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kudapucat
09-05-2011, 04:54 PM
My wife was buying GB from the supermarket, so I bought a "brewcraft" kit, added only half the recommended dextrose and made up the difference with light malt.

I have never been so disappointed with 20litres of brew before.
It used artificial sweetener, and after the main ferment, you had to add the "ginger flavour"

It tastes nothing like the batch my BP recently put on, using a different kit.
It actually tastes like watery beer. Or perhaps 'chicha' a Peruvian, light watery beer I once had. There's no detectable taste of ginger.

On the plus side, DW says she actually likes it!

As a side note, I put together a GB recipe from scratch to compare it to. This recipe however called for a sugar/honey mix, so I'm calling it a Ginger Mead. I'll probably enter my brew log on this eventually. It smells awesome!

Anyhow, not really asking advice or anything, hence the forum, just wanting to vent. Feel free to chime in a have a proper 'bitch session'

Chevette Girl
09-05-2011, 06:24 PM
I had a ginger beer as part of my "homework" and it was very pleasant until the beer's bitterness hit.

I've made ginger hydromel (artificially sweetened) and I think it would lend itself nicely to something made with malt and maybe hops but I'm leaving that until after I narrow down what I want to make for a beer before I start messing with it.

Regarding kits though, I totally hear you, my sherry kit contains a bottle of something called "sherry essence" and a fruit-pack to add once it's fermented out... where the heck is the fun in that... :)

kudapucat
09-05-2011, 06:39 PM
I had a ginger beer as part of my "homework" and it was very pleasant until the beer's bitterness hit.

I've made ginger hydromel (artificially sweetened) and I think it would lend itself nicely to something made with malt and maybe hops but I'm leaving that until after I narrow down what I want to make for a beer before I start messing with it.

Regarding kits though, I totally hear you, my sherry kit contains a bottle of something called "sherry essence" and a fruit-pack to add once it's fermented out... where the heck is the fun in that... :)

The lack of fun was a bit annoying, but I wanted something good.
Instead I get water beer, no ginger.
And, as it turns out, I think it's malt that I don't like in beer, as this tasted "Like Beer" which is no compliment from me.
The GB Kit my BP did was "add can to fermenter, add 1kg dextrose, add water"
Nothing to add after ferment, and it tastes like ginger, it's tasty, it's gingery, it's a little sweet, Even flat, we were saying: Gee this is nice.
but this one... urrgh.
But as I said, DW says she likes it, and I brewed it for her, so what the hell, it can't be that bad.

Jumping all over here, but as I seem to dislike the malt flavour, I think I might hopp some mead to see how it comes out, unless of course, the can of unknown fluid in the kit had hops in it... Is that likely?

Chevette Girl
09-05-2011, 06:49 PM
I'm trying to figure out what I don't like too, I THINK it's the hops when it's gone bitter... but I bought a packet of hops to experiment with, I went for aromatic rather than bitter, and dumped 1/5 of the packet dry into a gallon of second-run pumpkin mel, which I may carbonate at some point and pretend it's the pumpkin ale from a local pub that I just adored... I do like the smell it's making, kind of beery but not too much. I thought it would be worth the $$ for a small pack of hops for experimentation. Unfortunately the hops is still doing this floating then sinking then floating then sinking thing, and it hasn't quite all dropped so I haven't tasted it yet.

I suspect if it was a pitch and walk away kit, there was already hops in it. Same with your partner's kit. Same with my brew in a bottle kits.

If you search way back in the forums, there's a recipe for hopped tea mead by a presumably now inactive member called schlemoc (I "met" him on another wine forum many years ago) that I have wanted to try since I heard about it. Just another way to figure out what it is you like and don't, by eliminating one of the possibilities (of malt and hops) and seeing what you think of the other in isolation.

And hey, if dear Wifey likes it, that's really what matters! At least it will be consumed rather than wasted. Next time you can aim for something you BOTH like :)

TheAlchemist
09-05-2011, 08:13 PM
My hydromel, Henrietta Maria, might be considered a ginger beer. I will say that when I took a taste while racking she wasn't as lovely as I'd expected from the early fermentation aromas. Could probably use some carbonation and may taste better served cold. I'm thinking of finding a ginger beer to blend her with.

kudapucat
09-05-2011, 08:14 PM
Actually, I do have a question.
I've never primed before, and primed these bottles with what I hope was the right amount of sugar (used priming 'drops' - for the most part)
How long until I can expect them to be fully carbonated/start exploding ;-)



My hydromel, Henrietta Maria, might be considered a ginger beer. I will say that when I took a taste while racking she wasn't as lovely as I'd expected from the early fermentation aromas. Could probably use some carbonation and may taste better served cold. I'm thinking of finding a ginger beer to blend her with.
:-( you didn't provide a link, guess I'll have to search...
you woudn't just force carb it? I'm almost going to buy a keg specially for the purpose.

