- Citrus fruits are low in sugar content but high in acid, so they are
not an ideal fruit for wine or distilling except for the home
winemaker, who has to make appropriate adjustments (see fruit wine
sites). There is more money possibly in citrus juices and jams.
Fruits like apples, plums and bananas which have a high sugar content
are used extensively. On the other hand citrus peel is used
extensively for flavoring alcohol - by double distilling the
macerated/infused peel in 45% alcohol to get a clear citrus flavored
spirit (e.g. Cointreau), or by just infusing peel in alcohol (usually
30%) to make a liqueur (e.g. Limoncello). Sugar is added except where
citrus peel is part of the botanicals for a dry gin.
There is a lemon brew (alcoholic lemonade) recipe which uses the juice
and rind of 3kg lemons, 2kg sugar, 0.75kg lactose (to sweeten as it
does not ferment), beer yeast.
I have made citrus mashes using the peel and juice to make my
equivalent to Cointreau, as I have citus trees in the garden.
For a 25l mash I used 5kg of sugar with either the peel and juice of
30 lemons or 15 oranges - do not use the white pith though as it is
very bitter. I diluted down to 50%abv and added sugar to taste (to
remove the natural bitterness). I was pleased with the result.
I have just planted a Seville orange and a Citron - the peel of both
are used for flavoring, although the fruit is too acidic to eat.
See also postings # 3064, 3089, 3098, 3137, 3147.
A while ago (in message 3474) you wrote:
> I have made citrus mashes using the peel and juice to make myof
> equivalent to Cointreau, as I have citus trees in the garden.
> For a 25l mash I used 5kg of sugar with either the peel and juice
> 30 lemons or 15 oranges - do not use the white pith though as it isI'm about to play with a similar brew with oranges - I was wondering
> very bitter. I diluted down to 50%abv and added sugar to taste (to
> remove the natural bitterness). I was pleased with the result.
what type of yeast you used for the mash, and if you needed to add
nutrients at all? Also, was the acidity a problem, or actually a
I had a surplus of oranges and lemons so instead of redistilling after macerating just the peel, I decided to add more complexity by making a citrus mash (juice & peel) and then distilling in a reflux unit at 75%abv. Cognac and whisky double or triple distill, which is equivalent to a range of 60-80%abv to retain mash flavor.
A pH of 3.6 is recommended for wine making, for taste and also a low pH suppresses bacteria. You are right, too much acid can stress the yeast. A pH of 3.6 is equal to 6 grams of citric acid/litre. 1 lemon is equal to 3 grams of citric acid. Therefore 30 lemons /25 litres of mash gives 90 grams of citric acid which is OK. Not much sugar in lemons or oranges though.
1 US gallon = 4 litres , 25l = approx 61/4 US gal. Use 24 lemons for 5 US gal.
I use the Canadian 'Lalvin' EC 1118 yeast (Champagne) yeast as it can go up to 18%abv, it suppresses wild yeasts and gives a better flavor profile than Turbos. I bought a large container from a home wine making shop and keep it in the fridge - more economical than Turbos. You need to use at least 30grams (1 oz) of activated yeast for a rapid fermentation.
Nutrient should not be necessary when using a fruit mash. Sugar and honey mashes definitely need it. For very rapid fermentation, nutrient would help to propagate the yeast.
I found diluting below 45%abv tends to precipitate the essential oils. For the distilled spirit, some sugar syrup helps to bring out the citrus flavor and clears up any precipitation. Citrus oils are volatile and 45%abv is ideal to retain them in solution.
>Subject: Re: Citrus
>Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 05:52:50 -0000
>A while ago (in message 3474) you wrote:
> > I have made citrus mashes using the peel and juice to make my
> > equivalent to Cointreau, as I have citus trees in the garden.
> > For a 25l mash I used 5kg of sugar with either the peel and juice
> > 30 lemons or 15 oranges - do not use the white pith though as it is
> > very bitter. I diluted down to 50%abv and added sugar to taste (to
> > remove the natural bitterness). I was pleased with the result.
>I'm about to play with a similar brew with oranges - I was wondering
>what type of yeast you used for the mash, and if you needed to add
>nutrients at all? Also, was the acidity a problem, or actually a
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Thanks for all that - that gives me a great start.
One more quick question:
Obviously (?) there is more sugar in oranges than lemons? Can this
be a problem? (I suspect not, as the yeast will obviously handle
this very small increase prportionally)
You also say:
> Therefore 30 lemons /25 litres of mash gives 90 gramsDoes around 15 oranges give the same citric acid content? i.e. 1
> of citric acid which is OK.
orange is eqivalent to 2 lemons? I'd guess at ikt being less?
- Hi again everyone,
I'm just putting a citrus mash on to make a cointrau like product,
and just want to double check a couple of thing.
I'm basically using the info Wal gave in message 3685.
This is what I've done and plan to do, please feel free to add
1. I've taken the peel (no pith) off 14 oranges, 2 lemons and a red
grapefruit. The peel has been chopped up fairly fine (like I would
for marmalade) and half of this is soaking in 45% alcohol, the other
half is going in the wash.
2. I've juiced the fruit using an electric juicer, so I have quite a
nice 'fine pulp' juice, with 90%+ of the juice being obtained. This
has made about 3L of juice.
3. I'm going to make the wash up today. I'm planning 25L, using the
juice and 6kg sugar. I've got the EC-1118 yeast, and have 2 5g packs
of the dried stuff, which I will rehydrate as instructed on the pack.
4. ??? The guy at the brew shop thought I would need nutrient, but
people here said not. Should I add a small amount ???
5. I'll ferment the wash at 25 degrees C, in a constant temperature
room, until it ferments out - any ideas of how long the EC-1118 takes?
6. Then distill! Will the peel/pulp settle with the yeast? I
assume if it does, I wouldn't put it in the boiler? I'll add the 45%
alcohol/peel to the wash just prior to distilling. Again, I assume I
don't add the peel to the boiler?
Thanks - I'd appreciate any comments, and I'll let you all know how
- Thanks to eveyone for the help!
I put the wash on last Wednesday, using 6kg of sugar, the oranges
juice/peel and added some nutrient as was suggested. I used two
packs of dried EC 1118 to start it, and it is bubbling away, but very
slowly - around 1 bubble through the airlock every 3 - 5 seconds.
(Its in a 25 degree constant temp room, and was airated for an hour
before I added the yeast).
I've just been looking around Tony's site, and was reading about how
much nutrient I should have used - apparently up to 60g for a 25L
wash? I just followed the instructions on the pack (1/4 tsp per 5L),
and in hindsight this seems not enough by far, and the instructions I
assume are for wine?
What does this mean as far as my wash goes? Would it be going faster
if I had of added more nutrient? I guess its too late to add more
nutrient now? Do I just wait it out now? What kind of rate do other
EC 1118 users find?
P.S. I found a supplier for Mollasses - so I guess that will be the
next experiment! Any info in advance would be appreciated!