An Evolving Recipe

I've played with the recipe each time I made it for the last three weeks... the first batch I bottled using all raw sugar, I fed it too much sugar, and too much ginger. It came out looking like beer, and tasting like a mild beer. Not undrinkable (barely), but not great. The second batch I used the right amount of sugar, and bottled using white sugar. It came out the right color, and tasted like mild ginger beer. It was actually pretty decent. The third batch, I bottled using white sugar, but I fed the plant double the sugar and double the ginger all week. I also added a cut up cinnamon stick. It came out looking like ginger beer, and tasting like a mild beer. I could not taste the cinnamon... at all. Not drinkable this time either.

So what have I learned?

  1. If you feed the yeast too much, they will multiply too much. This will make it taste like beer.
  2. If you bottle using raw sugar, it doesn't taste right... no matter how much you try to tell yourself it will give it a "spicy" flavor.
  3. The lemon juice really matters. How much to use ... that's still a developing art. I'm wavering currently at about a cup in 1.5 gallons of water.
  4. The amount of sugar when you bottle ... it's about taste. Do you want a sweet ginger beer? 6 cups. Do you want it a bit more "burney"? Try four.
  5. Test a bottle every day from the fourth day on. I left the last batch in there a week. I lost five bottles to overcarbonation. Five good bottles blew their tops when I opened them.
  6. Ginger beer floats are really good. Like ... REALLY good. Yum!

This is all good, but what have I got left to try?

  1. Fresh ginger. I read somewhere if you peel it, you can puree it with a quarter cup of water, and that it will yield a spicier brew. Count me in!
  2. Vanilla. That (who am I kidding that it was just one?!?) ginger beer float was FANTASTIC. I'm thinking adding some vanilla when I bottle could help? Otherwise, I need to figure out how to make a "cream soda"... because ginger cream soda would rock hard!
  3. Lime. I'm really thinking I want to try lime instead of lemon, and lime as well as lemon.
  4. Turbo Brew. This is so top secret I shouldn't even be talking about it yet. If it works ... it will be huge. Well, huge to me.

I also knocked up some Lemon Lime soda tonight. 3 quarts water, 3 cups of sugar. 1 cup of lemon juice. 1/2 cup of lime juice. 1/2 tsp champagne yeast in 1/2 cup warm water with some sugar to help activate it. I'll have to wait a few days to see how it tastes - really excited about this one too as it was a completely original "recipe".

That's enough for now. Happy drinking!

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