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Old 01-12-2013, 04:01 AM   #1
Alcoholalchemy
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Default Is ginger beer more intoxicating?

I recently brewed a ginger beer which finished out around 4.5% ABV, but I've noticed that it is very intoxicating. The friends that have sampled it agree. The buzz comes on almost immediately, before you finish your first glass. Ginger is a vasodialator, meaning it promotes increased blood flow. This is why ginger is good for digestion and is said to warm you up. So it seems that because of increased circulation, the alcohol is absorbed more readily into the blood stream. I've only had a few commercial ginger beers and I haven't really kept my eye out for this effect. Anyone have a similar experience.

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Old 01-12-2013, 04:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alcoholalchemy View Post
I recently brewed a ginger beer which finished out around 4.5% ABV, but I've noticed that it is very intoxicating. The friends that have sampled it agree. The buzz comes on almost immediately, before you finish your first glass. Ginger is a vasodialator, meaning it promotes increased blood flow. This is why ginger is good for digestion and is said to warm you up. So it seems that because of increased circulation, the alcohol is absorbed more readily into the blood stream. I've only had a few commercial ginger beers and I haven't really kept my eye out for this effect. Anyone have a similar experience.
Have a recipe? At least how much ginger and batch size for some frame of reference?
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:57 AM   #3
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Maybe it’s the river. As the level of the Mississippi goes down to historic lows, who knows what you’re sucking up? You could be getting thousand year old dreck.

Seriously though, I’ve never heard of anyone getting a buzz on ginger. I thought we had tried everything in the 70's. Yet if you take hundreds of chemicals in hundreds of combinations, there are millions of possibilities.

Give us your recipe, please. More research is required.

Enquiring minds and all.

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:07 AM   #4
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Maybe it’s the river. As the level of the Mississippi goes down to historic lows, who knows what you’re sucking up? You could be getting thousand year old dreck.

Seriously though, I’ve never heard of anyone getting a buzz on ginger. I thought we had tried everything in the 70's. Yet if you take hundreds of chemicals in hundreds of combinations, there are millions of possibilities.

Give us your recipe, please. More research is required.

Enquiring minds and all.
Just go heavy on the nutmeg, or so I've heard.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:18 PM   #5
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So here is this recipe. It was based off of the the popular ginger beer recipe that's floating around here but I had to do some last minute improvisation. This is my first recipe post! Yehaw!


Bellywarmer Gingered Ale

For the Mash:

4 Lbs II Row
1.5 Lbs Pils

Mashed @ 165 F for 60 minutes until iodine test was negative for starches. I did sparge @ 170 F, but unfortunately the mashing section of my notes was not very detailed. I ended up with a pre-boil volume of around 4.5 gallons.

For the Boil:

Boil Amount Item

60 min 1 oz. Sorachi Ace
60 min .5 oz. US Saaz
60 min 6 oz. Ginger Root (peeled and finely chopped)
60 min 3 Lbs Light Honey

30 min 2 oz. Ginger Root (peeled and finely chopped)
30 min 2 Lemons Juiced

15 min 1 Tsp Irish Moss

10 mins 3.75 oz. Ginger Root (peeled and finely chopped)
10 mins 1 oz. US Fuggle
10 mins 2 Lemon Zest

Pitched Safale US-05

OG 1.074
FG 1.040


I'm in between set-ups right now so that's why all of this is so all over the place. I ended up with about 4 gallons and filled one 1.25 L mini keg and bottled the rest. Out of the bottle it tastes a little more sweet and and caramelly with a nice ginger punch. From the keg it is a bit lighter but the same balance is there. One of the best I've made for sure.

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Old 01-13-2013, 11:23 PM   #6
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Are you sure about that final gravity number? 1.040 seems awfully high with 3lbs of honey. Maybe your 4.5% abv beer is really 7%

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcoholalchemy View Post
I recently brewed a ginger beer which finished out around 4.5% ABV, but I've noticed that it is very intoxicating. The friends that have sampled it agree. The buzz comes on almost immediately, before you finish your first glass. Ginger is a vasodialator, meaning it promotes increased blood flow. This is why ginger is good for digestion and is said to warm you up. So it seems that because of increased circulation, the alcohol is absorbed more readily into the blood stream. I've only had a few commercial ginger beers and I haven't really kept my eye out for this effect. Anyone have a similar experience.
Short of speeding up digestion, shooting it, or giving yourself an alcohol enema thereby avoiding first-pass metabolism you cannot absorb alcohol any more quickly than it already happens. About 98% of the alcohol you consume is absorbed by the small intestine with a few minutes of consumption. It's very efficient.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:01 AM   #8
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Short of speeding up digestion, shooting it, or giving yourself an alcohol enema thereby avoiding first-pass metabolism you cannot absorb alcohol any more quickly than it already happens. About 98% of the alcohol you consume is absorbed by the small intestine with a few minutes of consumption. It's very efficient.
I'm not disagreeing with you or trying to be contrary, but considering alcohol is absorbed by the fluid in your blood which is then pumped throughout your body, wouldn't this be speeding up the absorption of alcohol by the body? Ginger definitely increases circulation, so it seems reasonable to me.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:35 PM   #9
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Are you sure about that final gravity number? 1.040 seems awfully high with 3lbs of honey. Maybe your 4.5% abv beer is really 7%
I'm pretty sure about the gravity measurement. It finished on the sweeter side. One thing I questioned was the temperatures that I took my readings at. I did the math at several different temperatures just to check and the highest ABV would be around 4.8%. If it is as high as 7%, it is very well balanced. The effect seems faster than just a buzz from a 7% beer too. There's always the chance that I read it wrong, but I'll just have to brew it 10 more times and collect some better data. (:
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