ginger beer recipe:
This traditional recipe uses two stages: making the
"plant", then fermentation in sealed bottles.
The quantities below make 9 x 750ml bottles.
The product should be
fermented for about two weeks in warm weather.
Making the plant (GBP)
One teaspoonful brewer's yeast
Juice of two (medium sized) lemons
One teaspoonful lemon pulp
Two teaspoonful of ground ginger
Four teaspoonsful raw sugar
Two cups of cold water
Notes: baker's yeast can be used if
brewer's yeast is not available. If any yeast is not available, use 10
sultanas (utilising the natural yeast on the surface of the dry fruit - if
you do this start the feeding after three or four days, to allow the yeast
to build up). Ordinary sugar can be used if raw sugar is not available.
Water should be free of chlorine (or let the water stand in an open
container for 24 hours before use). The alcohol content of the final
product is said to be 0.5%.
Method: Add all ingredients to a large
clean glass jar with a lid, leaving at least 50 mm air space at the top of the jar. Leave
in a warm dark place to ferment for one week. During this time, feed the plant each day with
two teaspoonsful of ground ginger, and four teaspoonsful of sugar. Do not
miss feeding each day or the plant might die. The lid should not be
airtight. At the end of the week the
plant is ready. See "Making the ginger beer" below.
Note: the jar should NOT be sealed airtight,
so if using a jar as above, do not close the lid tightly.
Conversions: One teaspoon = 5 ml. One
cup = 250 ml.
Making the ginger beer.
Three cups of raw sugar
Four cups of boiling water
Juice of four lemons (medium sized)
Five litres of cold water
- optional - one teaspoon of cream of tartar
Mix the boiling water and the sugar in a bowl, and stir until the sugar
has dissolved, then add the lemon juice, and the cream of tartar if
desired. Place the cold water in a separate container. Line a large
strainer with muslin or cheesecloth. Strain the ginger beer plant.
Add the resulting liquid to the cold water. Throw 3/4 of the GBP residue
away - the rest can be used to start a new ginger beer plant, after adding
two cups of cold water. Now add the contents of the bowl to the cold
water, and mix well. Poor this mixture into clean screwtop plastic brewing
bottles, leaving 30 - 50 mm air gap at the top (if you overfill, the
bottles may explode). Screw on the lids and leave in a cool dark place for
about two weeks. Select a place where damage from leakage or explosion
will be limited. If a bitter taste is desired, use less sugar.
Notes about commercial ginger beers
Making commercial ginger beer at an industrial scale cannot, in
practice, follow the traditional approach, so if you want a 'real' ginger
beer you must make it yourself. However some commercial products come
close in taste. Bundaberg GB, for example, replaces fresh lemon with
flavours and acids, and only uses a token brewing process, so that
artificial carbonation is necessary to get the right fizz; nevertheless
the taste is not far off that of the 'real' product made by the