I recently tried a hard lemonade recipe I found here, it was basically 10 cans of concentrated lemonade, 4 gallons of water, 4 pounds of sugar and US-56 Dry yeast, which I believe is an ale yeast.
So, it came out REALLY sweet, but people really enjoyed it, to me it lacked flavor so I went and looked at what "Mikes Hard Lemonade Was" and saw it had malt in it.
I decided to try a new recipe, but I noticed a few problems with the old one. First off, the fermentation was way too long, it didn't start for almost a week and then barely went for 3 weeks after that. There were points where I almost dumped it, but would sit there for 30 seconds and wait, then I would get a couple bubbles.
So, I adjusted the recipe, first off, knowing that the common recipe for Hard Lemonade used malt, I went with a pound of Light DME, and used 2 pounds of Corn Sugar in addition. Then went with White Labs Sweet Mead Yeast (80%) instead of the Ale Yeast. The Wife wanted to toss in the pound of frozen Rasberries so we went with that too, the way i see it, as sweet as the previous hard lemonade came out, it couldn't hurt.
So, my recipe, is as follows:
1 LB Light DME
2 LBS Corn Sugar
8 Cans Concentrated Lemonade
1 LB Frozen Rasberries
4 Gallons Water
I, of course, boiled the water for the DME and Corn Sugar. But when I went to my local brew shop I told him what I was doing, and asked what would help. I was thinking yeast energizer, he told me no, to use nutrient and to leave a towel over the fermenter for the first night then to put the top on.
So, I did that, and 2 days later, it's going like crazy.
The thing I don't quite understand, excuse me if this is a noob question, is when do I use nutrient and when do I use energizer for my yeast? I have done 1 batch of mead, like 30+ batches of various beers and probably 20+ batches of cider, and other than the mead never needed any, actually, the only reason I had these ingredients is for the mead.
So... my question is 2 part, what can I expect with the hard lemonade? my plan is to wait 3 weeks, toss in some potassium sorbate, wait a couple days them toss in 3-4 cans of concentrated lemonade to bring out a lemon flavor that was lost in the original recipe. The goal is to have something that has that lemon taste and isn't just pure sweet that hurts your stomach.
Also, the second part, is when do you use yeast nutrient and when do you use yeast energizer? I am really confused about these two, I don't do a lot of "out of the box" experimenting, since I do mostly beer and ciders, I have not, as of yet, really needed either beyond the one experimental batch of mead.