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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2008 * Archive through December 17, 2008 * Contemplating Ginger...Any advice? < Previous Next >

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priorm
Junior Member
Username: Priorm

Post Number: 94
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 162.44.245.51
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 06:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have a smoked porter (1.077 - 7.6% - 41 IBUs) that was kegged about two months ago. The beer tastes OK, but the flavor profile is probably a bit flat. The roasted & smoked flavors are more dominant than what I wanted while the hop flavor and caramel sweetness are more reserved. Because of this I'm considering converting my smoked porter into a holiday ale. I'm contemplating 'dry spicing' in the keg with a small amount of ginger.

I am not interested in creating a spice bomb. I am looking for something very subtle and perhaps missed by many people. Something right about the taste threshold.

My idea was to grate about 0.25 ounces of fresh ginger, add it to a tea ball and then boil it for around 10 minutes in about a cup of water. I would add the tea ball of ginger and boiled ginger water directly to the keg.

Any thoughts? Is this enough ginger? Has anyone added ginger to something similar to a smoked porter?
 

Kevin Kowalczyk
Intermediate Member
Username: Itsfunbrewingbeer

Post Number: 359
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 12.165.82.136
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 06:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I prefer the taste of Mary Anne to Ginger.
 

The Jolly Brewer
Senior Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 2092
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 92.233.31.3
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 07:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What about using Cinnamon instead. I HATE ginger, butthink cinnamon goes well with the roasty notes of a porter.

If you do go with ginger, go light on it, you can always add more.
 

Paul Edwards
Senior Member
Username: Pedwards

Post Number: 1656
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 76.252.16.210
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 07:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Some friends wanted a ginger beer. Not my fav, but they liked it.

I made a tincture by soaking a whole bunch of grated fresh ginger in some Everclear in a mason jar in the fridge for a few days. Then I was able to add it to a 12 ounce portion of beer using an eyedropper to get the level of ginger I wanted. Then I extrapolated up to the 5 gallons I wanted to flavor.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2798
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I also would recommend the soak in alcohol (whiskey, rum, or vodka) and add that, instead of the boiling water method you describe.

It'll be subjective for sure. How about soaking the ginger in a shot glass, then adding the liquid to the keg. This can be repeated, say every week, until you get the level that you like.

Clove and/or cardamom(n) would also work nicely in this beer, maybe even vanilla.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 5687
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 63.118.227.254
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 09:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would skip the spice idea and add a pint of Maker's Mark to the keg.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1948
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 208.54.95.151
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - 09:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Not a bad idea, Chumley.

I like Paul's spice extraction technique - it gives you great control over the finished product. I just did the same thing with a spice mix for a holday ale, except I used Absolut vodka instead of Everclear. I let the extraction sit for about three weeks and then used an eyedropper and some mad-scientist graduated cylinders to make my samples. I ended up settling on 3ml per 355ml beer. If I had just added the spices to the kettle or the carboy, who knows how it would have turned out?
 

priorm
Junior Member
Username: Priorm

Post Number: 95
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 96.227.234.15
Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 03:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I decided to go with the soak it in alcohol method. I shredded about 1.5 ounces of fresh ginger and am soaking it in around 5-10 ounces of vodka. I'll let it soak for a few weeks. Afterwards, I'll add a few ml of the ginger vodka solution to a glass of the porter and see how it tastes. If I find a ratio that I like, I'll add it to the keg. If not, it stays a smoked porter!

Thanks for the advice.