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Kit Ginger Beer

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Luek

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Never liked ginger beer... but the missus likes it (and hasn't liked anything else I've brewed so far!)

I had a bad experience with a cider kit (taste wise) - apple juice fermented with sn9 turned out much better than my black rocks kit - and I'm a little hesitant to just buy a cooper's ginger beer kit and put it down following kit instructions without asking about it here first.

What will it turn out like if I do? Will it be awful or half decent?
Are there a few extra (cheap preferred) ingredients I can add to make it turn out better?

Missus drinks stones ginger beer if it helps.

p.s. She's not big on chilli either. I've searched around here and mostly found non kit ginger beer recipes and notice a lot use chilli.
I'm hellbent on brewing something she likes. If this fails I'm gonna have to look into making alcopop style stuff.
 

bum

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What will it turn out like if I do? Will it be awful or half decent?
Are there a few extra (cheap preferred) ingredients I can add to make it turn out better?

Missus drinks stones ginger beer if it helps.

p.s. She's not big on chilli either. I've searched around here and mostly found non kit ginger beer recipes and notice a lot use chilli.
I'm hellbent on brewing something she likes. If this fails I'm gonna have to look into making alcopop style stuff.
Ignore the temps they give and keep it between 18 and 20 and it should be fine. The artificial sweetener flavour this kit can present is much stronger in the Stones GB for me so I think the kit will work well for you as long as you can manage the fermentation well.

Additions that work well for me are a metric shed-load of ginger (not cheap at the moment but worth it, IMO), cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Raw sugar instead of dex or whatever is a good move. 250g of dark brown sugar (as opposed to regular brown sugar) works really well.
 

Luek

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Ignore the temps they give and keep it between 18 and 20 and it should be fine. The artificial sweetener flavour this kit can present is much stronger in the Stones GB for me so I think the kit will work well for you as long as you can manage the fermentation well.

Additions that work well for me are a metric shed-load of ginger (not cheap at the moment but worth it, IMO), cinnamon, clove and cardamom. Raw sugar instead of dex or whatever is a good move. 250g of dark brown sugar (as opposed to regular brown sugar) works really well.
Temp control is hard for me. I must be in a hotter environment for most on this forum because the best temp control I've managed to date is 22-26*C with militant swapping of frozen coke bottles of water, and also a large tray of ice, in a plastic tub of water in laundry cupboard.

Backing up this theory, I took a trip to Melbourne recently and it was bloody cold down there!

So, where to buy ginger? I don't think I've seen it in Woolie's (not that I've been looking though), how much do I need to have, and how to prepare? Grate, slice, just boil and chuck in?
Same goes for cinnamon. I've seen powdered stuff but no sticks - this I've been looking for.
 

bum

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Lots of people use powdered cinnamon. You can get quills at pretty much every supermarket down here. I get mine at an indian spice shop but only because they are close, cheap and good quality. Any you can find will be fine and if you can't find any the powdered will work.

As for the ginger, I dunno, The Stones GB doesn't have a tonne of bite to it so I'd be tempted to do the kit straight - it does have a definite ginger presence as is. Unless the missus has mentioned she'd like it with a bit more ginger oomph, of course. I put a minimum of 1kg fresh ginger in most batches. Lots of people use powdered ginger and reckon it works okay. I haven't though so couldn't say how good or how much.

[EDIT: Forgot to say where to get ginger. Pretty much every supermarket down my way has ginger. May be different up your way? I get mine at asian markets. Cheaper and better quality. Supermarket works well still.]
 

ben_sa

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Hi mate,
A fellow adelaide brewer gave me a sample of his GB and it was delicious, Ive almost made my way through the entire 27 litres in about 2 weeks Ha! Turned out delicious!

Recipe:
1 can of Coopers Ginger Beer
1 bottle of "Buderim Ginger Refresher" (available from woolies ~$3)
300-800g of fresh ginger (coarsely grated) My brother in law is a chef and he got me a 1kg tub of crushed ginger of which i used about 800g
Handful of chillies finely chopped, seeds and all. (i used 100g fresh and 100g dried)
1kg of Dextrose
Coopers Kit yeast (i used nottingham)

Boil the chillies and ginger in ~4L of water for about 30 mins, strain into fermenter and add rest of the ingredients.

Mine was made upto 27L, The chilli is not overpowering, but if your dead against it, probably just go for 100g...
 

Airgead

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Lots of people use powdered cinnamon. You can get quills at pretty much every supermarket down here. I get mine at an indian spice shop but only because they are
Only problem I find with powdered is that it is really fine and tends to suspend in the brew rather than all settling out. The quills are much easier to get out again.

