Still looking for the elusive really good ginger beer recipe

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by BernardSmith, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    Came across a number of older ginger beer recipes in Stephen Buhner's classic Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers. Buhner himself offers a version that he says he prefers as either a summer drink (for its cooling effects) and as a winter drink (for its ability to warm). So started a version of this last night
    1.5 oz of ginger root -
    1 lb of demerara sugar (Sugar in the Raw)*
    water to make 1 gallon
    Juice of one lemon
    1 t of lemon extract (home made)
    RC 212 yeast
    Nutrient
    Carbonation drops (for priming)

    Method
    Sanitized all equipment and tools with K-meta
    Roughly chopped the ginger and boiled for about 60 minutes in about 1 qt of spring water.
    Allowed the ginger water to cool and added the juice of lemon.
    Added about 1 lb of sugar to fermenter
    Strained the liquid into fermenter
    Added enough additional spring water to make 1 gallon.
    Dissolved the sugar in the liquid by shaking and stirring.
    Measured gravity - SG = 1.040 (Potentially about 5% ABV )
    Pitched yeast.
    After confirming activity in airlock added 1/8 t of Fermaid O (nutrient)
    Will add lemon extract after 7 days and will bottle in flip top (Grolsch type) bottles with 1 carbonation drop per bottle.
    Will allow bottles to carbonate 2 - 3 weeks.

    * This is brown sugar rather than sugar to which molasses has been added
     
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  2. Redbird1

    Redbird1 Senior Member

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    That's an interesting recipe. No grains or hops and wine yeast. Are you going for an alcoholic ginger ale or a beer with ginger flavor? That recipe strikes me more as a carbonated ginger wine if that makes any sense.

    Here's a recipe from the homebrewtalk site that has lots of good feedback for one that is more of the latter.
     
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  3. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    Hi Redbird1. No. No grains, no hops but RC 212 is a yeast... and it's not really a "wine" as the ABV is only about 5%. - while the origin of the word "beer" is beor (old English) which meant "a drink" - not, a drink made with malted grains and hops.... So it's a ginger something
     
  4. Redbird1

    Redbird1 Senior Member

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    I can't believe companies selling beverages made from malted cereal grain, flavored with hops, and brewed by slow fermentation have nearly monopolized that term in modern times. Their deception has worked exactly as planned, as I applied that meaning to this situation.

    Best of luck with your ginger something.
     
  5. BernardSmith

    BernardSmith Senior Member

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    :: Those deceiving monopolists. Need to get them under the RICO act. ::::::
    But if this rings my bell then I might make another batch using DME in place of the sugar. The addition of hops would seem to be counter-intuitive. I want the ginger flavor and aroma to be front and center and not hops.
     
  6. Redbird1

    Redbird1 Senior Member

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    It sounds like you are after something similar to the "hard sodas" that have been gaining popularity. Based on what I've read, they're a malted beverage, similar to Mike's and Smirnoff Ice, so swapping in DME would be consistent with that type of drink. Have you tried the ginger ale version? If so, is it close to what you have in mind? I've tried the root beer (yuck), cream soda (OK), and orange (YUM!) versions so far.

    Unfortunately, I didn't find any recipes for a hard ginger ale in a quick search, but I think the recipe you posted substituting the sugar for DME would be a good starting point.
     
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  7. Kevin67

    Kevin67 Junior

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    I'm in with this. I'd love to do a decent ginger beer (soda style).

    I'll keep an eye out for it and post my results here.

    All the best. Kevin.
     
  8. farmerjack

    farmerjack Junior

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    Why not make a batch of acceptable ginger ale and then add 5% ABV? Wouldn't a nearly tasteless highly distilled neutral spirit add the desired buzz but change the taste of the sugary drink very little?
     

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