Ask Mr. Wizard

Fermenting Lemon Juice

TroubleShooting

Peter Owens — Australia asks,
Q

I recently attempted a lemon alcoholic brew, because we had a full fruiting lemon tree in our backyard and had more lemons than we knew what to do with. The cultivar is Meyer lemon, which is both juicy and a little less astringent than normal Store-bought lemons.

Using a champagne yeast, this brew took many days to begin fermenting and then weeks to finish fermenting. I expected an infection but am happy to report that did not happen. In fact it never actually fermented fully; I was left with a sweet low-alcohol product. It was only drinkable if you further backsweetened.

I have been advised to carefully look at the pH as this might be partly responsible. Naturally I will defer any further experiments until I can pinpoint the probable causes of my initial result. If you have time I’d greatly appreciate any comments you think might help.

A
It seems that people, past and present, have accidentally or intentionally fermented just about everything. The easy way to categorize alcoholic beverages is by raw material; beer is made from grains, wine
Response by Ashton Lewis.