I've been doing a 4 gallon batch in a 5 gallon carboy (so I don't tie up my 6 gal. primary).
This was adapted from a 5-gallon recipe found on HomeBrewTalk.com
Sanitize where appropriate.
- 10 cans lemonade concentrate (important---no potassium sorbate) - original recipe called for 8 cans and I used this many in my first batch, but I didn't think it was lemony enough.
- 1.6 pounds white cane sugar
- 0.8 pounds Light Dry Malt Extract
- Dry yeast (champagne yeast had good results with a nicely fizzy carbonation), liquid yeast smack pack would work too
- Pitcher of mixed up lemonade (if doing a yeast starter)
- Extra DME for yeast starter
- 3.4 oz. of corn sugar for priming if bottling
Boil 4-6 cups water with sugar for 15 minutes.
Slowly add DME to water. Boil for 10-15 minutes until DME is dissolved (being careful not to boil over).
Cover and cool wort.
Add lemonade concentrate to carboy. Fill water to about 3 gallon mark.
Top off water to 4 gallon mark.
Pitch yeast after carboy has reached room temperature.
Let the yeast do it's thing. My first batch took 7 days before showing any sign of fermentation. Spent a total of 24 days in the primary carboy. No secondary, racked right into bottling bucket. My second started fermenting after 3-4 days. It's been in the carboy about 13 days now. I'll start taking gravity readings in a few days.
During fermentation, the lemonade never really clarified with my first batch, and the citrus pulp in the carboy sure worried me because it sometimes looked like something was growing on top---but it was just the citrus pulp floating near the top. The lemonade recipe has a LOT of pulp floating in there (1.5+ inch). After bottle conditioning the lemonade clarified a lot.
To bottle, I primed by boiling 2 cups water and adding 3.4 oz of corn sugar.
Bottles spent 7 days at room temperature and were thoroughly carbonated by this time. Check at one week and judge for yourself.
The hard lemonade was a bit boozy when it was young. After being in the fridge for 3 weeks the hard lemonade greatly improved. After about 6-8 weeks in the fridge the stuff really go great.
That's about it. Fairly simple recipe.