uII’m in the process of learning to make ginger beer. I wanted to accumulate the info that I’ve gleaned in this blog.
Why ginger beer? I have long since sworn off commercial carbonated beverages, and I’d like something to drink with a little more variety than milk, coffee, or water. Ginger is one of the great herbs for promoting digestive help (reduces inflammation in the gut).
The flora in your gut are important, and building as many healthy microbes as possible should be a good thing. Otherwise, you end up taking what you can get from whatever you eat. Home-made bread, yoghurt, and ginger beer give you an opportunity to replenish the flora in your gut with known, healthy strains of bacteria and yeast.
The danger of experimenting on yourself with stuff you bought from the interwebs, of course, is that you could ingest something harmful. So, proceed with caution.
I’m using a Ginger Beer Plant (GBP). I got one strain from yemoos.com (California) and another from gingerbeerplant.net (Great Britain).
The GBP from CA came packed in a sugar solution. It was already hydrated. The instructions to get it started were to mix 4 cups water (well or mineral), 1/2 cup sugar, juice from four inches of ginger, a little lemon (optional) with the rinsed GBP.
I boiled the water/ginger, strained, let sit til it came to room temp, and added the GBP. The first ferment took a while to get started, as expected. The color gradually changed and the taste went from very sweet to less so. It was a little bitter, but that’s to be expected on the first ferment while recovering the GBP.
I am currently repeating the above steps. The GBP has been much more active the second time through.
The GBP from Great Britain was dehydrated, so I followed the steps to rehydrate and am following the recovery steps to get it ready to brew. Rehydation was to put the GBP in one cup water + a little sugar and lemon juice for 24 hours. I repeated this three times. I plan to do two ferments as with the CA GBP before brewing a full batch.
Here’s the recipe I intend to use for the first full batch.
2 liters water (probably only a portion from well for mineral support)
250 g sugar (1 1/4 cup)
juice from one lemon freshly squeezed
one tablespoon GBP
juice from 2 inches ginger, peeled, cubed, boiled and strained
I boil the ginger, lemon juice, and sugar in some of the water and strain the solids out. I use the rest of the water to cool the mix before adding the GBP.
After 1 week to ten days, I strain the mixture to recover the GBP. I filter the liquid through a coffee filter to remove the remnants of the GBP and put the liquid in the fridge for a week. I filter the liquid again after a week. Then … drink.