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0326paul's Profile

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CHOW Ginger Beer

I suggest that a new brewer avoid making a 'bug" to start this sort of brew, for the wild yeasts in different places can produce a range of aromas and flavors from the product that range from delightful to offensive in the way that causes some to look suspiciously at the person nearest. In place of the "bug" I would suggest that for ginger beer one either should opt for baker's yeast or Champagne yeast. I favor the latter for a better flavor, and because the yeast tends to clump to the bottom of the bottle and give a clear brew. The former is nice for reducing slightly the alcohol volume. Either one can be started faster on a piece of toast that is floated on the top of the liquid that is prepared as the writer described, and then strained out with the grated root, later. The grain causes a more robust fermentation. If you wish to have a much more robust fermentation, use sprouted grains bread, and use a few slices. This might yield a brew that you would not want to serve to children if you were making small volume batches while using much bread. If you have a hygrometer, you could predict what the alcohol by volume product would be, and could bias the product one way or another. Some folk make these flavored brews by boiling the bread in the water with the other ingredients less the yeast, and straining out all the solids before cooling the wort to a temperature appropriate for adding the yeast. If you make a wort with a higher specific gravity, please let it ferment a couple - to- a few days, depending on temperature, before bottling when the fermentation is still active. This could save you the experience of broken bottles. Again, if you have a hygrometer and high quality bottles, such as sparkling wine bottles, you could pick the optimal time to bottle, i.e., when the specific gravity is down around 1.01, I think, to get a charged bottle without breakage. Finishing in an old refrigerator at its maximum temperature, say 40-45 degrees, also helps. I haven't done these for about 35 years, but these approaches are what I recall worked best for adult beverages and beverages for children (the lower specific gravity and baker's yeast for kids' drinks.)
You can extend this approach to making root beers and fruit flavored beers, to low alcohol fruit wines, etc. By the way, if you don't add too much sugar, many ripe fruits will yield a slightly tart low (beer strength) wine. I note that somebody suggest turbanado sugar. It gives its own flavor to whatever you brew, so consider what sugar you want to use. I like products from beet sugars the least, and those that use corn sugar the most, except that I found that apricot wine, the juice fortified with brown sugar was really nice, as long as the specific gravity was kept low so that the product was below 10% a.b.v.
Numerous ways to make home sodas and mild wines and many books have been published that give more than a lifetime's recipes.

Jul 26, 2015
0326paul in Recipes

CHOW Ginger Beer

Comment on yeast choice: Yeasts contribute flavors, and if you want to experiment, then try different yeasts ( lager, ale, champagne, baker's, etc) to find the differences. I'm not a proponent of wild yeasts; I've had some really wretched products made by others using wild yeasts. The worst came from somebody living near a dairy. I suspect that he had something like brettanomyces of an unfortunate strain.
You can also make a delicious ginger-accented or ginger-dominated apple or pear cider with the same proportion of ginger to liquid suggested here.
I believe that the baker's yeast has an advantage for those folk who wish to pare down the alcohol content of their brews, for I believe that it produces more gas than the others per amount of alcohol produced...but can't swear to that. Just think I recall it from about 45 years ago, when I was making this stuff regularly.

Oct 09, 2013
0326paul in Recipes

Just how "W" is the GU in Guacamole supposed to sound?

Remember that Bobby Flay is not an hispanoparlante, not much of a Spanish speaker. In Texas, you're going to hear his pronunciation, and will hear it from many in California, as well, but not from many hispanics. Some of the hispanic language dialect speakers will have different pronunciations of the onset consonant, ranging from that of Mr. Flay, through a very soft /g/ - /k/ sound, and aspirated sound (think /h/), followed by the /ua/ or /wa/ consonant-vowel combination. The word doesn't really have a Spanish root for the part that refers to the avocado; rather it has a root from a Mexican indigenous language, combined with the ending root, and apparently did not end with the sound of the /eh/ or long /a/, but rather one of the Spanish /i/, which in English is more like our long e. This all give you great latitude for your pronunciation. My habit is to say something that approximates huacamoli, where the /h/ is the softest, nearly inaudible /k/-/h/, and the ending i is somewhat like a brief long e. Suit yourself, don't fight about it, and if you're writing from Texas, you might as well use Bobby's pronunciation.

Jan 14, 2011
0326paul in Not About Food