It’s been a while! Just wanted to post about the start of a batch of homebrewed ginger beer. Previously, I’ve made ginger beer by:
- Making ginger syrup and adding to club soda. This was a problem because club soda doesn’t really exist in Germany, where I lived when making this. Tonic isn’t quite a good substitute.
- Making ginger syrup, watering down in a 2L container and adding bakers yeast. This worked pretty well! As long as you ignore the strong bready aroma.
- Making ginger syrup, watering down in a 2L container and adding champagne yeast. This has been my tried and true method. It carbonates the soda with nice, light, champagne-y bubbles and using the low temp of the fridge helps regulate fermentation so it doesn’t get too dry.
However, this time, I’m brewing it more like beer (though keeping the champagne yeast). I made the “wort” from water, ginger, citrus and sugar, and am fermenting it in a glass carboy with an airlock to completion. My biggest complaint about ginger beer (including homebrew recipes and store bought bottles) is that it never has strong enough of a ginger flavor. I wanted it to burn, so I added about 3x as much ginger as many recipes suggested.
1 gallon Water
12 oz Ginger
10 oz Brown Sugar
6 oz Cane Sugar
Just from tasting the wort, I’d probably up the ratio of Cane:Brown sugar and use two lemons fewer. Both took away from the ginger flavor. I’ll probably end up water it down a bit, too.
One difference is that it’s going to be alcoholic. According to some napkin math, it should come out to about 3-4% abv if allowing to ferment to completion. Second, it’s not really going to carbonate since the airlock will be allowing all of that CO2 to escape the chamber. I’ll have to bottle condition by sticking a little extra sugar in before bottling to start fermentation back up and carbonate it. I have a feeling it’s going to be a little dry, so adding some sugar is probably a good idea regardless.
One gallon looks awful small in a 5 gallon carboy.