Ginger Ale 2.0

I took on my second batch of ginger ale yesterday. I made a number of small changes to the recipe. I wanted to lose the heavy yeast taste/smell and I wanted a better ginger flavor.

I started with cool tap water instead of refrigerated filtered this time.

I went with more ginger, about 2 Tbsp moderately packed, rather than 1.5 Tbsp lightly packed. I really have no idea how you're supposed to measure grated ginger. I'm at the middle of root now and there's a lot of that stringy stuff in it. I read somewhere that you can avoid that by freezing it first. Maybe next time.

I did less yeast this time, maybe a pinch or two under 1/4 tsp.

I also increased the fermentation (length at room temp) time from about 18 hours to about 24.

I was going to go 30 hours, but the bottle was very firm so I went ahead and gave it a try. I wanted to avoid the fountain that I had last time, but this might be where I went wrong. I loosened the cap just enough to let a little gas escape and kept twisting it tight whenever it was about to gush over. This took about five minutes. I poured a glass over ice and discovered that I'd lost most of my carbonation. Way to go, Brian.

The good news with this one is that I got a more desirable ginger taste and I don't taste/smell yeast. The ginger has significantly more kick, so I'm hoping with a successful opening that I will have the product I'm aiming for.

Ginger Ale 1.0

I made my first 2 liter of ginger-ale yesterday. I used this recipe, which does not use soda extract, but instead uses fresh grated ginger and lemon juice. I pulled the result from the basement about six hours earlier than suggested because the sides of the pop bottle were already hard. I chilled for about three hours in the fridge (which was not long enough). I opened the bottle slowly, cautiously... nothing happened. I went to pick it up, squeezing the sides in the process, and the bastard fountained all over the cupboard. I think I lost about two cups worth.

I strained the ginger root out of the first taste test. My initial reaction was too yeasty, not enough carbonation. The flavor is good. I like the lemon, and the ginger seems strong enough. I tried the next cup without straining. I actually like the little grated bits of ginger root. They're crunchy, and not as spicy as fresh ginger. In addition, wikipedia tells me that ginger may help reduce arthritis pain.

I'm kind of excited to try making more pop. I haven't been to a brewery supply store yet to look for soda extracts. Austin at BattleAxe Brewing pointed me to some area supply stores, so I'll be checking those out soon. I hesitate to order extract offline until I know what prices I should be looking for, and I've done at least enough batches to tell me I'm going to enjoy doing this more in the future. I still have plenty of ginger, though, so I'll try more of that this week.