How to Make Hard Seltzer - Step by Step
There are several different ways to make hard seltzer. All you need to do is create a neutral base that is usually derived from a simple sugar. There are other ways to achieve this base. For instance, if you have a neutral grain spirit and is diluted to the desired alcohol by volume. For the purposes of this post, we will show how to make a neutral base with sugar. You must start this process with water that is suitable for brewing. The sugar can come from a variety of sources. We are going to use cane sugar, which is probably the most cost effective and most used. This will make 5 gals of neutral base. This can easily be scaled up.
Ingredients & Equipment:
5-gallon brew kettle and fermentation vessel with lid and airlock (clean and sanitized)
5 gallons of brewing water
4 lbs. of cane sugar
1-2 yeast packets (equal to 120 billion cells)
6.5 grams of yeast nutrient
1-2 canisters of compressed oxygen and clean hose to fermentation vessel
- Heat 5 gallons of water to a boil.
- Then add cane sugar.
- Boil for 10-15 minutes to sanitize water and sugar mixture.
- Take density measurement to ensure 9.5-10 brix
- Add yeast nutrient at the end of boil.
- Cool sugar water and yeast nutrient mixture to 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit through heat exchanger or immersion chiller and send to sanitized fermentation vessel with oxygen.
- Add yeast packet containing at least 120 billion cells
- You should see action in the fermentation vessel within a day or two.
- Add additional oxygen if fermentation tapers off prematurely or to ensure healthy yeast
- Add Aseptic Fruit Puree Lime half-way through fermentation (around 5 brix) while yeast is still very active.
- Once fermentation is finished (no more action, usually around 2 weeks) verify all sugar have completely fermented out. You should get a reading with hydrometer that is around 0 brix.
- Then rack finished seltzer into 5-gallon keg and force carbonate to 3 volumes of Co2.
- Enjoy your seltzer with ice or fruit garnish.