Ginger Beer Carbonation

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baldguy80
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Joined: |26 Aug 2014|, 19:39
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Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by baldguy80 »

Hi folks,

I just finished bottling a batch of ginger beer. There doesn't seem to be any evidence of carbonation occurring. (Although it is only a couple of days since bottling, so I do plan to leave it longer to see if my bottles harden up.) The first batch I made never carbonated, even after I left it for 3 weeks. I drank it anyway 'cause the flavour was bang on, albeit flat. I used a champagne yeast for fermentation, (which took almost 3 weeks) and plain old sugar for a food source. I waited until there was no almost no activity in the airlock, and my sanitization regimen was pretty scrupulous. Did I wait too long to bottle? I used an online priming sugar calculator, but I just used an ale as a proxy 'cause the calculator didn't have "ginger beer" as an option. Maybe not enough priming sugar? (I really have no idea, I'm just guessing.)

Is there any way to induce carbonation now? If so, how?!?

Any insight is appreciated...
baldguy80 is waiting impatiently for it to be done...

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XXXXX
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Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by XXXXX »

Hi baldguy,

This reminds me of another thread I followed regarding cinnamon. The OP there couldn't get the wort to ferment properly as I recall. Evidence was brought forward that cinnamon had antiseptic/antimicrobial properties, and that it should be added only after fermentation was complete.

This led me to quickly search "ginger antiseptic", which came up with several immediate sources saying it does indeed hold some of these properties.

Now, I don't know that this is what's causing you grief, and I'm not suggesting it is. You obviously got it fermented somehow, and I am assuming ginger was part of the wort. It might be something to look into, however.

At any rate, it's irrelevant because yeast doesn't seem to be up to the task of carbonating your ginger beer. This is the second time this has occurred, as I understand it.

Since you're asking for insight, might I suggest forced carbonation? Throw it in a keg and pummel it with CO2.

Barring a keg setup, I suggest carbonation bottle caps, which allow the user to quickly force carbonate inside PET (pop) bottles. OBK stocks the carbonation caps, as I'm sure others do. Add a CO2 cylinder and regulator.

I haven't used these caps, but I'd imagine they'd work very very quickly, considering to how easy it would be to agitate a 2L bottle.

Consider it an investment for the future. You'll never have to bottle carbonate again unless you insist on it.
Mmmm... Beer... *drool*

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XXXXX
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Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by XXXXX »

I wonder if it fermented fine initially because of the relatively large inoculation of yeast into the wort. I wonder if once the yeast attenuated, it was then unable to restart fermentation in face of the ginger, despite the introduction of new sugars.

Read about the antifungal/antimicrobial properties of ginger here:

http://thescipub.com/PDF/ajassp.2009.1067.1069.pdf
http://www.ssdctumkur.org/jdsr4_05.pdf
Mmmm... Beer... *drool*

Venari
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Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by Venari »

This would explain why the honey pumpkin beer was slow in carbonating...I tossed in half a teaspoon of cinnamon into the 5 gallon batch before adding the yeast.
I've never understood the policy against "necro threads" on almost every forum. Why tell us to use the search function for a particular topic, then complain when an older thread has a new post in it?

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XXXXX
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Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by XXXXX »

Could be, could be. Certainly not impossible, but the dosage would have to increase to overcome it I'd imagine.
Mmmm... Beer... *drool*

Venari
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Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by Venari »

In the last post, by carbonating, i actually meant fermenting. Not sure why I got that mixed up.

Either way, I just tested with the hydrometer, and found it acceptable. I moved it to a secondary, and tossed in an ounce of simcoe hops. I'll leave it there for a bit, and drink the mexican cerveza I plan on making this week before I get to the pumpkin ale :)
I've never understood the policy against "necro threads" on almost every forum. Why tell us to use the search function for a particular topic, then complain when an older thread has a new post in it?

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baldguy80
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Location: Kingston, ON

Re: Ginger Beer Carbonation

Post by baldguy80 »

Interesting articles, XXXXX! I just learned waaaay too much about the antifungal attributes of ginger..

Following the "antifungal line of thought", one (perhaps major) way I adjusted the recipe I found, was to not strain out the shredded ginger before adding to the fermentor. (Although the recipe guy said he often adds large chunks of ginger to the fermentor to add flavour.) I wonder if there was just too much ginger in there for the yeast to stay viable after fermenting out. I think I'll try another small batch and stick to the recipe to see what happens. And thanks to Venari, I won't be experimenting with cinnamon in my ginger either!

Thanks for the help folks!
baldguy80 is waiting impatiently for it to be done...

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