From the HBD Archive
From: opramen@ernie.Berkeley.EDU (Oliver Grillmeyer)
Subject: unknown
Date: 1989-03-13 22:28:29 GMT

Hello all fellow brewers, meaders, etc.

I have been on the distribution list reading the various articles for
quite some time now and have decided to end my silence. The information
has been great especially the high degree of technical information lately.
Let's keep it up. The only disturbing thing of late has been the flames and
flames to flamers. If someone gets a bit carried away, wouldn't it be better
to send mail to him/her directly instead of publicly? Do two wrongs make
a right?

Anyway on to the good stuff. Yesterday I made two 5 gallon batches of
honey ginger beer. I wanted to experiment with boiled and non-boiled honey
to see if aromatics would indeed be lost in the boil, and if complex sugars
would be broken down to fermentable sugars or not at 180 degrees F versus
a full rolling boil. Unfortunately I drank one too many of my home brews
including two barley wines (recipe of the barley wine will follow in future
letter) beforehand and added too much honey to the second batch, so the
experiment changed to non-boiled honey being a constant and the amount of
honey and hops being variables. If anyone has any info on boiled versus
non-boiled honey, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here are the ingredients that I used along with the brew process.

Batch 1:
1. One brew kettle had ~4 gallons water and 4 lbs. of clover honey and 6 oz of
grated ginger. This was maintained at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.

2. The second brew kettle had ~3 gallons water and 3 lbs light malt extract
(Wander). That was kept at a full rolling boil during the entire brewing.

The remaining steps were applied to the second brew kettle.
3. Added 1 oz. Brewers Gold hops (leaf) and boiled for 45 minutes.

4. Added 1/2 oz. Northern Brewers (pellets) and boiled an additional 30

5. Turned off heat and added 1/2 oz. Saaz (pellets).

Batch 2:
Identical to Batch 1 except for the following:
-> 8 lbs of honey was used instead of 4.
-> 1/2 oz. Norther Brewers was used in addition at step 3.
-> 1/2 oz of Galena (leaf) was used in addition at step 4.

Batch 1 had an SG of 1.051, was of amber color and all flavors were readily
apparent - hops, malt, ginger, and light honey flavor too. If the final
product tasted like this with a bit less sweetness it would be perfect.
The color was a medium amber shade.

Batch 2 had an SG of 1.061 - the SG would have been higher but I had about 3/4
gallon extra wort at the end since I started with more water at first and added
4 extra lbs. of honey. It was the same color with a more pronounced honey
sweetness and more intense hop bitterness - I was worried about the hop
extraction that I would get since I was adding the hops to 2-3 gallons of
wort and not the full 5+ gallons I normally use. The extra hops might be
too dominating against the ginger.

It seems that 6 oz. is an adequate amount of ginger to get a nice balanced
flavor - I'll give an update in a couple months when its ready to taste.
I grated the ginger using my food processor's grating blade. It worked
fairly well but had to struggle as the ginger tends to break up into
strands and get stuck in the grater blades. I did not peel the ginger either.
Also the effect of 4 vs. 8 lbs of honey will have to wait to be known
for sure.

Two final comments. I've heard that there is a book by Dave Miller ?? called
Complete something or another, not to be confused with Papazian's CJOHB.
It supposedly is of the same technical degree as Noonan's book, but not
as narrowly focused. I have not been able to find it yet - any one out
there know of this book and have any feedback.

Also the Bison brewery in Berkeley (Telegraph and Parker) will open this
Thursday (2/16). I'll give a report on this also for the benefit of those
in the Bay Area or those planning to visit.

Oliver Grillmeyer
(415) 642-1637

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