My friends are obsessed with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. If you’re never had it, it basically tastes like beer with lemonade… because that’s exactly what it is. The recipes vary by location

but it’s essentially lemon and beer.

They’re dead set on me making two batches of Shandy so I’ve been doing research but wanted to see what you guys think. There are basically three areas of concern for me.

1 - When should it be added? - Most people are suggesting that the lemonade be mixed in right before bottling or in the keg. I like that because it won’t affect the fermentation process.

2 - What kind of lemonade? - The only concern I can think of is that lemonades are almost always made with a sweetener. Should I get artificially sweetened lemonade so that the beer/lemonade mix doesn’t ferment further? Also, does it matter if there is any pulp? I can filter it out easily, if so.

3 - How much Lemonade? - I’m reading that anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 work well. Anyone have any suggestions? Taste is obviously a concern but so is dilution. A 4.2% beer that’s diluted to 2.1% because of the lemonade is hardly worth calling a beer (I’ll get into the latter in #4). Some Shandies do have a low ABV but I don’t want mine to.

4 - Target ABV - As I mentioned in #3, doing 1/2 beer and 1/2 lemonade will make for a weak beer if I don’t plan ahead. I can easily figure out the proportions based on #3 to target an ABV but how do I increase the ABV of the beer without changing the taste (if that’s possible)? I don’t have much experience with the tampering of ABV besides with malts.

Any help or experience you can provide would be much appreciated.

Buy some coors or other regular yellow lager, pour it in a glass and add lemonade to taste.

^^This will help you determine the ratio you want to use.

You will want to use some type of unfermentable sugar if you do not want the sweetness of the lemonade to ferment out.

Most importantly - Tell your friends to drink some real beer instead of that sissy crap. :wink:

Shandy is made with lemon/lime soda (like Sprite or 7-Up) in England. Mixed at serving time.

This is the only Shandy I have ever hand and it was not bad, except for the fact that mostly women were drinking it when I was at the pub. Although I think it was more of a sparkling lemon ade not like sprite. Although I am sure it varies from pub to pub and area to area.

I would say make a lite lager and add the lemonade at serving, that way you know what the ABV is and can control how much lemon flavor you want to add.

Also I have read about adding crystal light flavor packs directly to the keg to get a lemon type flavor, I doubt that would cut back on the ABV if that is one of your concerns.

Went to a wedding where everyone was making them with Heineken or Harp. Pretty good, but I don’t crave them.

[quote=“mainemike68”]This is the only Shandy I have ever hand and it was not bad, except for the fact that mostly women were drinking it when I was at the pub. Although I think it was more of a sparkling lemon ade not like sprite. Although I am sure it varies from pub to pub and area to area.[/quote]My wife worked as a barmaid in Brixton in the '80s and then again in the '90s and she says that “lemonade” in England is 7-Up. And yeah, shandy is a ladies only drink over there - they say “shandy makes you randy.”

Shandies can be quite tasty and refreshing. They’re good made with ginger ale as well as the usual 7-up type sodas. And as someone mentioned, the mix is combined at serving time.

I’ve seen bottled versions when in England. BUT…If you’re home-bottling the stuff, just make sure you condition it first and then add something to kill the yeast dead (the commercial bottled versions are pasteurized). There’s going to be some sugar in this mix, and unless you arrest the fermentation, this stuff can be a real potential bottle-bomb (especially if the bottles aren’t kept cold and/or not consumed fairly quickly).
Trust me on this one.
I once made a small batch of an ale/rootbeer blend for someone at their request; they decided to keep one bottle on a bookshelf for display (ignoring my instruction to keep it cold, and use it up fairly fast).
As the old SCTV crew would say, that bookshelf bottle “blowed up real good.”
Fortunately, no one was in the vicinity when it did. I shudder to think what the outcome would have been if someone were standing nearby when it exploded. :shock:

If you’re bored, look up the story of the “Radler” in Bavaria. This is like a shandy. Very popular. Typically made with lemon fanta and a Helles, though some prefer weisse. I’ve tried the version with 7up, sprite etc here in the states and it’s just not the same (for me). I suggest making a good Helles or weisse, finding some fanta, and mixing at the pour/glass. But that’s me.

Seriously. I don’t like the idea of making it but I’m glad they’re at least interested and I also don’t want to be “that guy” and tell them to try some real beer.

I accidentally made a shandy flavored beer once. I had designed an APA using Cascades and the local homebrew shop was out. I tried to do an on-the-fly calculation in my head and substituted (If I recall correctly) Centennials (or was it columbus??). After adding WAAAYYY too many for the bittering and flavor additions I ended up with a very lemony/grapefruity/cirtusy beer similar to a shandy.

I’m kegging so I may actually create a new line that feeds from two of my kegs. I’ll have to see how well I can control the mix proportions by varying the CO2 pressure on each keg.

They’re set on it being like Leinenkugel’s so I’m going to stick with lemonade but I may go with a powder to avoid turning a 5 gallon batch into a 7-10 gallon batch and reducing the ABV.

Im still not sure about the beer portion. I’ve seen lagers, pilsners, and hefes/wits suggestedand all seem like they would work. Leinenkugel describes it a “pale and wheat” but does call it a traditional radler which could be anything.

