Not every example of handmade beverage has to be alcoholic you know. Well, not too alcoholic anyway. Once in a while I’ll brew up a batch of ginger beer. Tonight I made a 5 gallon batch. Here’s a fairly simple recipe to try yourself, adjusted to make 1 gallon.
50g root ginger, washed & sliced thinly
2 large unwaxed lemons
500g granulated sugar
4 litres water
Brewers yeast and nutrient (some multi-purpose yeasts come with nutrient in the pack)
You’ll also need a big stock pot - a gallon or so. It is possible with a large saucepan, but it’ll take some stirring to dissolve the sugar.
To get a sharp tangy taste finely grate the lemon zest into the pan
Pour about 3 litres of boiling water onto the sliced ginger in the pot, bring up to the boil.
Pare or grate the zest of the lemons into the pot, then slice the lemons into half centimetre thick slices and add these to the pot also.
Pour the sugar into the liquid and give it a good stir while it heats, until you can’t feel any sugary grittiness at the bottom of the pot.
Bring the mixture up to the boil, then drop the heat down until it is simmering. Stir occasionally and keep it simmering for an hour.
Allow the mix to cool, pour into a fermentation bucket and when at room temperature add a half teaspoonful of yeast & nutrient. Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature for three days.
Strain the mix into glass beer bottles*, cap them securely and keep for four days. Chill for a few hours before serving.
DO NOT KEEP THIS DRINK BOTTLED FOR MORE THAN A WEEK!
It should be enjoyed soon after making it. It’s a live product and will continue to ferment the longer it is kept for, potentially building up pressure inside the bottle that might cause the bottle to explode. I’m serious, these buggers can cause some damage or at least lead to a week of cleaning floors, walls and ceilings. There are enough bangs going on in London and Birmingham right now, we don’t need any more.
*If you have a pressure barrel for beer then USE IT! Mine will be going into a Rotokeg in a few days time, those brutes can take the pressure.
These nipples have softened up nicely!
I’ll keep you posted about the ginger beer and why I brew such a big batch of it in a later blog.