Page 1 of 2

Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:50 pm
by trinder
sorry peps I have done a search but cannot find this initial thread ( I simply cut and pasted it to send to myself at work) my question is is this alcoholic and if how much. Too late I have made it.That is fine I intend to use it at home but I would like to take the 1/2 plant to work and get the Young people I work with to have a go. They are over 18 but I need to be a bit sensitive as the group could include recovering alcoholics. thanks :salute: perhaps the beer clinking smiley might have been more appropriate.



Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Equipment:-
• A jar and lid which is big enough to contain the plant
• One pint-sized measuring jug
• Several clean & dry two litre plastic bottles
• Teaspoons
• A large pan
• A fine cloth for straining
Ingredients:-
• Dried ginger
• Dried yeast
• Sugar
• Juice of four lemons
• Water

Making the Plant
1. In the jar place one teaspoon of dried yeast, two teaspoons of dried ginger, four teaspoons of sugar and a pint of cold water.
2. Stir and keep at room temperature.
3. Feed the plant every day with two teaspoons of dried ginger and four teaspoons of sugar. Stir after feeding
4. The plant will be ready in one week

Making the Ginger Beer
1. Place 1kg. (2lb) of sugar and two pints of boiling water in the large pan. The sugar will dissolve.
2. Add the juice of the four lemons.
3. Strain the contents of the jar through the cloth into the pan.
4. Add 14 pints of room temperature water.
5. Stir and bottle. Fill the bottles about seven eighths full as you need to allow for expansion. Squeeze the air out of the bottles to stop them exploding under pressure from the contents.
6. Store the bottles in a safe place at room temperature, and leave for three to four weeks to brew.
7. Discard half the solid from the plant or give it to someone so they may start their own. Place the remaining half in a clean jar with a pint of water and continue to feed as above.

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:03 am
by MKG
That's 2 pounds of sugar in two gallons - plus the 24 teaspoons of sugar used to feed the plant. Your ginger beer will have an alcoholic strength of a little over 5% ABV.

That's about the equivalent of a fairly strong beer from the pub. Definitely NOT a good idea for recovering alcoholics.

You'll also get a lot of CO2 gas - I would release the pressure in those bottles at several points during that 3 to 4 weeks if I were you.

Mike

EDIT: Oh, hang on ... I'm a bit confused. You're adding your strained yeasty planty thing to a hot sugar solution - it's very likely going to kill all the yeast. In that case, the alcohol content will be virtually nil. And if that's true, you're going to get no gas developed and so no pressurisation in the bottles, but it doesn't sound as if that's the intent. I think you should leave that sugar solution to cool or, at the very least, reverse steps 3 and 4 in the "Making the Ginger Beer" section.

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:42 am
by trinder
Thanks Mike. Through being interrupted, the sugar solution did cool before I put the plant y thing in. The instructions, also said to squeeze the neck of the bottle, to get the air out. Which I did and the bottles were all a bit distorted last night when I finished, however they are all back to shape today? From your post, does that mean they there is alcohol in it ?

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:00 am
by MKG
Well, it means that the production of carbon dioxide has begun, therefore your yeast is OK. And yes, that also means that alcohol production has begun. Over the three to four weeks called for by the recipe, the alcohol content will increase as the sweetness decreases (it's the sugar which is converted to alcohol).

Don't forget to unscrew the caps CAREFULLY at regular intervals - I'd go for a couple of times per day for at least the first week and then at least every day thereafter. The plastic bottles can probably take the pressure, but if you allow it to build up too much you'll never be able to open a bottle successfully - the contents will just fountain out as you try it.

Mike

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:21 pm
by trinder
Blimey talk of fizzy. I noticed that I had not done a brilliant job of straining and there looked like there were bits in some of the bottles. So today I decided to restrain and re bottle. I had taste and I think it will be brilliant but It was quite sweet so I will wait the stated time.

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:15 pm
by trinder
Mike this is probably another question for you. You said
"You'll also get a lot of CO2 gas - I should release the pressure in those bottles at several points during that 3 to 4 weeks if I were you" Well you are not kidding. I did as you advised for the first 7 days but then was a little quick in my release of "a bit of gas" so just a quick twist- ssssshhhh and reseal. Today it took me well over 2 mins per bottle to actually get rid of the fizz.
I am reluctant to go to two days again before releasing but aware that I don't know the effects of letting the gas out? will it stop the yeast working? or what ? thanks again

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:42 pm
by MKG
No - it won't stop anything. Let the gas out as often as you like. But bear in mind that you want the end product to be fizzy, so you have to stop letting the gas out at some point. It's a suck it and see situation, but I'd say to stop when you notice that you're getting a "fssssst" rather than a "fsssssssssssssssssssssssssssst", if you see what I mean :iconbiggrin:

Mike

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:56 pm
by trinder
Mike it said in the guidelines 3-4 weeks . By my standards we have gone past 3 weeks so-- good enough for me.I opened a bottle (eventually) Still loads of fizz. Quite pleasant but did not seem very alcoholic. Added a good slug of vodka --superb. Will tell you how the head feeds tomorrow. x thanks

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:26 pm
by dannyllama
Is it essential that the beer is bottled into PET bottles, or would a demijohn and air lock be more appropriate ? Or would the demijohn simply let all of the CO2 out leaving a non fizzy beer ?

PS - Started my GBP last night :)

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:47 pm
by irigg
you can ferment this in demijohns and then when it has finished do not use any campden tablets
add half a teaspoon of sugar per pint bottle or equvalent if using larger bottles to prime wait about 2 weeks after bottling and it will be fizzy and ready to drink

hope this helps you

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:13 am
by dannyllama
Thanks Irigg, that does help.

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:43 am
by dannyllama
Just made my second batch. I have put it into the pressure barrel this time as the DJ batch was flat :(

I didn't prime the pressure barrel...didn't think that I would need to.

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:00 am
by irigg
if you want a fizzy drink then you need to prime or force carbonate :icon_smile: :banghead: :icon_smile:

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:37 am
by dannyllama
I can force carbonate if needed. To clarify what I have done :

Followed Mike's instructions all of the way through up to putting in PET bottles, then straight into the pressure barrel. If you think it will still need additional sugar, I will add about 60g of cane sugar into the barrel.

Thanks for your help :)

Dan

Re: Alcoholic Ginger Beer

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:15 pm
by piglet
This looks similar to the recipe in Darina Allen's 'Forgotten Skills' which I've made a few times, though from memory it tells you to put cold water into the sugar syrup, then add the jar contents, then strain, so you definitely don't kill the yeast. Has always turned out very fizzy (there's been the odd explosion and opening the bottles is a fun business)! Tried experimenting with different sugars - I made a 'dark' version with dark brown sugar which was really nice and warming.

Doesn't taste very alcoholic but not sure.... :icon_smile: