This was a third batch of Lemonade Head, brewed up shortly after the second one. This time, I added some sour cherries from Amy’s Parent’s tree after primary fermentation. They added some sugar, which boosted the alcohol, but I think they also added some wild yeast.
I used my normal method for hard lemonade of killing the yeast with Potassium Sorbate, but after bottling, they fermentation started again. I had a few bottle bombs with this batch. It was delicious for the first few weeks, gaining a bit of unplanned carbonation, but after that, it became dangerous and I had to throw some out. I’ve had a few random bottle bombs through out my homebrewing career, mostly early on, but this was the only time that I had a whole batch go rogue like this.
Luckily, it was a smaller batch, I’m not sure of the exact size, but I think somewhere in the range of three gallons. I would think that the Potassium Sorbate should have killed any yeast that was in there, but I’m not sure if there is some wild yeast that it doesn’t work on or if I somehow just didn’t use enough or what.
Cherry Lemonade head is another example of why it is important to keep vigilant notes while brewing. I don’t know things like how many cherries I added, but more importantly, I don’t know how much Potassium Sorbate I added or what could have happened to cause problems. Learn from my mistakes. Take notes. Document your process and learn from your own mistakes.
If I ever make hard lemonade again, I’ll definitely be back sweetening with unfermentable Splenda as an extra precaution and I will wait longer after Sorbating to be extra sure that there is not chance of continued fermentation. Although, this did taste really good with that extra prickly dose of carbonation…