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Old 03-07-2012, 02:12 AM   #1
SirJoshuaIV
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Default Ginger Stout problem

So several people had requested that I brew a beer that was very gingery. So I decided an Oatmeal Stout would be great for this. I added about 5 oz of fresh ginger to the end of the boil hoping this would give great flavor.

Here are the problem(s). Fermentation stalled at a very high FG, at 1.028. I warmed it up to 72,and then re-pitched the yeast, this time using Nottingham. After another 2 weeks it was down to 1.025 but wasn't moving from there. So I decided to bottle anyways. After 3 weeks in the bottles, I popped one open and it was actually surprisingly good for such a high FG. The ginger flavor had come through very nicely and the oatmeal blended it out into a smooth finish.

After just over a week since I had opened the first one , they are all gushers! ohh no! My question is, have any of you used fresh ginger before in your beer and how did it go? Do you know of any problems it may create with fermentation? I know in kombucha, ginger is not supposed to be used as it hinders proper fermentation. This is the first beer I have had stall out that high, and ginger is the only difference I can think of.

Other notes, Original Gravity was 1.069. Fermented at 67 with S-04. Single Infusion mash at 154 for 60 minutes, no mash out. Ginger was added for the last 5 of the boil.


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Old 03-07-2012, 04:31 AM   #2
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It would stand to reason that the ginger could slow or stall fermentation, it's an antimicrobial and 5 oz is quite a bit. And S-04 and notty are both British strains, which in my experience can stop perceivably fermenting only to slo-o-o-wly keep fermenting in the bottle, if you don't have good yeast propagation practice. But I do use strains that are less powerhouses than S04 and notty.

This is good to know though; i've kind of wanted to do a gingery beer for a while. If I do make one, based on this report I would probably just boil the ginger for some time in a little water and add the whole mess (ginger tea + solids) post-fermentation for a while.


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Old 03-07-2012, 04:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Skyforger View Post
It would stand to reason that the ginger could slow or stall fermentation, it's an antimicrobial and 5 oz is quite a bit. And S-04 and notty are both British strains, which in my experience can stop perceivably fermenting only to slo-o-o-wly keep fermenting in the bottle, if you don't have good yeast propagation practice. But I do use strains that are less powerhouses than S04 and notty.

This is good to know though; i've kind of wanted to do a gingery beer for a while. If I do make one, based on this report I would probably just boil the ginger for some time in a little water and add the whole mess (ginger tea + solids) post-fermentation for a while.
My thoughts exactly, nice to know I'm not way off. Since ginger is an anti-microbial, do you think it's best to add it post fermentation, or could I add it to the boil for maybe the last 15 instead of 5? I guess my question is, will boiling longer decrease or remove its anti microbial properties?
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Adding ginger ( or ginger tea) to the secondary would have helped. But you probably should have made a yeast starter. 1.069 is pretty high for a SG. And combined with the ginger a stalled fermentation seems even more likely
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:31 AM   #5
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I should have specified, I always make yeast starters when my OG is above .05. I think I'll add maybe an oz to the boil, and add the rest to secondary.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:15 AM   #6
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ya, that sounds safe. I have friends who have successfully added ginger to the boil, just more on the order of 1-2 oz, not 5.
Often the antimicrobial chemicals in plants are the very ones that have the flavor we're going for. That's the case in, say, hot peppers and garlic. So we wouldn't want to just remove them. But I doubt longer boiling would do much at any rate, at least not at the point where you aren't boiling off all the aroma.


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