I grew up on ginger beer. Explains a lot really. My paternal grandmother would make it often – and when we headed for our awesomely daggy fifties shack on the hill overlooking the beach, we knew we were in for ginger beer, cheese on toast and endless games of ‘Trouble’.
If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’ve been working out how to make ginger beer. And it worked out just great!
Just in case you would like to make ginger beer – here are all the instructions – with some improvements – so you can GO FOR IT and not click around 100 different Pip posts! This one is straightforward – no talk of doubling amounts to confuse you!
This recipe will yield approx 55 cups (a cup is 250ml) of ginger beer.
Make Your Plant
- ½ teaspoon dried yeast
- 1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 rounded teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 split vanilla pod
Put all of the above in a jar that will hold about 4 cups of liquid. Give it a good mix. Cover with an open weave cloth and an elastic band to hold it in place. NOT a lid. It could go BANG! Yeast is rather explosive at times!
EACH DAY – you must add one teaspoon of ginger and one teaspoon of sugar. Do that for ONE WEEK.
While you’re ‘growing your plant’ you need to collect plastic bottles. I’m told smaller bottles result in better fizz – but just your regular 1.5l or 2l milk or water bottles will do the trick as well. You’ll need to do the sums. But know that you’re making about 14 litres of ginger beer – so collect your bottles accordingly – and maybe an extra one just in case!
Week Two – A bit more fortifying!
You need to add to your plant. It now needs a top up of two cups of warm water – NOT HOT! You will kill the yeast! So add those two cups of warm water, and now each day you need to add TWO Teaspoons of Ginger and Two Teaspoons of Sugar. Stir it up. Do this for one week again. And be sure you have your bottles ready for the end of the week!
AT THE END OF THE SECOND WEEK – It’s time to bottle it!
You’ll need a 20 litre container for mixing it all up, a funnel, some muslin cloth for straining your goopy ‘plant’ and your bottles (which are lovely and clean).
Mix 48 cups of warm water with 1 cup of strained lemon juice and 8 cups of sugar – and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Now, you need to strain your ‘plant’ (into a large dish through the muslin). It might be easiest to just stretch the muslin over the top of the ‘plant’ jar – and then secure it well with the elastic band. Now tip it into the bowl, thus straining. Set the leftover goop aside for your next ginger beer ‘plant’. Throw the vanilla pod away.
Add the strained ‘plant’ (not the goop) to the warm water/sugar/lemon mixture. Stir up well and then pour into bottles with the help of a jug and a funnel. Be sure to leave an inch or so space between the ginger beer level and the lid of the bottle. It’s nice for the ginger beer to have breathing space.
SET THE BOTTLES ASIDE FOR ONE WEEK IN A COOL SPOT. Make some cute labels for your bottles in the mean time – you might even want to add the ‘ready to drink from THIS DATE’ label if you’re planning on another batch some time soon.
So… It’s a week later – the whole process has taken THREE WEEKS – Say ‘Hurrah!’ Then open and drink! It should be fizzy now! You might like to add lots of ice or some gin or vodka or lime to your ginger beer. Or you might like it ‘beach style’ fresh from the bottle with no fancy stuff!
Best Beery Wishes!