Ginger beer can be produced at home using a symbiotic colony of yeast and a Lactobacillus (bacteria) known as a “ginger beer plant”. This traditional ginger beer recipe has its origins from the colonial spice trade with the Orient and the sugar producing islands of the Caribbean.
1/2 cup sugar
1 dessertspoon ground ginger
Juice of 1 lemon
10 teaspoons ginger
10 teaspoons sugar
4 cups sugar
3 cups boiling water
Juice of 2 lemons
25 cups water
1. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 dessertspoon ground ginger, juice of 1 lemon and 500ml water, mix. Let stand for three days.
2. On fourth day, pour off half the water and, over the next 10 days, “feed” the plant 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar.
3. After 10 days, you can use your bug to make ginger beer.
4. Dissolve 4 cups sugar in 3 cups boiling water.
5. Strain the bug through a muslin cloth and squeeze well.
6. Add the juice squeezed from the bug to the sugar mixture.
7. Add the juice of 2 lemons and 25 cups of cold water, mix, and bottle.
8. After you’ve squeezed it, renew the bug by putting it back into the jar and adding 1 cup warm water, 2 tsp sugar, and 2 tsp ginger.
9. As before, feed it with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp ginger each day for a week.
Keep in mind the plant will keep on growing so, every third time you strain off the liquid, give away or throw away half the plant.
Tips for temperature control:
-Use the chilled water to reach a satisfactory temperature and add yeast immediately.
-Maintain a cool even temperature in the fermenter.
-Place the fermenter in a tray and wrap it in a blanket with an end in a container of water.
-Placing the fermenter on a concrete slab can also help to keep the temperature constant.
–Use a Brewing Thermostat and a fridge for optimum brewing conditions all year round.
Equipment needed for mead making:
– 4 Litre Pot
– Medium Funnel
– 2 x 5L Demijohns
– Bored Bung
– Solid Bung
-To make oak spirit use a 4-5 Litre wide neck glass jar, use around 200-300g of oak blocks or chips and 1 litre of vodka/neutral spirit. Soak for at least 14 days but the flavour intensifies the longer you leave the oak soaking. When ready, strain the oak out by passing it through filter wool in a funnel.