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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Spiced Ginger Ale Mead???
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default Spiced Ginger Ale Mead???

Well.. First off, HELLO EVERYBODY!

I'm new here I hope to lean a lot and all advice will be very appreciated!

Just about 2 weeks ago i had this semi-sudden interest in home brewing, especially in beer.. I want to be able to make what i want, when I want it.. But mainly it's to find out how great a beer i can come up with & to experiment.. A LOT! (and I really want to be able to make a nice good ol' stout.. mmmmm... )

Anyway! My first attempt was about 13 days ago.. still goin' at it. I used a simple ginger ale recipie.. with my own little twists (I don't know if they were the best moves.. but they seemed right); I took 500 grams of molasses, some powdered indian white ginger, about a cup of sugar, 11gr. of bakers yeast (i hear its not the best but its all i could find) and 5 gallons of water all in a five gallon tinted plastic carboy.. with as tight a lid as i could find.. it was 'airtight', though i doubt it was as airtight as needed, this is what i made my primary with.

Now comes the "to experiment" part; 4-5 days after i started the primary i saw that fermentation was SLOW. I tasted it.. it was yeasty but gave me a slight buzz after drinking 400ml or so. ... Anyway i decided to do a second fermentation as not to let all the trub interfere with the yeasts activity.. i had realized that the sugar i put earlier wasn't enough... SOOOOOOOO I got a cup and a 1/4 of sugar, a cup of honey, a bit of molasses, some more ginger, some cinnamon sticks and powdered cinnamon, some whole and powdered cloves and a tad bit more honey! i boiled and put it in after cooling during the pouring of the primary into the secondary carboy.. .. ... .

A week or so passes and i check up on it and it looks VERY VERY VERRRY SLOW.. barely and gas on top.. though there was some so that must have been a good sign.. the lid must have not been tight enough... ANYWAY, I decide to get some thiamine HCL and add 1 cup brown sugar and 4 cups sugar.. couldn't get the thiamine yet so I boiled the sugar up and then put it in my brew...

-THE QUESTION..s! : A) What would be a correct name for such a brew? Considering the ingredients used?

B) Please point out all the wrong things I may have done so that I'd not repeat them...

C) how much time should I wait? it's been in secondary for a week..

D) There is NO home brewing equipment around here... I need tips on making my own!!!!

E) ANY ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED! THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!!!!



-M.

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Old 09-19-2009, 02:53 PM   #2
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I'd personally consider this a wine, given the combination of molasses and sugar with an addition of honey. If I were you, I'd likely stick with sugar, though I don't know which would be the least expensive ingredient for you in Bahrain. Molasses may give off flavors and I'd keep molasses additions to a minimum. If you want to make mead, skip the sugar and molasses altogether.

You don't appear to have many nutrients, thus the slow fermentation. Try adding 4-5 dates, a handful pf raisins, or other fruits for each gallon next time to provide the nutrients your yeast needs. Also, 4-5 cups of sugar, honey, or molasses per gallon will provide you with a wine strength beverage. Don't know how high your yeast will go before it gives up. After fermentation is complete, make sure your vessel is airtight and topped to fullness and allow it to rest undisturbed for several months in a cool dark place.

Finally, trub is a beer term. The term used in wine making is "lees".

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Old 09-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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thanks a lot for the tips! but u a few questions are raised in me yet again!

Can i use dried fruits as nutrients in ANY brew? or just wine?

and i used about 2 cups of sugar, mollases or honey for each gallon.. is that enough..? do i add some more?

and How do i know that fermentation is complete without the use of brwing equipment????? this i have to know!

Thnks again in advance summersolistice! and anyone else who'd answer!

M.

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Old 09-19-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're trying to do way too much with your first batch, and the addition of fruit at this point would be overkill x1000000. Simplicity is your best friend when you're first starting out (said the guy who just bottled his 4th batch). Be patient, and I say give it another week or so due to the high amount of sugars that were added. Did you check the wort temperature before adding your yeast?

Also, did you get a hydrometer with your brew supplies? It's about the only way you'll be able to tell if fermentation is done (comparing initial and final gravities=ABV%). If you don't have one, no worries, but I guarantee one of those is well worth the $10-$15.

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Old 09-19-2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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Where exactly do i find a hydrometer?? :/

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Old 09-20-2009, 03:00 AM   #6
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Where exactly do i find a hydrometer?? :/
Exactly. The advice I've given has been an attempt to help you to make the best possible wine or mead given the reality of the lack of home brew supplies in a Muslim country. You're not going to be able to find a hydrometer, air lock, or drilled rubber stoppers

I don't know if you're going to be able to find two row barley or any of the other grains you'll need to make beer so perhaps you'd be better sticking to wine and mead. If you're able to find the grain to make beer, you don't need to worry about nutrients. Other than that, the fruits will provide good nutrients for your wine and mead.

Yes, assuming your yeast can handle it, I'd go with four cups of sugar per gallon. If it turns out sweet using four cups, that means your yeast is not able to convert the sugars to alcohol and you'll need to back down to maybe three cups per gallon. Keep experimenting until you get the sweetness you like.

Assuming you can't find an air lock and a drilled rubber stopper, use a baloon with a pin prick hole and stretch the balloon over the mouth of your container. When fermentation is active, the ballooon will expand.When fermentation is complete, the balloon will deflate. At that time, cover the container as tightly as possible but leave room for gas to escape. Fermentations should be complete in about 2-3 months. The wine or mead is much better if you allow it to sit for several onths to a year.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
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hey! That helps a whole lot! thanks for the balloon tip especially!



- M.

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Old 09-20-2009, 08:02 AM   #8
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Ah-didn't see you were in Bahrain...

Are there no websites you can order from that ship overseas?

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Old 09-20-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ArabianBeerfest View Post
hey! That helps a whole lot! thanks for the balloon tip especially!



- M.
Sure - no problem. PM me if you'd like more specific advice. It reminds me of trying to make wine here in the US 40 years ago when all the specialized equipment and ingredients weren't available. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by scrambledegg81 View Post
Ah-didn't see you were in Bahrain...

Are there no websites you can order from that ship overseas?
actually i think i can... but i'm not sur customs would allow it.. :/ i'l try with something cheap just to see.. any good websites????

Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice
Sure - no problem. PM me if you'd like more specific advice. It reminds me of trying to make wine here in the US 40 years ago when all the specialized equipment and ingredients weren't available. Good luck!
! that's great!!! so u know how it is! And thanks a billion! i'll be sure to ask u if i have any more questions about wine making!

I tried it today... it tasted like cloves! CLOVES! nothing else.. maple syrup and cloves.. it gave me a nice buzz though anyway im thinking of adding some dried fruit and more yeast and sugar.. or no sugar.. i dunno! what should i do?? what fruitgoes best with cloves.. flavor wise... oh the 'wine' is fizzy! and i'm considering doingt this next step in a week and going into tertiary fermentation... any advice????
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