Skeeter-Pee Cherry Lemon Lime-Aid

by David

I have been intrigued by Skeeter-pee for some time now. It’s basically a lemon wine, not to be confused with hard lemon aid.  I like this for a few reasons. First, Skeeter-pee is a fast drinking wine, meaning it does not need to age and since I’m new to homemade wine making I’m eager to start drinking some of my own stuff. Second, Skeeter-pee is a lighter more refreshing wine type drink, considering its summer and hot this sounds perfect for the weather. Lastly, I’ve heard it’s tricky to get going and I welcome a good challenge.

So how did I do it. Well I adapted lots of recipes. I told you I was a tinkerer.

Batch Data:

Primary
Vessel
Sweetener
Type
Sweetener
Amount
Yeast Starter
6.5 Gallon bucket Granulated sugar 10 lbs. Lavin KIV-1116 1 Gal

Nutrient/ Additives Fruit Added
  • 3/4 tsp Tannin
  • 1 tsp. Yeast Energizer
  • 3 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
  • 2 1/5 tsp. Pectic Enzyme
  • 5 lb Cherries
  • 32 oz Key West Lime Juice
  • 64 oz 100% lemon juice

Starting Conditions:

Starting Gravity 1.08
Temperature 85º F


I started by putting about 7 lbs of sugar in a stainless steel brew pot and added about two gallons of water. I heated it until the sugar was dissolved I was only going to use 7 pounds of sugar but I figures what the heck and I added the last 3 lbs of sugar. I basically made simple syrup.  Once it was all dissolved I poured 1 gal of the simple syurp into a glass jug and the rest into the primary fermenter.

Then I added the chemicals: Yeast Energizer, Yeast Nutrient & Pectic Enzyme. I broke it down so the one gallon starter got some additives as well.  This was easy since all the additive bottles tell you what to use for 1 gal.  After I mixed everything in I added the cherries. I used frozen cherries, since they are cheaper easier and the freezing breaks down the cell membrane so I would have to freeze them anyway; I put 3/4 lbs into the starter but omitted the lemon/ lime juice.  About this time I started to hydrate the yeast. I dumped all the lime juice and 32 oz of lemon juice into the primary.

I just covered the primary and will let it sit while the starter gets going, the acid should keep the natural yeast and bacteria at bay.

Starter Cherry Lemon lime-aid starter

Once the yeast was hydrated I added it to the starter, I didn’t take the temperature(I forgot), I’m really impatient and when I didn’t see bubbles in the first two hours I thought I had killed the yeast.  I came back after about 5 hours and it was going crazy.

I used a 1 gallon starter because I have heard this stuff is stubborn and slow to start with the acidity in the lemon/lime juice so I figured I’d try and get as much yeast in the primary as I could.

Over the course of the first day, I shook the starter a few times to give the yeast lots of oxygen. After the first 24 hours I poured 1/2 of the starter into the primary fermenter and mixed it all up, then I re filled the starter jug with the mix from the primary fermenter. After waiting for 24 more hours I will then pour the entire gallon into the primary. This should ensure that I the fermentation starts.

I plan on mixing the batch every few days for the first 3-4 weeks to ensure that there is lots of oxygen for the yeast. After fermentation has been going for a little while, I will add the last 32 oz of lemon juice as well as the other 1 tsp. of Yeast Energizer and 3 tsp. of Yeast Nutrient.

I got lucky a bit with this one because I wanted to keep the must warm to help with fermentation and it just so happens that we are experiencing a heat wave and it has been and will be between 75-90º for the first 4 or 5 days of fermentation.

On a side note I’m not sure if I needed the Tannin since I believe that the cherries have Tannin in them, however I figured it was better to add it and not need it than need it and not have added it.

Pitch the Yeast!

To Find Products mentioned in this post:

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin July 8, 2010 at 05:17

I’m looking forward to tasting some of this. Distillery won’t mind BYO-Mead right?

David Mon July 8, 2010 at 11:20

Well just have to play it cool, I bet they wont even notice. Technically this is not mead since there is no Honey.

Ned August 1, 2010 at 04:53

I’ve made this too, it’s darn tootin’ tastey. I didn’t do the cherry bit; I followed the recipe at skeeterpee.com

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