Cider Recipe – Shane Summer

18 Apr
Lemon cider recipeBefore I went gluten-free, the arrival of Sam Adam’s seasonal brew on tap at the local pub was a cause for celebration. Fights would break out over the relative merits of Summer Ale versus the Octoberfest variety. The limited timeframe for these flavors made each pint seem precious. When the end of a season came around, finding an untouched case of a seasonal brew was like unearthing buried treasure. Rarity always has a positive effect on value. I was embarrassingly excited recently when I found one last bottle of Mega Man Milk Stout.

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


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  1. Becca

    05/18/2011 at 1:55 pm

    Sounds delicious! I hope I get to try some this summer :)

  2. eric781

    07/08/2013 at 10:28 am

    I followed this recipe and tried my batch last night. The cider was very good! Great lemon taste and not sweet. Thank you, this site is very helpful.

  3. Drew

    07/31/2013 at 10:50 am

    Thanks, Eric! It also works well with limes or a lemon-lime combination. Let me know if you have new ideas.

  4. kibbles and bits

    03/19/2014 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks for listing this?
    How did it turn out over all?
    Also, any difference in using cider vs. juice?
    I was thinking about this one but using a non pasteurized
    What would you recommend for an aging time?
    Also, any other summer recipes?
    These are looking GOOD!

  5. Drew

    03/22/2014 at 12:53 pm


    This one works great. It is also adaptable; replace the lemons with limes and you’ll get a great-tasting result, too. I have tried a lemon-lime combination that also turned out well.

    If you use a real apple cider instead of juice, you can skip the wine tannin and malic acid. I use those to give the juice more cider-like character, so they may be overkill if you’re using real cider in the first place.

    If you’re using cider instead of juice, you still want to be patient before drinking it all. I made a batch of hard cider using some fresh cider from a local orchard, and it tasted even better after a year of aging. I recommend a minimum of four months of aging to get delicious cider; it is certainly tasty and drinkable before then, but I have never made a batch that didn’t improve with age.

  6. kibbles and bits

    03/29/2014 at 12:23 am

    Made this one last week.
    -Juice from 4 lemons
    - 2lbs of organic light brown sugar
    - 1 cup of organic golden raisins chopped
    - 1 cup of organic dried cranberries chopped
    - 2 kilos of organic honey
    - Lalvin 1116 yeast
    - 6 gallons cider

    Heated up 4 liters of cider and threw in all sugars, honey,
    cranberries, and raisins.
    Heated for about 30 mins and then cut the heat. Brought the heat up and down but never to a boil.
    Allowed heated cider to cool down and the poured everything in with 6 gallons of cider.
    My airlock went wild. I had to pull some juice out because the yeast was pushing the fruit up.
    Have had to keep sterilizing, pushing the fruit down, and stirring. Worried about contamination with constant removal of the airlock and stirring but don’t think it will be an issue because of Lalvin 1116′s kill factor and any extra oxegyn is being expelled as the yeast continues.
    I’ll keep you posted!

    Thanks for all of your help!