Cookbook:Ginger Beer

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Ginger Beer
Category Fermented food recipes
Servings 12
Time prep: 20 minutes
ferment: 1-2 days

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Fermented food recipes

Ginger beer is a traditional fermented drink that can be made as either a soft drink or an alcoholic drink. Make it in a carboy with more sugar or malt extract, and with longer fermentation time, for alcoholic ginger beer.



  1. Simmer the ginger, lemon zest and sugar in about 1.5L water for about 10 minutes
  2. If using yeast as the fermentation starter, rehydrate the yeast in a glass of warm water for 5 minutes
  3. Add the lemon juice, cream of tartar and water to the fermenter (see note)
  4. Let the mixture sit in a closed container until it has started bubbling well, which should take 8-12 hours with yeast, or longer with kefir grains
  5. Bottle into PET bottles or other soft plastic food-safe bottles
  6. When the bottles are hard (not just firm), put them into the fridge
  7. Serve cool

Notes, tips, and variationsEdit

  • Fermentation starter: use kefir grains or tibicos, ginger beer plant, ginger bug, ale yeast or bread yeast
  • Lemon juice is to provide acidity (as well as flavor)
  • Fermenter: I use an old PET water bottle, but a food-grade bucket will do, or a large stainless-steel pot; don't use copper or aluminium
  • The water used should be free of chlorine if possible - e.g. boiled and cooled, or filtered, or bottled spring water. This is because chlorine (or chloramine) will inhibit the fermentation a little. Use what you've got, but best results will be obtained without the chlorine.
  • Once the ginger beer is fermenting, as evidenced by lots of tiny bubbles rising to the surface, it can be used as a leavening agent. Simply replace the water and yeast in a bread recipe with ginger beer, and leave to rise as normal.
  • If left to ferment longer (about a week) a yeasty colony called a Ginger Beer Plant will develop. Carbonation will also increase, greatly raising the chances for bottle (or other container) exploding, therefore it is advisable to use a carboy or suitable container with an airlock.