My first real Ginger beer.

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My first real Ginger beer.

Postby scanman » Monday Jul 30, 2007 3:30 pm

HI all.
Been a bit of a lurker here for a while. I just got back into HB after some serious time off, and even then it was only the occassional stint, but been putting one brew up every few weeks of late. I did a ginger beer a while ago, just the mix and dextrose. Turned out way to dry and bland, but I was much more ignorant then as to now.
Anyway, after reading some of the excellent recipes on here for ginger beer, I thought I would have a crack at my own ( and to keep the missus happy by giving her something she will drink ).
I just wanted some opinions on this recipe I have done, like with the ingredients I have used how it may turn out. Here it is anyway.

Country Home Brewers Ginger Beer Kit ( with yeast and nutrient )

1kg of Country Home Brewers Brew Booster brew sugar mix

500gms of fresh ginger root

1 lemon (peeled and only use the inner zest)

400 grams of Yellow Box honey ( i was in a hurry and could not source clover honey easily)

500gms of Lactose ( sweetener ) will this be enough to make it sweet for the ladies?

500gms of Corm Syrup ( part fermentable sugar and head retainer )

2 cinemon sticks

10 cloves

3 table spoons of ginger powder
Peeled fresh ginger and chopped it in food processor. Added this and Brew Booster to 2 litres of water and boiled for 20 mins.

After 20 mins, added ginger poweder, honey, lemon zest, and corn syrup- boil for further 10 mins ( gave the lemon zest a few squeezes with the spoon to help release the juices)

@ 30mins boil added ginger beer kit mix, and 5 cloves only, and one cinemon stick. Boil for further 10 mins.

@40mins flame out heat and strain off the mash into a sanitised primary fermenter. Chucked in extra cinemon stick and rest of the cloves (5).
Topped up with 20 litres of water. Finished at about 24C. Pitched yeast and nutrient.
Well thats the recipe. Tasted nice from the pot, so should be a winner. SG was 1.035.

Hoping for something sweet, spicey and gingery. This has been bubbling away now for nine days and is almost ready to bottle.
Brewer friend of mine says you should shake the fermenter up during the primary fermentation when doing ginger beer, which I have been doing when the fermentation seemed to die down, and it kick started it again nicely. Never had to do this with beer at all.

Any thoughts on this?

Davo
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Postby FazerPete » Monday Jul 30, 2007 4:04 pm

Mate that is going to be one gingery ginger beer. When I do mine, I use a couple of teaspoons of grated and some of my mates reckon it's too spicy.

I'll be interested to see how it comes out but if I was making it I would:
- Reduce the amount of ginger
- Get rid of the corn syrup as it adds nothing and can make it too syrupy. Use dextrose instead to up the alcohol
- Get rid of the honey. Adding honey will make it drier, not sweeter.

Let us know how it turns out.
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Postby drsmurto » Monday Jul 30, 2007 4:28 pm

I use 1kg of ginger in a 23L brew, dont think its too spicy.

Since you are adding so much ginger and additional spices why are you using a kit?

Ditch the kit and add 1.5 kg of dextrose.

500g of lactose will make a difference but wont be sickly sweet at all.

Are you bottling or kegging?

What yeast are you using?

Now i have kegs i will be doing this again in summer with the addition of sugar to the keg to make it sweeter.
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Postby scanman » Monday Jul 30, 2007 9:28 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I am going to bottle it. Not into kegging ( yet ). I used the ginger beer kit as a base, but usually they are not gingery enough so I added the rest of the ingredients to boost the flavour.
I thought the corn syrup i thought would help the head. Doesn't matter to me if its to syrupy, as ginger beer is usually watery anyway, so I thought it may help thicken it a bit, as well as give it a better head.
I tasted this before sealing the lid. Was definately not over gingery at all, in fact, didn't taste to bad at all. You could get the hint of the lemon in it, so I hope it comes out better when brewed.
Not sure of the yeast that comes with it, think its a champane yeast, which i know will add some dryness, which I hope the sweetener will cancel out. The kit has an artificial sweetener as well, though last one I made it wasn't that sweet.

Again thanks for the feedback, hope to read some more. I will definately post on how it turns out. Might be ready to bottle in the next couple of days. I have a second fermenter ready for bulk priming into PET bottles.

Cheers

Davo
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Postby Chris » Friday Aug 03, 2007 8:19 am

Hey doc, I hope you're going to filter first. Otherwise that sugar isn't going to be around long.

And as far as kits go, the CB ginger is pretty good.
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Postby scanman » Saturday Aug 04, 2007 5:42 am

Yer I agree there, the CB ginger beer kit smells good, thats for sure. Tasted some of the brew few days again while doing a SG measurement. Going to come out a good one. Its been brewing now for over 14 days, which is unusual for me, most of my brews don't go that long.
Only thing I noticed is the lemon hint seemed to have dissapeared. Hopefully in the final products it will be there.

About the CB ginger beer, any idea what yeast strain comes with it? I should have asked whn I was in there the other day?
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Postby drsmurto » Monday Aug 06, 2007 1:42 pm

Not going to filter. Will crash chill or add some sodium met to stun/kill the yeast, rack into keg, add sugar and then force carb.

