Ginger Beer

This is such a simple way of making ginger beer in your pantry – it stays relatively well carbonated, and has a lovely bitey gingery taste.

You will need a clean and empty 2 or 2.25 litre soft drink bottle and a plastic funnel. I used a soda water bottle so I didn’t worry about it retaining other flavours.

fresh ginger, enough to grate 2 tablespoons
1/4 tsp instant yeast (baking yeast)
1 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon (or a whole one, depending on how you want the beer to taste)
tap water (filtered or rain water, preferably)

Using the funnel, pour the sugar and the yeast into your clean bottle. Shake it around to distribute evenly.

Grate the ginger on the small cutting teeth side of your grater, so you get fine flakes. Mix in a small bowl with the lemon juice, to make a slurry. Pour into the funnel. Depending on the size of your funnel, you may need to shove the bits of ginger through with a skewer.

Fill the ginger/lemon bowl with water, and pour into the bottle, then fill it up with water. Leave at least 3-5cm empty. Close the lid tightly. If you squeeze the bottle now, you’ll be able to depress it quite a bit. Pop the bottle in your pantry or another relatively cool spot for between 24 to 48 hours. Keep checking on it and giving it a squeeze – when the bottle is too hard for you to depress, pop it in the fridge overnight.

The ginger beer is now ready to drink! Take off the lid slowly over the sink, just in case. You’ll probably want to pour each glass through a small strainer in order to remove the larger bits of ginger. Delicious on its own, or with a splash of rum.

I’m looking forward to tweaking this a little – perhaps adding a bit of vanilla bean, cinnamon stick or chili to the brew.

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