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Old 11-19-2012, 05:17 PM   #1
shannonsj
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Default Beginner's attempt at Alcoholic Ginger Ale

I wanted to try something different from the kits I have been brewing and after looking at several different recipes I went with a mix of all of them:

6 lemons, zested and juiced
about 5-6 cups of cane sugar
2 Vanilla Beans in pods
2 cinnamon sticks
1 large piece of ginger about the size of your hand
1 tsp cyanne pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
t tsp yeast nutrient (just because I had it)



Mixed all of that in a food processor and then boiled it for about 15 minutes. Then I strained it and put it in the fermentor...brought the level to 8.5 quarts and allowed to cool a bit.

Pitched champagne yeast and closed it up. It's been going crazy for about 6days now and I think that's about enough. I will bottle it or throw it out tonight depending on the answer to this question :

Will it kill me?

I have seen lots of posts of similar, high octane recipes that used the entire lemons....but I wanted to avoid the bitterness of the rind....so I used just the zest and juice/pulp. I'm really worried about botulism....but don't know if I should be or not in this case....

Thoughts/criticisms? Bad jokes?


Thanks,


Steve

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Old 11-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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No, it won't kill you.

You need to let it ferment out, rather than trying to stop it when you think "it's about enough." It's not going to be sweet. It's going to be sour and dry. All of your sugar is sucrose and champagne yeast eats that well. If you want to back sweeten it, you'll have to use lactose or artificial sweetener (nasty, imo).

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Old 11-20-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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If you bottle now, you will most likely get bottle bombs. Shrapnel plus all that lemon and cayenne will cause for much pain upon cleanup.

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Old 11-20-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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That sounds like a really interesting recipe. I am not sure about the pepper, where did you get that idea from? I would be afraid it would end up a muddy mess with all those spice additions.

Like Captain said, it will ferment out dry but you can back sweeten it if you add some stuff to kill off the yeast first. I did it with a hard lemonade and it worked really well.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight
That sounds like a really interesting recipe. I am not sure about the pepper, where did you get that idea from? I would be afraid it would end up a muddy mess with all those spice additions.

Like Captain said, it will ferment out dry but you can back sweeten it if you add some stuff to kill off the yeast first. I did it with a hard lemonade and it worked really well.
I read thru a bunch of recipes and I think I saw pepper in one of them....it looked interesting so I tried it...

How do I carb it if I kill the yeast? My plan was to bottle it while still sweet, let it carb for a day or two, and then put it in a very cold fridge... wouldn't that stop the fermentation?
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:11 PM   #6
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Yeah, the cold will stall out the yeast. You would have to force carb it (keg it) if you killed the yeast.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonsj

I read thru a bunch of recipes and I think I saw pepper in one of them....it looked interesting so I tried it...

How do I carb it if I kill the yeast? My plan was to bottle it while still sweet, let it carb for a day or two, and then put it in a very cold fridge... wouldn't that stop the fermentation?
I've never done this but it is common practice when bottling into plastic bottles to let them carbonate until firm (rock hard) and refrigerate. They also have kits to attach one 2 liter bottle to another via a tube in the cap and drop a measured amount of baking soda into vinegar. I'm sure you could always fill one with water and double the amount of sugar to carbonate 1 bottle, kill off the yeast in your soda, and let it ferment out. Not sure how well that system holds up under pressure for extended periods of time though.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight
Yeah, the cold will stall out the yeast. You would have to force carb it (keg it) if you killed the yeast.
Well, it tasted really good yesterday so I bottled it in 1/2 liter plastic bottles...put it in the laundry room to carb up....I think it will only take a couple of days based in how firm the bottles were this morning...

I did think the pepper was a bit strong when sampling at room temperature...I'm hoping that it will be just right when ice cold.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:45 PM   #9
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Cooper's has a ginger beer can kit that they can't sell in this country. Something used in it isn't FDA kosher here. Too bad,the Aussie's think it's good.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:23 PM   #10
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Did you at least check the gravity to see if its stable? It sounds like a red flag with how fast the bottle is carbing up. A 7 day fermentation seems fast. Doable, but wouldn't think it was safe to bottle until I knew the gravity was stable.

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