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-   -   Easy Ginger Ale (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f171/easy-ginger-ale-208888/)

Yooper 11-30-2010 12:01 AM

Easy Ginger Ale
 
1 cup cane (table) sugar [sucrose]
Freshly grated ginger root (1 1/2-2 tablespoons)
Juice of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon yeast- I like Red Star Champagne yeast
cold fresh pure water- use RO, spring water or something that tastes good!

This recipe makes a 2L soda bottle of ginger ale, or you can use individual bottles. Sanitize all equipment with a food-safe sanitizer. I like Star-san.

Grate the ginger, using fresh ginger root.
Add 1 cup sugar to the 2 liter bottle with a dry funnel. (Leave the funnel in place until you are ready to cap the bottle.) If you want to use individual bottles, you can mix up the ingredients in a pitcher, and then pour into the bottles. Sometimes I let the ingredients sit overnight in the pitcher (except for the yeast) and then strain into the bottle the next day, and add the yeast at that time. This helps you not to have any "floaties" in the soda!

NOTE: Many have asked about bottling ginger ale in glass bottles. I do not recommend it because ginger ale is a very aggressive fermenter, producing high pressure fairly rapidly. Plastic bottles can be felt to judge pressure. Glass cannot. Tardy refrigeration can lead to explosions. Exploding plastic bottles are messy. Exploding glass botles are dangerous...

Measure out 1/4th teaspoon fresh yeast.
Add yeast through funnel into the bottle, shake to disperse the yeast grains into the sugar granules. Add the grated ginger to a cup measure.

Juice a whole lemon. (Lemon is optional, giving a little tartness to the ginger ale. Try it both ways to see which you prefer. I like them both.) Add the juice of a whole lemon to the grated ginger. Stir the lemon juice and grated ginger to form a slurry. Add the slurry of lemon juice and grated ginger to the bottle. (It may stick in the funnel. Don't worry, the next step will wash it into the bottle.) Rinse containers with fresh clean water. Add the rinsings to the bottle, cap and shake to distribute. Fill the bottle to the neck with fresh cool clean water, leaving about an inch of head space, securely screw cap down to seal. Invert repeatedly to thoroughly dissolve sugar. (The ginger root will not dissolve, of course.)

Place in a warm location for 24 to 48 hours. (Do not leave at room temperature longer than necessary to feel "hard." The excess pressure may cause an eruption when you open it, or even explode the bottle! Test to see if carbonation is complete by squeezing the bottle forcefully with your thumb. If it's not rock hard, it's not ready!

Once the bottle feels hard to a forceful squeeze, usually only 24-48 hours, place in the refrigerator. Before opening, refrigerate at least overnight to thoroughly chill. Crack the lid of the thoroughly chilled ginger ale just a little to release the pressure slowly. You do not want a ginger ale fountain!

NOTE: Do not leave the finished ginger ale in a warm place any longer than the time it takes for the bottle to feel hard. Leaving it at room temperature longer than two days, especially in the summer when the temperature is high, can generate enough pressure to explode the bottle! Once it is thoroughly chilled, there is little danger of explosion.

Filter the ginger ale through a strainer if you find floating pieces of ginger objectionable. These are found in the first glass or two poured, and, since most of the ginger sinks to the bottom, the last glass or so may require filtering too. Rinse the bottle out immediately after serving the last of the batch.

For kegging, mix up the ingredients in a pitcher, minus the yeast. You can double/triple/etc the recipe. Carb up at 30 psi at 40 degrees, and use a LONG line to dispense!

I have experimented with boiling the water/sugar/ginger water, and it was a far more subtle "ginger" bite type of soda. I've used more ginger, too, and liked it better. But the amount in the recipe is a good place to start if you don't know if you love ginger or not!

r2eng 12-06-2010 02:31 AM

Mmmmm! I will try this for my kids, but force carb in a 2-liter bottle.

Thanks!

Yooper 12-06-2010 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r2eng (Post 2454663)
Mmmmm! I will try this for my kids, but force carb in a 2-liter bottle.

Thanks!

I use the 2L bottle all the time- for me. I started using more ginger, too, over the last year or so since I'm the only one who drinks it.

I wish I still had kids at home, to fill full of sugary snacks and junk food. I sure miss those days!

r2eng 12-06-2010 12:37 PM

Yeah, but the grandkids will come over for you to sugar-load and send home!

Mine are teenagers, so I don't have too long...

SwampassJ 02-12-2011 12:14 PM

I ended up boiling everything then steeping the last 1/3 of the ginger at flame out for 5 minutes before cooling in the sink. How fast should this carb up? Should I put it out in the garage since I won't be home this afternoon?

Coastarine 02-12-2011 12:29 PM

I may just have to try this since you made it sound so easy. I don't suppose you've ever weighed the ginger instead of going by the tbs. Many of us have scales already.

credible2 02-21-2011 12:12 AM

Have you tried using the zest of the lemon? I might do that when I make mine.

SwampassJ 02-21-2011 05:18 PM

Nice little experiment turned out bad because of my faults. I used some S-05 because I didn't want to drive 40 minutes for chapagne yeast and I stuck it in the fridge too early, well SWMBO stuck it in too early since I wasn't home and she lacks the Kung Fu grip.

S-05 made it very sulfury and not at all pleasant. It tasted like the inside of my lager fridge smells.

Yooper 02-21-2011 07:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwampassJ (Post 2666897)
Nice little experiment turned out bad because of my faults. I used some S-05 because I didn't want to drive 40 minutes for chapagne yeast and I stuck it in the fridge too early, well SWMBO stuck it in too early since I wasn't home and she lacks the Kung Fu grip.

S-05 made it very sulfury and not at all pleasant. It tasted like the inside of my lager fridge smells.

Darn, that's too shame. Maybe it'll get better with time? I don't know, I never used ale yeast with soda. I like champagne yeast because it's so neutral flavored, but I always have some in the fridge for winemaking.

I've been forcecarbing soda lately, though, not not using yeast at all. I like that even better!

SwampassJ 02-21-2011 08:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yooper (Post 2667405)
I've been forcecarbing soda lately, though, not not using yeast at all. I like that even better!

That is the exact reasoning I've been badgering someone for a kegging set up since last year. I really want to make some rootbeer and keg beer, most keg beer though.


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