View Full Version : Ginger Beer

13th Jan 2013, 12:30
I thought I would do the nice thing and try and educate the local heathens about civilised drinking habits instead of knocking back raw spirit all the time.

Seems they are quite taken with ginger beer.

Now had an internet search.

And brought up memorys from my childhood.

I now have a load of sugary water with a load of stewed ginger and some lemon juice in it cooling in a sterilised jam jar.

Now I want this batch to have some booze in it so didn't use a ginger beer plant but used brewers yeast bought locally which its seems they have already had some education as its made in Edinburgh.

Now once I feed the yeast ginger mixure for a week with a spoon full of sugar and ginger a day. It all gets a bit hazy what to do next.

I am pretty sure after that we used to strain the yeast mixture into a bucket fire in a load of boiled and cooled water and sugar then leave it for a week addinf ginger every day. Then put a teaspoon of sugar in a bottle and then strain that mixture into the bottles leaving 2 inches at the top. Then squeeze bottles until just brimming over and put the cap on. Squeeze bottles each day until hard then let a bit of gas off. After a week try one and if the taste is good stick the lot in the fridge to kill the yeast off then drink.

Now online they are saying to miss out the bucket stage and go straight to bottle.

What do you reckon is the best way? I am looking for a good strong ginger taste and a quite dry taste which doesn't make your teeth grow fur while drinking it.

13th Jan 2013, 14:28
Here ar a couple of local recipes, Jock. I hate to think of you having to drink all that Scotch.

I also have an idea you halved the 'yeast plant' every week. We used glass bottles and crown seals - no 'squeezing'.

Ginger Beer recipe (http://allrecipes.com.au/recipe/6742/ginger-beer.aspx)

Home-made ginger beer :: Recipe :: ABC Tasmania (http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/stories/s1369274.htm)

13th Jan 2013, 14:39
Yeah. What RJM said.

I'm in the middle of making lots ready for the grandkids visit in a couple of weeks.

I've sampled the first lot which I made a couple of weeks ago and fine stuff it is.

Must try with brewer's yeast next time to see if it makes a difference.

13th Jan 2013, 14:46
You use Ginger Beer to make a proper Shandy.

Milo Minderbinder
13th Jan 2013, 16:37
you get a better shandy by mixing ginger beer with cider, not beer
usually works better with fizzy cider than real scrumpy

Solid Rust Twotter
13th Jan 2013, 17:35
This is what it should look like...


13th Jan 2013, 17:57
There is a thing called a ginger beer plant which is bacteria as well as a yeast. And they sort themselves out so you don't get Alcohol. To get a boozy one you need to use normal yeast or brewers.

From searching normal bread yeast can give you up to 3-4% and brewers up to 12% or something like that.

h'mm think its got to much sugar in I did table spoons instead of tea. O well see what happens.

13th Jan 2013, 18:04
All I remember is my Mum making some when I was a kid, and going into the kitchen one morning and all the bottles had exploded, she wasn't impressed.

Loose rivets
13th Jan 2013, 18:13
To set the scene, imagine a post war larder. One of those with a tiny window with a screen over it. It was packed with tins marked with govenmint stamps. Some of them had soldered themselves together. There was however, a few feet of floor space.

Remember those fine stone flagons one used to get in the 50s that came with cider? Ours were full of ginger beer. There was also a LOT of elderberry wine.

One evening there was a hell of a bang and the exploding flagon took out other similar ones and the wine jars. The larder was never the same colour again.

13th Jan 2013, 19:13
Yes. I remember it well!

13th Jan 2013, 20:15
Your meant to use plastic pop bottles these days they are good for 1000psi apparently and swell up and give you a bit of warning before bursting.

13th Jan 2013, 21:20
Grolsch beer bottles with the flip-open caps fitted with rubber seals are perfect for ginger-beer production.

13th Jan 2013, 21:30
They're not bad for home brew either. And yoiu need to collect a few, so you can justify buying the stuff.

