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Dark Imperial Ginger Beer Brew 7-8% ABV

Aussie Home Brewer

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saxonb

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Hi all.

I'm 8 days into my first brew, things are going well despite making a number of rookie mistakes.

Based off BrewTube's "stronger ginger beer" recipe:
, I decided to make a dark, spicy ginger beer with high ABV. Probably a too ambitious beer for a first timer, mistake #1.

Ingredients:

2kg Dark Malt
1kg Leatherwood honey
1.2kg organic ginger (probably too much ginger, mistake number #2)
Safale US04 yeast
15L Sydney tap water (should have used filtered or bottled - mistake number #3)

Method:
Boil ginger in 5 litres of water
Add malt at a rolling boil
Boil for 30 minutes
Turn off for 30 minutes (had to go to the shops to get the honey, perhaps mistake number #4)
Add 1kg of honey (Too much perhaps? #5)
Boil again
Cool in sink of water to luke warm
Add into fermenter after using no rinse sanitiser on everything (... and then rinsing it off #6. Doh!)
Fill up with tap water to 15L level in my 15L FV
Take initial SG at 1.08 (I guess that's right for my 7-8%+ target?)
Taste it (tastes awesome)
Add whole packet of US04 at 26c (too much yeast? #7 Too high temp? #7)
Screw lid on as hard as one can, which wasn't enough so no bubbling though the airlock (#8)
Put the FV in the fridge to cool it down for 30 minutes or so (not sure if i did this after the yeast or before... think it was after - another mistake? #9)
Investigate by taking off the lid and taking videos of the nicely bubbling brew and send to my mates (#10)
Enlist the wife to hold the bottom of the FV whilst I screw on the lid and squirt the airlock water into the brew (#11)
Replace the airlock, which promptly starts bubbling like crazy.
Realise on day 3 that I shouldn't have the FV exposed to light, and place a couple of hand towels around the FV (#12)

Despite all this, it smells great (Spicy malt ginger leatherwood honey - **** yeah! can't wait!, is still bubbling (once every minute maybe), and I think the yeast is now depositing on the bottom in a layer maybe 2cm deep.

My plan is to bottle into 750ml brown PET bottles with coopers carbonation drops and keep in my garage which is warmer than my airconditioned apartment (22c)


So my question is:

When do I know when it's ready to bottle?

Thanks.
Saxon.
 

YAPN

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You can never be too ambitious. Just jump right in, make mistakes and learn heaps. But I would not call #3 a mistake, tap water is usually pretty good.

As with beer I would bottle after the sg reading remains constant for a day or two. And 22c will be ok for bottle conditioning.

What has been the temp during fermentation?
 

saxonb

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You can never be too ambitious. Just jump right in, make mistakes and learn heaps. But I would not call #3 a mistake, tap water is usually pretty good.

As with beer I would bottle after the sg reading remains constant for a day or two. And 22c will be ok for bottle conditioning.

What has been the temp during fermentation?
Thanks YAPN.

Temp has sat on 22c the whole time.

Will check SG now and see what it is.
 

saxonb

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The ginger and yeast is blocking the tap so it dribbled out with a lot of sediment and ginger. The SG is affected seriously by this I think.

Tasted it: it's not sweet at all which isn't what I was going for - Maybe I can correct with some lemon juice? It's got that yeasty bitterness which is nice and lots of body, not too much ginger. I will bottle it on Tuesday evening I think - just need to work out a way to get it out and not take all the sediment with it. Perhaps a syphon.

Should I whack it in the fridge for a day to settle all the yeast down first?
 

garage_life

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Could be alright, I did an expiramenting kaffir lime ale with high wheat content and lots of NZ hops, turned out better than the other brews even though it was supposed to be the ugly duckling. Anybgoot low ABV spicy ginger ale brews that are proven around? Might save this till it cools off in Qld a bit. [emoji26]
 

DrewCarey82

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Gees I'd hate to back up to work after a few of them sounds yum though!
 

saxonb

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So I'm ready to bottle. I need to the following:

Tart: It's not got that tang that I need. I have citric acid, which works, but I will try lemon juice too and compare.

Sweetness: There's not enough for me with all the dark malt and US04 flavour. I have stevia and lactose. Lactose seems useless as a sweetener, stevia has a metallic kinda taste. Not sure what to do.

Carbonation: I can only use drops so I guess this means no sugar for sweetness.

Spice: $100 worth of ginger was surely enough... I guess the brewing process kills the spiciness? Next time I will add ginger juice at the end as well.
 

PurpleHaze

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I've just put this one down last weekend.

Ingredients

FLAVOUR COOK 5 LITRES

1.2 kg Ginger Steeped 30 mins
4 large red chillies chopped with 4 tested lemons steeped 30 mins
200 ml lemon juice
4 cinnamon sticks
4 aniseed stars



SUGAR 4L 30 MIN BOIL

BLACK ROCKUNHOPPED MALT LIGHT EXTRACT
550grams BROWN SUGAR



BOTH COMBINED after flame out

10mins.
GINGER Then taken out of the bag and cooked for 8 mins with combined batch.



Flame out 2 mins.
Poured into wort.

Pitched 2 packets of US05 Dry.
Currently bubbling like a champ.

OG 1030


Plan to Dry Hop after 7 days and back sweeten with 500g Lactose.

Then Bottle.
 

MHB

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Did a OTT ginger beer many years ago, just LME and ginger, about 9%ABV, couldn't drink it for the first year, 18 months to mellow out, after filtering and serving on Nitro, well a friend of mine renamed it Ginger Fear.
Didn't cure the flu, but a pint and you felt no pain (except for the flame in the throat) half an hour and you started sweeting, next day your BO smelt of ginger.
Fun to play around with, have to get back into the old Ginger Beer Bug brewing, lower alcohol but a great refreshing summer quaffer.
Mark
 

peterlonz

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Many municipal water supplies are just fine for brewing.
BUT it is always wise to use "best practice" when this does not introduce other problems.
So get a good quality water filter & use it religeously, that's one potential problem solved easily.
I use a first cartridge with 5 micron filter to eliminate any "solids" ( there are almost none in good supplies), & a second "Carbon Block filter with 0.5 micron capability at a flow rate of about 3 litre per min max. These combined filter products are modestly priced & ours is fitted conveniently to the kitchen bench. Replace the carbon block filter about every 2 years.
 

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