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First time brewer...having a go at ginger beer!

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folifern

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Hello everyone!

I was first inspired to give home brewing a go when a family friend gave me some home brewed ginger beer that tasted like heaven. Don't get me wrong, I do love a good beer but, up to that point I had been so disappointed with all the commercial ginger beer I'd bought that tasting that sweet sweet nectar inspired me to make some of my own. I heard about this forum from a good friend of mine who's had a lot of success with his recent brews and decided to finally have a go.

To say that I'm new at this is an understatement...I grew up in a big city where home brewing is practically inexistent and I'd never even really read much about it until now. I picked up a brand new home brewing kit from eBay, some Morgan's Ginger Beer Mix, 1kg of dextrose (as the can instructed), and some Coopers carbonation drops. I also went on a bit of an 'empty beer bottle' collection rant for the past couple of weeks to get enough bottles (am up to 56 atm).

I am thinking of brewing some time this week but am terrified of having bottles explode because of infection. I'd really appreciate any tips on disinfecting and sterilizing all materials. Also, the instructions on the can say that I should dissolve the mixture in the can with hot water in the fermenter itself, but should I first do it somewhere else like a big pot and then transfer it into the fermenter?

Thanks for reading and I can't wait to get your advice!
 

Sprungmonkey

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a bit of lactose and a couple of chillies works a treat - it a favourite at my household
 

Kiwimike

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Welcome mate and as a brewer who really enjoys home brew Ginger Beer I say go for it. There's a wealth of information here about cleaning / sanitising - one of the most popular methods is starsan. REally hot water and a bottle brush does wonders too.

As far as dissolving the mix, the basic method is to put the tin in some hot water to soften, then open and tip into the fermenter with some hot water. If you are adding other ingredients then maybe boiling is an option but not necessary.

Good luck and enjoy it you won't look back once started! :beerbang:
 

Droopy Brew

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HI mate,

Im a first timer too- just put on my 4th kit. So much info on this site, it takes a while to get your head around some of the terms, acronyms and lingo but it is good fun learning from the wealth of knowledge here.

So from a beginner to a beginner, you will need to do the following:

Clean and sterilize everything- if you are unsure how to do this have a search but your kit should have a couple of sachets and some basic instructions- its not hard just take your time and follow the instructions.

Fill a tub with hot tap water and soak the can in there for 10 minutes- this softens the extract and makes it less viscose.

Drop the dextrose in the bottom of your fermenter and add a few hundred ml of water and give a stir to dissolve most of it- dont worry if there are a few small lumps.

Open the can and pour into the fermenter. Half fill with hot tap water and scrape down the sides with the stirrer to get most of the extract out. Repeat again if you like to get most of it out.

Fill to the required level (22-23L) with water- preferably close to the fermentation temp you want- around 20C.

Sprinkle yeast on top.

Put on lid and insert seal/bubbler.

If you have a hydrometer take an SG (specific gravity)reading from a sample taken from the tap.

I haven't brewed ginger beer before but I have found 250g of corn starch is great for giving a better head retention on beer- not sure if you want this on a ginger beer but you can add it with the dextrose if you want.

Wait 7-10 days (again get a hydrometer to tell when fermentation is - if it is steady for 3 days your are done)

Bottle, leave for 4 weeks and enjoy.
 

Droopy Brew

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For some reason I cant edit my post but just to clarify- where I said "half fill with hot water and scrape down the sides' I was referring to the extract can -not the fermenter! Just re-read it and could be misconstrued with disastrous consequences.

Cheers,
 

meathead

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I made a tea with sliced ginger and dumped that in the fermenter, gave it a gingery bite if thats what your after
I added honey as well
 

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