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Author Topic: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer  (Read 9890 times)

Offline Richard

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Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« on: April 09, 2011, 06:45:28 PM »
This is technically an extract recipe, given there's no malt in it.

I use the Cooper's dry yeast, but any neutral ale strain will do.

3Kg Sugar + 120g for bottling.
Juice + zest from 4 medium lemons.
2 tsp yeast nutrient (the stuff with yeast hulls in it).
140g Dried Ginger (honestly I just wing this usually).
1oz Cascade (for dry-hopping).
1 package gelatin (for fining)

OG 1.050
FG 1.00-1.15 depending on how the yeast feel that week.

Take 6L of water, bring to the boil, dump in the sugar, dissolve it. Turn off heat. Dump in lemon juice + zest and ginger. Stir for a minute. Pour into fermenter with nutrient. Fill fermenter to 23L with cold water (I use Fredericton tap water). Dump in yeast. Wait one week. Fine with Gelatin. Dump hops into primary (don't bother with 2ndary). Wait four days (agitate daily). Bottle with 120g bottling sugar.

Note: If you like hard lemonade, you might want to get yourself some more lemons and some maltodextrin and/or potassium bicarbonate. This recipe isn't very lemon-ey or sweet. Maltodextrin can back-sweeten without the need for campden or other yeast-stoppers; potassium bicarb can take off the heartburn-inducing low pH that this has. You can also boil the sugar for a while to caramelise a portion of it - I've not got a recipe for this, but it's a corollary of the experiences I've had thusfar when boiling the recipe. Mess around with the formula - this one is really flexible. I use 20g of potassium bicarb for 5 gallons US. Add *SLOWLY* or witness a volcano.

If you like the flavour of ginger, use some fresh ginger (boil about 20 mins with the lemons + some of the sugar).
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Offline brew

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 02:39:00 PM »
This looks too easy - even I could make this! Wondering if I could ask if you (or anyone) has ever substituted:

- Fresh ginger instead of dried ginger? (I understand this doesn't always work for every ginger type dish)
- Honey instead of yeast nutrient?
- EC1118 (i have a packet) for the ale yeast?

Just thought I'd ask before trying this out - shopping day is Friday so I need to make my list!

Thanks for the recipe!
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 02:42:37 PM »
I've done this with fresh ginger too -- how much you use is really absolutely down to taste. I like it to be so damn spicey it burns my nostrils when I take a sip. Others however do not like this.

As a rough replacement try 2Kg fresh root, 1Kg if you're feeling cheaper or don't like it in your face that much.

I once made this with 2Kg root, 100g powdered and a few tbsp of chilli powder, and 5kg sugar It was described by someone as "like licking the devil's asshole". I don't know where they get their reference-point, but you can see one man's elixir is another man's poison -- I liked it :P
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 02:43:58 PM »
EC1118 will be fine -- I've used it for higher-ABV (4 to 6Kg sugar) versions of the same thing.
I dunno about honey to replace the nutrients - sounds like a crap shoot to me. You want to keep the residual sweetness of this one fairly low or it can taste real sickly.

edit: a little explanation:
1. without the nutrients the yeast doesn't grow + hence attenuate properly, I'm not suggesting that honey would have less fermentable sugars as it's mostly the same sugars as inverted sucrose afaik.
2. I really don't think honey is a good sub for yeast nutrient. Mead is notorious for requiring masses of nutrient compared to other wort/must. My intuition therefore would be that honey provides little to no nutrition to yeast beyond a ready food source.
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Offline brew

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 02:54:18 PM »
Awesome - I'll give this a try with 1 kg of fresh ginger then and use up the 1118 I have as well and go from there - thanks for the tip about the honey - I think I see what you mean about keeping out the sweet taste...
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 05:30:07 PM »
with the fresh stuff you'll have to change the recipe slightly so you can boil the ginger for a while to actually extract the flavour. do that before you add the sugar or I find the attenuation suffers, probably 'cause the yeast can't attack the caramelised sugars properly.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2011, 06:49:13 PM »
fwiw I'm going to do a little experiment with back-sweetening this stuff (using campden + plain sugar) + force-carbing it, once I've got my CO2 gear. It's too damn difficult to make it sweet in the bottle otherwise; even more of a crap-shoot than trying to get specific volumes of CO2.
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Offline brew

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2011, 08:41:38 AM »
So I put on another batch last night - with a few additions:

4 kg sugar
1/2 lbs Fresh Ginger
120 g powdered ginger
6 lemons juice and zest
2 limes juice and zest

PH was down near 4.00 so I added 1 1/2 tsp's of Potassium carbonate - brought it up to 5.35.

I boiled 2 kg of the sugar for 10 minutes or so... probably not long enough to carmelize anything...

I used a 10 g packet of Mauri's "Premium" Gold Ale Yeast from the coop. I think it was like .95 cents. Only getting like 1 bubble per minute on the airlock this time around. Thinking of adding another packet...
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Offline Dave Savoie

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2011, 09:29:45 AM »
you may wanna pick up some yeast nutrient from wine kits comes in packets of for $2 used for wine but im sure it will help out for sure
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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2011, 09:52:39 AM »
Yes - sorry Dave - forgot to mention that! I did actually add in 2 tsp of yeast nutrient... (the stuff with the yeast hulls in it)
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2011, 01:08:20 PM »
Give it a day or two before you worry - different yeast + different recipe = different behaviour.

I'd suggest that once this one is done, you campden it + backsweeten to taste + force-carb. I'd be real interested to see how that turns out.
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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 08:47:04 AM »
So last Wed. I broke down, added 1 tsp of DAP and the second packet of extra special 98 cent premium ale yeast (10g). Sooo - nothing... pretty boring. Then on Friday night I took another look and there were bubbles in the airlock - so this is weird, I've never heard of delayed reaction yeast before. It took days for it to start... (although to be fair, there were a couple of small button sized spots of activity on top of the brew after the first day, just not really moving enough to actually see it)

Anyway, this is on its way now... can't wait to try it out...
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 10:51:16 AM »
Like I said before, at this point I'd be concerned it'd started to ferment spontaneously... Weird; really.

Next time I'd skip the K.carbonate until after it's finished in the primary.

I'm doing this again once I've got my Keg setup. Back-sweetening without campden is a royal PITA.
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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2011, 11:14:14 AM »
Quote from: "Richard"
Back-sweetening without campden is a royal PITA.


Is this because the campden kills the yeast so it can't steel your back-sweetening and turn it to alc.?
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Offline Richard

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Re: Dry-Hopped Ginger Beer
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 11:22:08 AM »
yup; kills or inhibits, I forget which. Either way you end up having to choose between flat GB, or sweet GB. I want sparkling + sweet dammit :P
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