Yeah, I do say “Know Thy Enemy” at the beginning of this video. Hard seltzer has become very popular and if the data can be believed, it has cut into craft beer sales. As a homebrewer, it interests me to see if I can make hard seltzer at home and see how it stacks up to commercial versions. With a little help from our friends at OliveNation, I believe my attempt at knowing this rival beverage will be successful.

“Brewing” a Hard Seltzer

Hard Seltzer Recipe Ingredients

So, the ingredient list for hard seltzer is very simple. There is no malt to worry about or hops to fuss over. For the kit I got, it’s just corn sugar. The ratio for the recipe is 10 ounces (283 grams) per gallon (3.79 L). Once I had that bit of information, I scaled this recipe up to a 3 gallon (11.4 L) batch.

The yeast that was included in the recipe kit was good ol’ EC-1118, a champagne yeast strain.

The other ingredients in the kit were included to help the fermentation. There were packets of yeast energizer and yeast nutrients – items I had on hand as well – so I felt confident with the increase in batch size. There wasn’t a specification for the type of water to use but I used spring water to be safe.

Hard Seltzer Recipe Instructions

The instructions were easy too.
Heat up the water.
Add the sugar.
Mix well.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Chill to fermentation temperature
Pitch yeast
Add yeast nutrient/energizer at 24, 48, and 72 hours into fermentation

The flavoring for this beverage won’t be added until after fermentation so I may need to experiment with the Olive Nation extracts beforehand with sparkling water at a small scale to get my proportions right.

What’s Next?

Well, the “brew” was easy enough. Hopefully, flavoring and packaging will be just as easy. I would equate this experience to be like making cider at home since there is a flavoring step before packaging (back sweetening)

We’ll have a tasting in a few weeks – Check out the hard seltzer tasting video!