What am i overlooking? :(
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Postby scanman » Monday Aug 06, 2007 2:17 pm

HI guys.

I can see why you would kill off the yeast before kegging. This GB I have been doing is still brewing. Very slowly maybe, but its been 3 weeks now, and its still popping the occassional bubble out the airlock a few times a day.
Just wondering if bulk priming is oging to be a good thing with GB, since its known to be gas up rather well, or even explode when primed.
Maybe before bottling it this week I should maybe not use as much dex to bulk prime it.
Any thoughts?

Davo
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Postby drsmurto » Tuesday Aug 07, 2007 1:27 pm

I bulk primed mine quite high, around 190g of dextrose for the 23L batch and no bottle bombs or gushers, just a nice and bubbly GB.

I waited till my gravity readings were stable at 1.000

Cheers
DrSmurto
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Postby scanman » Wednesday Aug 08, 2007 7:48 am

Thanks DrSmurto. Good tip.
I am actually going to bottle mine today, after i check the SG reading, but its been in the fermenter just over 3 weeks now so it should be ready. Lat shake up I did of the fermenter did not start it bubbling again, so its ready to bulk prime.
Off to get a 3rd fermenter today fo bulk priming, as the two I have are now tied up fir summer beer production. :)

Davo
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Postby scanman » Sunday Oct 07, 2007 8:37 pm

Well, been a few months since I put the ginger beer up, but cracked one tonight for the first time, and gave the first drop to the missus. She had a big smile on her face when she tasted it, so I was wrapped.

Big thanks to DrSmurto and Dragonpheonix73 for their ginger beer recipe ideas here. Anyone making a ginger beer should take a look at their suggestions and add then to your recipe. You guys were the inspiration behind this brew, which turned out a ripper.

Had one of my ginger beer myself tonight, and it was good. I personally would have liked it a bit more gingery and spicey. Also the carbonation could have been a bit better. Don't get me wrong the beer is not flat at all, but I would have liked a bit more of a head on it.
But its good enough to drink and enjoy it thoroughly.

Thanks again guys...
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Postby Chris » Monday Oct 08, 2007 8:52 am

There probably won't be enough dextrins in a GB to get a long-lasting head. If you want it, you'd need to beef up with malt or more maltodex.
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Postby drsmurto » Monday Oct 08, 2007 11:01 am

Agree. My GB recipe results in a alco pop type drink. Nice and clear, gingery and no head at all. Its an alcoholic soft drink not a beer so i dont mind.

And i knocked off 3 longies of it whilst flicking between the SANFL and bathurst. Been nearly 10 months in the bottle now. Crystal clear - who needs a filter.....
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Postby geebz » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 2:23 pm

Ive recently made drsmurto Ginger recipe and the champagne yeast is taking a while to kick off. Do you need to add yeast nutrient ?

And if so will adding it now make any difference ?
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Postby drsmurto » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 2:34 pm

I have never need a yeast nutrient with this recipe - how much yeast did you pitch and what temp is the brew at? Can you post the entire recipe you used please?

When you say its taking a while, how long is a while?

Cheers
DrSmurto
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Postby geebz » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 3:31 pm

Pitched the yeast late sunday and there wasnt much action yesterday (tuesday) afternoon.

Pitched the yeast at 25C and it has been sitting around 22 for the last couple of days.

recipe was

1kg fresh ginger
3 small lemons juice and zest
10 cloves
2kg raw sugar
10gms champagne yeast.

20L
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Postby drsmurto » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 3:40 pm

Aaaaaaaaaaargh. You forgot the cinnamon stick! Crucial IMHO.

Seriously, there is no reason why this isnt fermenting.

We could go thru all the normal - my brew isnt fermenting questions - condensation on lid, foam on top of beer etc etc but i'm sure you've read the sticky at the top of the making beer thread.....

Maybe take a SG reading and see if it has dropped from what you started from?

Cheers
DrSmurto
p.s how good did boiling up all that ginger smell? :lol:
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Postby geebz » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 4:06 pm

Haha yeah i left out the cinnamon on purpose. I usually like cinnamon but i added one stick to my cider and it didnt really like the results. You could taste it but it was just a little weird THen again it might have just been a bad cider. Ill save it for my next ginger batch.

Boiling up the ginger and lemon was so good. Such a good smell that permeated the whole house.

Yeah i know the usual why my brew isnt fermenting questions. There is some condensation and im sure im just being a bit paranoid. If it hasnt taken off tonight ill take a gravity and go from there. Maybe pitch some more yeast. Cant hurt.
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Postby scanman » Wednesday Oct 17, 2007 4:51 pm

I agree with the Doc on the cinnamon. Its a must in ginger beer, gives it a nice back flavour when you get the ginger bite.

Dun't know why you would put cinnamon in Apple cider. I would not have thought that was a spice for such a thing myself, but each to their own.
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Postby Chris » Thursday Oct 18, 2007 7:42 am

Cinnamon is great in cider! Just like a hot toddy- only cold. And more cidery...
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