20 March 2009

Ginger beer in Canberra

| johnboy
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So as to stop the moronic chuckleheads polluting the Folk Festival thread, let us here discuss the where’s and whyfores of alcoholic ginger beer in Canberra.

Is the store bought stuff up to scratch? What’s the best way to make your own?

Knock yourselves out.

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Alcohol is what yeast excretes (and CO2).

Beyond certain concentrations you too will struggle in your own excrement.

Dunno why alcohol would kill off yeast – there’s already alcohol involved in primary fermentation, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve been planning to try quinoa, although I have no issues with gluten or wheat (wheat allergy is not gluten intolerance, two different substances). I like the high protein aspect of it. Protein good!

I’ve seen recipes for ginger beer wehre they chuck in a bottle of rum before bottling, which is appealing, but I always wonder if the higher alcohol content might kill off the yeasts you need for the secondary fermentation (bubbles). Has anyone added spirits to a brewed product?

Gertrude, the dark and stormy line are just rum and dry premix, that is, rum and dry ginger ale, not ginger beer.

Not a big fan (Bundy uugghh) but they seem to be popular.

Bunaberg make a rum and ginger beer called Dark and Stormy. It is a bit sweet, but diluting with soda water will cut the sugar a bit. Perfect over ice on a warm afternoon.

not that it is a sugar, but have you tried quinoa, ant? a high protein sth american grain, very tasty and gluten free yada yada… check it out – delicious! (especially the black quinoa)

I have a relative allergic to wheat AND corn, so I had to delve into what was in the various brewing sugars. Turned out the only sugar she can have is… sugar.

Rice is OK too, but I haven’t found any sugars made from that.

Thanks Ant, I think in OZ the origin of dextrose/glucose is often wheat.

I pinched this from Wikipedia:
Glucose is produced commercially via the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch. Many crops can be used as the source of starch. Maize, rice, wheat, cassava and sago are all used in various parts of the world. In the United States, cornstarch (from maize) is used almost exclusively.

Although it is about bread, this is the article that made me start thinking that adding dextrose to homebrew might have caused my problems.

Keep us posted with the progress, ant. I used to say ‘berk’ all the time. I’d forgotten about ‘berk’. Who knew?

Well, I made my batch of ginger beer today, complete with fried honey and many slices of ginger floating around in it. I hope they don’t rot or something. The gladwrap on top is already rising up as the yeasts get going.

OT, but following on from the above.

A term which has fortunately fallen into disuse is ‘berk’.

Derived from rhyming slang, the full saying is ‘Berkshire Hunt’.

I leave it to your imagination the word which rhymes with this term.

Not as innocuous as it seemed.

cranky said :

Or the local equivelent is engineer.

Being from the East-end I love rhyming slang. My dad used it occasionally at home and some family over there still do. To this day one of my favourite insults is to call someone a Merchant (as in Merchant Banker).

OT – Ginger Beer, home Brew etc. you can’t go past Col at Brew You Own at Kambah (back of fteh shops). He occasionally holds classes on Sunday’s.

I think Dextrose is made from corn. Might you be intolerant of corn, maybe? it’s a fairly common intolerance.

Can anyone tell me whether there really is someone at the Folkie who sells alcoholic ginger beer?

At some point I switched to adding dextrose to home brew beer, Soon after I became constantly tired like chronic fatigue but not quite unable to concentrate etc. I blamed alcohol and stopped home brewing.
10 years later I finally figured out that I was reacting to Maltose, which is apparently what dextrose/glucose is usually derived from.
I was wondering if anyone else has made this connection?

+1 for Stones Ginger beer

Good luck with the brewing, ant!

johnboy said :

Sorry, yes, the honey in place of the sugar.

Ah ha. Well that figures, I guess, or you’d end up with 10% or thereabouts. Got a kilo pot of Coles honey and a vast pile of quite juicy-looking ginger tonight, and have had a ginger beer kit sitting around for ages.

Now then! On to Jim Jones’ chilli thing. My jalapenos are busy pushing out the good things. So. When you add chillis to your bottles, how long do you keep it for? cos I’m figuring that the chillies might start to go off? Now, dried chillies would work better as they’d not go off.

Well, that is funny!

Or the local equivelent is engineer.

Raving queer rings a bell.

Ye gods! Rhyming slang for what?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy8:56 pm 20 Mar 09

Not having the space to give home brew a try, I’m rather partial to Stones Ginger Beer, available from most liquor stores for $16 to $18 a 6-pack.

