hist-brewing: Re: lemonade

Rory McGowen rory_mcgowen at yahoo.com
Thu May 31 10:51:54 PDT 2001

Im sorry, but I can't contain myself: You are so wrong!

Let me address each piece:

> Citric acid won't kill yeast, but you won't like the sparkling
> lemonade you make...

First, taste is subjective, you don't know what they will like or not.

> Lemonade is sweet and sour.  The sourness is balanced by the
> sweetness of the sugar you add.  If you add yeast and bottle, you
> will either use the standard amount of sugar you use in lemonade
> and make grenades or you will have to add a tiny amount of sugar,
> which will all get eaten by the yeast.

If you are only making a sparkling Lemonade Soda, simply add a bit more
sugar than normal, yeast, and then bottle. Leave it in a cool, dark
place for 7 days and then refrigerate and drink. Presto. Lemonade Soda.

> The latter will make sparkling lemon water (no sweetness).  

Have you ever made sodas before? It's the same for each one, except the
flavors. The yeast will eat some of the sugar, which is why you add
some, but once the soda is carbonated (about a week), you stick it in
the frig, which slows the yeast down to near no activity, and the soda
stabilizes. Most yeast, except the lagers, prefer temps in between 50
and 80 F. Below that they go (mostly) dormant.

> The reason that beer is sweet is because there are larger
> carbohydrates in it that are sweet, yet are not fermentable.

That is so not true it isn't even funny! Its because you don't ferment
all the sugars. There are some non-fermtables in some beer, but make
some and put half the batch in the frig and leave half the batch out of
the frig. . . I bet the stuff in the frig will be okay, and the stuff
outside will either explode or be very unsweet. Not to mention that most
Beer yeast will only ferment up to about 7%. . . sugars above that mark
won't ferment no matter how hard you try. I have made beer from nothing
but dry malt, hops, water, and yeast. . . And you can't tell me that dry
malt isn't fermentable.

> You could sweeten your lemonade with lactose, which is sweet and not
> fermentable by yeast, but if you get any lactobacillus or
> pediococcus bacteria in there, you will again get grenades.

mmmmm, yummy, lambic lemonade, not.

> No... the way to make sparkling lemonade is to force-carbonate it
> and not use any yeast.

BS! I've done it.

> Al.

Have you ever had Champagne? It's not force carbonated. Ever had
Sparkling Italian Wine, not force carbonated.

Carbonation requires an understanding of yeast and how they work. If I
make a wine with enough sugar to make 10% alcohol by volume, but I use a
yeast capable of making 14%, I will get a VERY dry wine. I then take the
wine and add enough sugar to it that would have made my starting gravity
18% (1.138SG - or about 2 more cups of sugar per gallon) and then I
bottle this wine in champagne bottles with champagne corks and wire
baskets. . . and then I leave it in a cool dark place for a week and
then refrigerate it: I'll end up with a sweet champagne! Reason: The
yeast could only eat half the extra sugar you put in leaving the rest
for sweetness. And since the CO2 had no place to go, it carbonates the

The same thing is true with sodas, including lemonade.

Sorry, I didn't mean to blast you, but you were way wrong. . . 


"Little" Rory McGowen, CSH
Fyrdman of Calontir
Per fess Argent and Vert ermined Argent,
in chief three Lacy Knots Gules
If making Mead makes me this happy,
imagine how drinking it makes me feel!

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