Refreshing Alcoholic Ginger Beer With Orange

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Introduction: Refreshing Alcoholic Ginger Beer With Orange

This Ginger beer is simple to make and so refreshing on a hot summer's day. It's more than that, it's also warming on a cold winter's night. The best of both worlds.
It ends up being about 3.5% alcohol.
It's a really basic recipe that is easy to tweak. Add some Cinnamon for some spice, use malt instead of sugar for some creamy goodness, add extra herbs to suit your taste or use lemon in place of the orange. I've even added chocolate and vanilla and it was delicious! The possibilities are endless...

Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment

Ingredients
1 kg brown sugar
200 grams fresh ginger
2 Oranges
12 liter water (total)
7 grams brewers yeast


Optional extras
Cinnamon
Clove
Star anise
Sultanas


Equipment
A rigid container with a typical capacity of 15L (sometimes called a carboy)
(It's good to have a few sizes. Small one for sample brews, then when you get it down make a big brews.)
A big cooking pot
Mixing spoon
Thermometer (if you want not 100% necessary)
Bottles, Caps and capper
Airlock
Hose to fill bottles
Measuring cap and spoons
Scales
Hand Juicer
Grater
(You can get all this stuff from the home brew shop, or find it around the house or hardware shop.)

Step 2: The Mash

So the first thing to do is start by grating the ginger into the cook pot. then add the zest of 2 of the oranges. add about 2 litres of water and put on the stove top to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. (This is where you could add extra spices like cinnamon and  clove. i would have but i forgot to buy some. )

Step 3: The Wort

The next thing to do is sterilize the container that you are going to ferment in. I just use hot water and vinegar.  I never have any problems but you can always use any number of the different commercial sterilizers.

Now add the kilo of sugar to the ferment vessel.(carboy or whatever you are using). Strain the ginger mash into the sugar and mix till all the sugar has dissolved. Top up with water till it reaches about 12 liters. now add the juice of the 2 oranges you zested earlier on. 

Step 4: Pitching the Yeast

Now add the yeast. Any brewing yeast will do but I'm using safale us-05. It's a big pack of yeast so fermentation will start fast and I should be bottling in about 3 to 5 days. At this point I also add a few slices of fresh ginger to give it an extra kick.  I then put the lid on add the airlock and leave it till it stops bubbling.

Step 5: Bottling

So now it is time to bottle , it's been fermenting for about a week. (I usually just wait till it stops bubbling.) Again I wash all my bottles in hot water and white vinegar. You can use a commercial sterilizer if you want. 
Then to each bottle a little sugar to prime. This puts the fizz into each bottle. I am using 355ml bottle so add about 2 grams to each.(about 1/2 a tsp ) I am using raw sugar because that what i have ,but use caster, honey whatever you like.
After priming each bottle fill to 30mm from top then cap. You can use any bottles you like sometimes I reuse a glass juice bottle and just twist the caps back on.
Let the bottle sit for 2 to 3 weeks minimum.  Refrigerate before drinking. Enjoy :)

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53 Comments

Made this. Great as it is. With table sugar it comes out as a light and refreshing beer. All friends loved it. Going to make batch 2 with brewing sugar.

1 reply

Thank you for the feedback.

Made it! Let it sit in secondary for about a month. Tasted at bottling, it is really good so far. I added a bit of pale DME when I made it, bumped up my possible from about 3% to 5%. letting it carbonate now, looking forward to it.

getting ready to make this! I make mead regularly and have made beer from kits i buy online at midwest supply. Going to make a smaller batch maybe 2 gals. as most of my bottles are previously engaged.

Have you ever racked a batch to clarify?

cheers!

teamwhy, or anyone for that matter, how would you suggest tweaking this recipe for use with a 1 gallon batch?

teamwhy, or anyone for that matter, how would you suggest tweaking this recipe for use with a 1 gallon batch?

I halved my recipe to test it and I feel like I made a huge mistake somewhere along the line. It bubbled a little but not as much as other things I've fermented. I did add some cloves and cinnamon to it in the beginning, but that is all I taste, I can't find the ginger flavor anywhere. I've bottled it in plastic and let it sit but the bottles are still easily squished there is no increase in carbonation even though I had ample sugar, and the ABV is 2.3%. Suggestions?

Hey teamwhy.

after bottling, do you keep them at room temperatur, or do they need to be kept cool ?

Jonatan

1 reply

i just keep it at room temp for the first few days and then i put in under the house in cool spot till i'm ready to drink.

Hello, I've used white sugar and now after one week it stoped bubbling and it has no sweet taste. Can I add more sugar or what should I do?

Thanks,

George

3 replies

Hey George. In order to get some sweetness to your ginger beer without creating bottle bombs you can use a non-fermentable sugar like lactose. I'm not sure how much to put and am currently experimenting with about 1/4 pound per gallon (or about 30 grams per liter). Just be sure to tell any of your friends who are lactose intolerant or you may create another type of bomb!

Hi, thanks for advice. I still have some bottles left, I'm curious about the taste.

Hi George

All the sugar has been converted to alcohol now it is ready to bottle. If you add sugar now when you bottle the bottles will explode. It's taste will change over the next few weeks. but it will not get any sweeter. It not as sweet as most commercial ginger beers. When you serve the beer add a twist of orange for a little extra sweetness.

thanks for brewing it!!

I have made this with champagne yeast and it was great. I would like to use malt like you mentioned the next time but am not sure how to do that.

1 reply

You can get dried malt extract powder at any homebrew shop or online. I would also pitch with a good ale yeast as Champagne yeast sometimes has trouble with longer chain sugars present in grain malts. Nottingham Ale yeast (a varietal, not a brand name) is a beast of a yeast and should do the trick. You should get a nice malty taste from your experiment! Great idea!

I am on day 2 1/2 and I still don't have any fermentation going. I was making 5 gallons, with corn sugar and two pack of champagne yeast. I went heavy with the ginger (because i like it) and some orange, is it possible that the excessive ginger is inhibiting the yeast? Also my house is fairly cold most of the time, about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but i have had champagne yeast work fine in these conditions before. Any sugestions?

3 replies

Hi adamrandles. Did the fermentation if your ginger beer ever start brewing? Sometimes, the yeast takes a while to reproduce and get out of the growth phase. I am starting a batch tonight using champagne yeast and about twice as much ginger as the recipe and also wonder if the ginger will inhibit yeast growth. Ginger is known to inhibit mold but I don't know about yeast.

Other causes of stuck fermentation are lack of oxygen in the beginning growth phase (the first day or two), lack of yeast nutrient in your wort, and not pitching with enough cells or a weak batch of yeast. I made a yeast starter batch to ramp up my cell count and kick it off faster. I pitched one pack of Champagne yeast in 1/2 gallon of filtered water with 1/4 teaspoon of yeast nutrient and 1 cup of corn sugar. Then I shook the bottle to get it good and oxygenated.

Yeast likes a minimum of 68 degrees. Less than that and it will likely go dormant.

I don't think it's the ginger. It most likely the cold. It should be alright champagne yeast has a wide temp range. It will just take longer.

Sometimes if I just put the yeast in and not mix it around, the yeast forms clumps and works really slowly. I then just give the keg a shake and that spreads the yeast around and it starts after that.

This is truly awesome!! I'm on my second batch by request!! Thanks for a good recipe! :)