I can home brew 28-30 longnecks of alcoholic ginger beer for less $$ than that!

If Pommy Bastard reads this they’ll share my smirk. Ginger beer is rhyming slang in the UK.

Yes, ’cause I still don’t have any ginger beer. You’d think somebody would’ve offered me some, but no!

not you, granny!

Skidbladnir said :

Johnboy is trapped in the 1940s.

A pink-gin-punk?

i can still recall my granny’s ginger beer – didn’t work out til much later that we only got a small sip, ’cause two or more sips woulda had us smashed tykes! remember it was yum but, and wanting more…

Not having the space to give home brew a try, I’m rather partial to Stones Ginger Beer, available from most liquor stores for $16 to $18 a 6-pack.

Another vote for U-Brew-It in Hume. http://www.ubrewit.com.au/canning/

I find it interesting that they put ye olde sixpack ring device on. Didn’t we stop seeing those because they kill penguins/whales/Africans?

LOL – funny you mention things and OT (Sorry JB) but my wife was telling me about a poor old diabetic fella in the hospital that had to have his 3 middle toes amputated.

His only gripe (Bless the old digger) was that he could not wear thongs anymore.

Made me smile

Danman: No worries mate. I’m sure they will come out with one soon.

Canberra Cellars in Belco, next to the Woolies servo, were giving away a free pair of Stone’s thongs with a case last Saturday. I assume they will still have some as they had a huge box of them.

Woody Mann-Caruso2:40 pm 20 Mar 09

Next time you’re in Brew Your Own At Home ask about OzTops. Makes fantastic apple cider (just tip the top off a bottle of juice from the supermarket, add yeast and change the lid) and pizza/pasta quality sparkling red in 24 hours.

750 g root ginger
2 kg white sugar
One whole lemon chopped
One whole orange chopped
2 cloves

Place in a large pot, cover with two litres water, bring to the boil, simmer for 15 mins, cool. Strain and keep the ‘cordial’ in the fridge. Dilute 1 to 3 with water, add yeast and an OzTops lid, ferment as for juice.

Another vote for U-Brew-It in Hume. http://www.ubrewit.com.au/canning/

I think Ginger Beer is one of their more popular brews.

You can get 100 cans of sweet organic Ginger beer within about 3 weeks.

Instant Mash2:20 pm 20 Mar 09

Stone’s ginger beer is pretty delicious.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

Question – would you use cut chillis during initial fermentation, or during secondary? What’s the difference/effects?

Only secondary. If you add during primary, it will often ruin the batch. You slice a chilli down the middle and whack it in the bottle during bottling. It gives it a spicy overtone and that aftershock warmth, which gives the ginger beer a lot more ‘zing’ (if you know what I mean).

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy1:47 pm 20 Mar 09

I’m a keen brewer, and have tried a few ginger beer variants. One of the things that gives a strong and interesting flavour is to add cut pitted dates to the fermenter in place of some of the sugar/dextrose. I also find that honey provides a nice flavour, but you don’t want to use too much, as it can get a bit over powering.

Question – would you use cut chillis during initial fermentation, or during secondary? What’s the difference/effects?

Disposable, My error indeed, I was wholly confused, I meant stones make a mean Ginger Beer, that is alcoholic, Bundy do do ginger beer, but its a soft drink.

Glad you didnt go out there on the strength of my advice.

Really though your best bet is home made is quite easy and a million times better than any commercial product.

Stone’s Ginger Beer from your local liquor store is quite nice. ?

Americanberran said :

Danman in the cellar?…hmmmmmm, I was thinking more like dungeon. OK I’ll stop; he’s hardly worthy of stalkdom, lol.

Far out you just keep hanging on don’t you? You should re-name yourself the American pitbull.

2. Or Vodka.

Sorry, yes, the honey in place of the sugar.

Danman said :

Disposable, in reference to your querstion in th eother thread – I get Bundy Ginger Beer from Danman Denman Cellars in Gunghalin, near the Pizza Haven(?) there.

Do you mean non-alcoholic Bundaberg? I think we got mixed up there. I just rang them and they only have the non-alcoholic version and are out of that at the moment. Alcoholic Bundy would be the goods.

1. Buy Bundy Ginger Beer
2. Add Metho
3. Drink

When I was little my Mum used to make ginger beer in a bucket- I remember she added saltanas as part of her special blend. I think you knew the brew was good to go when the sultanas rose to the top and had bubbles on them…

Granny said :

Maybe everyone could bring along their ginger beer and we could have judges and stuff.

