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Old 07-13-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default Ginger Beer Specialty Malts

I'm currently revising my ginger beer recipe to give it a bit more malt backbone to help support its impressive gingeriness. After some brainstorming, I determined that honey malt would complement it nicely, so I'm thinking of something along the following lines:

~10lb base malt
1lb crystal 10l
1lb honey malt
Various hops in the range of 45ish IBUs
1lb of ginger at 15min, 10 min, and secondary
Dry hop with 1-2oz citra
Either Notty or Wyeast 3711

Now, I know it's quite a bit of ginger, hence the two full pounds of sweeteners. My last batch actually used twice as much ginger and is quite refreshing, but a bit dry. So, as for my questions:
  1. Is 1lb of crystal excessive with that much honey malt? I typically would think about half as much, but I'm really hoping for some solid sweetness out of it.
  2. Is ~45IBUs reasonable? It was a bit arbitrary, and I wasn't sure whether I should err on the side of less or more. I would like a bit of hop flavor to it, but obviously the highlight should be the ginger, and I suspect the Citra will come through fairly strongly as well.
  3. Anyone have any idea how 3711 will taste with it? I wouldn't mind a bit of funkiness in the mix, and I'll have a fresh cake from a saison I've got in primary at the moment. However, I'm somewhat concerned that it'll munch up all the sweetness I'm looking for, given my experience with it.


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Old 07-13-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by smagee View Post
I'm currently revising my ginger beer recipe to give it a bit more malt backbone to help support its impressive gingeriness. After some brainstorming, I determined that honey malt would complement it nicely, so I'm thinking of something along the following lines:

~10lb base malt
1lb crystal 10l
1lb honey malt
Various hops in the range of 45ish IBUs
1lb of ginger at 15min, 10 min, and secondary
Dry hop with 1-2oz citra
Either Notty or Wyeast 3711

Now, I know it's quite a bit of ginger, hence the two full pounds of sweeteners. My last batch actually used twice as much ginger and is quite refreshing, but a bit dry. So, as for my questions:
  1. Is 1lb of crystal excessive with that much honey malt? I typically would think about half as much, but I'm really hoping for some solid sweetness out of it.
  2. Is ~45IBUs reasonable? It was a bit arbitrary, and I wasn't sure whether I should err on the side of less or more. I would like a bit of hop flavor to it, but obviously the highlight should be the ginger, and I suspect the Citra will come through fairly strongly as well.
  3. Anyone have any idea how 3711 will taste with it? I wouldn't mind a bit of funkiness in the mix, and I'll have a fresh cake from a saison I've got in primary at the moment. However, I'm somewhat concerned that it'll munch up all the sweetness I'm looking for, given my experience with it.
I would Drop the Crystal and up the honey malt to 2lbs. Cut the IBU back to the 20-30 range, really let the Ginger and honey malt combo shine. I would personally Skip the Saison cake and go with the neutral yeast like Nottingham. BUT the Peppery spicy nature may compliment it well, but if you do use the Saison yeast expect another Dry beer.


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Old 07-13-2011, 09:00 PM   #3
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That supports my suspicions as well; the saison thought was simply because of the cake anyway and I worry that with as much crystal/honey I had, I'd be coming out *too* sweet. Perhaps I'll try notty (or cry havoc, pacman...) the first go-around and modify from there.

Any reason you'd suggest swapping the crystal for more honey? I considered that initially, but thought that it'd end up too honey-esque. I've only used honey malt in a couple brews thus far though, so maybe I'm overestimating its impact.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #4
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That supports my suspicions as well; the saison thought was simply because of the cake anyway and I worry that with as much crystal/honey I had, I'd be coming out *too* sweet. Perhaps I'll try notty (or cry havoc, pacman...) the first go-around and modify from there.

Any reason you'd suggest swapping the crystal for more honey? I considered that initially, but thought that it'd end up too honey-esque. I've only used honey malt in a couple brews thus far though, so maybe I'm overestimating its impact.
It is a strong flavor, but so is Ginger, and i think the two would balance against each other well. You can of course tweek, start at 1lb or 1.5lbs. and go from there.
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