How to Make Hard Seltzer at Home

How to Make Hard SeltzerThe following hard seltzer recipe is featured in How to Make Hard Seltzer: Refreshing Recipes for Sparkling Libations by Chris Colby.

Hard seltzer is a booming category in the world of lifestyle beverages and many craft brewers are lending their artisanal skills to this refreshing beverage. Simple to make and with a wide range of creative flavor additions, hard seltzer is a sparkling alternative for beer lovers looking to give their palate a different experience. Learn about the development of the current market and delve into the intricacies of sugars used in making seltzer. Understand the different regulations for this beverage based on how you make it so you can be in legal compliance.

Explore recipes, serving suggestions, and even mocktails for using hard seltzer. In this guide, some of the country’ s best hard seltzer producers provide recipes and advice for making seltzer for both commercial and home enjoyment.

Buy How to Make Hard Seltzer: Refreshing Recipes for Sparkling Libations.

How to Make Hard Seltzer

Standard 4% ABV Hard Seltzer Recipe

For 5 US gallons (19 L)

Calories per serving: 90 (estimated)

Flavor: lime

Seltzer Ingredients

  • 5.0 gal. (19 L) 4.0% ABV neutral base
  • 0.95 fl. oz. (28 mL) lime flavoring
  • citric acid (to taste)
  • 3.7 oz. (110 g) sucrose (for back sweetening)
  • 0.13 oz. (3.7 g) potassium sorbate
  • 6.0 oz. (170 g) corn sugar (for bottle carbonation)

4% Neutral Base Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb. (1.6 kg) sucrose
  • phosphoric acid (for pH adjustment)
  • 113 billion cells yeast (1 qt. or 1 L yeast starter)
  • 0.21 oz. (6.0 g) yeast nutrients

Procedures for Seltzer

In a large, sanitized bucket, dilute an appropriate amount of your strong neutral base to the desired batch size at 4% ABV. Or brew the 4% neutral base with the amount of sugar listed (per 5.0 gal., or per 19 L) and transfer to a bucket. Add the flavoring, acid (if needed), and sucrose for back sweetening. After those are dissolved, add the potassium sorbate to prevent fermentation of the sweetening sugar. Rack to a keg and carbonate to 2.8 volumes of CO2. You may also carbonate the beverage to normal beer levels so you do not need to balance your draught system. If bottling, do not add the sugar for back sweetening or the potassium sorbate. Use heavy bottles, such as those in which hefeweizen are packaged.

Procedures for 4% ABV Neutral Base

To ferment your neutral base at working strength, follow these instructions. Fill your kettle with 4.0 gal (15 L) of water. Add the correct amount of sugar and stir until dissolved. Add water to top up to 5 gal. (19 L). Check the density with a hydrometer or refractometer, it should read 1.032 SG or 8°Bx. Check the pH and adjust to an appropriate pH for your yeast, if desired. (This is around pH 5 for beer yeasts or pH 4 for wine yeasts).

Bring the sugar solution to a boil and boil gently for 5 minutes (this should not boil off a significant volume of water). Cool the sugar solution, aerate the mixture, and transfer to your fermentor. Pitch the yeast and add the yeast nutrients. Ferment in the middle of the temperature range specified for your yeast strain. For most neutral ale strains, 65-68°F (18-20°C) will work. Wine strains can ferment at much higher temperatures, up to 80°F (27°C). As the fermentation nears its conclusion, you may want to swirl the fermentor gently for a few times each day or allow the temperature to rise slightly. Do not exceed the yeast strain’s recommended working temperature range.

After fermentation, you may want to either fine with activated carbon or some other fining agent. With proper yeast nutrition, fermenting a low-gravity solution such as this should not put much stress on the yeast so you may not have any off-aromas or flavors to address. Once your base is brewed and cleaned up, proceed to adding the remaining ingredients as described above the seltzer ingredients and procedures.

The post How to Make Hard Seltzer at Home appeared first on American Homebrewers Association.

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