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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 04:36:17 pm

Title: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 04:36:17 pm
Has anyone had any experience brewing with ginger? I think I have seen it a few times in a spice blend for a beer, but never as the main attraction (or at least a headliner).

Any thoughts, experiences, or suggestions are appreciated.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: gordonstrong on August 25, 2010, 04:37:25 pm
It's strong. Go easy. In higher concentrations, it has a spicy heat to it.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: denny on August 25, 2010, 04:46:35 pm
OK, somebody's gotta say it....

I prefer brewing with Maryann!   ::)
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: euge on August 25, 2010, 04:58:09 pm
OK, somebody's gotta say it....

I prefer brewing with Maryann!   ::)

Wasn't that another thread? ;)

Go easy on it, it can be harsh and needs some sweetness to counterbalance it.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: tschmidlin on August 25, 2010, 05:44:24 pm
Agreed on what has been written before (including Denny's comment).

I love ginger.  I like to get a good ginger burn from my ginger stuff too.  I've tried adding heat with just a lot of ginger - an entire pound in secondary.  It doesn't have that much heat, and the ginger is so powerfully floral it takes some getting used to.

What I've found is that if you want some heat in your ginger beverages (of cookies, or whatever), the best way to do it in my experience is with cayenne pepper.  Use enough to get the heat, but not enough to taste the cayenne.  This is one thing that will definitely depend on personal preferences so maybe start with 1/4 tsp and see how it goes.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: tom on August 25, 2010, 05:45:35 pm
I was going to make a ginger extract by soaking it in vodka for awhile and then dosing a keg to taste. Anyone try that?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: majorvices on August 25, 2010, 05:48:17 pm
Agree with the other comments. Use it sparingly unless you want the heat. If you want the heat use it at the beginning of the boil. If you just want the flavor with little heat use it at the last 5 minutes.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 09:18:48 pm
Flavor profile can vary quite a bit can't it? I don't cook with it really, so not very familiar with it at all.

I had a special request for a 'ginger ale', so flavor over heat is definitely preferred.

Anyone ever use sushi ginger (think it is pickled ginger)? Thinking this might allow for a more mild flavor.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: tschmidlin on August 25, 2010, 09:29:57 pm
Trade Route Brewing (formerly Laughing Buddha) in Seattle makes a ginger pale ale that is nice and mild.  I don't know the recipe though.  :)

I'd consider boiling a measured amount of ginger in water, then dosing a not-too-hoppy pale ale with it.  That will give you an idea of the amount you should use for the flavor you (or your friend) want.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: majorvices on August 25, 2010, 09:52:40 pm
I believe the sushi ginger is pickled, I wouldn't think it would work. I make a ginger beer very regularly that uses about 34 grams of ginger the last 5 min of the boil and the ginger is subtle. I'd double it (to start), put it in late and you should get flavor but little heat.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 09:58:54 pm
Do you use fresh ginger? Grate it or chunks?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: majorvices on August 25, 2010, 10:15:54 pm
fresh, grated
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 11:05:34 pm
Thanks, think I am going to do a pilsner base, lightly hopped (just for bitterness), with a clean lager yeast. I'll have to formulate this weekend, not sure if I am going to do a small or full size batch. Maybe I'll do full batch and separate into smaller batches in the secondary for an experiment of dry seasoning to try different dosings.

Any experience with adding it to the secondary?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 25, 2010, 11:28:41 pm
With just a hint of 20L crystal.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: richardt on August 26, 2010, 08:33:28 am
Fresh, Candied Ginger:

Fresh ginger root from the produce section.
Peel it with a spoon or grater.
Slice med-thin (resembles kettle-style potato chips)
Cook in water for 20 min or so.
Pour off water (removes a lot of the harshness and moderates the spiciness/heat)
Add sugar.
Add a little water back to help dissolve the sugar
Cook on low heat for 20 min or so.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Place the candied ginger in a nylon mesh bag.
Place the bag in the boil kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil for flavor.
Great in a Saison.  Flavor was gentle, subtle.  Peppery heat seemed to come from the yeast, not the ginger.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: schristian619 on August 26, 2010, 04:36:41 pm
I recently made a blonde ale with ginger.  I used fresh ginger root, peeled it and sliced it.  I added .5oz to the last 5 mins of the boil.  It turned out not to be enough for what I was going for, but not bad.  Funny thing was, at first you couldn't even tell it was there.  But after a couple months in the keg, the ginger started to come out and become quite nice.  I'll brew it again next summer and use an ounce or so in the boil.  Also thinking of making it a ginger kolsch instead of a blonde.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: ipaguy on August 27, 2010, 04:10:54 pm
I've used around 1 oz. of grated fresh ginger root at around 15 or 20 min. several times with good results.  I like it especially to counterbalance a heavy bodied beer, like a stout.  I've also had good results when used with around 1 - 2 oz. of lime juice.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: majorvices on August 28, 2010, 12:32:04 pm
Fresh, Candied Ginger:

