View Full Version : so Im about to start a ginger mead.. how do you sterilize the ginger?

05-21-2012, 07:53 PM
I have a small question... how do you sterilize the ginger? Im going to get 4 lbs of it to add to a 5 gallon batch. Ive read a few posts that this seems like a good ratio to have a ginger snap.

Do you freeze it then skin it and slice it? soak it in starsanz? boil it?

all of the above? none of the above and not worry?

Im going to be using the ginger in primary.

05-21-2012, 07:59 PM
You can skin it then boil it you want, or just give it a good washing. I never worry about sterilizing my fruit, just washing any chemicals that might have been added by the grower or the store to make the fruit more visually appealing (like wax).

However, the 4 lbs MIGHT be a little much. I used 2 lbs in a 3 gallon batch, and a .8% ratio is a lot more than my .666% ratio. It was really too much for me, it wasn't a snap, it was a burn. It did mellow out (and actually got drank so fast I only have few bottles left.) but I needed major sweetness to cover that burn. I took out half a pound as I'm redoing the recipe right now
(.333%) and I hope it is a smoother brew.

05-21-2012, 08:12 PM
I usually simmer it for a while.

05-21-2012, 08:13 PM
Thank you for the advice! Ill use 2.5 lbs then. Your recipe is what inspired me to be honest.

Im using 16 lbs honey. 10 lbs honey blossom, 6 lbs clover honey. Im going to use 71b.

Im hoping semi sweet.

I dont want a burn. I want a mellow friendly ginger flavor.

05-21-2012, 09:16 PM
I had no idea how much 2.5 lbs of ginger root would give me! lol! thats a lot of ginger. Time to start this. Im going to slice it after I boil and skin it.

Chevette Girl
05-21-2012, 09:19 PM
A pound per gallon (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16243)is pretty exciting :) The burn fades with time...

I usually wash it, I'll skin anything I can't reach to scrub but don't generally bother peeling it, then I either grate it or whiz it in the blender, and freeze it for later use or toss it in a pot of just-boiled water and let it steep until cool, then strain it. I've frozen the strained solids for later use in food as well.

05-21-2012, 09:54 PM
Ill try 2.5 at first. Also because I have a short amount of time I can actually make it and thats tonight and only bought 2.5 lbs :( I am fermenting on this then racking off the ginger.

I assume I can add ginger later to get it to where I like if Im not happy.

Im looking to have this ready and bottled by christmas.

Oh ya! here are before and after pictures of my first batch of mead.




then 1 month aging! with nothing to clear it...


I like te idea of grating it... increased surface area.

05-22-2012, 12:54 AM
so tonight I finished starting my ginger mead.... I bought a 4 pack of a beer called the dark truth and drank it while doing it....

Not a good idea when combined with a cheap grater...

so I scrubbed the ginger root and then boiled it... then grated it directly over my must.

And loe and behold... the top of my grater which was plastic broke... and sent the my thumb along with it, thus grating my thumb along with the ginger into my must.

Not much blood went in, but I can now say I put my sweat and blood into this mead. and a little skin too.

Chevette Girl
05-22-2012, 02:46 AM
Owie, that sounds like the kind of thing I'd do. I hope you put a good bit of swearing in too, I would :p And maybe a campden tablet or five just in case...

05-22-2012, 10:04 AM
lol ya I put 3 in, let it sit for a bit then pitched the yeast in.

05-22-2012, 10:46 AM
Im an idiot! I used k1v117 and I meant to use 71b!

It smells great, but I wasnt trying to make this go dry. Ill have to backsweaten it.

Chevette Girl
05-22-2012, 12:58 PM
lol ya I put 3 in, let it sit for a bit then pitched the yeast in.

How long did you let them sit? Minutes or hours? The stuff's not great for yeast health, so if you pitched the yeast within a couple hours of adding campden and it doesn't start up, that's why... ideally you'd want to let the sulphites dissipate for 24 hours before pitching, although if you used 3 tabs for 5 gallons it might still go. K1V's pretty tough.

05-22-2012, 01:09 PM
I waited about 3 hours.

I woke up this morning and its bubbling. I have activity no problems. And it smells... amazing. Refreshing is what I want to say. The fresh grated ginger and clover/orange blossom honey go excellent together.

Maybe I will let this go dry and just keep it as a very dry ginger mead. I can see how it could be good like that.

05-22-2012, 04:36 PM
Well, when I did a ginger wine, I couldn't remember how much the recipe needed, so I just filled a supermarket plastic carrier, and it held 3lb 10oz, which was grated and then mixed into a gallon of water that had 1 crushed campden in it, that all went into a 13 litre water cooler bottle.

It was loosely covered for 2 days to allow the sulphites to do their thing and dissipate. The sugar, nutrient, etc was added and it was topped up. I ended up with about 9 litres of wine that was ok, but when its heavily back sweetened (about 1.030), it was a reasonable, if a little amateurish clone of "Stones ginger wine".

And no, I didn't peel it, just washed, scrubbed and blitzed with a food processor, before the water and sulphite.

05-22-2012, 06:08 PM
That's what I kind of found too, Fatbloke. To counteract the ginger burn, I needed to sweeten it more than I had others. Granted, I usually sweeten mine to the dessert range, but that's what my friends like to drink. I've got a couple bottles of my lemon shandy I'm going to bring back out tonight and see what a few more months of aging has done to it. Opera and mead, life can't get much better. :)

P.S. I sliced myself when peeling my ginger the first time too, now that I think about it. Stings to get that ginger juice in the wound, don't it?

05-22-2012, 06:58 PM
I might have to backsweeten it. Ive never enjoyed dry white wine, Im more of a fan of Merlot and Chianti, and I pitched k1v instead of 71b. This is gonna end up bone dry. But at least Ill have control of its alcohol content. Wont be more than 14.5%.

2.5 lbs seems perfect for 5 gallons based on smell. Today when I took the cover off to check on it and to aerate it.. it smelt so absolutely amazing. I wanted to drink it right then and there.

And the cut did hurt!

05-23-2012, 12:20 AM
@ soyala amaya......

It's not that my finished ginger wine was hot or had a burn, the exact opposite, it was ginger tasting yet flat, possibly a bit bland and uninspiring to my taste - the back sweetening made all the difference. It "pepped" it up just nicely. Made it a nice experience to drink.

Commercial ginger wines seem to test out at 18 to 22% ABV, and IRO 1.040 FG

05-23-2012, 10:26 AM

Interesting, what kind of ginger did you use, and for how long? I've never seen someone comment that ginger seemed flat before, so I'm interested in what you did.


I broke out one of the last 7 bottles of my Shandy last night, one of the dry ones, and it was pretty good. The perceived sweetness had really upped itself, but the ginger was still a tad harsh. However, we were drinking it with a variety of cheddars and gouda cheese, and zuchinni slices sprinkled with garlic salt, so the spice mixed well. The cheese really seemed to mix well with the ginger bite, in my opinion.