Ginger beer brew

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New Member
May 26, 2024
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Mackay, Queensland
Hi, this is my first home brew and everything seems to be going pretty well at the moment. It's been 24 hours since first started and the brew seems to be fermenting well as the airlock has been fairly active.
The beer im brewing was gifted by the in laws and is a Colony West Ginger beer brew kit.

Only question is ABV, I'm not expecting a very alcoholic ginger beer as I checked the SG at the start and it was only 1.016. The recipe says to remove from the fermenter after 5-7 days where the SG should be at 1.006 which seems like it'll have a low alcohol content of 1.3%. In total there was 23L of water and 1kg of sugar, plus the ingredients that came in the kit.

In future brews if I want to make a more alcoholic ginger beer should I reduce the amount of water and increase the amount of sugar to give the yeast more to feed off? Will this increase the starting SG? Or is there any other kits people would recommend? I enjoy all types of beer especially a lager so any recommendations would be appreciated.

Welcome to HBT and congratulations on your first ferment! I'm not familiar with the kit you used. If there was no other sugar source in the kit, the1 kg you added should yield the 1.3% you calculated. You are correct that to increase abv you increase the amount of sugar to volume ratio. It is linear so if you want 2.6% abv, double the sugar or go with 1/2 the volume, although halving the volume will also intensify (double) the ginger flavor. If you like the flavor of this batch, I'd just add more sugar to get the abv you want. Good luck!🍻🍻
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I couldn't find the kit's instructions online. But in the description of the product, it sounds like they are intended to be more for those wanting a soft drink. They do mention that if a alcoholic beverage is desired, then dextrose or other sugar will need to be added to the mix before fermenting.

Certainly the more sugar you add the more it will make alcohol from it. However the taste of alcohol created that way and how it's balanced by the other ingredients might leave you with a product that isn't as desirable to drink if you get too much alcohol.
Yeah I started to think that once I noticed my OG was only at 1.016. Appreciate the advice, I'll probably look for a different recipe the next time I brew.