Author Topic: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe  (Read 2543 times)

Offline mharding73

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2017, 11:20:52 AM »
I got one for my barley wine that did not carb up in the bottle.  Works great. 

Offline Delo

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2017, 01:15:00 PM »
The great thing about soft drinks is that they are ready quickly and you can experiment without having to wait a month.

Carbonator caps are great and if you are fine with ordering from Amazon, i think they are selling steel ones for about the same as the plastic ones.
Mark

Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2017, 06:29:43 PM »
I have been brewing a few batches of sodas with my daughter and was thinking of having a keg of ginger beer on tap. We made a gallon at a time using 1.25 to 2.5 oz of grated fresh ginger, depending on how much ginger flavor we wanted, 1/2 a lemon juiced, and about 1.75 cups of sugar simmered for about a half hour.  It's a pretty simple recipe, but makes a pretty good ginger beer.  This also was for naturally carbonated ginger beer.  If I force carb, I will probably cut the sugar amount down. Good luck and let us know how it goes and what recipe you use.
I think I'll be making a few tweaks as I go, but I made my first batch last night. The recipe is basically a guesstimate based on several recipes I've seen, but I should be able to dial it in quickly over a few batches.

1 medium hand of ginger, peeled and chopped (weighed 1.5 oz/43g of prepped ginger)
125g light brown sugar

This was added to a cup of water and heated to a boil in the microwave in an oversized coffee mug

Zest of 2 limes added as a "flameout" addition to the boiled syrup, then covered with plastic wrap and allowed to steep about 90 minutes

The juice of the 2 limes was added to a 1-liter soda bottle, then the strained ginger mixture, then topped off with filtered, cold tap water. I force-carbed to 30 PSI and threw it in the kegerator to chill overnight. I'll give it a taste tonight and report back. The nice thing about a 1-liter batch is that it is pretty much 1/10 of the size of my 2.5 gallon kegs, so everything should scale up easily to a keg.

Here are my notes on this batch:

Lime flavor was the dominant character; it was more like a limeade soda with ginger than a ginger beer. The ginger level was there, but lower than I'd like. Less spiciness than I'd like as well. The sugar balance was just right, but I pick up a faint "artificial sweetener" character that I can get from too much brown sugar. There was also a bit more sediment than I'd like. I might try lining my strainer with butter muslin in the future.

Next batch I will cut it down to 1 lime's worth of juice, and possibly skip the zest altogether. I love lime, but it's just not what I'm going for. The sweetness was good, but I'm afraid that it might get a bit too much once I cut the acidity. I'll probably cut the brown sugar 50-50 with turbinado to reduce the molasses sweetness. That should lighten the color as well, which was a bit darker than I pictured.

I know I need to amp up the ginger, but I'm not sure how much was just hiding behind the lime. I think I'll stick with one hand the next batch, but I have a fatter one that might yield a little more than the last one I used. I'll probably extend the steep a bit as well, in hopes of extracting a bit more heat.

Side note - 2 limes (juice + zest) is the perfect amount for 1-liter of soda to give a strong lime flavor without bitterness. I'll probably use this recipe, but replace the ginger with some passionfruit concentrate, for a tart refresher this summer.

I'll keep a running log here. I'll probably get the next batch made up in a few more days.
Eric B.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2017, 12:54:00 PM »
Batch #2 was brewed during Thursday's snow storm. The ginger I used was much fresher than the ginger I had for batch #1, and I think it made a considerable difference. I ended up getting about 100g of ginger out of one medium-sized hand, compared to only 43g in my last batch. The hand was a lot plumper, so that was probably a big part of the increase in yield.

Batch 2:
98g Fresh diced ginger
60g light brown sugar
60 g turbinado sugar

This was added to 8oz water and heated in the microwave to a boil. This was then covered with plastic wrap and allowed to steep for ~5.5 hours. I added this to the juice of 1 lime (juice only - no zest this time) in a 1-liter bottle, topped with ice water, and force carbonated at 30 PSI.

When I went to taste it the next day, it had gone flat. I'm thinking that the carb cap wasn't sealed too tight. I gave it a quick taste, and noted that the oversweet molasses character was still there. I resealed it and hit it pretty hard with the CO2. When I tasted it later that day, there was a nice prickly carbonation, and the oversweet character was gone. Note to self - carbonation seems to help counter that artificially sweet character.

The flavor balance was pretty much spot-on. I could taste enough of the lime to tell that this was where the acidity was coming from, but without too strong of a flavor to compete with the ginger. I could cut the lime juice down my maybe 25-30%, but it's ok at this level. The ginger flavor was nice, and there was just enough sweetness for balance.

