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Old 12-23-2011, 01:29 AM   #1
joe_schmo
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Default How Do You Make Alcoholic Ginger Beer Using Ginger Root?

Hi, I am having trouble finding a recipe for alcoholic ginger beer that is actually made with ginger root, also if the recipe is for a 5 gallon bucket that would be even better. Can anyone help?

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Old 12-23-2011, 01:44 AM   #2
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Ginger is pretty strong, so I wouldn't use much. A 1/2 ounce at the most would work for a 5 gallon batch, but even that's pushing it, as far as I'm concerned. A friend of mine had way too much in his ginger beer, I think he used an ounce. Do you do extract, or all grain? If you do extract, use about 6 to 8 pounds of LME, an ounce of centennial hops for full boil, and no more than a 1/2 ounce of grated ginger root for 15 minutes of the boil. I'd use something like US-05 for the yeast.

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:32 AM   #3
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Diod Sinsir (Ginger Beer) Recipe
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:40 AM   #4
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I recall searching in the past and finding a number of ginger beer recipes on this forum, but I don't recall at the moment how alcoholic they were. I think most were of the low alcohol type, more like a soft drink or ginger ale.

To make the original style of ginger beer, the so-called authentic variety, you will need ginger beer plant, which is a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria, similar to a Kombucha SCOBY. The important organisms are Saccharomyces pyriformis, a yeast, and Brevibacterium vermiforme, a bacterium. There are some internet sources for obtaining it.

The Ginger Beer Plant
Happy Herbalist Ginger Beer Plant
Yemoos Ginger Beer Plant

Looks like the first two sources are currently out of stock.

Here is a blog from The Guardian in the UK that provides some interesting history, and gives a recipe for making it that uses real GBP. It is a low-alcohol version. However, read all the lengthy comments afterward. Several people discuss making high alcohol ginger beer. Apparently, you could substitute a beer yeast or a high-alcohol champagne or wine yeast instead of using the GBP and make a high alcohol version.

How to make real ginger beer

Good luck.

If you succeed, please do let us all know what you did and how it turned out.

Edit: Adding ginger to regular Skeeter Pee might produce something fascinating and similar to ginger beer too. Skeeter Pee will typically go to around 10%.

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Just go out and find a bottle of DFH's Pangea...now THAT is how you use ginger in a beer, you can hardly notice it but it helps to balance out the spice of the beer...it became my personal favorite this year...supplies are limited though.

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by homebeerbrewer View Post
Ginger is pretty strong, so I wouldn't use much. A 1/2 ounce at the most would work for a 5 gallon batch, but even that's pushing it, as far as I'm concerned. A friend of mine had way too much in his ginger beer, I think he used an ounce. Do you do extract, or all grain? If you do extract, use about 6 to 8 pounds of LME, an ounce of centennial hops for full boil, and no more than a 1/2 ounce of grated ginger root for 15 minutes of the boil. I'd use something like US-05 for the yeast.
homebeerbrewer,
I would like a strong ginger flavor but not something that is undrinkable. Do you still think that I should use 1/2 ounce?

Thanks everyone for replying.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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I made a ginger beer last year that turned out great IMO using 2oz of fresh grated ginger, 1oz at 15min and 1oz at 5min I think. It was a fairly malty beer which helped balence the ginger flavor, I don't have the recipe in front of me so I can't give specifics at the moment...

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Old 12-23-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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Joe, my friend's beer wasn't undrinkable at all, but the ginger was way too strong for my liking. If that's what you want, go for it. I brewed a ginger beer a few years ago, and with a half ounce, I thought it was good. I guess it's up to the individual.

Nathanthn, if you don't mind, post your recipe. Was it extract, or all-grain?

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