Ginger beer

Alcoholic beverages which are not classified as spirits.

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Ginger beer

Postby MaxMondo » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:07 am

Anyone tried making alcoholic ginger beer. I think I might like too...
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:37 am

Many many many times. Was always my favorite.
Grate up a big ol fresh ginger root, you won’t regret it.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby The Baker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:32 pm

Son and brother-in-law made some recently and they rate it as pretty much a failure.

I said, don't throw it out, I will put a run through the pot still and see if I recover any alcohol. And maybe there will be some ginger flavour.

MichiganCornhusker, could you let me know the recipe? It would be good to start with a known successful recipe!

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Re: Ginger beer

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:04 pm

Ah, t’was many a long year ago that I was a maniacal home brewer.

I never really had “recipes”, just a lot of adventures.
Ginger, beets, spruce, coocoa, pumpkin (before there ever was pumpkin beer if you can imagine that), even tried jicama once, didn’t work.

I’m sure I used a version of a ginger recipe from Charle Papazian’s book, it was the best and almost only resource back then.

I loved it, but you gotta love ginger.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby The Baker » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:52 pm

Thanks anyway, MC

Does anyone else have a recipe??

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Re: Ginger beer

Postby zapata » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:11 am

I've made the ginger saison from Extreme Brewing by Sam Cagalaglioniongi (whatever the guy from dogfish head's name is). Made it twice actually. Per book the ginger is good, but subtle. So I made it again and doubled the ginger. It was good, but not subtle. hehehe choose your own adventure. Pretty sure the recipe is pretty widely available online if you search (well, pretty sure the whole book is too!).

I make a (mostly) non-alchoholic ginger beer which is fermented with ginger beer plant. If you don't know, ginger beer plant (sometimes called ginger beer bug) is a poly-culture thing kind of like kombucha, more like kefir. It's freaking good if you're a fermentation zingy wierdo. I am.

Strangely enough I've been falling a bit flat just trying to make a plain old sweet soda pop style ginger beer, lol.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby MaxMondo » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:41 pm

Just searching the web, and came across this recipe, using honey and malt extract.
https://youtu.be/jLi8l_jXLas
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby TDick » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:00 am

MaxMondo wrote:Anyone tried making alcoholic ginger beer. I think I might like too...
:H
Haven't tried but this seems like a fairly straightforward method. This guy's obviously NOT a distiller, so you could adapt standard methods to what he's doing


I included this one because it shows a simple method to make the bug, and it includes directions for Apple Ginger Beer, which sounds like it would be good and makes me think about distilling an Apple Ginger sugarhead.


I thought I'd include this one because most videos call for making a Ginger Bug, using wild yeast to ferment. This 18th Century version uses molasses and boils it up and uses packaged yeast:

:wtf:
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby MaxMondo » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:14 am

Bamaberry wrote:
MaxMondo wrote:Anyone tried making alcoholic ginger beer. I think I might like too...
:H
Haven't tried but this seems like a fairly straightforward method. This guy's obviously NOT a distiller, so you could adapt standard methods to what he's doing


I included this one because it shows a simple method to make the bug, and it includes directions for Apple Ginger Beer, which sounds like it would be good and makes me think about distilling an Apple Ginger sugarhead.


I thought I'd include this one because most videos call for making a Ginger Bug, using wild yeast to ferment. This 18th Century version uses molasses and boils it up
:wtf:

I'd like to see your stuff, but your links are not showing up here.... ahhhh add blocker...
Last edited by MaxMondo on Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby zapata » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:22 pm

Links are working for me.
That is not what I call ginger beer bug/ginger beer plant though.
I use something like this:
https://www.yemoos.com/pages/ginger-beer-plant
No doubt the wild yeast and bacteria starter shown in that vid would ferment, it just seems really unlikely you would end up with the same kind of SCOBY like a ginger beer plant. In fact there was a trend several years ago to refer to SCOBY based brews as "real ginger beer", though I find that a bit pretentious it does highlight the difference.
(Btw, this is for the acidic, kombucha like brews. For the ginger saison I used a traditional saison yeast)
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby Stew8 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:12 pm

This has been a successful recipe given to my by a buddie, Daryl.
Alcoholic ginger beer
1kg of root ginger grated
1.5kg brown sugar
1.5kg of white
1 tsp of Tatar
1 tsp crushed chilli (optional but gives it additional bite)
23l water

I generally heat up a pot of water and dissolve the sugar and pour the hot mixture over the ginger in the fermenting tub.
Top up with water to pitching temp and Throw in yeast, I use a generic dried wine yeast. A tsp or so.

When fermented out I use a cold break to settle everything (in a fridge for a day or two) and then syphon into bottles. Can prime to make fizzy or bottle before completely fermented out. Beware if using glass bottles. If you buy cheap water from the supermarket in large plastic bottles tip out the water and fill with ginger beer, provides a reasonably safe and Sterile bottle,

I guess you could increase the sugar if you wanted it as a wash rather than “just” ginger beer

Good luck.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby MaxMondo » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:34 am

Looks like my add blocker blocked the links from Bamaberry... just switched my browser and can see them now...

Lot of different varities and methods of producing this it seems.