Flavor is the same though.

The other thing you need to watch with cinnamon is to make sure you are getting cinnamon not cassia. Cheap cinnamon is often cassia instead. the flavor sis similar but not the same.

Cheers
Dave
 

brettprevans

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.....Handful of chillies finely chopped, seeds and all. (i used 100g fresh and 100g dried)
.......The chilli is not overpowering, but if your dead against it, probably just go for 100g...
dude the chillis you are using must be duds. 3 birdseyes in the fermentor provides a heap of heat (and yes i like chilli). 3 birdseyes would be less than 100g, let alone you 100g of dried chilli. what are you using?
 

gravey

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ben_sa said:
Hi mate,
A fellow adelaide brewer gave me a sample of his GB and it was delicious, Ive almost made my way through the entire 27 litres in about 2 weeks Ha! Turned out delicious!

Recipe:
1 can of Coopers Ginger Beer
1 bottle of "Buderim Ginger Refresher" (available from woolies ~$3)
300-800g of fresh ginger (coarsely grated) My brother in law is a chef and he got me a 1kg tub of crushed ginger of which i used about 800g
Handful of chillies finely chopped, seeds and all. (i used 100g fresh and 100g dried)
1kg of Dextrose
Coopers Kit yeast (i used nottingham)

Boil the chillies and ginger in ~4L of water for about 30 mins, strain into fermenter and add rest of the ingredients.

Mine was made upto 27L, The chilli is not overpowering, but if your dead against it, probably just go for 100g...
x2 on this recipe, in my keg atm and it tastes damn fine. I used 600g of ginger, 1 fresh chilli and maybe 5 dried chilli's in 21L - certainly get the bight from the chilli, but its not overpowering.
 

ben_sa

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Sorry, i should clarify, Mine were not 'dried' chilli... They were small chilli's (about 1 inch) from my garden, which were picked and sat in my kitchen for about 4-6 weeks, They were a little bit crunchy haha, then i bought 3 red chillis from the supermarket, All chopped and into the boil.

Come to think of it, it was probably about 100g TOTAL, My bad... It definately has the chilli bite, can feel it going down your throat after each mouthful, and leaves a nice tingling sensation on the lips... (those words could be misconstrued so easily hahaha)

Gravey: Nev as well eh ;) I bought a 9L keg into work for the boys as knock offs, Shit, 2 days = empty :'( Lucky i kept the big keg at home! Now they all want me to make it again...
 

brettprevans

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Sorry, i should clarify, Mine were not 'dried' chilli... They were small chilli's (about 1 inch) from my garden, which were picked and sat in my kitchen for about 4-6 weeks, They were a little bit crunchy haha, then i bought 3 red chillis from the supermarket, All chopped and into the boil.

Come to think of it, it was probably about 100g TOTAL, My bad... It definately has the chilli bite, can feel it going down your throat after each mouthful, and leaves a nice tingling sensation on the lips... (those words could be misconstrued so easily hahaha)

Gravey: Nev as well eh ;) I bought a 9L keg into work for the boys as knock offs, Shit, 2 days = empty :'( Lucky i kept the big keg at home! Now they all want me to make it again...
gonna say mate, you'd be planted to the porcelain with 200g of chilli and the ginger.

going to be doing another batch of my version of chappo's chilli ginger beer once i source some cheap ginger again.
 

gravey

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Sorry, i should clarify, Mine were not 'dried' chilli... They were small chilli's (about 1 inch) from my garden, which were picked and sat in my kitchen for about 4-6 weeks, They were a little bit crunchy haha, then i bought 3 red chillis from the supermarket, All chopped and into the boil.

Come to think of it, it was probably about 100g TOTAL, My bad... It definately has the chilli bite, can feel it going down your throat after each mouthful, and leaves a nice tingling sensation on the lips... (those words could be misconstrued so easily hahaha)

Gravey: Nev as well eh ;) I bought a 9L keg into work for the boys as knock offs, Shit, 2 days = empty :'( Lucky i kept the big keg at home! Now they all want me to make it again...
yeah, I tried it over his place a little while ago and was impressed
 

booargy

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Try a hand full off fresh lemon grass in the boil for just a hint of lemon. My last 50l batch has lasted nearly 18months.
 

gravey

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not sure if trying to give good advice or trick me into adding lemongrass and make shit......

lol

is 18 months good for you? I don't think my 21L batch lasted one month!
 

