Sunday, 26 April 2015

Homemade Ginger Beer!

I don't drink soft drinks (no coke or lemonade for me, thanks!) and I stay away from energy drinks - they make my teeth tingle with the amount of sugar in them.  But I love ginger beer.  In the heat of summer I can think of nothing better than to relax with a chilled glass of refreshing ginger beer.  And it is so easy to make!  There are a number of different recipes around, and this is the second recipe I have tried (forgot to post the first but will do so later).  I also didn't take photos.

This recipe came from a recipe book compiled by Waitakere Primary School, where each student submitted a family recipe.  The book is called Waitakere On A Plate, and is full of family favourites - mains, salads, desserts, biscuits, cake, hot puddings, drinks, and preserves.  It is a fabulous recipe book.


For the plant:
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
1 tsp yeast

To start the plant, put all ingredients into a large glass jar and feed daily with 1 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp sugar.  You should see small bubbles rising up from the bottom of the jar after a few days.  After 7 days, make up the ginger beer.

For the ginger beer:
4 cups sugar
4 cups boiling water
juice of 3 lemons
3.5 litres of water
strained liquid of the plant

To make the ginger beer, mix all ingredients together and pour into bottles, ensuring that you leave 4-5cm betwee the top of the liquid and the lid.  Use plastic soft drink bottles as they can expand.  Glass does not expand as the gas builds up and then is more likely to explode - which is something you probably don't want to happen (well, you could experiment with one glass bottle and see how it goes, just for the fun of it).  Leave bottles for at least one week before drinking.  Keep and eye on the pressure that builds up in the bottles and open carefully as they can get very fizzy!

Let a little pressure out from time to time if the bottles feel very hard.  Every time you make this recipe it will be a little different.

I made this ginger beer in the middle of summer, and the garage got very hot - so my flatmate and I opened up the first bottle after 3-4 days and it was fine to drink.  By the time I got to the last bottle, however, it had been sitting in the garage for maybe two weeks, and tasted a bit bitter - but I also think it had started to become a bit alcoholic, as I felt quite light headed after drinking it.  Will need to experiment further with this.

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