Ginger beer

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Your homebrew supplier has ginger beer kits for you to make 30 bottles of ginger beer very easily. You can use these kits to make it as a soft-drink or you can make "hard" alcoholic ginger beer.

The kits come with instructions & the recipe is designed to prevent exploding bottles & other problems often associated with "Aunt Myrtle's ginger beer"

To make ginger beer kits you will need

  • A 25 or 30 litre fermenter *
  • Enough bottles for 20 litres of ginger beer
  • A priming scoop for measuring sugar into the bottles *
  • Homebrew sterilizing compound *
  • Beer or screw top softdrink bottles

* available from Liquorcraft

"Brewcraft" brand ginger beer is excellent.

If you try either of these ginger beer kits, you can make our very popular "Ginger Grail" variation. Here it is.

Fermentation Notes

Fermentation is the process where yeast consumes sugar & makes alcohol & carbon dioxide gas. Most yeasts work when the mixture is warm (say 15C to 30C). If the mixture stays warm, the yeast will continue to work untill the alcohol is up to about 15%. It produces a huge amount of gas at the same time.

When you are making wine or beer or spirits, this is what you want. When you are making soft drinks, you only want to use fermentation to make a little bit of gas to make your drink fizzy.

Also, you have extra sugar in your recipe to make your soft drink taste sweet. You do not want the yeast to use up all the sugar because it will not be sweet & the gas pressure in the bottle will blow all the ginger beer out of the bottle as soon as you open the cap or even burst the bottle. This is the reason you put your bottles in the fridge & leave them there. It stops the fermentation.

There is a little bit of alcohol in your soft drink but will only be about 0.5% or less.

Because you are using yeast, there will also be some yeast sediment in the bottom of each bottle. You can shake the bottle gently & drink this, it is full of B group vitamins & it is good for you. If you don't want to drink it, pour the ginger beer very carefully & leave the yeast in the bottle.

Fantastic Variations

Ginger beer recipes are perfect for you to apply your own finishing touches so you can genuinely say "that's my recipe". It is easy to modify a recipe & almost impossible to muck it up. If you alter some ingredients or add something extra, you will almost certainly make a tastier, more satisfying ginger beer.

Here are some terrific variations that you can try with any recipe:

  • Make dry ginger ale from an "Brewcraft" brand ginger beer kit by omitting the sweetener sachet.
  • If you like sweet ginger beer but don't like the taste of artificial sweetener, add 500g - 1kg lactose instead of the sweetener sachet in the "Brewcraft" brand ginger beer kit.
  • Vary the ginger "bite" by adding more or less fresh grated ginger.
  • Instead of boiling fresh grated ginger, soak grated ginger in a cup of brandy or sherry for several hours at least (overnight is best) then pour it through a strainer into the other ingredients.
  • Make a delicious ginger mead by adding 1kg of honey instead of glucose, dextrose or sugar. You can use any honey except the eucalyptus varieties.