Ginger Beer Recipe - Scratch Brew No Kit

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Nick the Knife

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I wouldnt leave them out, just dont add them to a hop sock and add to the fermenter like i did.
Fair point. After looking at a lot of Ginger Beer recipes (alcoholic and non) very few had any spices added to them at all. So I've omitted putting them in - even in just the boil as I didn't want any Xmas cake/spice beer happening.
Ended up with the zest of 4 limes and 3 meyer lemons, peeled them and then blended the peels with some water - was the easiest way to add and ensure no pith - plus not losing any more of the oils from in them as you would by normal zesting - very fast as well with a potato peeler.
Unfortunately had a brain fart and instead of chilling the approx 10l boil in the sink, I put straight into the fermenter - assuming the cold water I'd left outside overnight would be ample to bring it down to pitch temps.......wrong.

So it's in the brew fridge trying to get down to mid 20's atleast - will brew at around 18c for 2 weeks. Was super simple to do, freezing the ginger and then blending is super quick. Handy way to get through fresh ginger too as I often am unsure on how to use it all up. All water used is filtered rainwater.
 

mynameisrodney

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OK based on advice here just went down to a local Asian grocer and found ginger for $12/kg. Much more manageable! Do you bother peeling it? I'll keep some aside and plant it too.
 

Nick the Knife

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OK based on advice here just went down to a local Asian grocer and found ginger for $12/kg. Much more manageable! Do you bother peeling it? I'll keep some aside and plant it too.
As I said in my posts above - chop it into smallish chunks, then freeze it - defrost it in your fridge 24hrs or so before you brew - then blend or foodprocess it with some water. No need to peel, as long as it's reasonably clean i.e not covered in chunks of dirt. Honestly was super simple and peeling ginger is a PITA.

Mine smelt and tasted absolutely devine - only 2 or so days into fermenting - was going like a cracker. Sitting at 18c pretty stable in the brew fridge, though I don't have it turned on as it's cold enough in the garage for the brew to just hold it's own temp (does put out it's own heat when fermenting first few days).

You'll have to wait till Spring to plant - read up on that.
 

mynameisrodney

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Yeah I ended up just washing and chucking in the food processor. Next time I'll try blender with water. After pouring it into the fermenter I noticed that all the chunks of ginger were sinking, but the chunks of skin were floating. Next time I'll try to scoop most of them off while I'm boiling. I can imagine they're not going to play nice with my floating dip tube if they don't sink when I cold crash.
 
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Quick digression and stray thought: has anyone heard of or tasted galangal beer? If you don't know galangal, a relative of ginger, buy some at a SE Asian store and try the tea
 

mynameisrodney

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I remember reading someone else contemplating it but cant remember if it was on here or somewhere else. I've used galangal in Thai cooking before, but not for a while. I don't know the taste/smell well enough on its own to guess if it would be any good, but sounds worth a try.
 

Nick the Knife

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Quick digression and stray thought: has anyone heard of or tasted galangal beer? If you don't know galangal, a relative of ginger, buy some at a SE Asian store and try the tea
It was either in this thread or another one that was about making Ginger Beer (know as I've read dozens of them before doing my brew) - a guy stated that he'd put galangal in his and it tasted terrible, specifically posted up to say do not do it. So make of that what you will.
 

mynameisrodney

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A bit over 24h in and smell from the fermenter is pretty good.

I ended up doing
1.5kg ginger
1kg brown sugar
1kg raw sugar
3x bird's eye chilli
Yeast nutients
US05

I'll backsweeten with some sugar in the keg.
 

Nick the Knife

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A bit over 24h in and smell from the fermenter is pretty good.

I ended up doing
1.5kg ginger
1kg brown sugar
1kg raw sugar
3x bird's eye chilli
Yeast nutients
US05

I'll backsweeten with some sugar in the keg.
3 birds eye chillis! Damn......have you popped them in before? As thats right up with the higher number I've read of folks popping in. How many litres in the fermenter?
 

mynameisrodney

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3 birds eye chillis! Damn......have you popped them in before? As thats right up with the higher number I've read of folks popping in. How many litres in the fermenter?

22L in the fermenter, but I'm assuming I'll lose a fair bit due to all the crushed ginger.

I haven't used these particular ones in brewing before, but they are off my chilli tree and I use them all the time. They were small ones which is why I used 3.

I'll see how it goes, I love spicy food, but maybe I'll be drinking the keg by myself haha.
 

BAA

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So I am interested in how spicy these ginger beers come out. My favorite ginger beer is Idris from the UK, which is incredibly spicy, with an intense ginger hit. From what I understand this is achieved by over dosing the Ginger?

If that is correct how far have you gone to increse the ratio of ginger?
 
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mynameisrodney

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OK just sampled some from the fermenter, down to 1.020. Taste's reasonably intense to me, but I've never had Idris.

There was a bit of a kick from the chilli, but not too much for me. I made the wife try it too though and she said it was too spicy for her.
 

btrots87

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I brewed this today, first ever GB. More for my wife than me, I'm not a big GB fan but I harvested about a kilo of ginger this year so seemed like a good use for it. Only made a 12L batch and it will be going into bottles because I don't want it taking up a keg for an unspecified amount of time.

I added the dme and crystal to hopefully get some sweetness as I'll have to ferment it out completely before going in the bottles. Might need to back sweeten with some lemonade or sugar syrup but I'll see how it turns out.

