Since summer is upon us I thought I'd post about a summer creation that I've been working on for many years. However it's not technically beer. It's a hard lemonade type drink which is similar to Mikes, or other products, only better. It doesn't have to be lemonade, you can get creative with whatever flavors you choose. I've been working on this for a while and my most recent batches have been as close to perfected as I feel I want to make them. Recipe as follows.
7 Lbs. cane sugar
1 can citrus juice concentrate (orange seams to work best but lemon and lime work fine)
1 tsp. DAP
1 huge pitch of ale yeast harvested from a previous batch
Dissolve the first three ingredients into 5 gallons of water. Don't be afraid to apply heat the juice concentrate, although I have done it without heating with good results. Gravity should be around 1.055. Keeping sanitation in mind add this to your fermentation vessel and pitch yeast. The large pitch of ale yeast is a key element of success. I have tried many methods and wine yeast. Everything ells that I've tried is either extremely sluggish or makes for an unhealthy fermentation. US-05/1056 and Nottingham both work great The logic behind the juice concentrate is natural yeast energizer as sugar water provides no nutrients. Fermentation usually takes around 2 weeks.
Allow it to ferment out as dry as possible. Then you can sweeten and flavor in the keg with whatever your creative mind comes up with. Juice concentrates work great. Obviously it must be keged and kept cold since you are adding sugar to active yeast. DO NOT BOTTLE!
It's awesome at BBQ's and gatherings and fairly cheep to make. Have fun with it. FYI tropical flavors are a great idea.