ginger beer plant

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fumanchu

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Greetings fellow brewers.

I have just acquired a ginger beer plant culture, i mean the real stuff. I began making a small batch of ginger beer. I haven't tasted it yet, but it's smelling great, there's something iambic about it. Seems like a perfect marriage.

Would anybody know how much sugar this culture can handle? Would it be able to make a regular batch of beer or wine. I've heard some people make elderberry
wine with it. My curiosity stems from thinking this stuff might be able to make something that tastes like a lambic beer.

If anybody knows, or has experimented with ginger beer plant, let me know.

thanks
 

COLObrewer

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This is all I've heard of ginger yeast (posted from this thread: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f164/gingerroot-yeast-cake-starch-conversion-194639/ )

I Picked up this book from the library (Sacred and Herbal healing beers), On page 118 they speak of "Chang", What's interesting to me about Chang is that they traditionally used unmalted grains and a "yeast cake" to convert the starches to sugar.

Yeast cake defined as: "Crushed and dried gingerroot and rice (or barley) flour. Moistened and formed into small cakes(half dollar size) covered with a moist cloth and allowed to ferment. The natural Fungi in the gingerroot multiply and grow, providing the Aspergillus that converts starch to sugar, and then wild saccharomyces come to eat the sugar." . . . .

I don't remember it saying anything about the strength of the chang. though.
Brew on my friend:mug:
 
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fumanchu

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Will do!

I just started making a natural root beer (sassafras root, licorice root, and juniper boiled in water with turbinado sugar) tonight. 2L Open fermentation in a mason jar but with ginger beer plant.

One weird thing I noted: The GBP at the bottom of the jar seems to be catching some red pigmentation from the boil. Could this be the beginning of a root beer plant?

Seriously, I'm sold on the stuff. It is such a sweet, fruity, tangy yeast culture. You could make anything with it and this type of yeast won't barry what you intend your concoction to taste like. That's what I love about it.

Anyhoo, I'm not making beer with it yet. So any hardcores out there might want to disregard this thread...but my experimentation will continue.

I will update once I taste.
 

Wilden

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How did the beers turn out? I'm thinking of buy some culture online where did you get yours?
 

Calichusetts

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I JUST started researching my first ginger beer yesterday so this is great! I have no idea where I want to go with it (dry or sweet, etc) but I'd love to get some updates on how this turns out and what you did
 
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fumanchu

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Hi, it's been a while. I made alot of ginger beer this summer. Or I should say last summer.
It all turned out excellent, what with he lambic tangy/sour flavor and the bite of the lbs of ginger boiled in my wort. Too much fun, but a bit to upkeep.

I recently started making beer beer. All I have available around these parts is munton's and cooper's cans, along with unhopped DME, which I must say are pretty darn good. They make great beer.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been wanting to make sour ale. I'm thinking of utilizing my ginger beer plant to do this. Not throw in the stuff itself, but make an active liquid starter to throw into a 5 gal. batch, and save the GBP so that it doesn't get lost in my beer.

I doubt many people have tried making an ale with GBP but I'm going to give it a shot in a few weeks' time. If successful, it will definitely have a lambic quality to it. I'm not sure if I'll pitch the ale yeast along with the starter yet. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.

Chime in if you know anything and wish me luck!
 

Xier

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That sounds like it is going to be pretty interesting! Personally, I would pitch it just how it is. If you start adding other cultures, you could screw up the niche and it could turn out in an unexpected way.

Why don't you just break off a piece of the GBP and throw it into your readied wort?

Oh, and good luck! :mug:
 

dinnerstick

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i have no experience with this but i use a gbp a lot so i'll add my several cents. after i take my gbp out of the fermenting ginger beer i get the impression fermentation slows right down. this is just going by taste rather than gravity readings. obviously it carries on ticking over and is fine for bottle carbing but i wonder if the quantity of organisms in the starter is going to be sufficient without the mother chunks?? i guess you'll see how active the starter is, and if you continue to culture it without the clumps (a total guess here) your selection for free growers rather than clumpers might drive the makeup of the culture to be a faster fermenter (maybe??). but if it were me i would try it on a 5L test batch first. good luck with your wacko project and please post updates!
 
