Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Zima Challenge

A co-worker and I decided to initiate what we call "The Zima Challenge" - an effort, using standard homebrewing techniques, to replicate the (in)famous alcopop Zima.

The rules I am holding myself to are as follows:

  1. Don't buy any new equipment
  2. Use ingredients available to an homebrewer
  3. For the love of Pete, don't make more than a gallon

Today, I brewed.

I assembled my ingredients:
1 Gallon of water

3 1/4 cups of sugar
Then came the most difficult step - I brought the water to a boil and added the sugar:

This took a great deal of concentration, and one beer.
 After letting the sugar boil for about half an hour, I cooled the solution to 80F:

This required another beer.  Being patient is hard.
 Then added the zest of one small lime:
Mmm, limey goodness.  Not Kate Winslet, unfortunately.
 Next came some dry ale yeast and a vigorous shaking to mix the yeast in and oxygenate the syrup (honesty prevents me from calling it wort):

It was already fermenting nicely a few hours later:

Further updates will be posted as we go along - I anticipate about a week in the first jug, then a second week to clarify, another 2-3 weeks for bottle conditioning and carbonation.

Something that didn't occur to me until the Mrs. asked me today is this:  Who is going to drink it?

That's a good question.  A very good question.  Anyone here in Austin that remembers what Zima tasted like want to be a guinea pig?


  1. Well, the recipe's right there, Adrienne - you could always start homebrewing....

  2. I could - but I'm more interested in home cheesemaking. Mmmm... cheese.

  3. Does the phrase "gag a maggot" give you a hint?