Thursday, June 25, 2015

Golden Ale with Ginger

I'm a fan of Left Hand Brewing's Good Ju-Ju beer, and have thought, wow, how cool would it be to make my own variant of the beer?  Not a clone...if I want a Good Ju-Ju, I'll go get some. It's a seasonal brew, so it won't be available year round, but that's okay.  When I made a visit to Kettle & Grains, I asked the proprietor if he'd done any brewing with ginger, and it turned out that he had...he'd made a Christmas Ale last year with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Note to self...go back around Christmas time this year...  ;-)

Brew Day: 24 June
1 hr Partial Mash, 3 qt water (strike temp: 156 F, expecting 10-12F temp drop when grain is added)
0.5 lb 2-row malt
0.5 lb carapils
0.3 lb rye
0.2 lb Victory

Boil: 45 min

1 lb Pilsen DME (@ 45 min)
7 g German Tettnang (@ 30 min)
1 oz fresh ginger root (sliced thin, in a muslin bag) (@ 10 min)

Yeast: Safale US-05

Once the wort cooled to approx 80 F, it was transferred into the fermenter, aerated, and about half a packet of yeast was pitched.  Around 12 hrs later, there isn't a lot of krausen, but there is some steady bubbling activity flowing through the blow off tube.

Addendum, 27 June: Checked the fermenter and blow off tube this morning; nice, steady flow of bubbles, albeit slower than yesterday.  So far, I've had some success with the partial mashing method (YouTube video here) I've been using, so I'm looking forward to how this one turns out.

Beer with ginger
Addendum, 8 July: Bottled the beer today (picture to the left just prior to bottling).  Got 9 good bottles out of it.  Throughout the process, I kept getting hints of ginger, which was pretty nice.  The color of the beer itself is pretty nice, and I'm really looking forward to trying this one in two weeks.

Tasting Notes, 27 July: Pours to a hazy golden color, with a light, non-persistent head.  Definite notes of ginger in the nose. Lots of really small bubbles; carbonation seems good.  Body is fine, can maybe be backed off just a bit.  Flavor of ginger is definitely there, but there's something of an after-taste that I can't identify, and it's somewhat distracting from the flavor of the beer.

Some thoughts for the next iteration of this beer are to back off of the rye, carapils, and Victory in the malt, and go with more 2-row, some wheat, and a small amount of carapils.  Also, reduce the overall amount; the total grain bill, with the DME, comes in at 3 lbs, and that's likely a little much for what I'd like to get out of this beer.

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