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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

4.4 lb. bag of Aseptic Fruit Purees Lime

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

  1. Heat 5 gallons of water to a boil.
  2. Then add cane sugar.
  3. Boil for 10-15 minutes to sanitize water and sugar mixture.
  4. Take density measurement to ensure 9.5-10 brix
  5. Add yeast nutrient at the end of boil.
  6. 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.
  7. Add yeast packet containing at least 120 billion cells
  8. You should see action in the fermentation vessel within a day or two.
  9. Add additional oxygen if fermentation tapers off prematurely or to ensure healthy yeast
  10. Add Aseptic Fruit Puree Lime half-way through fermentation (around 5 brix) while yeast is still very active.
  11. 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.
  12. Then rack finished seltzer into 5-gallon keg and force carbonate to 3 volumes of Co2.
  13. Enjoy your seltzer with ice or fruit garnish.
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