The Final Ginger Beer Recipe – A Three Week Odyssey Into Fizzy Deliciousness!

November 8, 2008

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.

Week One
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!

Week Three
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!

xx Mikes


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  • Reply Anonymous November 14, 2011 at 2:19 AM

    P.s. also do I have to stir each day after I add the ginger and sugar ? Cheers,Leanne 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous November 14, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Hi 🙂 Can glass bottles be used instead of plastic ? I am givng your recipe a try for Christmas drinks, maybe a little lime and vodka also 😉 Thanks ,Leanne .

  • Reply GB April 25, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Hey- great recipe- will by trying this asap!!
    Wondering if you know if it's possible to substitute honey for the 8 cups of sugar?
    Also do you know how to make it alcoholic?

  • Reply Anonymous September 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM

    I also strined the goop out and I am using it again to make another plant. The alcohol taste may have come from the fact that there was some "goop" in the dregs of the bottle which is the part I have tasted so far

  • Reply Hillfold September 3, 2009 at 4:55 PM

    If it tastes ok, then it should be ok. Bye the way, what did you do with the "goop"?

  • Reply Anonymous September 3, 2009 at 10:36 AM

    ok thanks a lot, I am also making ginger beer but to a slightly different recipe. mine says to leave it for 2 weeks but I have tasted it after about 6 days and it tastes a lot like normal beer. Is this normal? thanks

  • Reply Hillfold September 1, 2009 at 8:31 PM

    Hi I hope this will help you,I put the lids on tight as I can and had no problems with explosions. I used the plastic 2 ltr and 1/2 ltr lemonade bottles they became rock hard sitting for the week, so open them slowly & carefully they were brilliant, the beer had a great fizzto it. The plastic milk containers on the other hand were dissapointing, never went hard and had beer had lack of fizz (still tasted ok though)I suspect that the milk containers are not designed to keep pressure unlike the lemonade ones. Just to be on the safe side I put my bottles in the garage as this was my first attempt at ginger beer.

  • Reply Anonymous September 1, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    hi, when you bottle the ginger beer do you screw the lids on tight or does this make the bottle explode?

  • Reply Hillfold August 17, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Hi I followed you instructions to the letter and was very pleased with the result. Question, can you split the goop left (vanilla pod removed)and give it to a friend, if so, what do you do to continue the process.
    Regards Hillfold

  • Reply Anonymous May 23, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    They have a program for you if you think this recipe will render a non-alcoholic drink. With the sugar being fermented my guess is that this will yield a 20 proof beer.

    No wonder you guys really loved Grandma 😉

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