Ramble On

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brewing the Vagabond Gingered Ale

For my fourth five-gallon batch, I decided to stretch my experience a bit and try a recipe from Papzian’s The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing (Amazon Link at the end of the post).  

I chose the Vagabond Gingered Ale because of the description below:

Vagabond Gingered Ale is a deliciously dark , full-bodie ale, with the gentle essence of fresh ginger.  The freshly grated ginger in this recipe offers a joyously refreshing balance to the sweetness of malt, counter-balanced by a judicious choice of hops.  The blend of the main ingredients offers a complex triad of flavors – uniquely satisfying for the vagabond brewers who journey to places that have no boundaries.

The recipe book I was using dates to the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, depending on the edition that you’re using.  So the first task for me was to convert the ingredient list in the book to something I can get from a home brew vendor – in this case, Northern Brewer.  This table outlines the approach and some of the substitutions I had to make. 

In the final solution, I went with the packaged volumes on ingredients – there is not a lot of variation, but it could be enough to change the outcome slightly.

I also substituted the hops that were included in the recipe with some that Dan had given me a while back – 2 ounces of the 2011 Cascade crop, and another 2 ounces of some Calypso hops he bought in bulk.  So there’ll be a little bit more of a hop taste to this to what was originally calculated, I guess.

Typical to the home brewing process, it took about 2 hours to do the batch, which came out as a beautiful dark color.  It’s not going to be a stout, but this will be among the darkest beers I’ve had in some time.
I’m also out of bottles.  So this batch is in the works for about three weeks – meanwhile I will order up some new ones.

Here's the link to the book (a newer edition than mine):

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