Luek

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My fermenters only take 23-25L comfortably, but I like the look of Ben_sa's recipe.
I'll scale it down a bit due to the technical limitations caused by me only having room to keep temp control on my 24L max one (leaving a L for krausen if the term applies for non beer brews)
* most of cooper's can (basically just won't try get last drops out, will just tip the bulk in. I'm very scientific)
* kit yeast
* 500g grated and boiled ginger
* 2/3 ginger refresher bottle
* no chili.
* 1 kg plain white sugar (that's dextrose right? I always forget)
Top up to 24 L pitch yeast blahblah

All scaling is rough but should do yeah?
 

gravey

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dextrose inst table sugar if that is what you mean? white sugar, or table sugar is sucrose (dextrose and fructose)

its often labelled as brewing sugar in the brewing section of the supermarket. I'd definitely be using dex over table sugar.

as for the recipe, it looks fine. I only fill the fermenter to 21L, so I wouldnt worry too much on quantities - do whatever you think and then adjust the next time you do it if you dont think it was bang on.
 

Luek

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Done...
* cooper gb inc. Kit yeast
* 1 kg csr brewing sugar
* 330g dark brown sugar
* ginger refresher bottle
* 400g ginger
* 1 cinnamon stick

Grated ginger in middle of day, boiled for 30min in 3.5L of water. Had to do stuff so recommenced brewing late last night... where I added dark brown sugar and brought back to boil in case nasties took over

Put 10L water in fermenter, then added strained contents of pot, and brew sugar and ginger refresher, and broke cinnamon stick into about 4 parts and chucked in. Topped water to 23L, stirred vigorously, 29*C, pitched yeast

Grunted while moving to water bath

Og is only... 1030. From the sugar I put in shouldn't it be higher than that? I was hoping for around 5% abv, but that seems a bit low for that...

Bodgy hydrometer (it's a new one, seemed fine in water at about 22*C) or bodgy recipe?
 

brettprevans

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its often labelled as brewing sugar in the brewing section of the supermarket. I'd definitely be using dex over table sugar.
im interested in hearing your rationale for this statement


....Og is only... 1030. From the sugar I put in shouldn't it be higher than that? I was hoping for around 5% abv, but that seems a bit low for that...
if its a coopers GB kit it will say what the OG should be in what literage. what does it say? Your OG wont be lower than that provided you havent used more water and diluted it.

Im tempted to think your reading is off because of the temp of the 'wort' when you measured. temp affects readings.

im not going to do the gravity math for you, but assuming the GB kit would be around 1040 plus 1.3kg sugar i would expect your OG to be higher than what your reading indicates (and higher than 1040)
 

Luek

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Threw out the can but it was for 20L, you'd think it would be around 1040ish from the can, and the 3 extra litres of water shouldn't drop it that much, even without the ginger water, refresher, and extra sugar...

Doesn't matter, I'll have a reading free brew. Cbf pulling fermenter out of water bath solo.
 

gravey

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im interested in hearing your rationale for this statement
the differences between table sugar and dextrose are well documented.

- less body
- produces a lighter colour
- longer ferment/chance of stuck ferment (unless you invert the sugars yourself)
- results in higher ABV than dex
- can give a cidery taste when used in large amounts (debatable but the info out there suggests you increase your chances of cidery flavours)

Yeasts preferred food is glucose, so why feed it sucrose?

for priming its fine, but personally I avoid it for brewing
 

brettprevans

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the differences between table sugar and dextrose are well documented.

- less body
- produces a lighter colour
- longer ferment/chance of stuck ferment (unless you invert the sugars yourself)
- results in higher ABV than dex
- can give a cidery taste when used in large amounts (debatable but the info out there suggests you increase your chances of cidery flavours)

Yeasts preferred food is glucose, so why feed it sucrose?

for priming its fine, but personally I avoid it for brewing
you said u prefer dex over sugar
why would you want a thin watery body? (thats a reason not to use dex)
your 4th point either around the wrong way or you've got yourself confused. dex is more fully fermentable than sugar and will give a higher abv not the otherway around.
the cidery issue with table sugar is debateable. made a belgian recently? or seen the 'from scrtach' GB recipes. kilos of sugar in them and they are fine. learn to use the ingrediant. if it was your main fermentable then yeah the result will suck, but less than dex as a main fermentable.

if you were making a kit beer would you pick dex over malt (if money were not option)? no you wouldnt. would you pick it over sugar, prob not but depends on what your wanting to use the dex to acheive.

overall I disagree with your premise. as will most brewers. IMO luek will get a better result with sugar in the recipe than dex. but to each their own
 
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