The ginger beer plant and gingerbug are interesting and maybe worth my time to experiment with...

I guess it boils down to what suits my taste, as I'm trying add another dimension to the whiskey with beer chaser method of imbibition.

I'm thinking the corn flakes/faux whiskey, has a lot of corn flavor, and chasing it with ginger beer might be an interesting alternative to the, Shot of Beam and chase with a Bud, thing. :crazy:
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby The Baker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:16 am

Thanks, Stew8, I will suggest the boys try this.

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Re: Ginger beer

Postby DetroitDIY » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:48 pm

I've made alcoholic ginger beer twice, two different recipes. Neither one is good enough to pass on. I've also made ginger beer soda a number of times with better success. Tried a little design of experiments a few years back to dial in the yeast, sugar, ginger that I like. Oddly enough, when I mixed one of my ginger beer sodas with the alcoholic ginger beer it was pretty darn good. Never tried a ginger bug yet... but I'm making kombucha these days, I wonder if that SCOBY would do well to ferment a ginger beer.

Tried my hand at milk pasteurization of the ginger beer sodas... I was about 90% successful, but those 10% failures made an awful mess in the kitchen. A few attempts at that and now my wife has banned me from further attempts in the house. Bought a sous vide cooker recently and plan to try that in a kettle outside to see if I have better success with he pasteurization. I'm very into the bottle carbonation, and don't have a CO2 system.

I've looked at a number of recipes on the web for the alcoholic version... still searching. If you have one you like, please share the recipe. Thanks.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby zapata » Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:50 am

Here's the one I did, but double the ginger if you want any more than a hint
20180130_034034-600x752.png

20180130_033943-600x821-510x698.png

Well, that was the recipe I used at least, I may well have done the process pretty different, I don't remember. But I like the beer, definitely more of a ginger BEER than a GINGER beer.
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby contrahead » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:53 pm

About 3 weeks ago (in an unrelated thread) I announced my intentions to make ginger beer and root beer. ( viewtopic.php?f=7&t=69065&start=60 )

I did make 5 gallons of root beer. The ginger beer experiment will have to wait until I empty some root beer bottles. After a few days of fermentation and a couple weeks of rest in the bottles; I drank a chilled one today and I have to smile.

I used only the cheapest can of hopped LME available in the store, a little bottle of root beer extract, 4 cups of table sugar and water. I bottled the beer after the fermentation rate had much slowed (on the 4th day) and used half as much priming sugar as the LME instructions might have allowed. No bottles blew up during secondary fermentation and when poured into a glass it makes a beautiful little head of foam.

This was just a baseline experiment. I used a modest amount of cheap table sugar rather than dextrose and no extra dry malt was added. The beer has a very dry and unique taste. I'm not sure how low the ABV is since I did not take an initial SG reading. Five gallons equals 40 pints so I figure this tasty brew cost me $0.54 per pint to make. If I were to make another batch in the future, I'd consider using some lactose to increase sweetness a bit and then perhaps use real sassafras, sarsaparilla & ginger roots for flavoring. Hops is a big question mark. I'd have to A/B test both with and without examples before coming to an opinion.

Speaking of ginger root: I once lived in Hawaii where that plant grows wild. Near Volcanoes National Park one day I was crawling on my hands and knees along a pig trail. The vegetation in the rain-forest / jungle was so dense that a person simply cannot walk through it. These feral pigs which can get huge, plow their way along next to the ground though. Every 10-20 feet or so the tunnel they make usually breaks out into a little clearing that these pigs have cleared by rooting up plants. Pigs are especially fond of ginger roots. The ginger plant is a bush that grows 7 or 8' high, and it has a a substantial root system as large as the diameter of the bush and of considerable depth. A single pig can eat a heaping wheelbarrow load of ginger in a day. You could slide into some of the muddy pits they leave behind and have real trouble getting out. Anyway; I was way back there in the jungle, in a pig's tunnel on my hands and knees when I heard this deep throat-ed grunt close by and then the hair stood up on the back of my neck.

care-hawaiian-ginger-plants-800x800.jpg
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby Shine0n » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:35 am

What about the hair on the pigs back? lol
That is something I'd never want to encounter!
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby still_chillin » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:35 pm

It is very difficult to forget my first run at Ginger Beer - mostly because, 8 years later, I still find bits of ginger in random places around the kitchen...

I bottled it in one big 1/2 gallon glass bottle with a metal lid. The wife and I went off to see a concert, and when we returned, the entire kitchen was covered in ginger shrapnel.

Now I go to change a light bulb and find ginger. Move a painting and find ginger. Get a new fridge and find ginger.

There is a lesson here somewhere :eh:
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Re: Ginger beer

Postby DetroitDIY » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:02 pm

Yep. I believe the name of the lesson is Air Lock. Followed by a chapter on Refrigeration Temperatures.

I ignored the second lesson the last time I made ginger beer. I was smart and used some regular sugar and some "non-fermentable" Xylitol so that it would stay sweet in the bottle without pasteurization after fermentation. I discovered them after two bottle bombs had gone off a few weeks later in the basement... Very carefully moved them to the shop and submerged them in water to buffer the temperature swings. Then prioritized drinking them. Only two more blew up in the mean time. Fortunately, none while I was present.
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