From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!mage!lou
Subject: unknown
Date: 1990-03-13 16:46:56 GMT

In digest #376 S. Koza writes:

> In response to a recent posting inquiring about making gingered
>beers: I recently concocted a batch of Gingered Lager, loosely following
>Papazian's Vagabond Ginger Ale recipe, which came out rather delightful.
>In the recipe it is suggested to use 2-4 oz. of fresh grated ginger root
>and I overzealously went to the upper limits. I felt that the ginger was
>overpowering unless the beer was served very cold and when I make this for
>the next holiday season I'll cut the amount of ginger in half.

I've made three batches of "Rocky Raccoon's Crystal Honey Lager" (CJoHB p.180)
using 6-8 oz of fresh ginger. The ginger is indeed overpowering for the first
2-3 months after bottling but it mellows out eventually. You can still tell
that it's there but it balances out.

Also in digest #376 RobertN. writes:

>I saw a glimpse of the Sacramento BEE newspaper about a week ago. They said
>that a San Fransisco based brewery (I think ANCHOR) was able to decipher
>hieroglyphics from an anchient Syrian writing which had a beer recipe!
>I think United Press did the story. Did anyone else see this?
>Apparently it was a pretty good beer, but had to be used quickly, as there
>were no hops in it as a preservative. Apparently the Syrians hadn't found
>out about hops at that point in time. I've been trying to find the article
>again, but hav'nt been successful.

I tasted some of this in November (forgive me for being a little fuzzy on some
of the details four months later); Charlie P. brought a few bottles to the
Boulder homebrew club meeting. As I remember the story, this was a special,
one-time only, not-for-sale "beer" which was brewed as part of their 100th
anniversary celebration (or some such celebration). Using the original(?)
technique, they baked bread of barley and other grains, then added water to
et it ferment. The beer was then served at their party using a large plastic
(so much for the original technique) jug in the center of each table (~10-15
people/table) with straws going out to each seat (c.f. "Brewing Mead", R. Gayre
with C. Papazian, figs. 2 and 3, p.31).

Presumably this was pretty good when fresh or Charlie wouldn't have brought it
for us to try. Unfortunately, by November it was awful and most of it was
tossed out. I also suspect that a certain amount of the story you read and the
story I heard was PR hype and should be treated accordingly.

>The short time for which this beer is drinkable brings up a interesting
>comment. It is my understanding that hops originated as a preservative.
>Today it is used for flavoring more than anything else. But, can any
>brewery really say they use NO preservatives. It seems that by todays
>standards, that MAY be possible. But, technically, this is a false claim?

I think you're splitting hairs here. Sugar is a preservative in the right
concentrations, so is alcohol. These days, the word preservative is used for
chemicals added to food in addition to the "natural" ingredients.

Louis Clark

reply to: mage!

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