View Full Version : Lemons...

05-16-2006, 02:43 AM
What are other people doing who have a glut of lemons? There is one lemon tree in my building's yard, and I'm the only serious picker. I now have about a gallon of fresh lemon juice frozen; it'll make some batches of plain lemonade for the kids and hard lemonade for the grownups.

Got more limoncello than I need.

Going to put lemon zest into sugar for use in baking later on - hm, maybe a lemon and vanilla sugar would be useful. I bought a lemon zester just for that, there are so many lemons.

How does lemon mead work? Doesn't the high acidity make fermentation difficult? It does with the hard lemonade. Somehow I don't fancy lemon wine.

And lemon leaves, in fact the leaves of all citrus fruit, make a fragrant addition to the bath water: just take two or three good handsful and put them into a cheesecloth bag (or a clean nylon stocking), crush them by rolling between your palms, and pop them into the hot water to steep for a few minutes before bathing. Did that recently with Seville orange leaves; heavenly.

Any other lemon ideas?!


05-16-2006, 07:47 AM
How about using the lemon zest to flavor the mead instead of the juice. Or some juice, and plenty of the zest?

P.s. I have no glut of lemons. They're about a dollar apiece in my grocery stores. Occassionaly I find them in a bag of 6 for about two-fifty. But then they're the small ones.

Lucky you!

05-16-2006, 07:55 AM

Have a festival. Make Lemon Mead the official drink.





05-16-2006, 11:42 AM

Yes, it drives my sister, who lives in Calgary, nuts to know that the local markets offer every kind of fruit and veg, cheap, almost all year round. There are advantages to living in a Mediterranean climate...

And Angus, speaking of the Mediterranean - forget the citrons, let's all fly out to Menton! The GotMead Gang Takes Over The South of France! Vive le hydromel!

still wondering what to do with all them lemons

05-16-2006, 07:33 PM
Got more limoncello than I need.

Surely not! :D

How does lemon mead work? Doesn't the high acidity make fermentation difficult? It does with the hard lemonade. Somehow I don't fancy lemon wine.

I do about 1 lemon per gallon (per 3L actually) - it doesn't use them up much. With a handful of raisins, it should ferment OK. 2 lemons per gallon does start to get too acidic, I think, but YMMV.

Lemon mead, like lemoncello is a great refreshing hot afternoon drink, but is difficult to pair with foods except fish & chicken, IMHO.

I have just racked a batch of lemon/clove/cinnamon (substituting lemons for oranges in Ancient OCC recipe) to see how that turns out. Again, it doesn't use that many lemons.

My parents squeeze the juice into ice cube trays and freeze it, so that they can have lemon drinks all year round (start the day with 1 cube of lemon jiuce melted in hot water). And you already have plenty of uses for the zest.

You may not want to drink the lemon juice, but you can use it for cooking, mead-making, etc as required.
(This doesn't necessarily solve the "What to do with all this lemon" problem, but it will allow you to solve that problem over the whole year, rather than in a "half a month" timeframe ;) )

05-17-2006, 02:43 AM
Thank you, James, I think freezing the juice is the solution.

Oh! Lavender lemonade! I'd forgotten about that. A delicious, lavender-suffused lemonade, made pink with hibiscus flowers. That's a big hit at summer gatherings where a number of people prefer non-alcoholic drink.


05-17-2006, 11:56 AM
Miriam, I've the same problem with lemons, the one tree that I have must of produced over 80 big lemons this year. So far I've developed a taste for fresh lemonade with honey, and have made 5 gallon batches of lemon mead, lemon wine and a lemon/banana mead. The lemon mead wasn't as hard to brew as I first thought, just took longer because of the low Ph. Started with 5 cups of lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped raisins, and 15 lbs of honey filled to 5 gallons. It took almost 2 months to ferment and now has slowed to the point where I'm planning to bottle it soon. The flavor is good but a bit tart from all the lemons and could use just a dash of vanilla to take the edge off of it. The lemon wine had a problem with the fermentation and I had to repitch the yeast 3 weeks in. The wine recipe was the same as the mead except I used 15 lbs of sugar instead of honey. So far it shows promise but is still in the secondary aging. I've been thinking about freezing the juice of the rest of the lemons before they all fall off the tree, maybe using plastic water bottles as containers. Now I just need to find some room in the freezer :-\. I would hate to run out of lemon juice now that I have a taste for it.

05-17-2006, 01:13 PM
DV10 is a good yeast for an acid pH. I've seen it go to town as low as 3.1-3.0



05-17-2006, 10:32 PM
Thanks for that tip, you really need a yeast that can handle the low Ph of lemons. The next batch of lemon mead I'll try DV10 yeast. Yes there will always be another batch ;D

05-18-2006, 09:55 AM

Strange, I thought I'd posted an answer to your comments, but I don't see it...and I haven't been drinking mead, I promise. (Although my gin and tonic last night was a little too strong :D.)

Anyway, the big tip on freezing your lemon juice is to funnel it into ziploc bags of whatever size you want, - also fill some ice-cube bags with the juice. The bags lie down flat in the freezer, one on top of the other, and take up far less room than bottles. The little cubes of frozen juice are good for miscellaneous uses in cooking, baking, or one glass of lemonade.

Just stand the bag up in a jar that will keep it upright, stand the funnel in the bag, and pour away. I've got...too much lemon juice frozen that way right now.