[Tastebridge] suggestions for alcoholic ginger beer experiments

Frantisek Apfelbeck algoldor at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 5 01:06:23 UTC 2013

Hi to all and to alcoholic brewers especially,
I just started a new experiment aiming to brew nice alcoholic ginger beer and I have some questions below. My first batch will be most likely too sweet,  but it is the max end of the screening which I want to do (on the sweet side), the details for the first experiment are below. I would like to ask for recommendations for the next experiments, I put some ideas below at the end. It is possible that I may be able to sell the final product, of course I plan to share the technology, recopies etc. 

The final volume of the brew = 5 l; Specifications:

0.1% (w/v; 5 g) of bakers dried instant yeast (primed/activated in warm water with bit of light brown sugar for +-30 min)
20% (w/v; 1000 g) of light brown sugar (dissolved in hot water)
4%(w/v; 200 g) of ginger (fresh, cleaned by brush and blended in mixer, added to the brew at the beginning of fermentation)
95% of used water is commercial purified water (I shake it a bit to get some oxygen in it)
fermentation vessel is 5 l plastic container, narrow mouth, closed by lid, no air lock at the momment
the brew is fermenting at +-25C in my "aquarium heater" based incubator

It started to go on within few hours and it is fermenting really strongly, anaerobic fermentation as mentioned. I tasted it yesterday (two days after starting) and it is quite sweet still and bit alcoholic. I am thinking about starting another brews under same conditions changing just the sugar concentration to 15% and 10%(w/v). What do you think about that? Below are more ideas, please do remember that I do not have too much experience with alcoholic fermentations. Also I ferment in the same environment all my probiotics but I am using the clean newly bought plastic vessels for the alcoholic ginger beer. 

THE NEXT EXPERIMENTS - Ideas and suggestions
- decreasing the level of sugar concentrations to 10 and 15% (w/v; 500 and 750 g respectively)
- changing the type of sugar for completely white sugar (which may be an issue concerning the nutrition for the yeast) resulting in more clear gingery flavour
-  changing the type of sugar for dark rich brown sugar resulting in more heavy complex flavour because of molasses
- changing the amount of yeast added to a lower concentration to decrease the possibly off flavour 
- increasing the concentration of ginger and maybe processing it with heat, which would result in more "spicy flavour" due to the transformation of gingerol to more pungent zingerone 
- more ideas?

I should mention that I do not have access to any specific yeast now, I'm bit low on cash, otherwise what strains would you recommend? I heard nice thinks about California Ale yeast but I'm not sure if it would be suitable. Maybe some more "cider" style yeast would be better?

Many thanks for any ideas, I will be in touch within next few days with few news :-)



PS I have made another batch of kimchi yesterday from Chinese cabbage, miso, fish souse, ginger and garlic so I'm really looking forward for the results.

Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck

biotechnologist&kvasir and hacker


"There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
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