Ginger "Beer" is way too strong

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RWurster

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I looked through a whole lot of threads on this subject here and elsewhere and can't find an answer.

I recently made a few batches of ginger beer and for both batches I followed a simple recipe: 1.5 gallons, 2 cups of grated ginger, and the zest and juice from 2 small limes, and I added 4# of cane sugar. I went off recipe though as I added the ginger and sugar to 3 quarts of water and boiled it for 20 minutes (recipe said to just let it set for 3 months). I then brought up to 1.5 gallons, added the lime juice and lime zest, let it cool and pitched 1 cup of my ginger bug. (The ginger bug has hefeweisen and saflager t23 yeast instead of wild yeast). It fermented for 30 days. O.G. was 1.086 F.G. 1.024 which is 8% abv but the beer finished with a flavor so intense as to knock you out. I can take the heat, and I can take a lot of strong flavors but this stuff is so strong it is bordering on stripping paint with the vapors. I forced 3 of them down and the rest I am letting bottle condition for another 2 months in hopes they mellow out a little...

So my question is, has anyone else had a similar experience with such a strong tasting ginger beer and what caused it?

I have looked through several other recipes and they are not far off of the amount of ginger i used. Also, I have searched quite a bit and have not found anyone talking about why their ginger beer is so strong. I gave some to my friend and it looked like he had a tear in his eye, he couldnt even hide how brutal this stuff came out. This is only the 9th batch of "beer" I have made so I am still a beginner so am I missing something obvious?

I have another batch made exactly like the one above except I started it a week later and used lemons, it is still bubbling.
 

hotbeer

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What are you describing as "stronger" The taste of the ginger or the fact you just have a potent alcoholic drink?

If it's the abv, then you have to reduce your fermentable sugars. If you loose too much sweetness that might be desired, then you can add or make more unfermentable sugars.
 
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RWurster

RWurster

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No it is the ginger taste, it is very, very, strong tasting ginger wise.
 
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RWurster

RWurster

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The extreme ginger taste has mellowed out in the last week since i bottled it. The ginger heat and the alcohol are still very noticable but the beer has become much smoother since i began bottle conditioning it a week ago, i was going to let it ride 2 more months but will probably drink it all before then :) I made another batch the exact same way but with lemons, it is still bubbling but i am interested to see how that batch turns out.
 
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RWurster

RWurster

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The ginger beer has seriously mellowed out and has a very high ABV and a strong taste but not an overwhelming ginger taste. One strange development is that something in the ginger beer makes me sick to my stomach after just drinking one of them. I had 2 1/2 of them the other night and was staggering around like I had drank 8 of them very quickly. There's some compound in it that has made me very sick on several different occasions. Everyone else who has tried them likes them (now) and isnt affected in the same way that I am. I will not be making any more ginger beer.
 

hotbeer

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Maybe old age. I can't drink like I use to when younger.

Even a glass of scotch has to be a small amount now for me and only one per special occasion.
 
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RWurster

RWurster

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It took 4 months but the ginger ale has finally mellowed out to where it doesnt give me any adverse effects when I drink a few of them. Funny thing is that I forgot to prime this batch and it is carbonated as much as the batch I primed with corn sugar. It is still strong tasting and has a bit of a burn going down but turned out well. I made 2 more batches today and made sure to check the "wort" for being overly spicy. One batch should have a mellow ginger flavor and be easy to drink and the second batch is very strong (ginger) and should be able to strip paint. I also think they will only be about 6-7% abv so we will see. I learned a lot from the last batch and I am confident these batches will turn out more to how I desire them to turn out.
 

Sam_92

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I may be way off base but it sounds like the flavor you're describing is fusel alcohols. They can make a 7-8% beverage taste like rocket fuel and it is usually caused by yeast stress either temperature too high or not enough nutrients.
 

jlragon

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I just made my first ginger beer. I popped open a bottle plenty of bubbles. The smell was very strong with ginger. I tasted it and it reminded me of cough syrup. , the ginger taste was way too strong, Not pleasant. Very Spicy and way, way too strong.







I fermented in the bottles 3 days. I'm not sure what I screwed up. Maybe too much ginger or not enough time in the botles.
 
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RWurster

RWurster

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I use 500g grated ginger, 1 kg cane sugar, in 3 liters of water, boil and then throw in either lime or lemon zest. It is initially very, very strong but mellows out over 3-4 months. I have 2 batches that still are putting off bubbles 3 months later. From my experience aging at least 3 months helps a lot. The equivalent in imperial units is 1.1 pound ginger to 2.2 pounds of sugar in 3 quarts of water. Adding lemons makes a more acidic drink than adding limes, just one of the odd things I noticed when testing the pH. I am fermenting my 5th and 6th batch currently. Usually gives me a finished ABV of 10 - 12%. I made a ginger bug and keep it fed but I also have used US-05 and champagne yeast as a substitute for a bug.
 
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one s1x

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I decided to buy ground dry ginger on amazon. it's exactly 8 oz. for my one gallon jar. I already bought it because I'm a compulsive. should this work well, or did I waste a few dolands? cheers
 

Rish

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You can make it but it will be much different than with fresh ginger. Less aromatic, less character, but if you add it to sugar, water, yeast and yeast nutrients it'll ferment. It'll probably take a while for it to settle out.
 

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