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Old 10-28-2005, 12:22 AM   #1
Windaria
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Default Brewing non-alcoholic drinks like Ginger Ale?

Wasn't sure where to post this but here we go...

I have heard that you can brew your own ginger ale at home. My question is... every recipe I see calls for yeast... but wouldn't that make alcohol? My wife LOVES the natural ginger ale, and if I could make some then it begins to justify this hobby (as with the people who do corona or the other light beer for their girls). Point is... she doesn't like alcohol (with the exception of the occasional glass of wine), and it strikes me that these recipes would effectively create a ginger-flavored beer.

Thoughts?

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Old 10-28-2005, 12:37 AM   #2
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I just finished off a couple of 2 liter bottles of homebrew ginger ale and can tell you that it's really good stuff.

It's really easy to do too.

I used
4.5 liters water.
2 oz fresh grated ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
fresh squeezed juice from 2 lemons and 1 lime.

Safale S-04 Ale Yeast

I boiled the ginger, sugar and honey for 5 minutes. I added the lemon/lime juice after boiling and let it cool slowly covered with a lid to steep the ginger. When cool, I strained out the ginger by pouring through a sanatized fine meshed hop bag into my bottling bucket and pitched 1/2 tsp of dry yeast that had been hydrating in 1/2 cup water with 2 Tbsp sugar.

I botteled it up in 2 sanatized 2 liter soda bottles leaving about 2" of headspace, shake it vigorously and set it on the counter for 3 days. Put them in the fridge when the bottles are good and hard when you squeeze them. The refrigeration will settle the yeast out and slow the fermentation down to a crawl.

With this method, you esentially shut down the fermentation as soon as it gets started and the alcohol production is less than 1/4 percent.

Good stuff with stomach setteling properties. I like the fresh ginger flavor but my wife thought it was too gingery. Give it a go and adjust your next batch. It will now be a staple in my house.

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Old 10-28-2005, 01:10 AM   #3
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But that still has alohol in it then... is there any way to actually brew ginger ale without the alcohol? I mean how do the commercial brewers do it (the ones that actually brew real ginger ale)?

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Old 10-28-2005, 01:57 AM   #4
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I really doubt anyone could detect 1/4% ABV. You can use Scott's recipe, leave the yeast out and force carbonate.

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Old 10-28-2005, 02:07 AM   #5
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So it is really just for the carbonation then?

Also... part of the concern is because she is prenant (1st child), so we are a bit paranoid.

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Old 10-28-2005, 02:07 AM   #6
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Woo hoo! I am now a senior member! No idea how but hey!

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Old 10-28-2005, 02:18 AM   #7
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Senior member = blabber mouth (more than 100 posts) I hit that in six days.

FAS is tied to chronic alcoholism. Moderate amounts of alcohol can actually help a pregnancy by improving blood flow. I've seen a couple reports that it can also improve milk production.

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Old 10-28-2005, 02:37 AM   #8
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Yeah, I know it means blabber mouth, but I was just making my own celebration of being one. That's all.

The reports that I read indicate that it doesn't do anything good for blood flow and actually inhibits milk production though...

Anyway... back to my last question, so all the yeast is for is for carbonation? It isn't a flavor thing at all?

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Old 10-28-2005, 02:42 AM   #9
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You can carbonate without yeast in soda bottles if you have a co2 bottle/regulator, a corny keg ball lock gas fitting and a carbonater.

I've got all that but it seems too much trouble to me. The yeast method is easy and the alcohol is not perceptable, the yeast doesn't add much flavor if at all. Probably adds some vitamin B12 and as others have said, small amounts of alcohol is good for you even for pregnant mothers.

Heck when I was in the UK back in the 80's, the doctors actually perscribed 1/2 pint of Guiness per day to expecting mothers for the iron content and B12.

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-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

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Old 10-29-2005, 03:07 PM   #10
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My daughter and I recently made a couple of gallons of cream soda using soda extract that I got at my local HBS. The recipe calls for 1/4 tsp. of yeast per gallon. That's not much. It sits in the bottles for 4 days to carbonate and then you refrigerate it to stop fermentation. There's no noticeable alcohol flavor. Instructions say that the alcohol content is negligible.

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