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.040
Final Gravity: 1.004
ABV (standard): 4.71%
IBU (tinseth): 0
SRM (morey): 9.46
Mash pH: 0

FERMENTABLES:
0.5 kg - Dry Malt Extract - Light (33.3%)
0.75 kg - Brown Sugar (50%)

STEEPING GRAINS:
0.25 kg - New Zealand - Light Crystal Malt (16.7%)

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
800 g - Ginger, Time: 30 min, Type: Spice, Use: Boil
3 each - Lemons - juiced, Time: 30 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
1 each - Lemons - zest, Time: 30 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
3 each - Limes - juiced, Time: 30 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
1 each - Limes - zest, Time: 30 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
 

mynameisrodney

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Ok so fermentation stalled at ~1.007 for me which was a bit surprising. Luckily it tasted good at that FG, so rather than trying to sort that out and then back sweeten later, I just kegged as is. That clocks it in at 3.3% so lower then planned, but not really bothered. Fermentation was never particularly vigorous even though I used a fair amount of nutrient. Could have been the yeast, first time using the kegland US-05 equivalent.

After force carbing and having a few, the chilli is definitely too much. I still like it, but it stops it from being refreshing, and I think it will be pretty divisive with guests.
 

mynameisrodney

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Well I had some mates over last night and half the keg is gone. So not that divisive haha. Chilli beer works well for sitting around outside in the cold.
 

Nick the Knife

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Ok so fermentation stalled at ~1.007 for me which was a bit surprising. Luckily it tasted good at that FG, so rather than trying to sort that out and then back sweeten later, I just kegged as is. That clocks it in at 3.3% so lower then planned, but not really bothered. Fermentation was never particularly vigorous even though I used a fair amount of nutrient. Could have been the yeast, first time using the kegland US-05 equivalent.

After force carbing and having a few, the chilli is definitely too much. I still like it, but it stops it from being refreshing, and I think it will be pretty divisive with guests.
An FG of 1.007 sounds like the yeast worked well - I don't think you'd have wanted it to have gone too much lower as it'd have given you a very dry result - which would have required as you say backsweetening, which is it's own issue. The 3.3% or so would actually be fine - but perhaps given as you say the chilli was a tad much (haha I did try and warn you! Lile salt in cooking it's always easier to add more just before you consume) so quaffing heaps could be challenging.

But folks love little more than free booze, especially stuff thats good quality - so sounds like it still went down very well. Perhaps the only adjustment you need next time is a higher OG and a lil less chilli and you're on a winner.

I've still got mine sitting passively in the brew fridge - it's been holding pretty well at 18c, though have to give it a little with a heat matt in there to keep it from sliding down a few degrees. Have given it a few 'twists' to agitate it over the past 12 or so days, but otherwise I've been impressed by how easy a non-hop beer is to do. The brew up etc was much simpler and less worry about oxygen exposure etc which will also be the case when I rack to secondary and bottle - which I'll do this weekend.
 

Nick the Knife

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Hmmm well it's been 2 full weeks in the fermenter now - so went out with the intention of bottling today. My modus operandi for the past few years has been rather than taking readings 3 days in a row - to leave for 2 weeks and then take reading - bottling unless it's oddly high or doing something special.

So tested hydrometer with water and confirmed it's correct - took reading of brew and 1.012. Which would seem to me to be around where the generic yeast would get it.

I didn't like the potential of tap leaks & infections, so several brews back changed my regular primary (a Bunnings 30L blue water container) - so that the bottom bung is always in (actually chemically sealed it in place). So readings are taken using a wine thief/large turkey baster and I empty using a siphon to secondary for bulk priming and bottling.

Flavour wise - very clean, could have done with a tad more ginger perhaps - and also a tad more citrus peel - I didn't put any juice in as was worried about affecting the pH.

I've never had an alcoholic ginger beer before - and full disclosure I have a sweet tooth, but thought it could do with being backsweetened a reasonable amount. I anticipate less the trub & ginger leaving about 25L of brew. After looking my thoughts are either:

- Stevia (likely best done using the liquid concentrate, as the granulated/tablets are full of filler). That 125ml bottle would equate to 1.25kg of sugar's 'sweetness'. Downside is I hear it's flavour can throw some people, but in such a bold flavour as ginger beer I suspect this would be hidden.
or
- Lactose - via LHBS.
or
- old fashioned Aspartame based tablets - which is the same chemical used in Diet Coke etc. This seems the 'safest' in terms of not massively altering the flavour profile. Lil filler in them but nothing much that wouldn't be in a brew.

But here's where it gets tricky....as I was thinking - easy choice, lactose right? But then luckily I read that lactose ISN'T very sweet. In fact you need 5 times the amount of lactose in something to achieve the same sweetness as sucrose.

Now if I was kegging - apparently what you'd be able to do is add potassium sorbate, which makes the yeast 'sterile' (essentially it can no longer metabolise sugars). And then you can sweeten, then carbonate via CO2. But I'm bottling so need the yeast to still be doing their thing.

I don't find adding 5kg of lactose at $80 total to be a good idea. Tend to think the basic sweetener tablets might be the best choice?

Feedback welcomed.
 
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Liambeer

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If kegging you don’t need to sterilise the yeast before backsweeteneing if you refrigerate the keg immediately as the cold temp will halt secondary fermentation.

Lactose can get very gummy too, the fake ones are best, but you can taste them if looking.
 

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