Qs about ginger beer -- glass bottles, refrigeration
I am a total newbie to brewing, but want to try to brew up a batch of very lightly alcoholic ginger beer, using a recipe i got from a restaurant in london that brews its own.
I have been doing a little research online, but have a couple questions I can't find answers to.
1) If I refrigerate my ginger beer, does that pretty much stop fermentation or at least slow it down enough that I don't have to worry about letting out CO2 every day. (to avoid an explosition)
2) If refrigeration does the trick, then presumably it's OK to just go ahead and bottle the ginger beer in capped beer bottles? (i want to have single servings)
Thanks in advance for answers ...
p.s. if the ginger beer turns out well, I'll post the recipe.
p.p.s. the restaurant is Great Queen St in Convent Garden, London.
I hope it turns out well as I have been interested in an authentic ginger beer recipe. Good Luck!
Oh to answer depending on the yeast you use refrigeration will stop or slow fermentation.
Id be interested in the recipe, or at least one i could just force carbonate.
OK, finally got around to making this ... here is the recipe from Great Queen St (scribbled on a small piece of paper, so may be inaccurate):
4 lemons, peeled and squeezed
200g grated ginger
2 tbsp cream of tartar
5L boiling water
Boil, cool, add 2 Tbsp active dry yeast (i.e. baker's yeast)
Strain, bottle and leave for 1 day
This is what I actually did ...
Juice and zest of 4 limes (because that's what I had)
200g grated ginger
Several dashes of ground cloves (again, because that's what I had)
540g agave syrup (we ran out of sugar earlier in the day)
3 quarts water (I wanted to make it more gingery and I don't have giant pot, so I scaled down the water and sugar)
Brought the mixture to a boil, then simmered for an hour or so.
Cooled in a cold water bath, then added 1 package of red star pasteur champagne yeast (i think i read somewhere that champagne yeast is good for ciders, so it seemed like a reasonable choice -- again, i'm a newbie at this, so suggestions on a better yeast would be highly appreciated)
Left the stuff in the pot overnight, strained with a wire mesh strainer (should I have used cheesecloth?) and put into beer bottles, when i then capped.
Put the bottles in a relatively cool room (60-65F maybe) for about 24hrs, then refrigerated.
When I open the bottles, they seems to be over-carbonated and/or have too many little particles that serve as nucleation sites, so it immediately bubbles over. I probably lose 10-15% of the bottle before i can pour it into a glass. But, the ginger beer tastes great. Nice and gingery!
You may have added too much yeast. From everything I have read, with sodas like ginger ale and root beer you only need to add about 1/4 teaspoon of yeast for every 4 quarts of liquid. With fermenting beer it is different, since you are giving the yeast a couple of weeks to turn much of the sugar into alcohol. But for your purposes here, you simply need it to carbonate the soda.
I think the champagne yeast is a good choice, since it is known to have a more neutral flavor. I used dry active baker's yeast in my recent root beer brew, and while the yeast flavor is very very subtle, it is still there. I'm going back to champagne yeast for the next batch.
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