View Full Version : Recipe for Ginger Ale?

Midnight Sun
12-11-2011, 03:10 PM
Does anyone have a tried and true ginger ale recipe that you are willing to share? I have been wanting to give it a try for some time and, after a successful kvass brew session 2 weeks ago, believe the time is now.

So far, the best one I have is:
5 oz ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon
3/4 cups sugar

Simmer ingredients for 1 hour, strain, then bottle with yeast. Let ferment for a day, then cold crash.

12-11-2011, 03:32 PM
I don't have a recipe to share, but for what it's worth, I've had Reeds Ginger Ale (pretty easy to find I think) and enjoyed it. They use honey as a sweetener; I think this gives the sweetness more complexity and depth, and is of course fitting for anyone interested in making mead!

I remember reading a brewlog by Angelic Alchemist (I think?) who made some kind of strong punch-in-the-face ginger ale, so you might want to search the archives for that.

Mind sharing your kvass recipe and results?

12-11-2011, 05:08 PM
The one I use is on the net.

Google for "how to make ginger ale". It's quite basic i.e. grated ginger, water, sugar and bread yeast. All goes into a 2 litre pop/soda bottle, shaken well and capped. It's then left somewhere warm-ish, then when the bottle is hard to touch, and can't be pressed in, get it in the fridge to chill down. Once cold, its ready too serve.

You have to be careful opening the bottle, but apart from that, its always come out good.

I don't have any quantities, the method is from memory.

Dunno if that's any use.....

Chevette Girl
12-11-2011, 08:14 PM
Angelic Alchemist's "punch you in the face" ginger tonic was the inspiration for my ginger hydromel (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16243)...

I wanted it potent so I used a pound of ginger for a gallon. It doesn't blow your head off but it's definitely closer in taste and ginger intensity to what's sold as nonalcoholic ginger beer than Canada Dry ginger ale.

Midnight Sun
12-11-2011, 09:06 PM
Thanks, all! I knew I had come to the right place.

That punch-you-in-the-face gineger ale is here (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15645&highlight=punch+Face+ginger). That is a bit more than I was thinking, so I think that I'll give your recipe a try fatbloke; it's basically what I had in mind. I'll only be making a gallon, so it won't be too painful if it doesn't work out.

BMB, my recipe for kvass follows:
1 loaf rye bread
200g sugar (about 2/3 cup)
8g yeast
4L water (1 gallon)

Spread bread slices on a wire rake and bake at about 200F until hard. Break apart break, then make bread crumbs using a rolling pin. Add to boiling water. Let simmer for an hour then cool for 3 more. Separate bread and water using a strainer, press gently. Add sugar and water to 4L. Add yeast and ferment for 12 hours. Strain again, then bottle.

Before bottling, you can add any spice you like. I added a couple dashes of mint. Some people add raisins or cranberries.

Mine turned out good. There was a hint of mint and a flavor reminiscent of the rye bread. There is a decent layer of sediment which I made sure to mix back in. I'll be making it again.

12-11-2011, 09:53 PM
Sorry for chiming in late to this discussion, but I have a few true Ginger ale/beer recipes at home. I'll post them up in an hour or so once I'm back there.

12-12-2011, 01:53 AM
Well with my technique, I found it handy to make in the plastic bottles, 3 or 4 at a time, but you do need to keep an eye on them, because when you forget about then and they stay ion the warm place for 3 or 4 days, they can produce enough pressure to explode (myself and at the time, 4 rather panicked, ginger beer soaked cats can confirm this).

But exploding pop/soda plastic bottles are considerabley safer than the glass equivalent.....

Chevette Girl
12-12-2011, 02:33 AM
they can produce enough pressure to explode (myself and at the time, 4 rather panicked, ginger beer soaked cats can confirm this).

I remember the exploding bottle but not the feline implications, did they ever forgive you?

Midnight Sun
12-12-2011, 02:04 PM
I believe that I made an error in my kvass recipe above: total bread-in-water time should be 8 hours instead of 4. I made mine over the course of two days: I started in the morning on the first day, let it ferment thought the night, then bottled in the morning.

I am sorry fatbloke, but the idea of ginger ale covered cats is going to keep me chuckling all day long.

As for the actual process, I am considering using Grolsch bottles. I would only add enough sugar to prime, then use Chevette Girl's method of back sweetening carbonated drinks (chill in the freezer, decant into another bottle, add sugar and kmeta, seal).

Neither my wife or I are more than very occasional soda drinkers, so there are not any plastic bottles laying around. The rest of my family is and there would be bottles after our Christmas party, but I was hoping to have a ginger ale ready for the party. Perhaps I will ask around the office.

12-13-2011, 01:46 AM
I remember the exploding bottle but not the feline implications, did they ever forgive you?
Cats are always forgiving, in the presence of ham, chicken slices,, etc.....

