll have a bit more than a gallon overall.

My other concern is that pH of my current mixture is 2.75... I was planning to acclimatize the yeast gradually but this still seems like a steep hill to climb.
 
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BarrelMonkey

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Update: My high alcohol lemon fermented nicely and I'm getting ready to rack into a carboy for aging. I did make a separate starter and diluted it 50:50 with my base juice, but apart from that no special steps to acclimatize the yeast. Despite the high starting brix, it's been remarkably steady:

lemon 2022.png

I'm planning to dilute it ~7/8 with water when I go into carboy. The lemon flavor is very intense (perhaps due to use of the zest as well as juice) so I don't think it will suffer from dilution. I'll likely have some left over; I plan to dilute it similarly and let it ferment out a bit more before bottling it pet-nat style in 10oz soda bottles.
 

Rojoguio

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I missed this thread while it was developing. My Meyer Lemon batch is 18.91% ABV simple calculation. After bottling and opening a few months later it's good chilled but after sitting in the fridge without a cork for a few hours. All pith taste is gone. I'm posting here as while we were experimenting with best ways to consume we have a 1/2 cube bar ice machine so we tried over ice. Wow, on a hot day it really goes down extra smooth.
 

BernardSmith

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I missed this thread while it was developing. My Meyer Lemon batch is 18.91% ABV simple calculation. After bottling and opening a few months later it's good chilled but after sitting in the fridge without a cork for a few hours. All pith taste is gone. I'm posting here as while we were experimenting with best ways to consume we have a 1/2 cube bar ice machine so we tried over ice. Wow, on a hot day it really goes down extra smooth.
Where is the pith taste coming from? Don't you zest the fruit? Adding peel with pith is a mistake , in my book.
 

Rojoguio

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I did a online recipe, my bad! I humbly ask others so I can proceed differently going forward. No more online recipes. Thank you for spanking me though, it will keep me from making the same mistake again. I'm tough skinned so don't worry about hurting my feelings!
 

BarrelMonkey

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I did a taste test and added some sugar prior to bottling - I didn't end up making a fizzy version. I agree that it's really nice over ice on a summer's day, though it feels more like fall these days in Northern California!
 

Rojoguio

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We can't wait for our first real cool front. Being 14 miles from the Gulf of Mexico in South Mississippi, it's HOT. I was working out in that heat yesterday installing a Emergency Generator Propane Supply line. The front hopefully will turn the looming Hurricane away from us.

BTW, I found both the Lemon and Mandarin wines I back sweetened got really sweet while bulk aging. Fortunately I made 2 gallons each in 1 gallon jugs. Well I only backsweetened 1 of each. We had to combine the 2 wines to cut the sweetness on the palate. If I had properly prepared the fruit for both much less sweetening would have been needed anyway as the pith taste was what I was masking. Never thought it would oxidize out. Always learning............
 
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