View Full Version : Ginger Beer Stink Bombs!

01-30-2011, 12:08 AM
So, my wife loves ginger, and I love making anything that sounds tasty. We found a good non-alcoholic recipe for making ginger beer here (http://www.homemade-dessert-recipes.com/ginger-beer-recipes.html). We made the last one on the page, recipe circa 1900. Pretty cool right?

Well, it was totally cool. We made the 3 gallon batch, force-carbonated it with a cornelius keg, then bottled it into champagne bottles. We had a couple early on, very good, something for my wife to drink for the new year even. Awesome.

Fast forward 3ish weeks. We cracked a bottle midweek last week, and hey, it seems a little more carbonated than can be accounted for in our bottling process. This has me a little suspicious. Wife says, hey, this smells a little funny. I take a big whiff, and mm hmm, that smells a little funny alright. Like stink nuggets. Like SULFUR. The enemy!

So, we crack another bottle. Oh boy, that one has even more carbonation than the last! And, it stinks too. So much for hoping we hit a dirty bottle.

The third bottle just about dented the ceiling with its flying mushroom cork.

Lesson learned: they didn't know jack-sh%# about stabilization back in the day; take that old school recipe, and fix it up so it doesn't try to kill you!


01-30-2011, 05:45 AM
The ginger beer that I make is the "quick" one that's on the web somewhere.

It's basically shredded ginger root, water, lemon juice and sugar, mixed up and when cool to room temperature, the yeast (bread yeast) is added.

The mix is stirred and poured into 2 litre pop/soda bottles. Which are then left somewhere a little warmer than room temp (clothes drying or airing cupboard is usually good). They're checked twice a day until the bottles become hard to depress/firm - that's when they're ready.

You just put them into a nice cool refrigerator. That slows the ferment down to something like 1 degree C/34 F. They're then ready to drink, though I do tend to open them in the sink as they can foam/erupt a bit and they're gently poured into a glass, but through a fine strainer to remove nearly all the ginger shreds.

Takes about 3 days from start to finish. It's very easy to do.

If I can find the link for it, I'll post it.



01-30-2011, 03:33 PM
Emphasis on the non-alcoholic part ;) We have need of tasty beverages 'round these parts that don't contain any ethanol.

01-30-2011, 03:53 PM
Important history lesson #2: These "quick soda" homemade carbonated beverages were all designed originally to be made and drunk in a matter of days. They didn't bother with chemical stabilization because they weren't planning on having any left over after a week or so. Even then, they took care to chill the stuff (using whatever methods were available at the time), if the bottles were to be kept full for more than a few days.

It is not surprising that your ginger beer spontaneously re-fermented, if it wasn't stabilized. Yeast are pretty hardy little microbes and if any yeast are left in a brew that is still sweet and well below their ethanol tolerance, given any opportunity to ferment again, they'll do it.

I've seen far more bottle bombs from home-made ginger and root beer attempts than from mead/beer efforts gone wrong, BTW.