From the HBD Archive
Subject: ginger beer
Date: 1989-06-02 21:29:00 GMT

Gordon Hester's queries about Ginger Beer led me to look back in my beer log
to one of my early adventures with non-traditional beer. I made a 'gingered
ale' (of the alcoholic variety) 3 years ago which I enjoyed immensely,
although I haven't gotten around to reproducing it yet. The recipe follows:

3.3 lb. (1 can) Munton and Fison plain dark malt extract
1.5 lb. Munton & Fison plan dark dry malt extract
1 cup corn sugar (Why?, I don't know)
3/4 lb. crystal malt
1/2 lb. chocolate malt
hunk of ginger, grated (I didn't have scale at the time, but don't be shy)
2 oz. Cascade hops (1 hr.)
1 0z. Fuggles (5 min steep)
ale yeast (Brand?)

Crushed grains were added to 2 gals. cold water. Grains removed when mixture
begins to boil. 1 hour boil with malts and ginger. Primary ferment in
plastic (3 days), secondary in glass carboy at about 70-75 degrees. Bottled
with 7/8 cup of corn sugar (this was too much!!).

My long term taste-bud memory says this was brown, bitter and slightly sweet
with a great ginger flavor and tingle at the back of the throat as it went
down. It was also overcarbonated, which detracted from the experience a
bit. I wish I could tell you how much ginger I used, but I remember I wished
it was more. Go for it! I've found nothing better to drink with Chinese
food (although a brown.

My most memorable experience with ginger beer was at a Caribbean restaurant
in Chicago. They offered a home-made ginger drink which I went for
immediately. It was OUTSTANDING. It appeared to be a mixture of ginger,
sugar, water and yeast (although it also seemed a little milky). It was
slightly alcoholic, slightly fizzy and totally delicious. They served it
ice cold, which was somewhat startling given the warm afterburn it left in the
back of my throat. Would anyone have a recipe?

As an aside, I've enjoyed the discussion on A-B, Sam Adams and marketing
practices. I'm firmly with those who decide to avoid companies whose
politics or practices they disagree with. It seems to me to be the one
weapon consumers have. I do agree, however, that the product should be
evaluated on its own merits. In the case of Coors, for example, I don't buy it
because I don't feel like encouraging the political and military activities
which this family sponsors. I also happen to think their beer is completely
lacking in character (my personal opinion) -- but if I liked it, I probably
wouldn't buy anyway. It's my choice (and more power to me!).

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