The only thing that it needed more of is heat from the ginger. I got some spiciness on the lips and tongue, but it needs more kick for me. I really don't want to go up on the fresh ginger, because this recipe already scales up to a kilo of fresh, prepped ginger for a full 2.5 gallon batch. I've done some reading, and it seems that dried ginger is spicier than fresh ginger, although fresh just can't be beat for taste. I could try lengthening the steep time to an overnight steep, but I think I'm just going to add a tablespoon or two of dried ginger to the steep next time and see what that does.
Eric B.

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Offline satchman

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2017, 11:38:46 AM »
Batch #2 was brewed during Thursday's snow storm. The ginger I used was much fresher than the ginger I had for batch #1, and I think it made a considerable difference. I ended up getting about 100g of ginger out of one medium-sized hand, compared to only 43g in my last batch. The hand was a lot plumper, so that was probably a big part of the increase in yield.

Batch 2:
98g Fresh diced ginger
60g light brown sugar
60 g turbinado sugar

This was added to 8oz water and heated in the microwave to a boil. This was then covered with plastic wrap and allowed to steep for ~5.5 hours. I added this to the juice of 1 lime (juice only - no zest this time) in a 1-liter bottle, topped with ice water, and force carbonated at 30 PSI.

When I went to taste it the next day, it had gone flat. I'm thinking that the carb cap wasn't sealed too tight. I gave it a quick taste, and noted that the oversweet molasses character was still there. I resealed it and hit it pretty hard with the CO2. When I tasted it later that day, there was a nice prickly carbonation, and the oversweet character was gone. Note to self - carbonation seems to help counter that artificially sweet character.

The flavor balance was pretty much spot-on. I could taste enough of the lime to tell that this was where the acidity was coming from, but without too strong of a flavor to compete with the ginger. I could cut the lime juice down my maybe 25-30%, but it's ok at this level. The ginger flavor was nice, and there was just enough sweetness for balance.

The only thing that it needed more of is heat from the ginger. I got some spiciness on the lips and tongue, but it needs more kick for me. I really don't want to go up on the fresh ginger, because this recipe already scales up to a kilo of fresh, prepped ginger for a full 2.5 gallon batch. I've done some reading, and it seems that dried ginger is spicier than fresh ginger, although fresh just can't be beat for taste. I could try lengthening the steep time to an overnight steep, but I think I'm just going to add a tablespoon or two of dried ginger to the steep next time and see what that does.
Thanks for the detailed write-up! Looking forward to hearing more and trying your recipe!

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Offline Delo

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2017, 07:54:52 AM »
Thanks for the write up. I was going to make some Thursday during the storm too but noticed my co2 tank was empty.  I just hooked up a keg and I must have a leak.

When I tasted it later that day, there was a nice prickly carbonation, and the oversweet character was gone. Note to self - carbonation seems to help counter that artificially sweet character.

My daughter and I made a 7up like soda for her 7th birthday.   We naturally carbonated it and with citrus juices it takes much longer to carbonate.  There were a few bottles that were opened too early(I give here credit for waiting longer than a week)  and they were undercarbed and tasted off, also like an artificial sweetener like taste.  After it carbonated it tasted fine.

The only thing that it needed more of is heat from the ginger. I got some spiciness on the lips and tongue, but it needs more kick for me. I really don't want to go up on the fresh ginger, because this recipe already scales up to a kilo of fresh, prepped ginger for a full 2.5 gallon batch.
From what I read, simmering ginger will also bring out the heat.   You could simmer some to add spiciness and steep the rest for flavor.

Thanks again for the write up and look forward to hearing more.
Mark

Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2017, 06:46:03 PM »
I brewed batch #3 just a little while ago, and although I haven't tasted it yet, I might have to try the simmer route instead of ground ginger unless the results are amazing. The dried ginger turns everything to sludge and is really hard to keep out of the packaged product. I'm going to let it sit overnight in my kegerator in hopes of cold-crashing out as much of the ginger particles as possible in the bottle.

Here's the recipe (although I lost a bit of the steeped syrup so all bets are off on the accuracy of this)

Steep in 8oz H2O for 3 hours
86g fresh diced ginger
120g turbinado sugar
2 Tbsp ground ginger

Add to ~3/4 juice of one lime, fill to 1 liter with ice water, force carb at 30 PSI

Tasting notes in another day or so
Eric B.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2017, 11:59:35 AM »
I brewed batch #3 just a little while ago, and although I haven't tasted it yet, I might have to try the simmer route instead of ground ginger unless the results are amazing. The dried ginger turns everything to sludge and is really hard to keep out of the packaged product. I'm going to let it sit overnight in my kegerator in hopes of cold-crashing out as much of the ginger particles as possible in the bottle.

