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  • So I want to make a hard seltzer

    Ok so yeah I would like to make a hard seltzer, I think it would sell amazing in our area (it's not for everyone but I already brew 4 different fruit beers so I have no shame). I literally have no idea how this is done I looked and can only find vague references. So here is what I am thinking could you all please correct my work where I am totally wrong and point me in the right direction pretty please!

    Recipe:

    Brew base 51% of alcohol derived from brewing ingredients but I need the lightest SMR I can get, so 60% Pilsen malt and 20% flaked rice, 20% flacked corn. Cane sugar for the other 49% of alcohol. But I brew to double strength and at the end cut it in half with RO water. For yeast pick a high attenuation but neutral strain. After fermentation I filter till clear and cut with RO water to the correct ABV. Then add flavoring to taste.

    Am I close? What is I miss or completely screw up/get wrong? How much do I have to filter I have a DE filter and a Pall Super Disk 2 filter do I need to step up my filter game and add in a third one?

    Thanks in advance

    Jamie M. Baertsch
    Wisconsin Dells Brewing

  • #2
    Why are you wanting to use corn? The pilsener malt and the rice work fine but the corn will add a bit of color and flavor. The cane sugar at 49% may give a winey taste to the mix so you may want to try a lower percentage. Amyloglucosidase would be a good addition remove the dextrins , up the alcohol, and lower the amount of malt needed. Clarase will reduce the gluten levels and might help make it a clearer product. Have fun experimenting!

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    • #3
      Thanks for the tips! I was only thinking pregelatinized corn because on Briess's website the lovibond for flaked corn is listed as 0.8 lower then Pilsen and Flaked rice.

      Jamie M. Baertsch
      Wisconsin Dells Brewing

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GlacierBrewing
        Hi Jamie,
        I would make sure your state alcohol control allows you to make a hard seltzer. I know here in Montana, the only alcohol product we are allowed to make is beer, the state rules provide a distinct definition of what “beer” is.
        If you screw up, you can always blend this into a specialty beer.
        Prost!
        Dave
        This. I wanted to make cider and mead at my brewpub but learned that to mfg. those I'd need a wine production license. I'm in CA.

        Cheers,
        --
        Don

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GlacierBrewing
          Hi Jamie,
          I would make sure your state alcohol control allows you to make a hard seltzer. I know here in Montana, the only alcohol product we are allowed to make is beer, the state rules provide a distinct definition of what “beer” is.
          If you screw up, you can always blend this into a specialty beer.
          Prost!
          Dave
          TTB regulates these as "Beer"
          Jason Blair
          MadCow Brewing Company

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by J.M.Martin View Post
            (it's not for everyone but I already brew 4 different fruit beers so I have no shame). Shame is a good thing, it keeps us from doing bad things.
            Am I close? What is I miss or completely screw up/get wrong? How much do I have to filter I have a DE filter and a Pall Super Disk 2 filter do I need to step up my filter game and add in a third one?
            Activated carbon filtration will be needed to get it colorless. Minhas or Octopi in Madison area might make clear malt base, perhaps they could help.
            Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
            tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
            "Your results may vary"

            Comment


            • #7
              Alternative sugars now allowed in CA

              FWIW, this bill was introduced in July to allow for adjuncts (all that I can think of) in the fermentation process for "beer" in California.

              https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...201920200AB205
              Peter Landman | Brewmaster | Seabright Brewery | Santa Cruz, CA

              Comment


              • #8
                Is there a problem with only using sugar and no malt?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by stutz View Post
                  Is there a problem with only using sugar and no malt?
                  Nope. I know several breweries doing just that.

                  I'm testing as we speak. When you use straight sugar remember to feed your yeast big.

                  Using Kveik Yeast in a few test bacthes. Pitched at 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95. No flavors from the yeast until the 95 pitch. Then a winey tropical fruit note. other than that pretty clean. I'm going to use this in my next IPA.

                  All the testing Ive done where I use 50% grains and cane sugar could pass for Bud. All of these test were done with standard ale yeasts.
                  After sitting a bunch of test bacthes on some fruit, I smell easy money.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stutz View Post
                    Is there a problem with only using sugar and no malt?
                    Yes, depending where you are located, you may need a different licence to produce that type of beverage.

                    For example, I have a licence to manufacture beer. The government has a definition of what "beer" is. Fermented sugar water does not meet the definition. Therefore I would need to apply for another licence, where I'm located I think seltzer is classified as "other alcoholic beverage" or something like that.

                    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cane sugar vs corn sugar

                      Has anyone tested 100% cane sugar vs 100% corn sugar? Curious about differences in flavor profile.
                      Kevin Drake
                      Alibi Ale Works
                      North Lake Tahoe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Acid to balance the flavor you plan on using? In the wine world acid to sugar balance is key to the palate.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Does anybody have any practical experience lautering Seltzers?

                          I was thinking about using a small percentage of malt: say 20% for enzymes, maybe yeast nutrition and lauter bed, and using flaked rice as a source of starch (based on reply #2 saying it would add minimal flavour). I have a steam jacketed mash mixer with agitator, so i could mash in rice and malt and bring it through the temperature ranges of the enzymes, and up to a boil to gelatinize starches. then i could add cold water to bring it back down to 65C and add Amylo 300 amalase enzyme to break down the starch released by the gelatinization.

                          I want to do an experiment first to see wether it is even necessary to heat gelatinize the starch, or if the flaked rice has been pregelatinized by the flaking process. No need to make it more complicated than necessary.

                          I expect i should add some yeast nutrient before fermentation, to make sure the yeast is happy. I use the W34/70 lager yeast as my house strain.



                          My big question is: What are peoples experiences lautering seltzers? is there a practical minimum malt content regarding husks/ lauter bed to not be a nightmare to run off?




                          Also, I don't have a lot of experience with drinking seltzers, are many people filtering them or leaving them cloudy? (will it retain the cloudyness or slowly drop out over time) Do some people carbon filter it to remove all colour or just leave it a very pale colour from the limited quantity of malt?

                          Do brewers add fruit flavouring to the point it is very fruity/ juicy, or just subtle. Do they add back sweetness? i would expect that the point of seltzer is that you try to ferment out practically all of the sugar, but is anything done to counteract the dryness, or is that what you are looking for. Does anybody add lactic or phosphoric acid to attempt to balance as Wineboy! suggests. (with next to no sugar remaining, not sure how this is affected?)

                          anyway, If anybody has any practical experience with these nuances, it would be appreciated.

                          thanks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Looks Like Sante Fe Brewing is doing it.
                            Case Study: How Santa Fe Brewing Co. Started Brewing Cider & Hard Seltzer
                            Cheers!
                            Banjo Bandolas
                            Probrewer.com
                            v- 541-284-5500
                            banjo@probrewer.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              thanks, it doesn't really say any details, but i may reach out to them.

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