Cookbook:Ginger Beer

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Ginger Beer
Category Fermented food recipes
Servings 12
Time prep: 20 minutes
ferment: 1-2 days
Difficulty Easy

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, for alcoholic ginger beer.

Ingredients[edit]

Procedure[edit]

  1. Simmer the ginger, lemon zest and sugar in about 1.5L 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, cream of tartar and water to the fermenter (see note)
  4. Let the mixture sit in a closed container 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 soft plastic food-safe bottles
  6. When the bottles are hard (not just firm), put them into the fridge
  7. Serve cool

Notes, tips, and variations[edit]

  • Fermentation starter: 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)
  • Fermenter: I use an old PET water bottle, but a food-grade bucket will do, 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.