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Old 09-26-2009, 07:30 AM   #1
Joe_L
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Sep 2009
NZ
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Hi all,

Firstly, apologies if there is not the correct place to ask this question. I was unable to find a more appropriate section.

I purchased a ginger beer starter bug with instructions from TradeMe (NZ's version of ebay).

However, this recipe is for a non-alcoholic version. Im wanting to alter it to an alcoholic version. I've searched high and low but couldn't quite get the right advice.

My current recipe is:

- Feed bug one teaspoon of sugar and ground ginger for 8 days.

- Mix four cups of sugar and 1.125L of warm water. Dissolve sugar. Add another 7 L of cold water and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.

- Strain liquid from bug. Add to mix.

- Bottle. Wait 2+ weeks. Consume.

So that's it. I was reading around and thought maybe doubling the sugar (in feeding stage) would have the effect of making it alcoholic?

Any/all suggestions would be very much appreciated :-)

 
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
tdavisii
 
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what is a bug? Here in the states we call insects bugs If you explain it a little better i might be able to help you out.

 
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Old 09-26-2009, 01:11 PM   #3
tdavisii
 
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I did a little looking on the internet for ya and figured out that the "BUG" is yeast. As far as what you are using as a fermenter im not sure. You are correct in your idea of adding more fermentables (sugars) will increase the alcohol content. Use some corn sugar/dextrose or some light dme. Either that or pour some vodka in the finished product.

 
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:04 PM   #4
homebrewer_99
 
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Feb 2005
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Here's what I did for my Gingered Ale:

7018 - Gingered Ale
Brewer: Bill Elwell
Email: [email protected]
Beer: 7018 - Gingered Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Type: Extract
Size: 5.25 gallons
Color: 7 HCU (~6 SRM)
Bitterness: 9 IBU
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.012
Alcohol: 4.4% v/v (3.5% w/w) (ACTUAL: 4.095% ABW / 5.119%ABV)
Water: Same procedure as always - 4 gal of PUR filtered tap water in the freezer for 4-5 hours prior to brewing.
Boil: 60 minutes
SG 1.162 @ 1.5 gallons


Ingredients:
5 lb. Extra Light DME
8 oz. Wheat DME
1.4 oz grated Ginger (I forgot the Irish Moss)


Hops:
.5 oz. Cascade (5.8% AA, 60 min.)
.5 oz. Cascade (5.8% AA, 30 min.)
.5 oz. Cascade (5.8% AA, 15 min.)


Yeast:
3rd generation Safale-56, dated 3/07.


Log:
BREW DATE: 25 May 07

Warm 1.5 gals of water.
Add and dissolve 1 lb XLDME and .5 oz of hops.
Boil 30 mins.

Add another .5 oz hops
Boil 15 mins. Remove from heat.

Add and dissolve .5 lb (8 oz) Wheat DME, 4 lbs XLDME, 1.4 oz Ginger, and .5 oz hops.
Let steep for 15 mins.

Sparge hops and ginger on way to primary and top off to 5.25 gals.

TEMP: 65F
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.010

Sample tastes spicy, hoppy. Some ginger flavor comes through. Pitch yeast.

2 Jun 07: Temp: 55 / Gravity: 1.011 – 1 = 1,010. Racked to secondary. Nice ginger flavor comes through. Light color and good body. Washed yeast.

Carbonation:
4 Jun 07: Same notes as above. Kegged. No priming solution. Gassed up to 20 psi to check for leaks.

Tasting:
30 Oct 07: This brew is still cloudy, but getting there. The ginger flavor comes through nicely. Definitely ginger. Some bite still comes through, but it is quite drinkable. Gassed up again to about 10 psi.

10 Mar 08: Gassed up to 30 psi.

11 Mar 08: Sampled a glass. This brew is very smooth, light ginger flavored and well balanced. Not harsh in any way. Very pleasant. All bite is gone. This is ready to share with others without fear. I like it.

1 Aug 08: I placed the keg on tap.

16 Aug 08: The beer has been on tap for 2 weeks, but I have been on travel most of that time. The brew has a very subtle flavor to it that is very enjoyable (to me). I only used 1.4 oz of ginger, but there is another recipe on HBT that uses 40 oz!! I think it’s a waste of ginger…but then I haven’t tasted it either.
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Old 09-26-2009, 03:18 PM   #5
jamesnsw
 
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Mar 2009
, Indiana
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Is the bug the same as ginger beer plant?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Ginger beer plant (GBP) is a composite organism consisting of a fungus, the yeast Saccharomyces florentinus (formerly Saccharomyces pyriformis) and the bacterium Lactobacillus hilgardii (formerly Brevibacterium vermiforme).[3][4] It forms a gelatinous substance that allows it to be easily transferred from one fermenting substrate to the next, much like kefir grains and tibicos.[5]
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:03 PM   #6
Joe_L
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Sep 2009
NZ
Posts: 2

I sure hope there aren't some insects floating around in there!
From what I understand, James is correct in that it is the ginger beer plant (comprised of ginger, sugar and yeast I think).

Thanks for the info HB Bill. This is my first time tinkering with brewing of any kind so I got a bit lost in the details.

Slipping vodka in the final product had crossed my mind but I'd love to get it jumped up through the brewing process.

Sorry to be a pain but what is DME? I thought I saw an abbreviations thread yesterday but couldn't find it today.

So...if I maybe double the sugar going into feeding the plant, that should hopefully give me an alcoholic result. Or would it be better to double the sugar when mixing, prior to bottling? ...Or both? Thanks everyone for your responses thus far!


 
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:18 PM   #7
robegero
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Jul 2009
Henderson, NV
Posts: 20

It certainly sounds like the ginger beer plant. There is a good talk about it on basic brewing radio:

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=60

August 31, 2006 - Brewing with the Ginger Beer Plant
Homebrewer Raj Apte lets us in on the long lost process of brewing with the Ginger Beer plant. This way of brewing soft drinks at home was common place decades ago.

From what they said on the show there is a little alcohol, 0.5%, I think you need to add ginger to your brew like homebrewer_99.

 
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:20 PM   #8
homebrewer_99
 
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You're welcome. I just tried to show you how I made mine.

DME - Dry Malt Extract.
LME - Liquid Malt Extract.
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