Fresh ginger root from the produce section.
Peel it with a spoon or grater.
Slice med-thin (resembles kettle-style potato chips)
Cook in water for 20 min or so.
Pour off water (removes a lot of the harshness and moderates the spiciness/heat)
Add sugar.
Add a little water back to help dissolve the sugar
Cook on low heat for 20 min or so.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Place the candied ginger in a nylon mesh bag.
Place the bag in the boil kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil for flavor.
Great in a Saison.  Flavor was gentle, subtle.  Peppery heat seemed to come from the yeast, not the ginger.

Nice! I may have to try this myself. I imagine you lose some of the intensity of the ginger flavor by candying it?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: hopaddicted on August 28, 2010, 03:51:28 pm
Randy Mosher points this out in Radical Brewing that candied ginger is 'milder and purer-tasting than fresh' ginger, obviously no experience myself.

My experience has shown that spice will dramatically increase with age. I brewed a Wit that whose coriander was not noticeable for first month or two, was perfect IMO between 3-4 months, and now is a little over spiced 5-6 months in.

Looks like this is my recipe, appreciate any thoughts:
8 lbs Lager Malt
6 oz Crystal - 20L
1 oz Saaz (60 min)
1 oz Candied Ginger (5 mins)
1 tube of White Labs East Coast Ale Yeast

Mash will be a single infusion at 153-154 degrees to leave some residual dextrins (to add body and keep alcohol low).

I was originally thinking of force carbonating, but an considering adding some dry champagne yeast for bottling/kegging to get a little effervescence and a little extra carbonation. 

I switched to an ale yeast because my second fridge wasn't delivered as scheduled and is probably going to be a few more weeks and my fridge is full of kegs with two beers that need to get cold conditioned still prior to Oktoberfest. Time to grab a beer I guess!...
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: euge on August 28, 2010, 05:00:30 pm
That looks pretty good. Hopefully this one will age a little more gracefully! ;)
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: ipaguy on September 13, 2010, 01:56:01 pm
I like an ounce or less of fresh grated ginger for about a 20 min. boil.  I think it's best used in a malty, slightly sweet beer.  For example, some IPAs I've had have too much of a sweet aftertaste I don't like.  This is in spite of very high hop bittering.  Just a bit of ginger seems to counteract this, and balance things out.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: abraxas on September 13, 2010, 04:49:26 pm
I brew a lighter ale (SG:1.040) with 1/2 oz of candied ginger added to the boil for the last 12 minutes. I had a little Crystal 10L and a little Cara-pils (1/4lb or so each) if I can remember correctly.

 I think it's great and I have received a ton of requests, mostly from non-beergeek types for more. 

I am going to bump it up to SG:1.060 for the next batch but I'll probably only go a little bit higher on the ginger, too much would be way too much IMO.  Actually I think I am going to do a double bath and water 1/2 down to 1.040, it was a really nice lighter session beer to have on tap.

EDIT:  I just checked my notes and I was wrong, I used dry ginger root.  I am brewing a batch right now with candied ginger and am going to up it to account for the sugar.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: richardt on September 14, 2010, 01:07:36 am
Fresh, Candied Ginger:

Fresh ginger root from the produce section.
Peel it with a spoon or grater.
Slice med-thin (resembles kettle-style potato chips)
Cook in water for 20 min or so.
Pour off water (removes a lot of the harshness and moderates the spiciness/heat)
Add sugar.
Add a little water back to help dissolve the sugar
Cook on low heat for 20 min or so.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

Place the candied ginger in a nylon mesh bag.
Place the bag in the boil kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil for flavor.
Great in a Saison.  Flavor was gentle, subtle.  Peppery heat seemed to come from the yeast, not the ginger.