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fumanchu

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Why don't you just break off a piece of the GBP and throw it into your readied wort?

Oh, and good luck! :mug:
Thanks. The reason i don't throw a chunk of the mother is because I'm sure to lose it in that large a volume of liquid. It ferments exactly like an ale yeast, so there'll be some sediment on the bottom and the mother will get gunked up in there. My GBP doesn't float up and down like most are suppose to, it's still very young, small pellets that can easily disappear.

Another thoery was to sour around 1 gal. of wort once it's ready. That way, I'll be able to use the mother chunks to work it. And pitch it in secondary once the other 4 gal are almost done fermenting with an ale yeast.

Yeah, there are alot of ways to go about this. My main concern is losing or contaminating my mother with that hopped malt. I hope 17-24 EBU isn't too much, though I'm only going to be using one can. The rest will be unhopped DME and homemade candi syrup.
 
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fumanchu

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Dinnerstick, I was thinking about throwing my culture in a jar with water boiled with more sugar than usual to see if it has a cut off mark.

There is a myth it can make alcohol up to 11%. I have a feeling these are the older, bigger chunks that have been growing for over 50 years.
 
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fumanchu

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Update:

I haven't started making my pale ale w/gbb yet...but I threw 3 cups of golden sugar in as little as 2 litres of water and the gbp is starting to eat it on the 2 day mark, I think. The gravity was 1.06, so I'm starting to think more and more it'll be able to handle something like 2.5-3k of sugar in a 23 litre batch.

I've also decided to just throw my gbp in there instead of making a starter.

I can affirm the lambic taste as well, having made a small batch with some DME (not hopped). It was nice and sour. My goodness people, if you want to make a sour ale, this is definitely the way to go. I'm perplexed as to why there isn't any information on the web about anybody making beer with this stuff.

I might soon find out why.
 

Calichusetts

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Yeah, it might be one of those "how come no one has tried this...oh, thats why" moments

I still am very intrigued by this and do plan on making a low alchohol version of ginger ale in the future, let me know how it goes. I am very interested!
 

spenghali

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For whoever was looking where to buy a GBP:

http://www.yemoos.com/gingerbeerproductpage.html

Be careful, there aren't many sites to get true GBP from. There are a lot of fakes out there. I know this site is legit though.

I really want to start brewing up some ginger beer. I am obsessed with Dark n' Stormys on a hot summer night, and there really isn't that much widely available, great quality ginger beer floating around in the stores.
 
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fumanchu

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In regards to great quality, commercially that is, I've discovered Fentiman's. They make amazing ginger beer with juniper and another herb. The problem is it's full of sugar, part of the reason it's so tasty. But gbp can make great ginger beer without the sugar overload. Fentiman's is also terribly overpriced, at least over here, going around 2.50 for a puny little bottle. I always wonder if they use gbp? There is something special about Fentiman's.
 
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fumanchu

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I don't think I'll be making my experiment anymore. First of all, using a hydrometer won't tell me much. There will be very little ethanol created due to all the lactic bacteria in there also eating the sugar, that's the problem. Not nearly enough ethanol production. I'm pretty sure I'd be making close to a non-alcoholic beer.

What I am sure of though, is the cut off point of GBP is very high, so at least that's good news. It'll start eating in an environment very high in sugar, at least 2 cups of sugar in as little as 2L of water. So even though it might be able to work well in a 5 gallon of 5% beer environment, it won't produce 5% alcohol. The result might be as little as 1-2%.

I'm still going to try throwing GBP water in the bucket for my next little batch of beer. We'll see how that turns out.
 

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