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Renegade:
So, to continue a chat about brewing your own booze at home...

Spinning off from the recipe thread here:

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=35091.msg359199#msg359199

Also thinking of trying for a honey-ginger mead...hmm...
-40hz (July 12, 2014, 12:31 PM)
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I'm thinking about adding in some organic honey that hasn't been filtered to death for my next batch of ginger ale. The more complex sugars aren't so easily broken down and should mitigate the extreme dryness that you get when making ginger ale like I described in the post linked above.

I've not used honey in anything like this before. Honey adds a distinctive flavour, so you need to be careful.

I mentioned the dryness of ginger ale to the fellow at the brew store and he mentioned using stevia, but stevia has a very strong after-taste and I'm not very fond of it. I tried it in coffee before, but it's just not very nice (malt extract is nicer as it has a smoother taste compared to the sharper stevia flavour). He also mentioned honey, which is certainly more agreeable than stevia.

I also picked up a "Chimay Blue" kit the other day. It uses 2 cans of malt extract, which is quite a bit.

One other thing I'm thinking of trying is just using the regular malt extract that I buy at the supermarket to create a beer. Lord knows how it will turn out, but it's worth a shot. I like the idea of using non-specialty ingredients or commonly available ingredients.

mouser:
Back in the 1980s I made a ton of beer and mead.  I have to say that the mead was the most satisfying -- only because as good as the beer was, and as fun as it was to make, it didn't rival the best store bought beer.

But the cranberry mead I made felt like something really special.

Renegade:
I have to say that the mead was the most satisfying -- only because as good as the beer was, and as fun as it was to make, it didn't rival the best store bought beer.
-mouser (July 12, 2014, 08:01 PM)
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Really? I'm pretty shocked.

I brewed up a white beer and drank it raw because it was so good even at that stage. Warm. That good. Mind-blowingly good. No bottling or secondary fermentation.

I find most beer from the store is pretty poor in comparison to what I can do at home (from my limited experience). But, I have a high tolerance for sediment too.

But the cranberry mead I made felt like something really special.
-mouser (July 12, 2014, 08:01 PM)
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Hmm... cranberry... I love fruity drinks! :D (Living in SE Asia was heaven!) You've got me wondering if I can pull off some simple fruit batches. I wonder what a durian drink would be like...

I'm going to have to have a go at brewing some mead. I really never considered it until both you and 40hz mentioned it. Mead I find rather sweet, and I tend towards a more moderate sweetness with a rich texture, e.g. stout or brown ale.

Now I'm wondering if I can do it in a very small batch of just a few bottles... should be doable... Cheesecloth over the bottle with a rubber band...

Renegade:
Got a batch started today of a Chimay recipe. Tomorrow I might get a batch of ginger ale going. Still mulling over whether to do it with an ale or a champagne yeast...

sword:
Small batch processing is easy using a gallon jug or several champagne bottles. Use a fermentation lock for best results or some plastic tubing from stoppers at the top all going to somewhere under some water in a container. Champagne yeast is foolproof and excellent for every fruit I've tried. Vierka (German company) had a very good yeast but I have not used it in years. If you have access to a brewing supply store, there are many gallon concentrate cans that are excellent. Corn sugar works well.

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