Making your own alcoholic ginger beer is simple, quick and very cost effective. We have detailed the River Cottage version below which is our favourite.
This is a cloudy and very lively beer, so we only make about five bottles of this in one go. By the time you get round to drinking the last one, it has built up enough pressure to get to the moon! (We advise checking bottles daily and releasing some of the pressure).
Before you start, you will need;
Minimum of two empty plastic 2 litre lemonade (fizzy drinks) bottles. DO NOT use glass as the expansion during the fermentation process will shatter them.
You are going to use one to make the beer and one to filter and decant it into in a couple of days time.
- Wine/brewers sterilising solution
- A medium to large funnel
- Some muslin (for straining)
- A grater (fine)
- A glass mixing bowl
Ginger Beer Ingredients (per bottle)
- 1/4 teaspoon of wine yeast (we used Gervin No1 – strain GV1)
- 1 tablespoon of runny honey
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 decent sized root of fresh ginger (if it’s clean don’t bother peeling it)
- 1/4 jalepeno chili (if you like it hot)…this is our recipe tweak
Sterilize the bottles you are going to use to make your brew.
Grate the ginger to a pulp using the fine side of a grater and mix with the lemon juice and honey in a bowl.
To each bottle add:
1 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, then add the ginger mixture (sharing larger quantities between however many bottles you are making).
Fill about one third with tap water, put on the bottle top and shake to dissolve the sugar, then top up with more water to the shoulder of the bottle where it narrows. (This space will be needed for expansion…it’s going to get a bit wild!)
If you are quite partial to ginger beer with a kick, then simply add about quarter of a small jalepeno chili or similar to the bottle.
Keep at room temperature for 2 days and then you are ready to filter it.
Sterilize an equal quantity of bottles.
Line the funnel with the muslin and place in one of the bottles. Open one of the fermenting bottles of beer (careful, it’s lively) and pour through the funnel into the clean bottle. The muslin will filter out all of the bits which you can then just put on the compost heap.
Repeat for the other bottles, but again leave room for expansion at the top, as the beer will continue to ferment slightly and pressure will build up.
This beer has about a 3-4% alcohol level when finished but will depend on the type of yeast used. If you like your drinks sweet, then it may be wise to double up on the sugar as this is more of a refreshing finish than a sweet one.
You will also notice that as you use the last bottle, the sweetness has diminished slightly further, this is due to the yeast using up the sugar in the fermentation process which still keeps going slightly once bottled.
We get most of our wine, cider and beer making supplies from;
Brew UK – Wine, cider and beer making supplies.
Ascot – Country kitchen and smallholding supplies.
Visit the River Cottage website