I am up for that! I’ll have to brew some first though.

Americanberran12:08 pm 20 Mar 09

Danman in the cellar?…hmmmmmm, I was thinking more like dungeon. OK I’ll stop; he’s hardly worthy of stalkdom, lol.

Thanks Danman I’ll head out there today.

Johnbody – a drop of tabasco sounds nice, but you’ve really gotta try whacking fresh chillis in during secondary fermentation: it’s unbeatable.

I just checked the new Jim Beam product and it is Bourbon and ginger beer. Danman where do you get the alcoholic Bundaberg ginger beer? I am very keen to try that one.

Apparently there is a small brewery on the Sunshine Coast that make a good one as well. For me Stone’s is the only decent one that is commercially available here.

Sounds like I need to head out to Kambah, I’d better hide my 2615 Tattoo.

JB, regarding your recipe, when you mix it all up, do you add the usual amount of sugar as per the kit instructions, or is the honey the only sugar you add?

I’m pretty keen to try this one. Might happen today even.

Has anyone done a beer kit, and then added ginger? I’ve heard of this but never seen any detailed recipes.

Maybe everyone could bring along their ginger beer and we could have judges and stuff.

Granny said :

Let’s go on a ginger beer crawl!


I haven’t copied down the recipes in the thread yet (my battery is getting low and any minute the computer will tell me to sod off as it wants to sleep) but they look good. I bought a 2nd fermenter last year to make lemonades and ginger beer in. So far I’ve only made the kits, but am intrigued with the idea of making beer, that is ginger flavoured. Some people then get creative and empty a bottle of rum in too before bottling.

The kit ginger beers I’ve made turned out just fine, and I use the brown plastic bottles so there’s no danger of explosions. So far no disasters, in fact the results have been more consistent than my beer efforts.

There is a very active homebrew club, a friend took me to a meeting, they meet at a club in narrabundah, might be the German club. They bring samples and my goodness, I am NOT worthy. some of them were nectar of the gods. There was this russian black porter/stout thing that was pure ambrosia. they mostly do mashing and growing own hops and all kinds of things.

Disposable, in reference to your querstion in th eother thread – I get Bundy Ginger Beer from Danman Denman Cellars in Gunghalin, near the Pizza Haven(?) there.

JB – Thanks for the honey and Ginger tips – I use Homebrew mixes from Kambah too, and can fully reccomend them..

I have made alcoholic Ginger beer, Alcoholic Sars and want to try an alcoholic cola, which I intend to mix with bourbon on an ad hoc basis providing more of a kicker than a usual bourbon and coke.

If you wanna know about brewing, Canberra has a homebew fraternity – not sure who to contact though. Google may in fact be your friend, I am too lazy.

It sounds delicious. Honey and ginger – two of the nicest things in the world!

Americanberran11:50 am 20 Mar 09

“Sure fire” recipe, John?…sounds like my last kitchen odyssey, lol

One of the best things about brewing ginger beer is that it leaves the brewing tub with residual flavour. So if you go from making a ginger beer straight to making a wheat beer, the wheat beer will have a delicate sweet ginger overtone. Very nice!

There’s a brewing place in Kambah that is absolutely top notch. They have regular tastings, good for advice and recipes, and they even sell second hand bottles.

You dumb schmoes!!!

Americanberran11:46 am 20 Mar 09

Can somebody please explain to me the difference btw a moronic chucklehead, and a Canberran cackleberry?;for I’m new to the scene …

So here’s my sure fire recipe:

1. Ginger beer kit from Brew Your Own At Home in Kambah
2. 1kg Honey
3. 1 big hunk of ginger.

Peel the ginger and slice thinly, the idea is to maximise surface area.

Simmer for 10 minutes the honey, sliced ginger and two cups of water. You don’t want to over-boil, but it has to get up to boiling point to kill wild yeasts in the honey.

Throw this mix into your fermenter with the rest of the ginger beer kit, and water to your fill line, and ferment as you would beer,

When bottling put a drop of tobasco sauce in each bottle along with your secondary fermentation medium.

Allow two weeks for secondary.

If any of these terms confuse you, go talk to the nice people in the brew shops.

Nambucco Deliria11:37 am 20 Mar 09

U-Brew it in Hume have a good Ginger Beer recipe.

Johnboy is trapped in the 1940s.

I think I probably do have to admit to being a moronic chucklehead.

Moronic chuckleheads?

Are you getting all your cusswords from a mafia dictionary or something?

Let’s go on a ginger beer crawl!

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