Here's the recipe (although I lost a bit of the steeped syrup so all bets are off on the accuracy of this)

Steep in 8oz H2O for 3 hours
86g fresh diced ginger
120g turbinado sugar
2 Tbsp ground ginger

Add to ~3/4 juice of one lime, fill to 1 liter with ice water, force carb at 30 PSI

Tasting notes in another day or so
I tasted this batch last night. The heat was there, but I was missing a lot of the fresh ginger character I got from prior batches. I think part of that is that I spilled more of my syrup than I thought. (There was a lot of sludge from the ground ginger that I tried to avoid and made a mess in the process) Not only was there less fresh ginger character, but there was less sweetness as well.

The ground ginger seems to be adding heat but no flavor. Also, I think the lime juice definitely boosts that fresh character that this batch was missing. I added some True Lime to my glass and it added back some of that brightness I was missing.

It looks like I will be moving back closer to batch #2 the next time around, but I haven't given up on the ground ginger yet. I'm thinking 1-2 tsp rather than Tbsp for the next batch, plus the full juice from 1 lime again.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Online Stevie

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Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2017, 01:01:18 PM »
This is my favorite thread right now

Offline pete b

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2017, 02:11:05 PM »
I want to try this with young ginger. I just bought a big hand of it.
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Offline satchman

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2017, 02:16:58 PM »
This is my favorite thread right now
Agreed!


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Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2017, 09:51:08 PM »
I want to try this with young ginger. I just bought a big hand of it.
That's the way to go. I had some nice fat ones lately that were the consistency between a parsnip and a new potato when cutting them. Nothing like fresh ginger for this.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2017, 08:59:43 AM »
My latest batch finally hit the carbonation level I was shooting for, and I think I've finally hit gold. Here's the details:

100 g diced fresh ginger
60 g turbinado
60 g light brown sugar
12 oz water

This was brought up to a simmer for just over an hour. Once it cooled enough to handle, I poured it through a strainer, and mashed it a bit with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much as I could. I juiced a lime over this as a filter bed, and sparged the while thing with another 12 ounces of cold water to try to get every last drop of flavor. This got topped off to 1 liter and force-carbed.

Once this finally got carbed up, I knew I finally nailed this. The prickly carbonation takes you right into a deep, lingering ginger heat. Underneath the heat is this great, fresh ginger flavor balanced by a touch of lime and just enough acidity. There is some molasses-y brown sugar flavor, but I think the 50-50 mix with turbinado is the right balance to keep it from being too strong in that area.

It is a sweet soda, but not too much for my tastes (I grew up in a Pepsi household, and this is in a similar ballpark). I would like to try this with a bit less sugar to see how that compares. But otherwise, everything in this recipe is about perfect to my taste buds. That fresh ginger flavor is something I've never gotten from a commercial ginger beer.

As always, I'll keep this thread going as I brew new batches. I think I'm only about one or two batches away from determining a Gold-version recipe. Big thanks to Delo for the simmering suggestion. That made all the difference. Dried ginger was all heat with little flavor, and warm steeping brought a lot of flavor with little heat.

Side note: I've come to the realization that I can force carb way faster if I leave more headspace. It's almost like making a SNS starter in that regard - add CO2, then shake the snot out of the whole thing. I need to start brewing my 1L batches in 2L soda bottles.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline pete b

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2017, 09:08:03 AM »
Thanks Eric. I'm going to get a soda bottle carbonator on my next Morebeer order and will try it. I suspect my sweet tolerance is much less (I grew up in a "soda is too expensive" household) so I'll start with less sugar.
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Offline Delo

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Re: Looking for a good ginger beer recipe
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2017, 10:15:01 AM »
Thanks for the updates. I’m glad it is working out for you!  I’ve been playing around with making 1 liter bottles too with similar results. I used:

75 g of fresh diced ginger
100 g of evap cane sugar
Lemon juice.
500 ml of water.   
Simmered for 20 minutes and cooled down another 20 minutes.
Topped off to 1 liter cooled and force carbed.

The ginger flavor was good but not enough so ill probably up the quantity and the simmering time.  The sweetness for me was still a little too much, but I’m not a big soda drinker(I grew up in the soda isn’t good for you while dad hot boxed us in the car smoking cigarettes household)

I like the idea of lime instead of lemon and I may try using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar.

The full 1 liter is really hard to carbonate.  I found the same thing out when I first tried a sample and it was really flat.  I attached the co2 and shook the crap out of it and the extra room made it a lot easier.  You would think it would have been obvious.  :)

I would also be interested to hear if you try out the concentrates you mentioned. 
Mark