Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Ginger Beer Recipe as I Did It

This was derived from Stephen Cresswell's Homemade Root Beer, Soda, and Pop and the recipe for Virgin Islands Ginger Beer.  I made changes, as you might be able to see.

What I used:
3 ounces fresh ginger root
1/3 cup honey
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice (mine was frozen from squeezing the lemons I bring home from my parents)
3+ quarts of water (good drinking water, bottled if your tap is nasty)
1/4 tsp instant yeast (you can also use regular baking yeast, you just have to bloom it first by putting it in a quarter cup of water before throwing it into the bottle)

Hardware I used:
3 6 oz bottles and 8 12 ounce bottles with caps (you can sub in whatever will hold a gallon of liquid under pressure)
1 gallon bottle with cap for mixing things in
1 half gallon sized pot
1 funnel with mesh strainer that could go into the big gallon jug
1 bottle funnel
1 bottle capper
1 plastic mixing spoon

How I did it.
1. I actually went to the trouble of sterilizing pretty much everything that was going to touch the pop by soaking everything in a sterilizing solution that John often uses for his beer brewing work.  He was also moving a batch of beer from a carboy into a five gallon pop cannister to put CO2 on it, so we both used the solution for our work. 

2.  I put 2 quarts of water in the pot, and then grated the ginger root right into the pot.  I added the lemon juice, and brought the whole thing to a simmer.  Then I added the sugar and honey and stirred until it all dissolved and then simmered the whole mass for 20 minutes.

3. I put a lid on it and let it cool for 30 minutes.

4. I put a quart of water into the gallon glass jug.  I strained the warm ginger solution into the jug, and then added enough cold water to make the whole mass lukewarm and up to about a gallon.  I tried using a coffee filter to filter the solids out, but it was so slow and i didn't want it *that* clear.  I wanted some ginger cloud in it, so I used the larger mesh strainer instead.

5.  I capped and shook the jug, and then added the instant yeast to the jug and shook it again, thoroughly.  If you're using normal, dried baker's yeast, you should probably sprinkle the yeast on a quarter cup of water and let it stand for 15 minutes before pouring it in and shaking like mad.

6.  Jet and I poured the jug's contents into the bottles and then capped 'em.

7. I laid the bottles on their sides in boxes and pans in the garage and let them sit in the 80 degree warmth for two days and then popped one of the six ounce bottles to test the carbonation.  It was warm enough here that it was *done* at that point.  The little sixer spouted when we tried to open it, so I put all the bottles in the fridge, and the big ones don't over flow when I open them now.  The cold seems to allow the carbonation to stay in the drink better than when it's warm.
Tags: cooking

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