Ginger Beer – continued

Updating my Ginger Beer experiments:

The first batch was less gingery than I like. I’ve doubled the amount of ginger I add per day to two teaspoons. I tried doubling it again to four, but the drink was more gingery but somehow less interesting, more like fizzy ginger than nice, tart ginger beer.

So every day add two teaspoons of ginger and two teaspoons of sugar.

I’ve also tried using fresh ginger, now. It helps the process somewhat, but it doesn’t change the flavor very much. There are different ways of using fresh ginger, but this is what I’m doing right now:

I take 20 oz of ginger root – which is a lot, but it’s $2/lb around here – and cut it into smallish pieces. Then I drop it into boiling water for two minutes to scald it, to kill any surface bacteria. After that I blend it with a couple of cups of water until the ginger is blended very fine.

I strain the mush through muslin, squeezing to get as much juice out of the ginger as I can. Then I put that into the fermentation jar and add the Ginger Beer Plant and filtered water to a total of around six cups. (The ginger will add a couple of cups of juice.)

Add four teaspoons of sugar on that first day, and then two teaspoons of sugar (no ginger) each day for the rest of the week.

Since there’s no powdered ginger, the Ginger Beer Plant filters out much more cleanly at the end of the week, ready for splitting for the next batch.

I have also cut the sugar I add down to 2 1/4 cups. I tried it at 2 cups, but that ginger beer batch tasted very good but a little dry. 2 1/4 seems just sweet enough, to me.

As I mentioned, I’m using about six cups of water or water + ginger juice in the fermentation jar, so I’ve cut the 18 cups of cold water to 16 in the bottling mix.

I just bottled batch seven, and with the exception of the batch that I tried four teaspoons of ginger per day, they’ve all been excellent, and that one, while disappointing, was still quite good.

9 Comments

  1. Nick Boid
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Hmmm. Looks like a dodgy version of the Newcastle Brown that you used to drink…. πŸ™‚ Hope you all are well.

  2. iain
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Nick! My god! How are you doing?

  3. Martin Hussey
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    If you ever come up with a recipe for “American” Cream Soda let me know πŸ˜‰

  4. iain
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, hi, Martin! How come everyone’s finding me after this one post? πŸ™‚ You know, I’ve wondered a few times whether I should try googling Martin Hussey Qualcomm, but I figured that you wouldn’t be there after all this time.

    Have I talked to you after I heard The Rest Of The Story about Duke and missing equipment from Brian H?

    Anyway, I’m with you. I’ve been wondering about trying to use GBP to make cream soda. It’s only vanilla, I think. Maybe brewing sugar, 1 lemon and a teaspoon of vanilla for a few days and bottling. It’s worth a try.

  5. Marc Slatter
    Posted November 23, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    It is some time since your last post but thought you might be interested to know that I am having reasonable success with my GBP following the stock recipe from thegingerbeerplant.com

    I use fresh ginger ( plenty of it) which I put through a blender with a little water and then use a VERY fine meshed funnel / sieve combo designed for straining cooking oil ( but only used for Ginger Beer) and press all the juice from the pulp.

    Same with the lemon juice.

    This removes most of the bits but leaves the flavour

    Come bottling it all goes through the same sieve again but requires you to put it through a normal fine sieve first to capture the big bits and the GBP.

    Net result is a more even looking beer.

    BTW. Lived many a happy year in Blackfield before moving abroad.

    Regards

    Marc Slatter

  6. iain
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Thanks. I still haven’t tried that, but I’ve been wanting to branch out – if only because making 14-15 pints (US) of ginger beer and only drinking about 10 gets to be a strain on the fridge. The couple of liter to 1 gallon recipes are looking like good alternatives to switch out to occasionally.

    I’ve had mixed success with fresh ginger. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes the taste just isn’t as good. Sometimes it seems to pretty much kill off the GBP. Perhaps because I use too much for the GBP to tolerate. Mostly I stick to dried ginger, which doesn’t sound as appetizing, but to be honest my suspicion (without any confirmation that I can find) is that the traditional drink would have used dried ginger, because fresh would have been very hard to acquire in the 18th/19th century.

    I will try Jim Macdonald’s recipe with fresh ginger, though. He does seem to know his GBP.

  7. Iain
    Posted January 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Hello Iain,

    I was wondering if you would consider selling this URL.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Iain

  8. iain
    Posted January 29, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    ‘Fraid not. I’m proud of it, even if I’m not currently doing much with it πŸ™‚

  9. Creepy0000
    Posted May 24, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Why do you keep this site up? Did you forget about? Will you ever see this? Why haven’t you posted anything if if you’re keeping it up? Doesn’t this site cost you money? Have you just been writing up a series of posts over the past 4 years? Are you dead and your family and friends are keeping it up as away to remember you by? (which would be nice, excluding death) Do you only keep it up for nostalgic purposes? (perfectly good answer by the way)

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