Lemon Wine


The basics of this came from Terry Garey's "The Joy of Home Winemaking"


3 gallons


24 medium-large sized lemons 

6 lbs granulated sugar (or an SG reading of 1.09 to start)

Enough water to bring it to about 3 gallons

1/2 tsp grape tannin 

1/2 tsp pectic enzyme 

3 tsp yeast nutrient 

Campden tablets (optional)

Champagne wine yeast 


Boil about a gallon of water and dissolve sugar in it. Wash all lemons then grate the zest of 8 of the lemons (actually I peel them but I make sure I don’t get the white pith from lemons). Cut lemons in halves and squeeze them extracting the juice. (I do this with my hands putting my fingers into the center of the lemon and pull towards the sides, this way I can grab the pulp and separate the seeds too) I suggest putting the zest in nylon straining bag, I didn’t do this but it would have been easier. Put juice, pulp and zest in primary and add the boiled sugar water, add the rest of water, which will cool the whole thing, then you can add the other ingredients tannin, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. You can also add crushed Campden tablets at this time if you feel the need, but if you do wait about 12 hours before adding the pectic enzyme. When you add your yeast depends on weather you use Campden or not. This wine took a while to get a good ferment started, but once it did, SG dropped quickly. Wait about 4 days or until your SG drops around 1.04, at this point you can move to secondary and fit airlock, OR in my case I added 16oz (2cups) sugar diluted raising my SG to 1.055 again (hence the higher alcohol %) then wait for it to drop to 1.04 (about another 3 days) and move to secondary. WARNING: Don’t move to secondary and then add more sugar, you’ll have a MESS! Rack as normal about every 30 days. 


In about 4 months mine has dropped completely to .990 and is what you see in the picture. I will stabilize and sweeten mine some since the high alcohol and tart lemons seem to have a bit of a bite. 




1 gallon


8 medium-large sized lemons 

2 lbs granulated sugar (or an SG reading of 1.09 to start)

Enough water to bring it to about 1 gallon

1/4 tsp grape tannin 

1/4 tsp pectic enzyme 

1 tsp yeast nutrient 

Campden tablet (optional)

Champagne wine yeast


Back awhile ago we all made “Hard Lemonade” from frozen lemonade and many people had the start problem (me included) 


I think the trick here it too keep it warm, give it plenty of air (keep it covered but whisk it up if you have to), and be patient. My lemon wine made from this recipe took about 4 days to get a good start. You will not get a cap of yeasts like in most ferments so listen carefully for the snap, crackles and pops!