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Old 01-18-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
ChillWill
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Default Alcoholic Ginger beer - help me!

Hi, not entirely sure where to post this, but I'm wanting to make some alcoholic ginger beer (bit like crabbies, although I'm not sure if you get this kind of thing in the states).

It's not a beer as such; doesn't contain malt or hops and previous attempts a few years ago haven't turned out great (I used malt), however now with more experience I'm thinking of having another go.

So:

Ginger, lots of it; fresh root for flavour and lots of ground stuff for the spicy/heat.
Then thinking of using some lemon juice and zest to help with preservation.

For the 'base' I was thinking mostly using a mixture of dextrose and a little brown sugar, then using some maltodextrin and lactose to provide body and sweetness (as I will be bottle conditioning, so can't back sweeten). Will ferment with champagne yeast.

How does this sound? I'm only looking for 4-4.5% abv and want a go at this before considering things like ginger beer plant (a yeast-lacto symbiote)


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Old 01-18-2013, 10:58 PM   #2
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I'd try lime instead of the lemon. I think it will add more complexity.


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Old 01-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #3
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What about just fresh ginger, a lemon or lime, brown sugar and an ale yeast? Ferment to 1.020 or so, bottle, carb and pasteurize? I would think powdered ginger would stay suspended and cloudy for a long while....

I've made a non alcoholic ginger beer and it was pretty simple.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:32 PM   #4
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Crabbies is pretty delicious, I can definitely see why you'd want that. There are a few places in the states where you can pick it up, but you get some funny looks. You can look in the soda forum and modify some of those recipes. I've done that once and the results were OK.

There's another beer you may want to check out; Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Beer. It's a Japanese craft brew; delicious. Their website says:
Malts: Maris Otter, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Chinook, Perle, Styrian Golding
OG 1.078, ABV 7.0, 18 IBU. Fresh Ginger. Copper brown in color. Looked to be about 16 SRM.

However, this beer has a vastly different taste from Crabbies. It's a rich, malty beverage with light hop flavor and strong ginger bite. I've seen some recipes for it around here. If you're a ginger fan, I recommend trying it out sometime, even if you can't get the brew, you can always make your own.

As the man says, beer is kind of like porn that way. More fun to make it than buy.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burntgraphite View Post
As the man says, beer is kind of like porn that way. More fun to make it than buy.
Ha! Make me chuckle.

My main concern / interest is getting the base right (the sugars / body). The other flavours (lemon juice, the actual ginger etc) aren't too big an issue.

I don't want to clone crabbies; I'd prefer more gingery heat and bite (might even stick in some habanero to get the back of throat tingle), but the actual 'base' of crabbies is what I'm trying to get near... a little sweet and a bit of body, but made with sugar. Also, I'm not looking to pasteurize.

In other news I see you're from the Roc - I lived there for a year, crazy times.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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I made this one that drinks really well after about 6 weeks in bottle. Part kit though...

Thick in the mouth and nice warm tang.

1 x med red chilli chopped
~350g fresh ginger sliced unpeeled
2 lemons sliced with rind
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon quills
1kg Beer Builder (dex, Corn syrup, LDM)
750g brown sugar
1.25kg dextrose
Coopers Ginger Beer kit
Safale S-04
Yeast nutrient

Steep chilli, lemon, ginger, cloves, cinnamon. From cold to boil on low heat, mash, strain into fermenter. Repeat with left over mashings and strain. Blend mashings and strain into fermenter. Add Coopers kit and sugars, adjusting to desired OG with dextrose. Add yeast nutrient.

OG - 1050

Add yeast.

20/10/2012 - 1930
SG - 1004

24/10/2012 - 0800
SG - 1000

25/10/2012 - 1135
SG - 1000

26/10/2012
Bottled into Coopers plastic king browns, 2 carb drops per bottle.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:23 AM   #7
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Hmmm, I wonder what commercially available ginger beers fg tends to be.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Crabbies is available in Ontario but only in one variety. I believe it is an apple cider base with ginger and back-sweetened.

I tried to re-create it once using 3 pounds of fresh chopped ginger but there wasn't nearly enough ginger to create the hot taste I wanted. I should have used powdered on top of that.

Also crabbies is sweetened pretty heavily, do you have a keg so that you can force carb it? If you don't I'd probably sweeten, let it prime and pasteurize in hot water to avoid making grenades.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:35 PM   #9
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ChillWill - Yes I am indeed in Roc. Weather has certainly been a bit crazy here this winter, and since I'm in the Coast Guard, I go out and get all of that lake water making icicles all over my dry suit on a regular basis
As far as heat, you can usually get that with judicious application of Ginger during the boil, but I've used peppers to get the same effect as well. I made a Maple and Cayenne cider one time, and it was delicious, but the thing took forever to finish fermentation. Cayenne probably slows down the growth of yeast, don't think other peppers would have the same effect but I'm no microbiologist. I'd be interested in finding out what the FG of commercially available ginger beers are as well. Maybe I'll go pick up some crabbies and drop a hydrometer in.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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Hi Fossey I really like the sound of this recipe and just had a question or two about the process.


How much water do you steep with?

Once strained and put in to the fermenter the first time where you say repeat do you scrape the mush from the strainer and boil again with water?

Do you then blend the mush from strainer and add the paste directly into the fermenter?

How much water do you add to the fermenter? Is this taken from what is needed on the coopers can, top up to 23 liters on thereabouts?

Thanks mate
Rob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fossey View Post
I made this one that drinks really well after about 6 weeks in bottle. Part kit though...

Thick in the mouth and nice warm tang.

1 x med red chilli chopped
~350g fresh ginger sliced unpeeled
2 lemons sliced with rind
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon quills
1kg Beer Builder (dex, Corn syrup, LDM)
750g brown sugar
1.25kg dextrose
Coopers Ginger Beer kit
Safale S-04
Yeast nutrient

Steep chilli, lemon, ginger, cloves, cinnamon. From cold to boil on low heat, mash, strain into fermenter. Repeat with left over mashings and strain. Blend mashings and strain into fermenter. Add Coopers kit and sugars, adjusting to desired OG with dextrose. Add yeast nutrient.

OG - 1050

Add yeast.

20/10/2012 - 1930
SG - 1004

24/10/2012 - 0800
SG - 1000

25/10/2012 - 1135
SG - 1000

26/10/2012
Bottled into Coopers plastic king browns, 2 carb drops per bottle.


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