View Full Version : ginger and stuck fermentations

02-27-2006, 05:54 PM
Ginger is reported to have an antibiotic quality. In a recent batch of ginger beer, I was looking of a really firey brew and ended up using almost 80 grams in 1 liter, which is twice what I would normally use. Now fermentation will not start. There is ample sugar and ample nutrient, and I've pitched quite a bit of yeast, once straight into it, once from a starter, and once I even took a yeast sample from an already vigorously fermenting batch and pitched it, yet the airlock refuses to budge. Usually it picks up right away, and since the only variable is the ginger content, I'm thinking this might be the source of the stuck fermentation. It's been 4 days and no go. I'm wondering 1) if this has happened to anyone else 2) if I should dilute it, maybe add enough water to double the volume, thus halving the ginger content and 3) if i do dilute it, should I repitch the yeast or will the buggers just pick up after it's diluted?

02-28-2006, 12:37 AM

I've not heard of ginger causing a problem before, but why not test your theory? Draw off a pint or so of your must into a small bottle, dilute it a bit, and airlock it. If the ginger concentration was inhibiting it, this should make a difference. If the ginger somehow killed the yeast (and I don't know how this could occur, but that's what experiments are all about), then nothing will happen.

The usual issues should be looked at too, of course:

*Is there too much sugar in the batch? Too high a SG, and nothing will happen. Diluting will help here too.
*Did you make absolutely sure you rinsed all the sanitizer out of the fermenter before starting?
*Does your water have a lot of chlorine in it?
*Is it too cold where you're working?
*Etc., etc.


02-28-2006, 05:02 PM
It's not the gravity -- the gravity's actually pretty low since I only put half the sugar in now, I was planning on feeding it as it went to get it up to 18% ABV. It probably isn't the santizer, since I flushed it out really well, though I can't entirely discount that hypothesis. It isn't the temperature, which is nicely set at around 68-70 degrees. Whatever the cause, I took your advice and diluted a pint with a pint of water in a 1 liter carboy. If it doesn't pick up I guess I'll try repitching.

03-02-2006, 09:26 PM
diluting it did little to save the yeast, but on the flipside when I pitched more yeast they actually survived. Did the ginger really cause the fermentation to stop? perhaps, perhaps not. It seems to be the likely cause, but I'd have to do more testing to really determine that.