Ginger Ale..Thoughts?

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azscoob

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I figured I would run this past you all for input prior to brewing because I have no experience brewing with ginger.

for a 5.5 gallon batch

grain bill:
7 lb 2-row
2 lb vienna
.25lb honey malt
.25 lb C-40
.25lb wheat malt

hops:
1.0 oz centennial at 60 min
.5 oz sorachi ace at 30 min
.25 oz sorachi ace at 15 min
.25 oz sorachi ace at flameout

the addl:
4.0 oz fresh coarsely grated ginger at 60 min
1.0 oz fresh coarsely grated ginger at 15 min
1.0 oz fresh coarsely grated ginger at flameout
1 tsp irish moss at 10 min

mash at 154 degrees

thinking of using rehydrated S-05 or Wyeast 1272 American Ale II for this one.

Ferment at 60-62°

I just tweaked edcculuss-not-so-ginger-ale recipe and tossed in my own ideas. I am hoping to get some lemon flavor from the hops to balance out with the ginger without having to add lemon zest. Also from what I have read, boiling the ginger will leave the flavor while subduing the spicyness which is what I am aiming for. Is this correct??

what do you think? Should I try it as is or tweak it a bit more?
 

Captain Damage

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I did a ginger wheat a couple of months ago. I used 8oz of grated fresh ginger - 2oz each at 60, 20 and 5 minutes and 2oz as a"dry-hop." It's a big hit. The ginger flavor is very good, but there is no heat. The next time I make it will be after some experimenting to figure out how to get a little heat out of the ginger. I hopped with just 1/2oz of cascade so as not to get any flavor competition.
 

bbrim

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I just kicked a ginger beer keg last night. I went much simpler, 90% Pilsner malt and 10% C40 at 25 IBU and one flavor hop addition at 20 min (I used Glacier but Fuggle or Williamette would also have been good). I put in 2 oz. of Ginger at 10 min. The ginger is very present in the aroma, and adds significant flavor. It is isn't so strong as to make the beer one dimensional though.
I think it would be better to use the majority of your ginger much later in the boil. I would also drop the FWH and use a simple 60 min bittering addition with your flavor and aroma additions looking very reasonable. If you can get a subtle hint of lemon out of those hops it should be wonderful.
I think you are on the right track and would like to hear the results, whatever the final recipe is. Ah and the yeast, I used WLP001, I think a clean American Ale yeast is the ticket, though a Belgian yeast could be fun too.
 
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azscoob

azscoob

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Ok. I upped the ginger amounts and am thinking of using S-05, anybody have experience with sorachi ace? am I on the right track or should I just add some zest? I wanted to limit the additions to the ginger but if I have no choice......
 

Captain Damage

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Mine was a wheat beer so I used WLP300. I hopped to only 13 IBU and my bu:gu=0.215. I didn't add any zest, thinking that the citrusy quality of cascade might take it's place flavor-wise (it's not really noticeable in that way).
 
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azscoob

azscoob

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OK, I made the small changes to the recipe and should be brewing two seperate batches of this on sunday if I have the time, I will be doing one as above, the other without any ginger at all, and plunking 4-5lbs of freshly frozen blueberries into the secondary after they thaw and get mushed a bit. I recently had a glass of blueberry lemonade and was inspired to give this recipe a shot , I might add some lemon zest in the last 5 minutes of the boil if the lemon seems lacking from the Sorachi Ace.
 
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azscoob

azscoob

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I actually brewed this same beer without the ginger, then racked onto blueberries in secondary, then brewed the ginger ale just recently with Soperbrew, it is fermenting away, I wanted to have both beers ready for a comp and the fruit beer needed more time due to the secondary ferm. the Blueberry ale is quite nice, I posted some thoughts on it here the OG hydro sample was good, I will post up some thoughts on it when its ready. I was pleased overall on the base beer sample prior to adding the blueberries, and cannot wait for this version to see how the ginger comes through.
 

mikfire

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Many of the ginger beer manufacturers, like Gosling, use black peppercorns to add the heat. One of them uses capsaicin for even more punch.
 

HalfPint

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Sounds good man. Let us know how it is whenever it get some age on it.
 
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azscoob

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Its still just a little young, but I feel it is quite good thus far, there is definate ginger flavor and aroma coming through, the bitterness and lemony flavor from the hops plays well with the ginger, there is a nice malt finish to the beer when served at 45° and above. Any peach flavor from the S-05 at 60° is lost to the ginger in the finished beer, in hindsight, I might ferment the next batch at 65° just to speed fermentation up a bit. By-Tor, a fellow HBTer in my neighborhood came by to sample this before brewing it himself and rather enjoyed it, we bounced around the notion of dry gingering with a couple ounces in the keg to up the flavor and nose in the finished beer, it could indeed be amazing, but I like the beer-forward and then ginger overall.

Here is a pic of a rather sweaty glass of Ginger Ale:

 

By-Tor

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I must say,this is a nice tasting brew. It inspired me to brew some ginger ale,but I went 3oz ginger in the boil and will dry hop 3oz in secondary with some lemon zest and cascades( HBS dident have any sorachi ace,so I have to throw in the zest)
 
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