Alan's Brewery

Lockdown alcoholic beverage recipes

With the lockdown in South Africa, the sale of alcohol was banned. Once their stash ran out, South Africans started getting creative in making alcoholic beverages. As I no longer had ingredients to make beer, I had to get inventive myself, so I tried my own recipes. (I wouldn't recommend that anyone try these just yet as they are really experimental :D)

Tips

  • I would recommend using a fermenting vessel with a volume at least 2L more than your batch size, which will give your brew a bit of breathing space. This breathing space will be filled with CO2 once your brew starts fermenting, which will hopefully stop any nasties from getting into your brew.
  • Don't let your brew get too cold. If the ambient temperature gets below 20C, wrap your fermenter in some kind of blanket.
  • If you can, syphon out your beer when you need to. Pouring it out will add oxygen back into the brew which will restart the fermentation process.
  • When bottling, try not to get any yeast from the bottom of your fermenting vessel into the bottle.
  • If you do syphon off the brew into bottles, add about 1 tsp of sugar per litre to each bottle.
  • If you pour the beer into the bottles, make sure not to fully tighten the caps for a day or so.

My two mini-fermenters doing their work with my first two brews

Ginger Beer - 3rd try

Trying to make ginger beer like a proper homebrewed beer just doesn't work. What I did for this recipe, was to try some of the things mentioned in this video clip. Instead of taking the fermentation to completion (as with my previous attempts), I stopped the fermentation after two days by bottling and refrigerating the beverage.

Ingredients
  • 5 L water
  • 400 g whole ginger (chopped in blender with 1L of the water)
  • 400 g sugar
  • 10g Anchor Instant Yeast
Method
  • Dissolve sugar in about 1L off the boil water
  • Add ginger blend
  • Simmer for 30min
  • Add the rest of the water if your pot can take the full volume
  • Allow to cool to below 25C
  • Pour into fermenter through a sieve to filter out bits of ginger
  • Take S.G. (if you have a hydrometer) - I omitted this step as the hydrometer couldn't float
  • Add yeast
  • Bottle after two days
  • Refrigerate bottles immediately after bottling
Notes
  • I took the final SG on this brew, even though I didn't have the original gravity. It was 1.020, which tells me a good deal of sugar still remained (as expected from the short brew time).
  • A very tasty ginger beer, but too sweet for me. Pat is happy with the result though.

(updated: 4 July 2020)

Liquifruit Mango and Orange Cider - 2nd try

As Pat really liked the Mango and Orange Cider given below, I decided to try it again, with some minor variations to the recipe. As I have a larger fermenting vessel, I have increased the ingredients slightly. In this recipe, I have used instant yeast which is mainly used for bread.

Ingredients
  • 2.5L Liquifruit Mango and Orange juice
  • 5L Water
  • 700g Sugar
  • 10g Anchor Instant Yeast
Method
  • Dissolve sugar in about 1L hot water
  • Add Liquifruit and stir to mix
  • Pour into fermenting vessel
  • Add remaining water
  • Take S.G. (if you have a hydrometer)
  • Add yeast (temperature should be below 25C)
Notes
  • I used less sugar in this brew, and ended up with an SG of 1.050, which was less than the first try.
  • I left this in the fermenter for a bit longer than I wanted to (11 days instead of the 7 I wanted) and ended up with an ABV of 7.09%.
  • This brew ended up with no taste of the original Mango and Orange, but rather only a vague taste of apple (Liquifruit use apple juice as the base for all their fruit juices).
  • This brew definitely spent too much time in the fermenter.

(updated: 13 June 2020)

Apple Cider

I wanted to try a brew that used fresh fruit. For this, I decided to use apples.

Ingredients
  • 2kg (approx) Apples (one supermarket packet, plus a few)
  • 1.5L Water
  • 400g Sugar
  • 10g ( pkt) NCP High Foam Brewing Yeast
Method
  • Dissolved sugar in about 1.5L hot water
  • Blended apples to make a puree of about 2L and added to sugar water
  • Boiled for about ten minutes
  • Strained the brew into fermenter
  • Reblended remaining puree and sparged with about 1L of warm water
  • Took S.G.
  • Added yeast
Notes
  • This was a very difficult brew because of the apple puree. I wanted to blend the apples to get as much sugar out of the apples as possible.
  • With the sparging, I ended up with between 4 and 5L of brew in the fermenting vessel, with an SG of 1.038. The apple puree ended up being used as pudding. The pudding was not very sweet, so I did extract a lot of the sugar from the apples.
  • From all the effort involved in making this cider, I only managed to bottle 3.5L. A thick layer of sediment remained on the bottom of the fermenter, which was mainly apple puree.
  • Although the alcohol content came to 5.5% ABV, the drink was rather tasteless.
  • I definitely won't try this particular brew again.

