Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ginger Ale #5

I saw this lovely fresh ginger at the farmer's market and decided it deserved a batch of ginger beer. I basically used the successful recipe I've been using, with slight changes, like leaving out the pine bark, and basically guessing at the amount of ginger, since my old roommate took her fancy digital scale to Fairfax. To make sure the yeast, which I'd opened for my root flavor experiment, and which hadn't been refrigerated for a couple weeks before that, was viable, I got it going with a bit of the wort as soon as that started boiling. Both the champagne and ale yeasts I had in the fridge bubbled up fine, so I went with the ale.

Wort, boiled 40 minutes:
1 2/3 cup sugar
about 1/2 cup grated ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
2 Tbsp juniper berries
1/4 cup yarrow flowers
zest of 1 small lemon (a generous tsp)
1/2 gal water

1/2 gal water
1/2 tsp citric acid
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp Safale S-04 yeast, pitched when the combined ingredients got to 80 degrees.

The weather has been unseasonably warm (for San Francisco), so this fermented 3 days at somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees. It came out as lovely as any earlier batch and nicely carbonated. It's gingery but doesn't have a lot of bite. The juniper, yarrow, and lemon are pretty much perfectly balanced. Not sure whether the cardamom is showing up. Ginger seems to be a fickle thing, so I guess I need to calibrate my taste buds to the subtleties of raw ginger to account for its variability. Or just enjoy wherever the recipe leads.

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