Chevette Girl
09-06-2011, 12:14 AM
I think you should be safe with the drops, did they dissolve quickly? I've never used them but they're a measured amount...

Expect carbonation in two or three weeks.

kudapucat
09-06-2011, 12:17 AM
I expect I'll be safe too, just being inappropriately flippant about bottle bombs.
2-3 weeks? Really? :-( that sux.
Ok well here goes waiting again, and I thought I only had to do that with mead.

Chevette Girl
09-06-2011, 01:49 AM
As long as it's beer or champagne bottles and not wine bottles you should be fine. I like to see how they're doing after a week, then two, then three when I make something carb'd.

barls
09-06-2011, 09:59 AM
if your after a none kit version id have a read here.
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=30492&view=getnewpost
as a start

kudapucat
09-06-2011, 04:45 PM
Barls, the recipe from my first post here is from that thread. ;-) note the last post: that's me on AHB! ;-)

icedmetal
09-07-2011, 01:57 PM
My wife and I found a recipe for ginger beer dating back to the early 1900's I think it was, and we've made it twice now. The first time, we didn't use campden tablets and the delicious ginger beer fermented in the bottle and left a disgusting sulfur flavor and seriously over-carbed champagne bottles. Thankfully they were well-secured and none of them blew.

The recipe (modified by us from the original) is quite simple.

- Water - we used about 3 gallons, much easier to keep at a boil on the stove. We topped up to 5 gallons when it went in the keg.
- 3 oz cream of tartar
- Juice of four lemons, zest of four lemons. Avoid the pith.
- 2lbs of ginger (!!) juiced in our juicer. It took forever, but the outcome was 2 cups of ginger juice that'd burn your nose hairs from smelling it. I tried a taste, WOW. Peppery, incredibly intense ginger flavor.
- 5 campden tablets, crushed.

Boil all of the above together for an hour, then keg it. We're still waiting to try the carbonated version, but the still (and still warm!) version was awesome. Who needs a kit? ;D

Chevette Girl
09-07-2011, 10:42 PM
<snip>
- 5 campden tablets, crushed.

Boil all of the above together for an hour, then keg it.

Surely you put the campden tabs in once it's finished fermenting? I'm given to understand that the heat of boiling it will render them pointless.

I have had problems with fermenting grated ginger going ucky in secondary but no problem at all when I made a long-steeped ginger tea for my ginger hydromel batch (which I bottle carb'd), if I try your recipe (and I just might!) I'll just throw two pounds of ginger through the food processor and then strain it before fermenting.

barls
09-08-2011, 09:27 AM
right i was drinking the other night so wasnt really that much on the ball.
ive got a honey ginger beer fermenting atm but im still working on getting the recipe right before i even think about sharing that one, but it does have 500g of honey, 675g of ginger( run through the juicer) and is a grain base.
ill let you know how it goes

kudapucat
09-08-2011, 09:43 AM
Oh, please do, that honey GB of chappos I have on smells great!

danlb
09-08-2011, 10:11 AM
Hi guys :), first post, have a mead question for elsewhere.

Saw the ginger beer topic, am on my third try. I've done a gallon at a time to try it out, first was just boil some ginger in water, add some lemon juice and malt, and ferment. I left the boiled/sliced ginger in the primary. Came out really really bitter, although it smelled fantastic.

Second I did the same, but added a bit of honey. Almost the same result but its better.

Third I tried the same, but just boiled the ginger and didn't add it to the primary. Once I get a good recipe I'll toss it on here.

Mine carbonated in three weeks, I racked the beer once for a day and just mixed in priming sugar. Haven't had good luck with the drops.

Good luck :).

icedmetal
09-09-2011, 01:12 AM
Surely you put the campden tabs in once it's finished fermenting? I'm given to understand that the heat of boiling it will render them pointless.

This is not a fermented recipe, no alcohol. As I mentioned, last time we did this without the campden tablets and we ended up with sulfur bottle bombs. I would also assume that boiling would remove anything likely to grow; I'm not sure where I got the bacteria but it got into every single bottle, so perhaps the corny keg. Campden tablets are the insurance policy.

Chevette Girl
09-09-2011, 12:35 PM
OH! Ok, makes a little more sense now, although I'd still add them after it's cooled down... I can't see anything interesting going on after the boiling either, unless there was some contamination on the way to the keg. But hey, whatever works!