12-13-2011, 12:56 PM
This is more of the soda type ginger ale and less ginger beer:
4 cups water
1 cup grated ginger
1 bay leaf
juice of one lime or half a lemon (I do both)
1/2 cup sugar

boil water, turn heat down, add bay leaf & ginger, simmer for 30-45 min, during simmer slowly add in the sugar, put juice in the bottle first (do not boil juice), after the simmer cool it to pitching temp, add to bottle on top of juice once it is cool, pitch yeast(I use bread yeast since it's cheap and you aren't going for high ABV), top up with bottled or boiled and cooled water.

I've made this a few times and it's nice. I haven't played with the recipe much but I do grate a lot of extra ginger and freeze it for later. Also, shave off strips of the lemon and lime zest to garnish your drinks later.

12-13-2011, 11:37 PM
Ok, sorry for the delay, I just got time to whip out the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers. Here are some of the ginger beer/ale recipes contained within.

Ginger Beer - 1819
- 1 gallon water
- 1 ounce ginger root, finely sliced
- 1 lbs sugar
- 2 ounces lemon juice or ~ 3 tbsp
- yeast

Mix all ingredients (minus yeast). Boil near an hour, skim, then strain and cool to 70F. Add yeast and allow to ferment for a few days. Fine and bottle after a month.

Ginger Beer - 1832
- 1 cup ginger root
- 1.5 pails of water
- 1 pint molasses
- 1 cup yeast

Mix up ingredients. If not drank within 24 hours, it must be bottled as soon as it works (not so sure about this part of the recipe...).

Ginger Beer - 1846
- 1.5 ounces ginger
- 1 ounce cream of tartar
- 2 sliced lemons
- 1 pound brown or white sugar
- 4 quarts water
- 1 cup yeast

Mix ginger, cream of tartar, sugar, lemons, and boiling water. It should be wrought in 24 hours with two gills of good yeast, and then bottled. It improves by keeping several weeks. If made with loaf instead of brown sugar, the appearance and flavour are still finer.

Ginger Beer - 1857
- 3 pints yeast
- 0.5 pounds honey
- 1 egg white
- 0.5 ounce lemon essence
- 10 pounds sugar
- 9 gallons water
- 9 ounces lemon juice
- 11 ounces ginger root

Boil the ginger half an hour in a gallon of water, then add the rest of the water and the other ingredients. Strain when cold, add the white of one egg beaten, and half an ounce essence of lemon. Let stand four days, then bottle it and it will keep good many months.

Ginger Beer - 1898
- 2 pounds white sugar
- 14 drachms lemon juice or cream of tartar
- 12.5 drachms honey
- 13 drachms ginger
- 2 gallons water
- white of one egg
- 24 minims essence of lemon
- yeast

Boil bruised ginger in two pints of water for half an hour, add sugar, lemon juice, honey, and the remaining water, then strain. When cold, add the white of an egg and lemon essence. Add yeast, let stand for 4 days and then bottle.

C.J.J. Berry's Ginger Beer - 1963
- 1 ounce ginger root
- 0.5 ounce cream of tartar
- 1 pound white sugar
- 1 lemon
- 1 gallon water
- yeast and nutrient

The ginger should be crushed and placed in a bowl with sugar, cream of tartar, and lemon peel (no pith). Bring water to a boil and pour over the ingredients. Stir well to dissolve the sugar, then cool to 70F before adding lemon juice, yeast, and nutrients. Cover and leave in a warm room for 48 hours, then stir, strain into screw-stop flagons and store in a cool place. Ready to drink in three to four days.

Bertrand Remi's Ginger Beer - 1976
- 1.5 ounces ginger
- 1 tbsp cream of tartar
- 12 ounces brown sugar
- 1 gallon water
- yeast and nutrient

Bring crushed ginger to a boil in water, add sugar and cream of tartar. Strain. When cool add yeast and nutrient. Ferment to completion.

Sanborn Brown's Ginger Beer - 1978
- 2 ounces ginger
- 3 pound can malt extract
- 6 cups white sugar
- 1/4 cup of rice
- 5 gallons water
- yeast and nutrient

Crush ginger and boil it and the rice in 1 gallon of water for one hour. Strain. Add malt extract and sugar and mix until dissolved. Cool to 70F. Pour into fermentation vessel and add yeast and nutrient. Allow to ferment until complete (three to six days), rack into bottles, prime with 1/2 tsp sugar (presumably per bottle) and cap. Ready to drink in two to three weeks.

Anywho, hopefully these give you some good ideas to springboard from. :)

Midnight Sun
12-14-2011, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the recipes Duracell and Yogi. Yogi, those historical recipes are really interesting, I'll have to dig into them and perhaps give one a shot.