13th Jan 2013, 21:40
What a relief! From its title, and knowing which forum we're in, I thought the thread was going to be about something quite different, perhaps involving the Church of England and/or Elton John. But it's about a drink.

Lon More
13th Jan 2013, 22:17
I like Dark and Stormy (http://cocktails.about.com/od/cocktailrecipes/r/dark_strmy_cktl.htm)

Using ginger cake in a trifle and rum instead of sherry is also very tasty.

DX Wombat
13th Jan 2013, 23:40
I thought the thread was going to be about something quite differentEngineers?

Worrals in the wilds
13th Jan 2013, 23:47
Same, DX. :E
I like Dark and Stormy (http://cocktails.about.com/od/cocktailrecipes/r/dark_strmy_cktl.htm)I didn't realise it was a proper cocktail. Bundaberg Rum do a canned version that's extremely sweet (though drinkable), but your recipe looks much nicer.

My uncle used to make a really nice alcoholic ginger beer. IIRC it was about the same strength as a light beer. He blew a few up, too. :ooh: I'll see if he still has the recipe; preusmably you can make it non-alcoholic as well.

Solid Rust Twotter
14th Jan 2013, 05:23
We're brewing the one shown in the previous pic to around 3.5% ABV, Ms Worrals. Need to be a little careful to avoid some dopey blonde feeding it to her kid as a soft drink. The golden colour is from brewing it using barley malt, and the yeast used is the same ale yeast we use for the red Irish ale and the pale ale.

Worrals in the wilds
14th Jan 2013, 05:31
Need to be a little careful to avoid some dopey blonde feeding it to her kid as a soft drink.Good point :eek:.
I remember that my uncle's allegedly non-alcoholic ginger beer (he made both) actually had a small amount of alcohol in it. No-one realised until one of the family got breathalysed on the way home after several and blew about 0.02%, which is well under the limit, but still... My uncle wasn't sure what he'd done wrong?? :confused:

14th Jan 2013, 07:42
You need then ginger beer plant thing for no booze.

If I remember rightly the bacteria eats the alcohol that the yeast produces. This goes back to O grade biology which is over 25 years ago now.

14th Jan 2013, 07:52
All I remember is my Mum making some when I was a kid

So do I ! and I remember my dad getting home from work on a hot day, wanting a drink, and a wretched little brat had drunk it all.

Sorry, dad, where ever you are now.

14th Jan 2013, 08:20
SRT you seem to know what your talking about do I put it into a bucket for a week or straight to the bottle?

DX Wombat
14th Jan 2013, 11:14
Why not try both methods? Put half into a bucket and half straight into bottles and see which result you prefer.

Solid Rust Twotter
14th Jan 2013, 11:15
Ms Worrals, any yeast fermentation will produce an equal weight of CO2 and alcohol as byproducts.

To answer MJ: Leave it somewhere cool in a bucket for primary fermentation using an ale yeast. They're pretty cheap from your local brewing store and give a better flavour than bakers' yeast, as well as being more comfortable around alcohol and longer lived. Ale yeast also handles warmth better, preferring a temp of around 17-20 deg C for fermentation.

After a week or so, decant into bottles (Brown plastic 2 litre soda bottles work best), leaving the sludge behind. Cleanliness is crucial to prevent infection in what is a very good growth medium. Bung them in the fridge at around 6C to make the yeast go to sleep (it won't kill it, as you'll find out if you take it out and leave it somewhere warm later). Let it condition for around two weeks minimum to develop a rounder flavour and some bubbles, then serve.

Try to get some malt sugar to use in place of refined sugar. Better flavour and slightly less acidic. The lemon juice makes it a little harsh I find, and can always be added as a slice or a squeeze of lemon when serving, if desired.

Lon More
14th Jan 2013, 11:19
Get a beersphere (5 galons capacity) and chuck all the ingredients in, then sit back and wait.

Alloa Akbar
14th Jan 2013, 12:23
My Dad used to make this stuff every Winter.. Just the thing for keeping you warm during those endless snowball fights

Traditional Scottish Recipes - Ginger wine (http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_gingerwine.htm)