Sunday, 12 March 2017

Homemade Ginger Beer (no added yeast)

I make kombucha often and I wanted to give another fermented drink a go. I found this recipe and have tried it twice now. It's a bit too open and loose for me so I wanted to write down my exact take on it to give you all a little more guidance in your journey.

First you'll have to do up a Ginger Bug (like kombucha you need a starter).

(A photo of my ginger bug)

Once you have that ready you're ready to start making Ginger Beer.

Homemade Ginger Beer (no added yeast)

What you'll need:

  • 4 1/4 L of water 
  • Ginger, grated (I use 1.5-2 very large rhizomes)
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 cups Ginger Bug starter(chunks strained out).  
    • Put aside 1 T of liquid or more reserved to continue feeding for future batches.
  • The juice of 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons lemon juice will also work)


  1. Get out a very large pot, and pour in the water (I use a 12L one) 
  2. Add your grated ginger to the pot (I grate this up in my Vita Mix - Dry container)
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Let simmer for 15-20 minutes
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Let it cool until it’s a comfortable temperature for straining out the ginger (I find this to be around 4 hours)
  7. Once you’ve strained your ginger, add your sugar and stir until dissolved
  8. Once the mixture is cool enough (room temp) add your starter liquid
  9. Squeeze in your lemon juice 
  10. Mix it
  11. Put it in a large container (I use a glass jar) and cover with cloth that will keep bugs out (Cheese cloth or a coffee filter works great).
  12. Stir it once a day
  13. Watch for bubbles.  Once you see those (1-5 days) it’s time to bottle your brew for full carbonation.
  14. Pour it into your prepared bottles and seal them (I use snap top glass bottles). Only fill to just below the neck of the bottle. 
  15. Keep the bottles at room temperature until they get hard (I find this is 1-3 days - with glass you just should un-snap them and see if it's carbonated) 

Important Tips:
- USE ORGANIC GINGER! I've tried it both ways but I can't stress enough the difference. With standard ginger you don't have that natural yeast on the peel that you want (also why you can get away with not adding brewers yeast to this recipe) and you might also end up with this chemically taste in your finished ginger beer (due do what they spray on the ginger). With organic ginger it's amazing the difference in flavour, carbonation, and gut reaction (my gut is so much happier with the organic ginger beer). 
- Check the bottles every day - You don't want to over carbonate (remember - the longer it carbonates the more sugar it eats)
- Leave them to chill for at least 6 hours and then take a taste.  
- Be prepared for massive pressure when you open your bottle!  They’ll still ferment in the fridge, and you should periodically check them to see if they’re too pressurized.
- Opening the bottle to release pressure and making sure they aren’t too full are good ways to prevent the big burst  (I simply snap them open, let out some of the build up glass and re-snap them).  

Adapted from here.

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