What am I in for?

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So after a brief introduction to home brewing via a big 23L batch from a kit, I've made my first tentative steps down the home-made small-batch path. In true "***k it" style I found a video on YouTube (some bloke named Trevor from Queensland, at least I think he's from Queensland) and scaled down his ginger beer recipe. Ginger, lemon juice, sugar (lots of sugar), water and a bit of CL23 white wine yeast.

According to my hydrometer I've wound up with an SG of 1.112 - could be tasty? Seems quite high for a starting density, I guess I'm wondering what I'm in for if it all goes well. Apparently the CL23 may end up being quite dry, but says it can handle up to 18% ABV.

My other concern is the good old exploding bottle problem. Will be using 750ml flip-tops and carbonation drops. Some more googling suggests that too much sugar in the brew may lead to bottle bombs?

Anyway, here's to the adventure...


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If you play around with the ABV;equation; Change Gravity/7.5=ABV it looks to me like it would finish at 0.977 if it went to 18%.
To get maximum attenuation you usually need to add the sugar in batches rather than all up front.
I suspect if you have a good healthy ferment and lots of yeast it will get down to 1.000-1.005 and be fairly dry.
It’s really borderline as to whether the yeast will act on the extra sugar at priming to give fizz or not (be at the limit of the yeast).

Probably best to wait until it’s finished and take a really accurate FG measure, you could add some water to lower the overall SGwith the priming sugar.
But Wait and do some serious planning before jumping in.
For the record more than anything.

Well, three weeks in and we're still going. The carboy is still slowly bubbling, one bubble every 20-30 seconds or so. A lot more suspended particles are now sitting at the bottom and the brew is much clearer.

Relative Density progression:
22/2: 1.112
6/3: 1.068
16/3: 1.042

Online calculator says I'm at 9.19 percent ABV, which is a little more than I think I'd like in a finished product, so it will be interesting to see where it ends up. I'm guessing a different yeast next time to adjust the alcohol/sugar balance for a sweeter finished product?

Anyway as this is experimental, I'll just keep going until the fermentation stops.


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Well, four weeks of fermentation and two weeks bottle rest later, it was time for tasting.

Original Gravity/RD = 1.112
Final Gravity/RD = 1.042
ABV = 9.19%

Quite pale colour. A solid kick too, probably a bit more than I prefer. Slight yeasty/wine taste, probably on account of using wine yeast. Might have to research yeasts a bit, I think next batch would prefer a little less alcohol and more remaining sweetness in the drink.


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