Do you have any idea how long it takes to squeeze the goodness out of a dozen lemons? Like, fucking forever. I’d be happy if I never had to dig out another citrus as long as I lived–and I was using my good masturbating arm too so it’s not from weakness or lack of strength.
I should back up a bit though: I finished the punch over the weekend–my very first foray into the world of fermentation. It was good, but not amazing…which I suspect had a lot to do with the mediocre substrate I used as ‘juice’ and the short time I let the yeast do their thing.
So this time I thought, what’s the best quality sugar substance I can make? Organic from scratch of course. And since I do not currently live on a vineyard (unfortunately) my choice was lemonade. Not country-time or some bullshit but fresh lemons, water, sugar.
If you want the recipe it’s simple; start by filling fill a half-gallon pitcher halfway full with scalding water. This is important so pay attention idiots: I said scalding. As in, hot enough to dissolve an ass-load of sugar, but by no means boiling or hotter than it needs to be. My water cooler in my house dispenses hot water on demand as well, and I used that.
Pour two full cups of white granulated sugar into the pitcher of hot water and stir until your arms fall off. Try not to splash the sugar-water everywhere though genius. Next, pick your arms up off the ground and take out your god-forsaken lemons. Either a dozen full size plumpers or closer to 14 or 15 midget-fruits.
Now don’t get all fucking lazy on me–you need to do this by hand. So put away your yuppie electric juicers and the medieval tool your mother used to macerate the insides of citrus unlucky enough to wind up on her counter. Get out a spoon and a knife–that’s all you need. Cut each lemon in half and make sure to get each drop of deliciousness into the pitcher of sugar water. To do this, I recommend a furious combination of squeezing and digging out with the spoon over the pitcher. The idea is to be squeezing the fruit and getting the juice out the whole time–it doesn’t matter if a lot of pulpy crap gets into the brew or none at all.
Every 4 lemons or so, stop and stir the mix you’ve made. Make sure no sugar is settling to the bottom of the pitcher, etc. Once you start the fermentation there’s no correcting the mix and the sugar is the key to the alcohol content so keep that in mind when you start feeling lazy about stirring, ya hear?
When you’ve completely obliterated your lemons, stir it all for several more minutes and top off the pitcher with lukewarm/room temperature water. Now leave the top off the pitcher and walk away for a couple hours. You need to let the mix set so everything homogenizes together and comes to room temperature before proceeding.
…two hours later…
Stir, stir, stir–and now you’re ready! Get out a complicated system of strainer, funnel, and empty 64oz jug or bottle that you’re going to use–you can’t seal off a pitcher, stupid. Oh, and get out the DIY Juice-to-Alcohol Kit that you should have already bought by now (whoops). Set your contraption up: strainer over funnel, leading into the pitcher. Pour your lemonade through the strainer, and what ends up in the bottle is a beautiful piss-yellow non-pulp mix of blessings from mother earth.
As the directions state, all you have to do is pour the yeast packet in and wait. I’ve made up a fake chart that tells me with my estimated 35g of sugar per serving, combined with twice the recommended fermentation time, that I should have a hooch with about 20% abv. Just because I want to, I’m going to round that up to 21% which is 42 proof: the perfect answer to life, the universe, and everything alcoholic.
And now we wait…