By Joshua Rosenthal
Let's Get This Party Started!
Hard seltzer is a great low-cal, low-carb alternative to beer. It is light, refreshing, and in some cases viewed as being healthier. Hard seltzer is usually 5% ABV and comes in multiple flavorings: citrus, stone fruit, berry, melons, etc…There are a lot of commercial examples on the market right now from both regional and national brands. I would encourage you to try them but even better is making your own hard seltzer at home!
I will admit; I am not one to order or seek out a hard seltzer unless being asked to bring to a social gathering or have on hand for friends. However, I had the opportunity to brew my own hard seltzer from MoreBeer (Wild Water Hard Seltzer) as my family was hosting a few non-beer drinkers and wanted to have something else to enjoy. The kit had all the ingredients I needed and I can say this; it turned out truly (pun inteded) delicious! Hard seltzer is a great addition to your tap lineup or an alternative to have in bottles to share with your friends & family. I will be brewing More! in the future that's for sure. I have outlined my process and the recipe below, have fun!!!
Step 1. Heat 5 gallons of distilled water to 180F
Step 2. Add the 5 lbs of Corn Sugar and the two Salt Packets and stir to dissolve both completely.
Step 3. Make sure to sanitize your fermentation vessel and rehydrate your yeast while you are waiting for your water to come to temperature.
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Step 4. Rehydrate your yeast: boil 2 oz of drinking water and then allow the water to cool to 85-95 degrees.
a. Mix in the 2g of Fermstart and then sprinkle in the 5g of EC1118 yeast
b. Let it sit for at least 2 minutes
Step 5. Begin chilling the sugar water via immersion chiller or ice bath etc
a. I used a plate chiller to cool my solution as it entered into the carboy. You can also use an immersion chiller and then transfer the water to your carboy/fermentation vessel.
Step 6. Transfer the chilled water to the fermenter and pitch the yeast at 70 degrees.
Step 7. Nutrients! At the 24 hour mark: add 6g of FermFed DAP Free
Step 8. After 10 days of fermentation, check your gravity reading and add Super Kleer (allow 24 to 48 hours for the seltzer to clear.)
Step 9. Sanitize your kegging instruments (if bottling: bottles, caps, bucket, tubing, siphon, etc…). Then you can add the fruit flavoring directly to your bottling bucket or if kegging directly to the keg.
Step 10. Enjoy your new hard selzter! I carbonated my keg and tapped it after 24 hours. My first pour contained a welcoming peach aroma & taste with a refreshing bubbly effect on the tongue. A huge crowd favorite even amongst my beer-drinking friends.
Conclusion: I am now a fan of hard seltzer, especially when I can brew one for my friends & family so easily. I was amazed how easy and forward the process is! You can have hard seltzer, ready to drink within 10-14 days, depending on the fermentation process. You must give this a try if you need an alternative for a party or just have for yourself.
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