Friday, June 18, 2010

Making ginger beer

Having never made ginger beer, and casually mentioning to my friend that I was going to "make ginger beer" at the weekend, last Saturday I decided to give a go. The first google hit for "making ginger beer" is here:

Well the website is awesome; it had all the info I needed. I did intend to read the web page, then go out shopping for the ingredients and any equipment I didn't have. In fact I was able to put everything together that I needed with a couple of modifications.

I've also changed the ingredient measurements to be metric, since I'm up in Canada. eh.

What on Earth is Ginger Beer?

It's a drink made from ginger; yeast is added to make it fizzy. It's about 1% alcoholic; so not at all really.

How long does it take?

Only a couple of days, you can do it one day if you get up early.

What are the ingredients?

2 cups of white granulated sugar
1 piece of ginger size of an apple core (probably needed twice as much really, I added a tbsp of powdered ginger)
1/2 tbsp Bread machine yeast
4 litres of water
Few drops of lemon juice
1/2 tsp of cream of tarar (this is a powder you'll find in the spices section in the grocery store)

What equipment do you need?

Large pan
Plastic drink bottles (enough to hold 4 liters. In my case I used two 2l bottles, but I think 6 330ml would be better)


Fill your bottles to the top then pour them into the pan, add an extra cup of two of water to allow for what gets boiled away.
Chop the ginger up into 1mm thick slices, including the skin, then mash it up with a fork and stick it in the pot to boil
Add the cream of tartar and lemon juice, and the sugar

Put the yeast in a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. Sprinkle it on the top and let it fizz happily. Added a few grains of sugar too.

Boil it for about 15 minutes to get all the flavour out of the ginger root.

Then I took the pot and stuck it in my kitchen sink filled with cold water and big ice packs, so it cooled down quick.

Once the water is just warm again, throw the yeast in there and stir it around. I put a loose fitting lid on the pot.

Come back in about 2-3 hours. You should have the start of 'activity' on the top. Froth basically. Now you can pour the liquid from the pot into another pot through a sieve to get the big bits of root ginger and so on out.

Then pour the liquid into the bottles. Don't fill them all the way, you need 6-7 cm at the top.

The ginger beer can now brew overnight. In the morning stick it in the fridge. Once chilled you can drink it!

In my case it turned out really tasty and fizzy. Apparently the bottles can explode, so when brewing I would make sure they are somewhere you will find easy to clean up. Also check the pressure every 20 minutes or so by squeezing the bottles.

1 comment:

BEADLE said...

That sounds delicious ! I love Ginger Beer !

your pal,