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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Soda Making > If you like it hot...Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
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Default If you like it hot...Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic)

Disappointed in the commercial ginger sodas, I have set out to do my own. I think I have it close to what I am looking for. I thought I'd share even though it's not that different from what others are doing.

This is for 2 liters:

7oz fresh grated ginger
Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
Zest and juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast (might be able to use just 1/8 tsp)

Add ginger, lemon, and lime to sauce pan and cover with 24 oz of good water. Simmer until liquid is reduced by about 1/4 or so, or a good 30 minutes. Strain and squeeze as much liquid from the remaining pulp as you can. Add liquid back to sauce pan and bring back to boil adding sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool and pour into a 2 liter bottle. Add water to fill bottle 3/4 and add yeast. Cap and shake. Loosen cap and squeeze the headspace from the bottle and tighten cap again. Let sit in a warm spot until the bottle is rock hard (less than 24 hours in my experience so far) and then place in the fridge.


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Old 09-16-2014, 01:12 PM   #2
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anything?


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Old 09-18-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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Default Vernor's & Gossling's Ginger Ale & Beer

There are actually a couple of commercial Ginger Ale & Beers that I like.

Vernor's Ginger Ale from Michigan is a pretty good Ginger Ale; a little
sweet, but with a strong Ginger flavor to balance it.

Gossling's Ginger Beer from Gossling's Run is a nice strong Ginger Beer
as well.

These might not be available where you are. Whenever I drive to MI, I
literally fill the trunk with Vernor's.

The Gnome Ginger Beer syrup makes a pretty good home-brew Ginger Beer.

Jim.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for this recipe. I am going to try this soon.

I also may experiment with using less sugar and a longer fermentation period.

I find even the better commercial ginger beers to be too sweet and I wouldn't mind a little alcohol in mine.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:26 PM   #5
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We endlessly see posts on how someone is about to try a hotter ginger ale. Or that they liked it immediately after brewing. Not much about long term success.

The science of ginger taste suggests that the real stuff cannot survive long in bottle... it chemically degrades fast. Truely hot ginger ale cheats by adding other peppery spices.

I don't know the facts first hand, but just am a frustrated observer of about a hundred posts circling around the issue and not disproving the above. I earlier cited the sources and gave more details about the science.
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Old 10-10-2014, 06:08 PM   #6
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all I know is that everyone tries to recreate Reed's (at least a lot of them I see do)

Reed's uses some type of spices in it, but it also uses pineapple juice to a) sweeten the ginger beer and b) mellow out the spice

It's on my to-do list to make my own. Will definitely be playing around with serranos or other chilis and pineapple juice in my ginger beer.

I did try powdered pineapple juice in my last ginger beer batch and it was awful. The powdered stuff just doesn't do the job

(I use the homemade soda company stuff by the way - I think it's 10x better than that Gnome stuff everybody sells)
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Old 11-16-2014, 01:28 PM   #7
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"Vernor's Ginger Ale from Michigan is a pretty good Ginger Ale; a little
sweet, but with a strong Ginger flavor to balance it."

Speaking as a formerly native Michiganian, who grew up not far from the original Vernor's plant: What they sell as "Vernors" today is a pale shadow of the original stuff. The Vernors of my childhood was so hot that, if you got a bubble up your nose while drinking it, it just about blew the top of your head off. That stuff was vicious. And fantastic over ice cream.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing on the market that much resembles it anymore. Apparently you can't economically age ginger ale in oak barrels for 4 years in today's market. Go figure.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daft View Post
We endlessly see posts on how someone is about to try a hotter ginger ale. Or that they liked it immediately after brewing. Not much about long term success.

The science of ginger taste suggests that the real stuff cannot survive long in bottle... it chemically degrades fast. Truely hot ginger ale cheats by adding other peppery spices.

I don't know the facts first hand, but just am a frustrated observer of about a hundred posts circling around the issue and not disproving the above. I earlier cited the sources and gave more details about the science.
You are correct. The vast majority of commercial ginger ales contain capsaicin for hot flavor. This has been a traditional ingredient of commercial ginger ale for over a hundred years.

There is wisdom in some parables in the form of jokes.

A man was walking down a street at night when he came upon a large group of men searching the ground under a street lamp. He asked, "What are you looking for?" They replied, "Our wallets." He said, "What? You all lost your wallets under this street lamp?" They replied, "No, we lost our wallets elsewhere." The man said, "Then, why are you all looking for your wallets here? They replied, "Because the light is better here."

In this analogy, hot flavor = wallets, capsaicin = where they lost their wallets and ginger = street lamp.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Fever Tree ginger beer is hands down the best and spiciest on the market. In my experience, it's almost impossible to put too much ginger in the homemade variety. I've used up to two pounds in three gallons.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:07 PM   #10
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We do house made ginger beer in the bar I work in, and add various spices (cardamom, coriander, black peppercorn, cinnamon, bay leaf, star anise). Just enough to give it a little something extra without tasting like Christmas. It's very spicy and stays that way, but we go through 5 gallons a week easily so there isn't ever any time for the ginger flavor/spice to fade that much.


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