Skeeter Pee

Some time last year I decided I was going to try my hand at brewing. During the research stages, as with everything I do, I was all in, you know, I’m-going-to-turn-my-garage-into-a-climate-controlled-fermentation-chamber all in. Thankfully, common sense prevailed, but even then, after my first attempt and complete failure with mead, I went and bought a ton of brewing equipment. I don’t like most beer, sours being the exception, so that was out. I ended up “brewing” mead, then moved on to cider, which was delicious, and so on.

 

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My latest brew, or should I say ferment, was something called Skeeter Pee.  It’s a lemon wine and it’s wildly popular in the home-brewing community.  You can find the recipe and instructions on the official Skeeter Pee website, it’s too long to retype here.  The recipe is for five gallons, but I don’t drink much and I don’t actually know that many people with whom to share, so I only made half.  Most people have the finished wine in a matter of a few weeks but it took me much longer for the simple reason that I didn’t have the clearing agent, Sparkolloid, and I decided to just let it clear on its own.  After over two months of waiting, I’d had enough, bought some Sparkolloid and added it to the mix. That was one afternoon, and it was crystal clear by the next morning. It was so clear that I could read a bag of Splenda through the liquid.  I should have gotten Sparkolloid in the first place.

 

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One last note on ingredients; the recipe calls for a yeast slurry from a prior batch of some other wine, with the idea being that yeast pitched from a packet or even liquid yeast would have a difficult time doing its thing in such an acidic environment.  After doing some research, I decided to rehydrate a packet of yeast and pitch that since I had never made wine before and didn’t have yeast slurry, plus the rehydrated yeast method had worked for many people.  I didn’t have any issues and the fermentation went merrily along.

This stuff is delicious!  DELICIOUS!  I haven’t had it cold, but I will this weekend.  It looks almost like water, but don’t let it fool you, it packs a punch…or maybe I’m just a lightweight.

The ABV is approximately 9.5%, which is average for white wines, and it’s slightly sweeter than a Riesling thanks to that final sweetening after clearing.  Right up my alley.

Here are my notes from the process (they are messy!):

Started March 1st 2014.
Making half the recipe and using Winn-DIxie brand lemon juice, although I used lime juice for the invert sugar portion.
Half the recipe calls for 3.5 pounds of sugar but I needed to use 4 pounds to bring the specific gravity to the 1.070 required.  The last half pound was added after the must was combined.
March 2nd, 2014.
Pitched a rehydrated packet of Lalvin EC 1118 yeast in the morning, covered bucket and put airlock on.
It was already bubbling away by nighttime.
March 3rd. 2014
I had read that someone’s pee had reached the 1.050 SG mark in only 36 hours so I checked mine in the evening.  It hard hardly moved.
March 5th, 2014
I checked the SG this morning fully expecting it not to be ready.  Well, it was 1.042.  Crap.
So I added the rest of the juice, the energizer and the nutrient.  Let’s see what happens.  It’s happily bubbling away.
March 8th,
SG was 0.998 so I added the sorbate and k meta.  No Sparkolloid as I didn’t have any.
Racked into carboy and closed with airlock.  Cloudy.
9.45-9.77% alcohol
May 17th:
Finally got Sparkolloid and added it since it wasn’t clearing.
May 18th, 
This morning the wine was completely clear in the carboy. Transferred to bottling bucket and added 3 cups of sugar (half the recipe).
This is SOOOOOO good!

  1. Lon

    Very nice blog, I enjoyed reading it. Enjoy, have fun, be safe. Lon from SkeeterPee.com

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