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Old 05-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
jamesdawsey
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Default Ginger Ale - Make it burn!

Ok guys, so I've put together a ginger ale that I like a lot. But it's missing one key element. Have you ever sipped, for example, a red rock ginger ale and coughed because of the strong bite that hits you right up front? Does anybody know how to make that happen? I've got a great tasting soda that has a lingering burn in the end, and I find that very pleasant.

Is the answer simply add more ginger?
Does the answer lie in red rocks use of ginger extract?
Is ginger like hops in that I need to simply add a small amount at flame out of my boil to avoid blowing off any volatile flavors from the root?

So here's my recipe and process. Any and all insight is definitely appreciated.

For 5 gallons ginger ale

Ingredients:
2 lbs. finely grated fresh ginger root
3.75 lbs. sugar
4.69 gallons water
1.25 cups lemon juice.
1 satchel of US-05

Directions:
Place the ginger, sugar, and water into your boiling kettle and set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to steep for 1 hour.

Separate solution from ginger (I use a large steeping bag.), and add water to get up to 5 gallons. Chill quickly with immersion wort chiller until at least room temperature.

Dump into the fermenter and add yeast and lemon juice. Let ferment like a beer and keg that baby. Ends up being about 3%-4%ABV and very refreshing.



Any and all insight is definitely appreciated. Thanks!

*Edit: I made this again and bumped it up to 2.5 lbs of ginger, and the burn at the end increased slightly, but nothing new up front.



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Old 05-17-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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From the book "fix the pumps", the famous bite is a fake... capsicum from pepper must be used (and is for caribbean style) because real ginger bite cannot survive an acidic environment for more than a short time. He says you can try to minimize the acid in your ginger ale for a bit longer bottle life.

This fits in with peoples experiences of having homeade bottled taste only come back if you shake the settled debris... the problems isn't that the taste settled out, but once it leaves the protected encapsulation of the debris, it briefly flavors the liquid until is is wiped out by the carbonic or citric or whatever acid. There is a commercial brand with debris that tells you to shake before opening.

This problem was well known in the 1800's, and a secret process by canada dry and one other I forget (too much in a hurry at the mo to look up all this stuff) amazed the world by getting some semblance of lasting ginger flavor. But here canned ginger ale is tasteless water... I can tell by the shape of the can that it was canned 2000 miles away and shipped in an overheated boat... so even it isn't bulletproof.

I used to regret how it is almost impossible to get Vernors hot ginger ale here, and the huge price when you can... but now I gather it is a fake loaded with peppers. You can taste the difference. This is not a problem for freshly made ginger drink, or probably that kind of ginger jelly plant stuff.

P.s... a later glance at the book says acid ph should be between 4and 5, and to minimize sucrose, perhaps by inverting sugar... to extend gingerol more than a few hours.



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Old 05-19-2013, 03:04 AM   #3
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Would adding grains of paradise to the boil help in making that sharp bite?

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Old 05-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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Thanks Daft! I guess the ingredient "natural flavors" could include just about anything... I'll play with it.

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Old 06-09-2013, 01:15 AM   #5
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add more ginger. thats why mine has a bite.

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Old 06-09-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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More ginger. Lots. Not just grated - use a good blender to pulverize it with a bit of water. No need to peel it first, just clean well. Use every bit of it. Only heat long enough to dissolve the sugar, and don't over sweeten. When (if) you strain, use a mesh bag...and SQUEEZE!

Even so, the really good bite won't last longer than a week or two. Really good, fresh ginger ale just needs to be...fresh!

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Old 06-09-2013, 02:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
More ginger. Lots. Not just grated - use a good blender to pulverize it with a bit of water. No need to peel it first, just clean well. Use every bit of it. Only heat long enough to dissolve the sugar, and don't over sweeten. When (if) you strain, use a mesh bag...and SQUEEZE!

Even so, the really good bite won't last longer than a week or two. Really good, fresh ginger ale just needs to be...fresh!
So I have tried running the ginger root through a mini-food processor and then added this to the kegged using a hop sack. Also added some lemon peel, crushed coriander and grains of paradise.

Should I have boiled the ginger root? I have boiled it in the past and did not get as much flavor as I had hoped.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:49 PM   #8
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In my experience, adding 1/2 tsp of cayenne to 5 gallons of ginger beer (well, specifically to the 2.5 boiling gallon decoction) kicks up the heat nicely. 1 tsp for 5 gallons is definitely in the "hot" territory. And of course the cayenne settles with the other solids, so those bottles with more must/yeast at the bottom turn out hotter.

I'd also recommend at least 3 lbs of ginger for 5 gallons. It makes a bold brew, but the ginger essence stands up nice with the heat from the cayenne.

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Old 07-28-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
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If you bottle this do you carb the same way you would carb beer? i.e. 3/4 cups sugar?

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Old 07-28-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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Also, could i dump this on a yeast cake of an ale i am brewing with S 05?



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