Ginger Beer Ideas please

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Hi all

I am about to put down some ginger beer from a coopers kit, and would like to know what people think of the following ideas.

I plan on using White Labs Champange yeast WLP715. How much should I use ? I have 1 tube.I hope that this will take some of the sweetness out as I find I need to use 2kg of sugar to get a good kick out of ginger beer. On sugar Iam thinking of using brown or raw sugar ? Could I add some Amber Mail powder ? What would this do ?

In the past i have enjoyed a dash of 42 Below Vodka in each glass. Can I ad some to the keg ?

Many thanks


I'm not sure what you mean by sweetness but in my experience homebrew gb is not normally very sweet unless you make it so. I would not use the champagne yeast it could be better used in a cider or something, I normally use us-05.

I use raw sugar and am thinking about using brown for my next brew so either should be fine. Please note that different sugar will give different flavours, normally only slight but its there.

No idea what amber mail powder is.

2kg of sugar will make it about 4-5%. If that is what you mean by kick you could make it stronger if you want. If you mean gingery kick I would advise adding more ginger( search the forum for a way to do this).

I would advise against adding the vodka to the keg. It will be hard to judge how much to put in and you risk over alcoholing it. Vodka doesn't have much of a taste IMO so you could always just make the gb mor alcoholic by adding more sugar.
I don't use champers yeast in my GBs but many do and like it. Since you want to dry it out more I think it is a very good idea for your aims.

I prefer raw sugar to white. I usually add 750gm raw sugar and 250gm dark brown sugar (not brown sugar). It works really well for me, better than any other combination of fermentables I've used with a Cooper GB kit. I'm not sure I'd double that ratio exactly for your 2kg. I find the dark brown gets a bit much at higher levels. Maybe try a 1700/300 split if you're interested in trying it out?

The amber may work against your desire to dry it out more as the extract won't ferment out as low as the sugar. Worth a crack though. I can't see it ruining the batch (as long as you know you like the extract already and keep it in balance).

I can't see any technical reason to not put the vodka in the keg (but I only bottle so could be wrong) but I'd be a little bit worried about getting the balance wrong. You can't take it out once it is in there. For me, avoiding the minimal effort of pouring into each glass doesn't seem worth the risk of wrecking the batch.
Not to hijack too much, but anyone had any experience on doing an AG ginger beer? I'd imagine you'd start with a fairly mild ale or even lager and then just throw a heap of ginger into primary?
Thanks bum, I'll take my hijack over there. Have been pleased with the Coopers GB kits in the past but always been interested in doing one from scratch.
I'm with bum - there's ginger beer and there's beer with ginger in it. The latter is horrible in my experience.
I've had some good results (pimping kits) by blending 1/4kg fresh ginger with some cold water to a pulp, then bringing this solution to the boil briefly and adding some fresh-chopped chillies, cloves, honey, raw or dark sugar... Can be imaginative with this sort of stuff. But the fresh ginger is a must. Just dump it all in the fermenter and voilà.
^Agreed but maybe up the 1/4kg of ginger to 2kg.
LDME in ginger beer is supurb, and a great way to leave residual sweetness (using an ale yeast) without any dicking around.

Lemongrass and chilli are also great additions to ginger beer.
Certainly agree with the addition of Ginger (I've only ever used 1 Kg of grated fresh Ginger) to the can of Coopers GB.

I have experimented with adding fresh lime juice and chilli (just the little "red hot" ones from the supermarket) and found them both great little additions, though it must be stressed as with anything chilli and beer- I find less is more.

That being said chilli does compliment fresh ginger nicely in a GB.