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-   -   Ginger Mead (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/ginger-mead-358217/)

Arpolis 10-02-2012 03:28 AM

Ginger Mead
Hello everyone

A few weeks ago I had a friend that started asking all sorts of questions about mead and how to make it. We talked long about many aspects and eventually he explained that he tried to make a Ginger Ale (Beer) a long while back and failed miserably. He wanted to make Ginger mead but when told to visit this place or that for recipes, he wanted me to come up with one and make him a comprehensive step by step guide. So I did... Well that brings me to tonight. I talked real big but have not made ginger mead before. I have made several meads and wines now and a couple used some ginger but never strait ginger. Tonight I will test out what I told to him and make this myself. (For the record I did tell him I never done a ginger mead before) So below is my shot at ginger mead:

5 gallon batch

12 lb of Honey with two small bricks of honey comb from the raw honey
2oz "4 TBS" of crystallized ginger
1 TBS of powdered ginger
50 golden raisins cut in half
2.5 tsp of yeast nutrients
2 tsp of yeast energizer
Lalvin K1V-1116 Yeast

1) Mixed everything lack yeast and energizer together at room temp "No Boil"

2) Whipped the heck out of it with my home made wine whip.

3) Pitch yeast

4) Plan to add yeast energizer 24 & 48 hours after yeast pitch at 1 tsp each

5) Plan to let ferment dry then prime and bottle for sparkling ginger mead.

My OG is at 1.084 which is right at where I figured it would be. I estimated 1.086 and did not really scrub my honey containers clean so thought it would be just under. I should have 11.5% 12.0% ABV in the end. I will keep you up to date on progress.

fatbloke 10-02-2012 09:48 PM

Well the only thing I'd change is to eat the crystalised ginger and replace it with fresh ginger.

As to whether you're gonna get more of a ginger flavour from just fermenting it, or whether you find better guidance on extracting the ginger flavour from the root, I don't know.

My last attempt at ginger wine, I think that the recipe suggested something like 1lb per gallon, but I screwed up when I spotted ginger root on sale and used something like 4lb (so much sediment I had to mix it from a 1 gallon carboy, to a 3 US gallon water bottle, and it still had something like 4 inches of ginger sediment in the bottom).

Yes it did turn out dry, but when I've back sweetened a few bottles, damn it was good......

Arpolis 10-02-2012 10:29 PM

Ty FB for the input. I wanted the ginger to not be a dominant flavor but have the wild flower honey be a little more prominent. I actually tried to find fresh ginger and could not find any crazy enough. I actually thought in the back of my head that if I wanted more ginger flavor, I hoped to hunt up some fresh ginger and throw that in with the secondary after this clears and I have a good chance to taste it.

Arpolis 10-03-2012 02:48 AM

Just added 1st addition of yeast energizer & degased with wine whip. It smells like strong honey right now. Could not really pick out any ginger smell. Still rolling strong.

porcupine73 10-03-2012 03:13 AM

Oh that sounds good, I have done something roughly like this with organic grated ginger, and I will say, it is very very powerful. The taste is a bit rough at only two months out but dang if I haven't gone through the entire carboy pretty dang fast.

Excellent call on incorporating the honeycomb, I fully intended to do this, and forgot completely to ask my honey supplier about getting some. Bits of dead bee, yes, I want that, absolute bonus in my book.

Ginger seems a little funny in the ferment to me, it does impart a flavor, but for some reason it just doesn't seem 'hot' like if you bite into the raw root.

Now I will say, I do firmly believe ginger is a major contributor to the stupefying essence, particularly when some amount of the outer root is included / root 'skin'.

Arpolis 10-27-2012 04:13 PM

I checked on the mead today and was surprized at how cloudy it is with no real lees at the bottom. I took a gravity sample and it was at 1.052!?!

I added a tsp of yeast energizer and whine whiped / shook it up real good to degass it. The airlock is moving again so lets see how it goes.

fatbloke 10-27-2012 05:48 PM

Just for info. If you do track down a piece of ginger, it seems that the hotter part of the flavour is in the outer part of the root. So I tend to just rinse and scrub the outer surface to remove any dirt and mud. Then just grate it all, skin, the lot.

Arpolis 01-08-2013 11:41 PM

Well here is a quick update on the mead. The Damn thing still has some bubbles rising but I noticed today that it looks like it is on the down slope and starting to really clear. This is the longest fermenting mead I have had by far. If I leave it alone I bet in another 2 - 3 weeks it should be clear enough for first racking. I gave this a Half shot sized taste and I must say it is really smooth. Smells of honey and has a wonderful dry white wine kind of after smell. Tastes dry so is probably around the .998 range but I will not disturb it too much until after it is in secondary. However if there is any ginger taste it is lacking a lot. So I will pick up some fresh Ginger here soon and rack onto 2 1/2 pounds of it just washed rinsed and grated skin and all.

So far I am very pleased with the mead and already really like it. But I think it will be better with some more ginger and back sweetened probably to the 1.006ish area. I bet it will be darn good right at bottle with little aging. We will see how it goes in a month.

WVMJ 01-09-2013 12:42 AM

I thought you were just making a bottle of ginger mead from your first post :) Your solution to rack onto 2.5lb of ginger is worthy. Part of the cloudiness may come from it being a root and having stored starch down there, a little amyalase might help the clearinup. We usually take all the ginger, bash it up sking and all, pound or more gallon and simmer it down for 20 minutes. Toes have curled and locked in place after 1 swig, so you men of gentler persuaion might need to add a little less then we do out in the countriside. WVMJ

WVMJ 01-09-2013 12:49 AM

There is a new Asian market opening soon near us, will be very happy if they have lot os fresh ginger, galanga, golgi and someo ftheir better fruit concentrates. How about Betel Nut meads, what a beautiful red that would make! Cruising around in an Asian market offers so many fruits and weird stuff to ferment. WVMJ

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