After watching the BBC documentary ,Victorian Farm on TV, I was taken with this old recipe for ginger beer. I love ginger and I thought this would make a great summer cocktail. This is now my go to summer drink and I’m addicted to making it. All you need is a beer bucket , a few supplies like a hydrometer, large spoon, some cleaning solution for beer making and some plastic bottles and you can make this over and over again. The great thing about this is it’s delicious and cheap to make ( about $5.00 for 23 litres)! if you get your ginger on sale and it’s also GLUTEN FREE. Chill it for a couple of hours and serve on ice with a slice of lime and you feel like you’re on holiday every time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Let get started.
Once your ginger is chopped with sugar and lemon and boiled all together, pour into a beer fermenting bucket. Fill up the bucket with cold tap water until you reach about 24 litres.
Sprinkle on champagne yeast and stir in with sanitized spoon. Test for potential alcohol with a hydrometer. You can buy these at any beer and wine making store. Put lid loosely on top and leave to ferment for a week. Once the week is up, test the potential alcohol ensuring it is 1% shy of full potential. If it hasn’t reached that number, it isn’t ready yet. Remember, in the summer, things ferment very quickly where as winter temp. may take longer.
With sanitized syphoning equipment, syphon into sanitized 1 liter plastic bottles. I recommend plastic bottles as it has more give and is less likely to explode if there is a mishap. I usually lift the bucket onto a chair to allow gravity to do most of the work.
Fill up leaving at least a one inch gap at the top and seal with sanitized cap. Make sure the caps are screwed on tightly.
Leave your bottled lovies for about a week and they’ll be ready for drinking. Don’t forget to chill before opening as it slows down the carbonation.
The key to your success is to remember to always test the potential for alcohol when you first pour all the liquid in the bucket and then bottle it when it is just 1 % short of of the full potentia from your original test. For example, if it measures 7 % potenial alcohol at the beginning, bottle it when it’s 6% . That way ,there’s enough fermention left to create carbonation in the bottle. Happy ginger beer making.
- 17 cups white sugar
- 4 lemons quartered
- 2 lbs roughly chopped ginger root
- 1 packet champagne yeast
- Get out a canning pot if you have it and roughly chop your ginger.
- Add 17 cups of white sugar and throw in 4 lemons quartered.
- Fill the pot up at least half way with water and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn it down to low and let simmer 20 minutes.
- Pour hot liquid into sanitized beer bucket
- Fill up the bucket until it reaches at least the 24 litre mark if you can
- Let the liquid cool to below 70 degrees
- Sprinkle on yeast and cover loosely with a lid.
- Test specific gravity for potential alcohol
- It should be around 6 - 7%
- Ferment until potential alcohol is 1% below the max potential.
- For example, if the original potential if 7%, bottle when only 1% of alcohol is left (6%)
- Bottle in sanitized plastic 1 litre bottles and seal
- Leave to rest for one week.
- chill a bottle in the fridge to prevent explosive opening and serve over ice.