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Old 05-25-2010, 01:17 AM   #1
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Default Help with my Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)???

Hello,

I made my first soda from scratch. It was the Chinese Ginger Beer Recipe from the Cresswel Homemade Soda Book.

The recipe was for 1 gallon with
2 ounces of grated ginger root
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 small squeezed mandarin juice (I added this)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey (I changed this from sugar to honey)
1/4 t. ale yeast

I just put them in the fridge 1 hour ago after fermenting and there seems to be a thick layer (1 inch) of sediment like soda near the bottom (12 oz glass bottles). I'm assuming this is the ginger but I put the ginger in a fine brewers bag. Is this sediment layer normal? Should I shake it up before serving to mix up the sediment?

Also, it is not very strong. It has a ginger bite aftertaste but you don't taste the ginger much at first. Will it get stronger after a few days? Any suggestion for making the ginger taste stronger or giving the overall soda more flavor?

Any other tips would be appreciated. I liked my Rainbow Ginger Beer better but I like the idea of making soda from scratch.

Thanks, Doug

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Old 05-25-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
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Hello,

I made my first soda from scratch. It was the Chinese Ginger Beer Recipe from the Cresswel Homemade Soda Book.

The recipe was for 1 gallon with
2 ounces of grated ginger root
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 small squeezed mandarin juice (I added this)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup honey (I changed this from sugar to honey)
1/4 t. ale yeast

I just put them in the fridge 1 hour ago after fermenting and there seems to be a thick layer (1 inch) of sediment like soda near the bottom (12 oz glass bottles). I'm assuming this is the ginger but I put the ginger in a fine brewers bag. Is this sediment layer normal? Should I shake it up before serving to mix up the sediment?

Also, it is not very strong. It has a ginger bite aftertaste but you don't taste the ginger much at first. Will it get stronger after a few days? Any suggestion for making the ginger taste stronger or giving the overall soda more flavor?

Any other tips would be appreciated. I liked my Rainbow Ginger Beer better but I like the idea of making soda from scratch.

Thanks, Doug
I assume you put it in the fridge after 24-48 hours at room temperature? It's already carbonated?

I tell you that I've had some issues with ginger ale myself. LOTS of sediment. What I started doing was making the soda (except for yeast), and then letting it sit a few days, then straining and adding the yeast. It helps a lot. I think the pulp from the citrus and the fiberous ginger are to blame. I make it in pitchers, then put it into bottles after a day or two, and pour through a strainer (and pour gently so the crud stays on the bottom).

You can use more ginger next time. That's what I've found is the best- just make it again with more ginger until you get the "bite" you want. It generally doesn't get stronger in the fridge.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:34 AM   #3
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YooperBrew or anyone else,

Thank you for the quick and detailed response. A couple of follow-up questions...

1. Do you refrigerate your ginger ale when its sitting for a few days?

2. When you strain after a few days, is this your first straining or do you strain it before you let it sit?

3. Do you find you get more flavor by adding the grated ginger into the water and then straining versus putting it in a brew bag? Does the brew bag limit flavor?

4. How do you strain to prevent sediment.....do you use cheesecloth or just a fine metel strainer?

5. Since my ginger ale is not strong enough, would you poor it into a glass and stir up the sediment to increase flavor or is the sediment unlikely to have a lot of flavor?

Thanks again, Doug

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Old 05-25-2010, 04:00 AM   #4
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YooperBrew or anyone else,

Thank you for the quick and detailed response. A couple of follow-up questions...

1. Do you refrigerate your ginger ale when its sitting for a few days?

2. When you strain after a few days, is this your first straining or do you strain it before you let it sit?

3. Do you find you get more flavor by adding the grated ginger into the water and then straining versus putting it in a brew bag? Does the brew bag limit flavor?

4. How do you strain to prevent sediment.....do you use cheesecloth or just a fine metel strainer?

5. Since my ginger ale is not strong enough, would you poor it into a glass and stir up the sediment to increase flavor or is the sediment unlikely to have a lot of flavor?

Thanks again, Doug
1. I use plastic bottles, and I let them sit at room temperature until they get hard, then stick them in the fridge. Well, I used to. I keg now, and use the "carbonator cap" which is awesome. No yeast, and ginger ale homemade in just a few minutes.

2. What I do is make it up and put it in pitchers. I keep it at room temperature for a while, then put it in the fridge. I just put everything in the pitcher and let it "steep". Then, I just strain in a day or two through a sanitized strainer (the kind you use for gravys and soups- a small metal one) and into the soda bottles. No cheesecloth, but that's not a bad idea! Through cheesecloth and a funnel would definitely keep out the big goobers.

Actually, 1 and 2 are reversed, I guess. Make it first, then bottle it (of course).

3. Never used a bag, just put it all in. I'll say that I've made it lots of different ways. The best is simply fresh ginger grated, and a squeeze of lemon and sugar to taste. I've tried simmering the ginger for a while, and while that was good it didn't have the ginger "bite" that I like. It was a softer ginger, if that makes sense. Mix up it, and when it tastes great to you, then I'd say it is done. Not too scientific, I know, but some people don't like lemon in it. Some like more ginger, less ginger, honey, etc. Remember that it'll taste the same carbed up as it does now- just fizzier and hence a bit less sweet. (Even notice that flat cola tastes sweeter than fizzy cola? Same principle).

4. Answered above, I think!

5. The sediment will also have yeast lees in it- which doesn't taste good in my opinion. I am a person who doesn't like "floaties" in anything, though- I drink clear wine, clear beer, clear soda, etc. If you like it, swirl it up and drink it! It won't hurt you at all, and is probably pretty good for you (lotsa B vitamins, I would guess).
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
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Thanks for the response. One more beginner questions......

What do you mean by steep the ginger? Do you just boil the water, turn off heat and put in ginger OR do you let it boil a while?

Thanks, Doug

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Old 05-25-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response. One more beginner questions......

What do you mean by steep the ginger? Do you just boil the water, turn off heat and put in ginger OR do you let it boil a while?

Thanks, Doug
No, I just put it in the water cold. I don't boil it. I have in the past, and it wasn't as spicy. So, I just put everything together cold. I've used some hot water just to dissolve the sugar, but everything else is room temperature.
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Old 05-31-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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Why screw around with yest when you can just force carbonate? I made a 2 liter batch of ginger beer and it ready to drink an hour later. It turned out great and no mucking around with sanitation, pitching yest, etc.

To force carbonate I used the tire-valve/air chuck method which takes about $5-$10 of parts in addition to the cost of tank and regulator depending on where you buy the stuff.

[link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siwZnJDQQXk[/link]

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Old 05-31-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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Why screw around with yest when you can just force carbonate?
Simply because many soda makers don't have a supply of co2 around. For keggers, yes, it's much simpler to force carb. But for the majority of soda makers who don't have a regulator, a co2 tank, etc, the yeast is the way to go.

One package of champange yeast is about $.79 cents.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:39 AM   #9
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Why is sanitation not required when you force carbonate?

Also, how much is the cost of a tank and regulator? How much does it cost to fill the tank with CO2? How often do you typically need to refill the tank with CO2?

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Old 06-04-2010, 12:28 AM   #10
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Well I am going to give your ginger ale recipe a try. I hope I didn't screw it up too bad...haha.

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