In my quest to overtake Sam Adams (which may require going back in time to murder him), I’ve been working seasonal recipes into my repertoire. Today, we hail my answer to the Samuel Adams Summer Ale: the Shane Summer. The simple addition of fresh lemons into the standard Shane Classic recipe makes a world of difference. The resulting concoction is light and refreshing, with a distinctive flavor similar to a lemon drop. This would make a great brew at any time of year, but the association between lemonade and the hot days of summer.
To make a good seasonal cider, you have to plan ahead. After all, it takes several months for a cider to mature fully and achieve its full potential. If you wait to start a summer cider until June, you may end up drinking it in the fall instead. I started this cider at the beginning of March so it would be ready by Memorial Day and barbecue season. Stay tuned for future seasonal recipes; I have a fall pumpkin cider and a winter spiced cider up my sleeve.
Note: I have started using a larger barrel and making six-gallon batches of cider. You can adjust the recipe one of two ways: either reduce all the ingredients proportionally or subtract a gallon of juice and hope for the best (you’ll get slightly different but totally tasty results).
- 6 gallons apple juice
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 lemons, juiced and sliced into quarters
- 2 Tbs. malic acid
- 1 tsp. wine tannin
- 2 Camden tablets (150 ppm)
- Champagne yeast (such as Lalvin EC-118 or Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast)
- 2/3 cup priming sugar (added at bottling dissolved in 1 cup of water)
- Follow standard brewing procedures