Cookbook:Ginger Beer

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Ginger Beer
CategoryBeverage recipes
TimePrep: 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 to get alcoholic ginger beer.

Ingredients edit

Procedure edit

  1. Simmer the ginger, lemon zest and sugar in about 1.5 L 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 and enough water to get 10 L to the fermenter (see note).
  4. Let the mixture sit in the fermenter 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 food-safe bottles.
  6. When the bottles are hard (not just firm) from the carbonation, put them into the fridge for storage.
  7. Serve cold.

Notes, tips, and variations edit

  • For the fermentation starter, you can 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.
  • For a fermenter, you can use anything from an old PET water bottle to a food-grade bucket 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.