(updated: 13 June 2020)

Ginger Beer - 2nd try

I fiddled my earlier recipe with some ideas from the one from oom Ferdie.

Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp (45mL) ground ginger (powder)
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 600 g sugar
  • Raisins
  • 6 L water
  • 10g ( pkt) NCP High Foam Brewing Yeast
Method
  • Dissolve sugar in about 2L off the boil water
  • Add ginger, cream of tartar and a few raisins
  • Allow the brew to cool
  • Add the rest of the water if your pot can take the full volume, otherwise pour it all into your fermenting vessel
  • Take S.G. (if you have a hydrometer)
  • Add yeast (temperature should be below 25C when adding yeast)
  • Take S.G. after seven days (and then on consecutive days) to check on fermentation
  • Bottle once S.G. is constant for two days
Notes
  • This brew was in the fermenter for 11 days, which seems to be way too long.
  • The final SG on this brew was the lowest I have ever had from any of my brews - 0.996, giving an alcohol content of 5.25%.
  • On first taste, one cannot really taste the ginger, and it is quite tart. I will probably add more ginger and less cream of tartar on my next batch.
  • What we have ended up doing is mixing this beverage with Stoney Ginger Beer. It's really nice and packs quite a mean punch!

(updated: 12 June 2020)

Liquifruit Mango and Orange Cider

Liquifruit is a brand of fruit juices available in South Africa. These contain no preservatives, so are ideal for someone too lazy to make the juice (like me). The Mango and Orange is rather syrupy, so I decided to dilute it down with two parts water to one of Liquifruit.

Ingredients
  • 2L Liquifruit Mango and Orange juice
  • 4L Water
  • 1kg Sugar
  • 10g ( pkt) NCP High Foam Brewing Yeast
Method
  • Dissolve sugar in about 1L hot water
  • Add Liquifruit and stir to mix
  • Add remaining water
  • Take S.G. (if you have a hydrometer)
  • Add yeast (temperature should be below 25C)
  • Pour into fermenting vessel
  • Take S.G. after four days (and then on consecutive days) to check on fermentation
  • Bottle once S.G. is constant for two days
  • Use priming sugar at 6g/L
Notes
  • I would probably use half as much sugar if I make this beverage again, as the starting S.G. was a very high 1.70
  • The taste is quite pleasant, but the amount of alcohol makes it feel more like a liqueur
  • The dilution of 2:1 water to Liquifruilt worked quite well
  • The high sugar content caused really excessive foaming in the bottles. These had to be burped every day. It was probably not necessary to use priming sugar at all
  • From the SG, the alcohol content of this brew is 6.6%, but from the amount of degassing that I had to do on the bottles, I imagine that it is very much higher.
  • Because of the high alcohol content, mixing this drink with Liquifruit Mango and Orange Juice makes it taste better

Liquifruit Mango and Orange Cider

(updated: 18 May 2020)

Ginger Beer

This was my first attempt at making ginger beer, and there are some things I would do differently when I make ginger beer again.

Ingredients
  • 160 g peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (powder)
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 squeezed lemon
  • 600 g sugar
  • 6 L water
  • 10g ( pkt) NCP High Foam Brewing Yeast
  • Raisins
Method
  • Put about 4L in the freezer about two hours before you start brewing
  • Dissolve sugar in about 2L hot water
  • Add ginger, cream of tartar, lemon and a few raisins
  • Bring to the boil and boil for 10min
  • Allow the brew to cool
  • Add the ice water if your pot can take the full volume, otherwise pour it all into your fermenting vessel
  • Strain the brew when pouring it into the fermenter to remove any whole ginger or lemon zest
  • Take S.G. (if you have a hydrometer)
  • Add yeast (temperature should be below 25C)
  • Add some raisins to the fermenter
  • Take S.G. after four days (and then on consecutive days) to check on fermentation
  • Bottle once SG is constant for two days
  • Use priming sugar at 6g/L
Notes
  • If available, I would use only ground ginger
  • I definitely will not use lemon again - the taste is too overpowering
  • From the SG, the alcohol content of this brew is 4.0%

Ginger Beer

(updated: 18 May 2020)



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