Nice! I may have to try this myself. I imagine you lose some of the intensity of the ginger flavor by candying it?

I've brewed a saison with ginger two different ways (I much peferred the second, so do many within my HBC):
1.)  Store-bought candied ginger (harsh, very peppery, noticeable heat-minimal flavor)
http://www.gingerpeople.com/crystallized-ginger/organic-crystallized-ginger-1.html (http://www.gingerpeople.com/crystallized-ginger/organic-crystallized-ginger-1.html),
even after using it in the BK for 15 minutes and removing it after IC and transfer was complete, the individual cubes were practically too spicy hot to eat.  My mouth was on fire!  I knew my beer was going to be super spicy, and it was.
and
2.) Using the above recipe (which learned from a professional local brewmaster when we upscaled my recipe on his 7 barrel system).
You could retain more flavor (and spicy heat) if you used less water in the boil (and shorter boil times).
Doing it this way makes the ginger more subtle and flavorful with not as much spicy heat--itblends well with the saison, lends complexity, and does not overwhelm the malt and yeast profiles.  The candied sugar just means just a little more fermentables (and more alcohol).

My (sneaky) saison runs 8.5% ABV.  But, the alchohol is practically undetectable.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: majorvices on September 14, 2010, 10:28:06 am
Don't get me wrong, I like the candied idea and I am going to try it but I grate store bought ginger and add it the last 5 minutes and I don't get any heat. The ginger is very subtly in the back ground and it works well. I am going to try the candied ginger idea though - sounds like it may give a better flavor.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: richardt on September 14, 2010, 03:38:04 pm
Clarification regarding making candied ginger:  when I say that one can retain more spicy heat and ginger flavor by "using less water in the boil" I mean the amount of water one adds when making/boiling the candied ginger in the skillet.

If sliced or grated, the candied ginger is ideally added to a fresh nylon hop bag and added to the boil kettle for whatever duration you desire.  This makes removal easy--especially if you have pumps or big mechanical systems.  Since my store-bought candied ginger were diced cubes, I just tossed them in and left them in the BK (they sink to the bottom) as I racked off to the fermenter.

Enjoy!
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: saintpierre on September 14, 2010, 04:01:01 pm
Do you make the candied ginger in advance of your brewing day or have you found that freshly made candied ginger is the way to go?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: richardt on September 15, 2010, 12:34:07 pm
I prefer having all supplies and ingredients ready beforehand.  Make it the day before, store in an airtight, inert container, and chill in the refrigerator so it is ready to go on brew day.  It'll look like a syrupy marinade all over your ginger slices.  It won't be dried ginger cubes or slices like the store-bought variety.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: violaleebrews on September 25, 2010, 03:32:03 am
my only experience with this beloved and mysterious root is using it in accordance with orange zest.
   -20 grams of ginger root
   -30 grams of orange zest
(both freshly grated and organic,  and both at flameout)
both beer geeks and 'other folk' are delighted when i bring this around.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: popshops on September 11, 2011, 10:27:12 pm
I made a porter in which I used 2 cups of grated frresh ginger. It had ginger flavor aftertaste, but not as strong as I wanted. I would like to make a very strong, spicy ginger ale - thinking of using a rye/IPA base. I'm tempted to use ~ 1 pound of ginger. I just saw a mead recipe in zymurgy using 2 pounds ginger. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: jaybeerman on September 12, 2011, 05:13:22 am
Don't get me wrong, I like the candied idea and I am going to try it but I grate ginger and add it the last 5 minutes and I don't get any heat. The ginger is very subtly in the back ground and it works well.

This has been my experience as well; using 5 minute additions. 

The only other thing that I would add is that I prefer the flavor of peeled/skinned ginger.
Title: Re: Ginger
Post by: euge on September 12, 2011, 06:23:47 am
I made a porter in which I used 2 cups of grated frresh ginger. It had ginger flavor aftertaste, but not as strong as I wanted. I would like to make a very strong, spicy ginger ale - thinking of using a rye/IPA base. I'm tempted to use ~ 1 pound of ginger. I just saw a mead recipe in zymurgy using 2 pounds ginger. Any thoughts?

Did you add in the secondary? First thought is to add at flameout but maybe a tea in the final product? I like ginger so 2 pounds doesn't seem out of line to me.