making ginger beer…it will put hairs on your chest

That is bloody beautiful…

There had a been a lot riding on that first taste. It seemed I’d passed though, I had passed the dad taste test. My father had many decades before, made ginger beer for several summers of his childhood. Happily filling the garage with his ginger beer bottles, the occasional pop as a bottle exploded and many glasses of bubbly gingery goodness enjoyed. Now it was my time to give it a go.

Last year Mr Chocolate acquired a taste for ginger beer. It was the drink of choice, the bottle to go looking for at the back of fridge. Thirst quenching, refreshing, gingery and really tasty. Of course I wanted to give it a go, I had to didn’t I? If there was another sort of fermentation process to try, I wanted in.

So I researched how to do it, and in doing so, it seemed a bit like making sourdough… 501 methods to choose from. None of the methods I read seemed exactly suited to me, so I thought I would just play and see how it turned out. Several batches in and I think I’m finally at a method I’m happy with.

Ginger Beer

1/2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp raw sugar

1 cup luke warm water

Add ingredients together in something like a large glass bottle. Shake it around a bit. To the top, with a rubber band attach a small square of muslin.

Daily for seven days, adding 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp sugar each day.

Day eight- strain with a muslin lined sieve, into a bowl.  Using 2 cups of sugar and the  juice of 2 lemons add to the mixture and stir to dissolve. Pour  mixture equally into 2 x 1.5 litre plastic bottles. Top up with tap water, leaving about two inches from the top to allow for gases to build up.

Put remaining ginger sludge (this is called the plant or mother) back into the glass jar with 1 cup of water.

Bottles leave out on the kitchen bench, for 2-3 days (longer in cooler weather). Tip upside down once a day to dissolve any sugar sitting at the bottom. You’ll be able to feel the gases build up by the tightness of the bottle.

Pop into the fridge and chill.

Gingery, sweet and ready to drink.

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45 thoughts on “making ginger beer…it will put hairs on your chest

      • Ha ha. What’s really odd these days is that people ask me if I am from Australia.. I know I am a bit of a linguistic chameleon, but Australian? I’m proud! (Also, I freak Michael out sometimes by doing a thick New Zealand accent)

      • Well, my New Zealand is mostly repeating the words ‘chicken mince in a tin’. And ‘chip and pin device’. And I listen a lot to ABC Radio National online – Life Matters and All in The Mind. That helps!

  1. So many memories Brydie! My dad made it when we were kids too, and I used to make it as well. I only stopped as I went off sugary drinks. It’s so good though, maybe a brief reprise for Christmas?

  2. I grew up making ginger beer just like your dad. We had a ginger beer ‘bug’ we called it and every week we had to divide it in two. I used to make the ginger beer and bottle it and store the bottles in the garage. We were warned they could explode but they never did and I’m sure it’s because we were in NZ where the bottles aren’t subjected to the same kind of heat. We’d drink our ginger beer every weekend and I just loved it. It’s so much better than commercial ginger beer that’s too sickly sweet xx

  3. I think I may have to try this – what a fun process. Mr Bite is also quite into ginger beer, but is very particular. He likes the Tasmanian Cascade brand, which is very hard to find. If I could hit on a good brew at home I suspect he’d be thrilled!

  4. I’ve been planning to make ginger beer for AGES. The idea of a soft drink that is actually good for me is wonderful. Thanks for making it seem so easy.

    I’m also keen to try making tonic water. I’m a lover of G&T – so a couple of bottles of tonic every few months is one of my guilty treats. I was thrilled to spot a recipe a while back.

    • Tricia I’m so curious now. I’d never thought of home made tonic water, I don’t drink it but I love that fact that even this you can make at home.

      As for the ginger beer…I think a little ginger beer brewing in a corner of your shed would work just fine, (and it is easy!)

  5. g’day :) loving your beautiful posts, also love making ginger beer ( & recently rhubarb sparkling wine..) and currently bottling our first batch of your ginger beer recipe.. possibly silly question about the mother.. do we go again from day 1 ie add 1tsp sugar & ginger for 8 days to the mother?.. looking forward to a delicious cold brew!

    • Rhubarb sparkling wine? How fantastic that would be!
      Now the mother, it depends on the temperature in your kitchen or where ever you’re making it is. It should be quicker, especially coming in to summer with warmer conditions. Just check to see if there is some bubbly action going on about day 3 ish? Otherwise just feed it until you want to use it again. You could do it for longer and make larger amounts as well… Hope that helps!

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