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Thread: So I want to make a hard seltzer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63

    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. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    MO.
    Posts
    27
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    63
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
    Posts
    145
    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing View Post
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing View Post
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    841
    Quote 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"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    30

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Ohiowa, NE
    Posts
    8
    Is there a problem with only using sugar and no malt?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Dunedin FL
    Posts
    54
    Quote 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.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Queensland, AU
    Posts
    3
    Quote 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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Incline Village, NV
    Posts
    45

    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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Tularosa, NM, Otero
    Posts
    4
    Acid to balance the flavor you plan on using? In the wine world acid to sugar balance is key to the palate.

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