Diy Ginger Beer Recipes: How To Make Ginger Beer At Home
Do you want to know how to make ginger beer at home in the old fashion way? In this post, we go over a few different kinds of DIY ginger soda recipes.
Imagine every time you were thirsty and instead of getting a glass of water to drink, you drank beer.
I know, sounds like heaven. Well, this is what people did on a daily living basis not long ago. From the time at the end of the Roman Empire through the early 19th century, beer nearly replace water.
The water was ironically life-threatening and the beer was also, ironically healthier than it would have been to drink water.
In this post, youll learn how to make different kinds of ginger beer recipes along with how to brew ginger beer at home.
The Old Fashioned Way: Homemade Ginger Beer
In this post I will teach you how to make ginger beer the old fashioned way, no soda machine or brewery required. This drink is nice and refreshing on a warm day its also one of the main ingredients in the popular Moscow Mule cocktail. Its easy, really, and surprisingly fizzy. Ive outlined the recipe and process below, including a how-to video and photo tutorial.
Ginger, with its zippy and refreshing taste, is listed among the worlds oldest spices. As far back as 500 BC, this native plant of China and India was used for medicine, food, and flavoring. For most of the Western world, ginger was used to spice up drinks. Up until the Victorian era, beer was the drink of choice in England, especially herbal and spiced low-alcohol small beers such as ginger beer.
Ginger ale and ginger beer are both basically the same thing. Its easy and inexpensive to make old-fashioned ginger beer at home, and you get more of a gingery taste than you do from the store-bought stuff. A bit of fermentation is involved, which produces a very slight alcohol content . Some manufacturers ferment the mixture longer and make other adjustments to increase the alcohol content, but for our purposes this ginger beer is more akin to ginger ale. If youre concerned, make the ginger syrup as noted below, but skip the fermentation process and mix it with seltzer water instead to produce a fermentation-free beverage.
Let Your Alcoholic Ginger Beer Carbonate
Who wants a flat beer? No one. Lets hope the answer is no one. So heres how you raise the carbonation levels in your alcoholic ginger beer.
Once your bottles are thoroughly mixed and there is no sugar settling in the bottom, store your bottles in a warm place again. The new sugar you added is going to ferment, causing the beer to carbonate.
The carbonation process may take a day or two. You can check when its ready by squeezing the bottle. Once the bottle is firm and not squishy anymore, its ready.
Now you can store it in the fridge to stop any more fermentation. Once its cold, you can enjoy your homebrew alcoholic ginger beer!
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Prepare Your Ginger Bug
For a 1 gallon batch, grate 1 inch of ginger into a mason jar. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and a cup of water and stir.
Cover it with cheesecloth to keep the dust out and leave it on the counter in a warm place.
Every day, feed the bug by adding this same amount of new sugar and new ginger.
After a few days, it will begin to bubble. Congratulations! A ginger bug is born.
The ginger has been colonized by beneficial bacteria and yeasts, and is ready to get to work for you. Keep feeding it until you are able to make your ginger beer, to keep it active and lively.
Methods For Making Ginger Beer
There are multiple ways to make ginger beer. Here are three of the most common methods:
- Non-probiotic ginger soda/ale: For those who arent concerned about the probiotic benefit of fermented ginger beer, you can simply combine ginger simple syrup with soda water and achieve a great-tasting homemade beverage. This version contains no probiotics and is basically fancy soda.
- Quick and Easy Ginger Beer with some probiotic benefits: This fast method uses bread yeast for fermentation and requires only two days to complete. For this version, read my blog post on How to Make Ginger Beer. This version is not as probiotic rich, but is still lower in sugar than regular soda.
- Authentic Probiotic Ginger Beer a health elixir: The authentic method for making fermented ginger beer is outlined in this post. It uses a probiotic-rich ginger bug which you make yourself at home. Like most things in life, the authentic version takes much longer than the easy version, but also yields great results. This version can take between 2 and 3 weeks to complete.
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Introduction: Strong Homebrew Ginger Beer
This Ginger Beer is perfect for Summer Days and Winter Nights. It’s sweet, fiery and very refreshing.
It’s very easy for people who are new to brewing to get started with. The options for experimenting with ingredients are endless. This was the first thing I brewed and have made a note of everything I have done and am now sharing with everyone else.
This brew has the potential to have a strength of anywhere between 5-9% depending on environmental factors and brewing.
Bonus Tips For Success
Just because we are so passionate about homebrewing, weve decided to share some bonus tips:
- Cleanliness is extremely important
- Using a hydrometer is always a good way to tell if the fermentation stage is finished
- A stick on thermometer on your fermenter can be helpful
- A heat pad may be necessary in very cold conditions
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Ginger Beer Or Ginger Ale
Want to know the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale?
