I’ve been making homemade ginger beer for a couple months now. I’ve always wanted to try it. My Grandpa used to make it years ago. Mum told me stories of how occasionally, a glass bottle would explode, and would send broken-glass and sticky mess all over the garage.
When researching homemade ginger beer for myself, I found that it’s actually quite a healthy drink, as it is naturally fermented. This fermentation provides lots of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which is good for your guts. Most of the sugar added is broken down by the fermentation process too, so it’s a healthy low-sugar drink. Much better for you than the bought stuff, which can have up to 8 teaspoons of sugar in one bottle!
I found instructions here, and tweaked them to work better for me.
Here’s my version of homemade ginger beer:
- Glass jar
- Hanky or cloth to cover jar
- Rubber band to secure cloth over jar
- Large stockpot
- Strainer and cheesecloth/chux cloth
- Plastic bottles and lids, I bought a pack of home brew bottles and reuse them
- Fresh ginger
- Lemon juice
First, make the plant/starter/culture
- Pour 3-4 cups filtered water into your glass jar.
- Add tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger and desert spoon of sugar to the water.
- Stir to dissolve sugar then cover with cloth and secure with band.
- Repeat steps 2-3 every day for about a week.
- Depending on the weather, you should notice that it’s getting nice and bubbly by about the 3rd or 4th day. This is a good sign, showing that fermentation is happening.
- On the 7th day, if there are lots of bubbles, it’s time to make ginger beer!
Second, make the ginger beer
- Feed the plant as usual, then strain plant through strainer and chux cloth into the large stockpot. Squeeze the plant until all the liquid has been removed.
- Keep the ginger from the plant, you can use about 1/4 of it to start your next batch. Put it into the same glass jar without washing and add water, ginger and sugar as before.
- You can give a way the rest of your ginger beer plant to friends to start their own ginger beer.
- Add 20 cups of water, the juice of 2 lemons, and 3 cups of sugar and stir.
- When sugar is dissolved, use a jug to pour mixture into 9-10 clean plastic bottles, leaving about 3-5 cm of air space at the top of each bottle.
- Place bottles out of the way on a bench to ferment for about 1-2 weeks, depending on how warm it is (the warmer it is, the sooner the ginger beer will be ready).
- When the bottles feel firm when pressed, they are ready to go into the fridge.
- When cool, it’s ready to drink!
Pour over ice and enjoy!
Here are my dregs. I’ve given some to my mum, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law… Let me know if you want some!