I think that, as I’ll never exactly copy Leinenkugel (and don’t really want to), I’ll just make my own shandy and they’ll drink it (and like it!).

I’m either going to mix in powder lemonade with artificial sweetner into the keg or mix a real lemonade (probably from chick-fil-a) at the time of pouring via a two keg system. I’ll either do a wheat beer or a lighter pilsner (I’ll decide afte r some testing).

I’ll report back here if anyone is interested. Thanks for the help everyone!


I would have to say the Crystal light idea sounds like the best one.

1.You won’t have to alter your beer recipe
2. Just mix in the flavoring at bottling.
3. The artificial sweetener won’t get the yeast going again.

Let us know how it goes.

My GF makes these all the time after we enjoyed them in Germany - I occasionally will have one as well, but prefer beer as is.

we simply pull 1/2 a pint or so, then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling lemon and/or lime soda water (natural flavors) - anything with sweeteners is gonna taste pretty gross, IMHO. We have also made it by adding plain sparking water and then squeezing a bit of lemon and/or lime in there - can’t get fresher than this. Do not recommend using 7-up, or sprite. Interesting idea with the Crystal light, but something (aspartame) tells me it won’t taste very good.


I think Northern Brewer did one of their Brewing TV episodes on blended beer and lemonade (Radler). Wait, I’ll check. Yup. It’s episode 12 around 11:30 into the episode. I know it doesn’t really help you if you are wanting it out of the bottle already blended, but if I was going to make a Shandy I would do it this way, so that you can use lemonade with real sugar (which tastes way better in my opinion). They suggested a Helles or Pilsner, although they ended up using a Heffe.

I’ve been on the Leine’s tour and although I don’t care for most of their beer (I feel it’s directed more toward people who don’t want beer-tasting beer (their Sunset Wheat tastes like fruity pebbles in my opinion)). The tour was fun though.


So I just moved the beer to secondary. I chose a Belgian Wit recipe I like because it has really gone well with citrus zests. I changed the recipe a bit to up the OG so that it would come out at 6% ABV which it hit right on the nose.

I have about 4.5-4.7 gallons left (eyeballed) after testing, siphoning, evaporation, etc. I’m cold crashing the beer to about 30 degrees F before kegging. The cold crash is to make sure that fermentation doesn’t kick back up due to the next step. After kegging, I’m adding 2 gallons of Chick-fil-a lemonade to the keg and mixing well then (obviously) force carbonating.

The ABV should be between 4% and 4.2% and I can’t really ask for any better than that. Hopefully my friends like it and never ask me to make it again.

I’m still not 100% sold on using Chick-fil-a lemonade. It’s fantastic lemonade but apparently there’s about 1 cup of sugar per 5 cups of lemon juice and water. I’m not sure if I want it that sweet. I may change my mind. I’ll report back here when it’s finished if people care to hear how it went.

Made the shandy. I used two gallons of Chick-fil-a lemonade and as expected, the shandy is very sweet. Personally, it’s too sweet for my taste by my friends like it (some of the girls love it). If/when I make it again, I’ll make the lemonade myself as I found a clone recipe for the chick-fil-a lemonade. I’ll simply use less sugar.

I have two notes, though. Chick-fil-a lemonade uses real squeezed lemon juice, sugar, and water… that’s it. It comes with pulp which almost clogged the straw in my Cornelius keg. Because it’s real sugar, the beer must be cold crashed to kill all active yeast or it will begin fermenting again. I cold crashed the beer for a day, mixed it with the lemonade (cold), and put it back on ice to force carbonate it. It has since been raised to 72 degrees and back down to ~40 degrees twice which hasn’t changed the taste or let the beer start fermenting again.

Here[/url]'s the recipe in case you have friends who want you to make shandy. Note that the lemonade is just listed as “lemonade” and that it doesn’t change to the ABV listed by Hopville. I calculated it to be about 4.1%. [url=]Here
's the recipe for the lemonade in case you want to make it yourself and tweak the recipe.

Happy brewing!

I thought Shandy was made with ginger ale? I guess there are different versions out there. I dont carte for it myself buyt hey, each to their own! Cheers

I’ve had them made with ginger ale (and they are actually quite good that way), but I think that the more traditional way may actually be with lemonade or 7-up (or other similar lemon-lime sodas).

I’ve had them made with ginger ale (and they are actually quite good that way), but I think that the more traditional way may actually be with lemonade or 7-up (or other similar lemon-lime sodas).[/quote]

As you can see, I’ve done quite a bit of research and the only certainty to “shandies” is that there is no certainty. I’ve heard kool-aid, ginger ale, lemonade, 7up, Sprite, cider, sweetened iced tea, and probably some others that I can’t remember. Wikipedia shows the definition

of a “Shandy” for several different countries and they’re often different.

If I had to guess, people use ginger ale (or any carbonated sweet beverage) because it’s carbonated. In my opinion, none of these recipes are wrong, just different. I used lemonade because my friends get stuck on a beer (Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy[/url]), get excited for me to make a clone of it, and it says right on the bottle "[url=]Beer with Natural Lemonade Flavor


While trying to copy a beer can be fun for me (solving mysteries with your experience and tongue), it’s not my favorite thing to do but I try not to jostle their tastes by giving them one thing when they were expecting another. I’m just glad they’re excited about something I do and love.