I’m very excited to share this week’s experiments at home — home-made ginger beer. This has been a recipe we have wanted to try for some time, but as it takes days, not hours, I haven’t had the patience until now. Also, I had a big lump of ginger in the fridge and couldn’t see another curry getting a good reception. The ginger beer is simple to make and fun for the kids to get involved with, you could say it involves a little science due to fermentation, therefore is educational. The result was worth the wait and has been enjoyed over a few days.
15-20g fresh ginger, skin on (more if you like a fiery ginger beer)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
300gr golden caster sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar — I didn’t have any so you can manage without it.
¾ tsp fast action yeast
You will need enough empty bottles to store 3 litres of liquid. I used screw top glass bottles and scalded with not quite boiling water. You can use mineral water bottles just rinse before using.
- Finely chop or grate the ginger.
- Add it to a large pot with the other ingredients (omitting the yeast).
- Add 750ml tap water then bring everything to the boil, stirring occasionally.
- Ensure the sugar is dissolved then simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat then add 1500ml cold water. This cools the liquid so it won’t kill the yeast.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top then cover with a lid. And leave overnight in a cool place. Not a fridge.
- The next day, stir and strain the liquid into a clean jug. Pour into the prepared bottles, leaving about 3 inches in the neck of the bottle empty, to allow for the build up of carbon dioxide during fermentation.
- Close the bottles tightly, and then return to a cool place overnight.
- In the morning, carefully open the lids slightly to allow a release of gas. (There may not be any the first day, don’t worry).
- Repeat on morning 2 and 3, until it gets fizzy. Once you are happy with the fizz, refrigerate and use within 3 to 4 days.
- Serve poured over ice with a slice of lemon or lime. Enjoy.
- Note: There may be a very low or trace alcohol content, so do not give to very young children.
You can email Mercy Fenton at firstname.lastname@example.org