From the HBD Archive
From: hplabs!utah-cs!cs.utexas.edu!raven!rcd (Dick Dunn)
Subject: how much ginger?
Date: 1988-11-29 05:34:28 GMT

Jay Hersh recently gave us a recipe for a gingered beer. His is a
relatively light beer with 3 oz of ginger. I'd like to suggest another
approach--not a "correction" but just a different style.

We've made a number of batches of a gingered amber ale (I say it this way
to avoid confusing people with the term "ginger(ed) ale"). We use a fair
amount of ginger--I think I'd always use at least 8 oz. I entered one in
the AHA national competition in 1984 and got a 1st in the extract-
specialty beer category for it.

Here are the interesting characteristics and some thoughts about gingered
beers:
- It was an ale; I think you want the greater character of ale behind
the ginger.
- It was an amber--a pound of crystal malt along with light extract.
Again, you want some "stuff" along with the ginger.
- This particular recipe used 9.5 oz. of chopped ginger root. We've
tried the range from 4-12 oz and eventually decided that 8-10 was
about right. Of course, ginger varies quite a bit in strength; your
mileage may vary.
- OG 1.054, FG 1.011 - thus a moderately strong beer, about 5.5% vol.
- hops were bullion, Saaz in the boil (the Saaz because I had them to
spare at the time), and Saaz to finish. You might fiddle around with
the finishing hops, but consider whether they'll go with the ginger.
For example, I might use Hallertau but I wouldn't even think of
Cascade. Personally, I think Saaz is the best choice because it's got
a spicy character of its own, yet won't try to overpower the ginger.
- Try to get a little residual sweetness, and/or add some non-fermentable
stuff at bottling (like malto-dextrin). This will bring out the char-
acter of the ginger and make it a little smoother.

This recipe, with its minor variations, has been one of our favorites. It
goes well with spicy food, since it has some spice of its own. We par-
ticularly like it with Szechuan or Hunan style Chinese dishes (many of
which contain ginger also).
---
Dick Dunn {ncar;ico;stcvax}!raven!rcd (303)494-0965

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