Author Topic: Does anyone make ginger beer?  (Read 4073 times)

SailAway

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Does anyone make ginger beer?
« on: November 02, 2014, 05:39:45 PM »
I make kombucha and we occasionally home brew beer, but I'd like to try making my own ginger beer. No HFCS and less junk than the commercial stuff.

Internet recipes seem to fall under three categories - yeast, "ginger beer plant" or a starter made with grated ginger cultivating wild yeast. I tried making a starter but it never took off. Should I suck it up and buy some ginger beer plant off the internet to make good authentic ginger beer?

nereo

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 05:55:35 AM »
what 'yeast' are you trying to use?  for me champagne yeast yielded the best final product.  bread yeast made it taste (and mostly smell) like rising bread, while brewers yeast still wasn't right.  Never tried 'ginger beer plant'

Doubleh

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 06:18:55 AM »
Depends on what you're trying to achieve. Ginger beer plant is is mixture of yeast and bacteria; the yeast ferments the sugar to alcohol and the bacteria metabolises the alcohol to leave a non (or only slightly) alcoholic drink.

If you want to make an adult drink it's actually easier as you only need yeast. I've mainly heard champagne yeast recommended but when I did it I only had baking yeast to hand and it turned out fine, certainly didn't taste unduly bready to me. Possibly as I used plenty of ginger. Here's the recipe I used:


http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=46504

I think it's a great into to brewing as it's very quick and cheap, and needs no special equipment or ingredients

SailAway

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 12:07:56 PM »
what 'yeast' are you trying to use?  for me champagne yeast yielded the best final product.  bread yeast made it taste (and mostly smell) like rising bread, while brewers yeast still wasn't right.  Never tried 'ginger beer plant'
I tried the wild yeast starter, much like a sourdough starter but on grated ginger in an open jar.  I've been wanting to play around with champagne yeast anyways. Sounds like I might have to stop by the home brew shop tomorrow.
Depends on what you're trying to achieve. Ginger beer plant is is mixture of yeast and bacteria; the yeast ferments the sugar to alcohol and the bacteria metabolises the alcohol to leave a non (or only slightly) alcoholic drink.

If you want to make an adult drink it's actually easier as you only need yeast. I've mainly heard champagne yeast recommended but when I did it I only had baking yeast to hand and it turned out fine, certainly didn't taste unduly bready to me. Possibly as I used plenty of ginger. Here's the recipe I used:


http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=46504

I think it's a great into to brewing as it's very quick and cheap, and needs no special equipment or ingredients
Awesome. I hadn't really thought about the bacteria consuming the etoh. I'm off tomorrow, perhaps a series of experiments is in order. Thanks for the link. :-)

deborah

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 03:32:28 PM »
When I was a child we all made ginger beer, and ginger beer plants. They ALL worked. They did not include grated ginger. I can even remember the recipe by heart.

A ginger beer plant is 1 teaspoon compressed yeast (the sort that comes in a cake form from the fridge of a health food shop) 1 teaspoon ground ginger (from the supermarket) and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 2 cups of water - add the water slowly so that you have a slurry with no lumps. Put it in a jar (without a lid) somewhere in the kitchen. Add 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar each day for 7 days.

Heat 8 cups sugar and 48 cups of water until the sugar has dissolved. Add 1 cup lemon juice. Strain the ginger beer plant through muslin and add the liquid from it to the ginger beer. Bottle the ginger beer. Divide the muck in the muslin into 2 new ginger beer plants, add 1 pint of water to each, and start again. Start drinking after 1 week.

Probably better to make half a plant and half the recipe. After a while you get sick of it, forget to feed the plant every day, and your mother chucks it out. Then a month or so later, you start your next plant. I can't remember what I did with the second plant each time - it was probably chucked out too, as every kid knew how to make ginger beer, and could create their own plant when they wanted to. It was about the first bit of cooking you were allowed to do.

We used washed out beer bottles and crown seals. Occasionally some enterprising child left their bottles in the sun (they wanted it to be ready faster) or forgot about the ginger beer and the bottles burst. This is especially likely to happen if you leave your bottles along the window ledges in your sun room on the hottest day of the year.

We also sometimes made lemonade with a similar recipe. It was much better as it didn't need a plant, and was ready to drink in 2 days (two weeks from start to actually being able to drink ginger beer was forever). However, lemonade was much more likely to explode.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 03:39:09 PM by deborah »

Joshin

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 06:44:39 PM »
We do ginger ale\ (not sure if it's the same thing). 2 liters water, 1 cup sugar (more or less to taste, to a minimum of 2 tablespoons), 4 tablespoons grated ginger root, 1/4 teaspoon yeast. Mix it all up in a plastic 2 liter bottle and let it ferment for two days at room temperature. Once the bottle gets hard, refrigerate.

We usually have two bottles brewing/two bottles in the fridge throughout summer. The brewing bottles are stored in a lidded plastic tote in the pantry, that way if one explodes, there is no major mess or chance for injury!

Rage

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 03:18:51 PM »
I tried making my own non alcoholic ginger beer, but if you can find Bundaberg ginger beer imported from Australia (Cost Plus World Market has it), it's a thousand times better than any results I've ever had.  I find drinking it and saying things like "this reminds me of swimming with the whale sharks off the coast of Australia" is just as pretentious as brewing my own, and that's the goal after all, isn't it :P

senecando

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 05:35:16 PM »
I tried making my own non alcoholic ginger beer, but if you can find Bundaberg ginger beer imported from Australia (Cost Plus World Market has it), it's a thousand times better than any results I've ever had.  I find drinking it and saying things like "this reminds me of swimming with the whale sharks off the coast of Australia" is just as pretentious as brewing my own, and that's the goal after all, isn't it :P

Costco has it.

I saw it at my Costco in Wisconsin and immediately went for it. Easily survived the pre-checout costco cart edit, too. So fucking delicious.

SailAway

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 08:33:44 AM »
I can even remember the recipe by heart.
Thanks for that write up!
I tried making my own non alcoholic ginger beer, but if you can find Bundaberg ginger beer imported from Australia (Cost Plus World Market has it), it's a thousand times better than any results I've ever had.  I find drinking it and saying things like "this reminds me of swimming with the whale sharks off the coast of Australia" is just as pretentious as brewing my own, and that's the goal after all, isn't it :P
I actually just saw this at Costco and it's what re-sparked my interest in making it. Dunno, maybe it's pretentious but I enjoy making stuff, and playing with fermentation is just plain fun.

We usually have two bottles brewing/two bottles in the fridge throughout summer. The brewing bottles are stored in a lidded plastic tote in the pantry, that way if one explodes, there is no major mess or chance for injury!

Yeah I'm much more careful about where I ferment after a kombucha accident that resulted in having to repaint the interior of a closet.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Does anyone make ginger beer?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 08:50:21 AM »
One of the things to do on my post FIRE list.  I am looking forward to it!