The last ginger ale was enough of a success that I'm trying it again. It lacked the straight forward fire that I was expecting from a quarter cup of ginger puree. Instead it was complex and floral. Altogether lovesome but not hot or what I had expected. Also, it took longer to ferment than I expected, and while very nice it was a bit... flat, mildly bubbly rather than exuberantly so. I responded at the time by adding more yeast. However my excellent brother, who brews a better than acceptable ale, made some suggestions in his inimitable way:
Yo, for future experiments with Ginger Ale you might want to add more sugar instead of additional yeast to make it bubble more. If the yeast doesn't have enough sugar to eat it wont make enough CO2 or it will take forever. Knowing you and your need for instant gratification- this will not do, sugar Sarah sugar.So I am punching up the sugar content. I'm going for a third of a cup honey and half a cup of sugar. Certainly this will be a sweeter effort, but hopefully worth while.
Hopefully such trifles will keep me from deciding that I need to start experimenting with real brewing until I have a bigger kitchen.**
Edit: After the Saturday afternoon grocery run (the fall back after The Present Deluge made me think twice about an expedition to the park to take pictures), I suddenly owned a lemon. As the juice of same had been suggested in the original ginger ale recipe, I squeezed it and poured the juice into the current ginger ale batch.
*I am not really a chili head. I don't feel a need to casually snack on habaneros or make bean dips hot enough to afright bachelor uncles. However, I adore hot ginger things, especially ginger ale or ginger beer. At an impressionable age I bought a six pack of Cock and Bull that was strong enough to make me feel as though my head were about to explode into a cloud of ginger vapor. I've been seeking out such mind expanding experiences ever since.
**Curious phenomenon, everyone I know who brews their own is without exception nice. Really nice. Nice enough that when I worked at Summit, and brewers were coming in regularly, it was remarked upon by my coworkers as well. Possibly only high quality people can brew good beer.