Amber has been on Andrew and I for some time to make a beer involving ginger, lemongrass and Thai chilies. Needless to say, it sounded a bit too experimental at first.
Then last year at the Oregon Brewers Festival, there was a brew that leaned heavy on the ginger. Spicy, but still definitely beer (not just strong ginger-ale). We sampled it, and our minds were changed.
It took a while before we got to it, but the basic recipe was a pale ale with these added to the boil:
- 20 stalks of lemongrass (45 minutes)
- 2 packs of Kafir lime leaves (45 minutes, approximately 30 leaves per pack)
- 4 large hands of ginger, coined (30 minutes)
- 10 hot Thai peppers (15 minutes)
The result has been well received. It is very gingery and next go around I think we’ll do something to up the citrus content, as the lemongrass is pretty subtle. It was also a little foamy, which is about the only downside. I’m voting to increase the peppers, but as the hot food fiend I might be the outlier there. We’ll also probably use an amber ale base instead, as the pale ale almost disappears behind the potent ginger in this batch.
In any case, an interesting experiment with great promise for the future.