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I am considering brewing an Amber ale with a bit of ginger in it, but I don't know whether I should treat it more like a spice and steep/boil it, or more like fruit, and rack onto the ginger for a week or two of secondary fermentation. Should I use a combination of the two? What has worked for you?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Ginger works a little bit like hops - if you boil it longer, it adds a different spiciness than if you add it at flameout or in secondary. Boil a couple ounces of ginger on the stove and you can see what I mean. The aromatics tend to leave, but there is a residual heat.

I've had success by adding it in stages as if it were a hop - a big dose early, and smaller additions later in the boil.

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Good answer. I also put a dose in the secondary for a little extra ginger flavor and aroma without too much bite. –  JoeFish Nov 19 '11 at 13:39
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I add fresh ginger the last 5 min. of the boil. I've been pleased with the results.

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Same here, works great for me. Upvote. –  dzachareas Dec 2 '10 at 20:10
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