Ginger “beer” ready to bottle
Oh gosh, I wanted to wait to publish this recipe for not only my site here, but for my readers of my newspaper columns. But so many of you wanted it after hearing me chat with Ron Wilsonon his radio show Sat April 25 that I thought it best to share it now.
I am enjoying a glass of well chilled ginger “beer” after being outdoors working in the gardens.
The original recipe was a little different since I fiddled with it and came up with this:
GINGER BEER – QUICK, EASY, REFRESHING!
Not a real beer, since beer is made with grain. Ginger beer has probiotics as well as a spicy, sort of sweet, kick.
1/2 pound fresh ginger, peeled a bit and coarsely chopped
7-8 cups water (I used a bit more than 7)
1 to 1-1/2 cups raw, natural or regular sugar (or less if you want – I used 1-1/2 cups)
1 tablespoon molasses, honey or maple syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice or more to taste (I used 1/4 but next time I’ll use 1/2 c)
1/4 teaspoon wine or regular bread yeast (active dry yeast)
1 jar large enough to hold contents, covered
In a blender, pulse ginger with 1 quart water until roughly puréed.
Combine the ginger-water, sugar and molasses in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add rest of water.
Add lemon juice and taste to see if it needs adjusting.
Remove from heat and let cool to just slightly warmer than room temperature.
Line a funnel with coffee filters (2) or cheesecloth doubled over and use it to strain the liquid. There should be some air space left on top of the liquid for fermenting bubbles. I used a big canning jar. You can use a big soda bottle, too.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid in the bottle. Give it a stir.
Cover with canning jar lid or cloth. If using lid, position it so a tiny bit of air can come in. (The original recipe said to seal tightly, but I was afraid of bursting…).
Let ferment/sit at room temperature for 12 hours or more. I let mine sit a full 24. The longer it ferments, the more “beery/yeasty” it tastes.
Not sure if fermentation is happening? Give the jar a shake or another few stirs. Yeast loves oxygen! You should see bubbles/foam forming on top and if you look real close, you’ll see tiny bubbles working their way up through the liquid.
After fermenting, pour into bottles, leaving air space at the top, seal and store in refrigerator. I don’t seal mine real tight.
Keep ginger beer refrigerated, and drink within 1 week.
Tip: Alcohol content
Although we call this beverage “beer”, the alcohol content is not even 1% as far as I can tell from researching this.