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Thread: Ginger Bug in Commercial Brewery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Ann Arbor, MI

    Ginger Bug in Commercial Brewery

    Hey y’all. I’ve been requested by the owner of the brewery to make ginger beer. I’ve considered using the traditional method of fermentation by ginger bug. Anyone have experience with this technic? Also have you simply used brewer’s yeast? He wants it to be alcoholic.

    Karl Hinbern
    Head Brewer
    Townies Brewery

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    United Kingdom
    I have done a ginger bug at home and it is super simple.

    However, I have yet to find any rigorous literature on the subject. I would be very interested in up scaling to a commercial size but a few things remain unsolved. If I understand correctly, there is little to no alcohol created. Because of this there is not the same halt in fermentation as with beer. Instead, the ginger bug keeps creating CO2 until chilled. This represents a potential danger of exploding bottles if they are left on a warm shelf. One would either have to pasteurise to stop bottles fermenting, or be super sure that the drinks will be kept cold throughout the supply chain.

    I am very interested in trying this at some point and would love to know how it panned out for you.
    Last edited by Brewberosa; 07-13-2018 at 10:49 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Dubuque, IA, United States of America
    We make a high alcohol ginger beer as a play on a Moscow mule (11.5% ABV). We make it on our pilot system so one bbl a go. We bring in a champagne yeast strain in as it's both more traditional and more tolerant to cane sugar. The biggest complications with this beer is that sucrose is 100% the fermentable and the high alcohol content Are both yeast supresents. Even with a tolerant yeast strain like this, we only ever get two uses of the yeast and thus this is easily the most expensive cost to produce this product. We supplement yeast nutrients and over pitch (by a lot) this product essentially treating it like a mead. Honeys invert sugar (inverted sucrose) so they're similar in that regard. I also drive the pH down with calcium chloride and citric acid additions to an optimal ginger extraction range of 4.5 which is also ideal for inverting the sucrose which the yeast will need to do before breaking it down to consume it. Thought process here was make it as easy as possible for the yeast to do its job. Cream of tartar and lemon both contain something that lends itself to invertase/sucrase activity as well. We have no experience with using Ale or lager strains but I hope some of this info was helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Antigua, Guatemala

    Ginger in the kettle

    I used to make a ginger beer with our standard house yeast (Safale 05). Simple blonde ale malt bill 5.0% ABV, a little wheat, noble hops, then at 10 min coarse chopped fresh ginger in a hop bag, remove before whirlpool. About .75 kilo/bbl (post peeling of fresh root) for a very nice ginger presence, not overbearing but very apparent. There was no doubt you were drinking a ginger beer! Never had any problems with flavor carryover reusing the yeast also. Hope this helps.

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