Ginger ale is a ginger-flavored soda pop that has not been fermented. My bet is that its a modern, shelf-stable version of the more traditional ginger beer.
Ginger beer is made using the ginger bug, a wild-yeast culture that is made from sugar and ginger. Its easy to catch the ginger bug at home. And its just as easy to brew your own traditional ginger beer!
What Is The Difference Between Ginger Beer And Ginger Ale
The phrases, ginger beer and ginger ale are typically used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two beverages. Ginger beer is fermented for up to 2 or 3 weeks using a ginger bug, where ginger ale is more of a ginger flavored soda.
While there are ginger ale beverages made with real ginger, most ginger ales are simply carbonated water with ginger flavor and sugar. In this sense, ginger ale does not go through the same fermentation process that ginger beer does.
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Prepare Your Ginger Beer Bottles
Once your ginger beer completes fermentation, use the large funnel and cheesecloth to strain the fermented mixture into the second one-gallon bottle. Its ok if some of the yeast ends up in the strained mixture so long as most of it gets filtered out.
Once its strained, its ready to bottle up.
For this part, it doesnt matter what size bottles you use for your finished alcoholic ginger beer. Whats important is that the remaining sugar is distributed evenly and that at least one of the bottles is a squeezable plastic. You want to make sure you have at least one squeezable bottle because thats how you test the fizzy-ness of the beer.
So, for example, if youre using four 1.5 liter plastic soda bottles, distribute the leftover of sugar into these bottles using the smaller funnel.
Distribute the fermented ginger beer into the bottles evenly and cap them tightly.
Shake the bottles until the sugar is fully dissolved and doesnt settle into the bottom anymore.
Bottle For Secondary Fermentation
Place a small funnel at the mouth of a clean clamp top bottle, and fill each bottle up to within an inch of the top.
Clamp the bottles shut, and leave them in a warm dark place for 10-14 days. As the yeasts and bacteria in the ginger bug tea begin to digest the sugar, the by-product they generate is CO2. Lucky us! The CO2 is trapped in solution, in the sealed bottle. This means carbonation! The longer it ferments, the more bubbly it becomes, so watch out and check the progress of your bottles every day after the first 5 days. If you like, you may re-use a plastic soda bottle for at least one serving of ginger beer. As the carbonation increases, the plastic bottle will become firmer and harder to the touch this is a good way to keep tabs on the developing carbonation. Alternatively, just crack open one of the bottles periodically to gauge the developing pressure.
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How To Make Fermented Probiotic Ginger Beer
Fermented probiotic ginger beer requires a three-step process.
Step 1: Make a ginger bug or starter using fresh ginger, water, sugar and lemon juice. This starter is used to brew a batch of ginger beer . This can take 1 to 2 weeks to complete .
Step 2: Brew a large batch of ginger beer using the ginger bug you could compare this process to making a batch of sourdough bread dough using sourdough starter. This process takes about 1 to 3 weeks, depending on how active your ginger bug is and how warm your home is.
Step 3: Bottle the ginger beer and allow it to ferment further Once the beverage becomes effervescent we bottle it and allow it to sit for secondary fermentation . This process takes about 2 to 5 days.
Health Benefits Of Ginger:
Ginger is a root, and has been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach and nausea across many civilizations for hundreds of years.
It is a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid.
Studies show fresh ginger prevents and fights several types of cancer cells including breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancer.
Ginger is also known for cleansing the body of toxic chemicals, as it is full of antioxidants. When fermented, ginger releases enzymes and probiotics, which help maintain healthy gut microflora.
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Old School Drinks Need Quality Anchors
While some establishments are very creative with their ingredients, to include ginger beer, it is ironically the more established drinks such as the Moscow Mule, an Irish Jackass, or a Dark-n-Stormy where ginger is properly highlighted. If you are not familiar with these three fantastic drinks, they are constructed with widely different spirits, vodka, whiskey, and rum, respectively, followed by ginger beer. Now, one could easily just pick up some ginger beer or ale at the local store, but crafting some in your own kitchen is vastly easier than you might think and infinitely more satisfying.
Now, a warning, the implementation of this article will in all probability lead to the complete annihilation of your taste for any of the mass produced products currently available. The writer and this magazine cannot held responsible for this loss and your reading of this implies you understand and assume all dangers therein.
How To Make Jamaican Ginger Beer
- Peel the ginger
- Either grate the ginger or chop it up and blend with ½ cup of water
- In a large pot add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, rice and water.
- Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes .
- Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool and add the lime juice.
- Cover the pot and either store in a cool place or refrigerate for at least several hours or up to a week .
- When you are ready to serve, strain off the juice into a cheesecloth or extra fine mesh strainer
- Stir in your sweetener, rum/essence and vanilla .
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How Long Can You Store Homemade Ginger Ale
Store the ginger water and the simple syrup in the refrigerator separately. The ginger water lasts 1 to 2 weeks. If the color or the odor of the water changes, discard it. The simple syrup should last up to 1 month.
The assembled ginger ale, a combination of the ginger water, simple syrup, and club soda, will last until the carbonation goes flat. It’s best to combine the three immediately before serving.
Homemade Vs Store Brought
One clear distinction between homemade and store brought ginger beer it is NOTCarbonated. I repeat it is NOT emphasis on carbonated.
Sorry folks! That bubbly ginger drink isn’t authentic at all and it’s not different then when I highlighted this with my Ginger Cake recipe.
Although I will be the first to admit I do enjoy the taste of it, it’s not a true representation of the Caribbean. Go to any Caribbean persons household and you won’t find the ginger beer “bubbly”.
Instead it has a VERYstrong taste in ginger and made with spices.
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How To Make Probiotic Ginger Beer
How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer a naturally fermented probiotic drink that is packed with health benefits.
This article includes a photo tutorial, information on secondary fermentation, flavoring your ginger beer, and troubleshooting when the process goes awry.
Disclaimer: brewing probiotic beverages at home can be risky. When fermenting probiotc foods and beverages, use caution. Always use sanitized tools and when in doubt, throw it out! If you notice any strange smells or mold, be sure to discard the whole batch.
Many moons ago, I wrote a cookbook called Delicious Probiotic Drinks. This cookbook is focused entirely on making probiotic-rich beverages such as kombucha, kefir, ginger beer, fermented vegetable juice, and more, at home.
My favorite of all the fermented beverages to make is ginger beer. First and foremost, it is magnificent tasting.
Secondly, it is CHALLENGING.
Perhaps the most challenging and unforgiving of all the fermented drinks.
And for that reason, the most rewarding.
For those of you who have been around this site for a long time, you may remember my easy tutorial on How to Make Ginger Beer.
This is the goof-proof method that works each and every time and does not require much time or attention.
This version of probiotic ginger beer is different. It involves preparing a ginger bug from scratch.
Apple Cider Moscow Mule
For that, I had four ounces of apple cider one and a half ounces of vodka, juice from quarter of a lime. And then top up with a ginger beer. You could even add a little bit of hard cider to this as well.
My apple pie hard cider would go perfectly with this cocktail.
And thats it. Cheers and enjoy.
If you have any questions about making ginger beer, be sure to let me know, and dont forget to subscribe for more videos like this.
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How To Brew: Ginger Beer From Scratch
Ginger beer is a great drink for warmer weather. You may have found some ginger beer kits, but they can have an artificial taste and are lacking in spicy ginger bite. Our recipe below is for a classic ginger beer at around 4-5% alcohol content, but you can also make an alcohol-free version for the kids, and you can even substitute malt extract for honey or raw sugar to make a gluten free version . Our recipe makes quite a spicy ginger beer and thats how we like it, but you can reduce the amount of ginger if you prefer.
Which Type Of Ginger Beer To Make:
The quickest way is Method #1 listed above, which will require a recipe outside of this blog post.
Whether you choose to make this easy ginger beer recipe laid out in this post or my probiotic ginger beer is a matter of personal preference .
For those of us who want ginger beer quickly, this easy version only takes 3 days from start to finish.
It still has health benefits from the yeast, but because it is not fermented for as long as the authentic version, it isnt as probiotic-rich.
As with any fermentation process, a small amount of alcohol results. The alcohol content in this ginger beer is very low, almost non-existent. Still, if you need to avoid alcohol, it is best to be safe and stick with a non-alcoholic ginger beer.
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Ingredients Needed For Ginger Beer:
All it takes is fresh grated organic ginger, cream of tartar, lemon juice, active dry yeast, and cold water.
You can replace the lemon juice with lime juice if youd like. I always go with organic fresh ginger root because it contains plenty of natural bacteria and natural yeasts for the best ginger beer.
Some people add brewers yeast or champagne yeast to this recipe to boost the activity and alcohol content. I dont personally have experience with either one so cant offer advice on how much to use or how to employ it, but if youre interested in stepping up your brew, they are worth looking into!
I have also heard some people use sourdough starter to make ginger beer, but I have no experience with this either.
How Does That Work
Probiotics and yeast are naturally occurring everywhere. They are in our fruit and vegetables and are also present in the air. Giving these probiotics and yeast optimal conditions to grow and reproduce results in fermentation.
Youre already familiar with this concept, as it is the same process for creating yogurt, cheese, beer, wine, pickles, prosciutto , etc.
Applying this idea to fresh ginger is how we create a ginger starter, which is then used to make ginger beer.
Dont worryIll go over how to make a ginger starter in excruciating detail later on in this post. First, lets cover some basics.
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