February 10th, 2010


only a ginger can call another ginger ginger; or, homebrewing for the lazy

[41] I've made ginger beer twice in the past week. It's quick and easy and the product is delicious. Measures are roughly what I did last time, which turned out well, but adjust to taste.

0. Start with an empty 2-liter plastic soda bottle and 3/4 lb of ginger.
1. Skin the ginger and blend it in a blender with 1 L of water and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
2. Put it in a pot with another .5 L of water and boil it.
3. While it's hot, add 1+3/4 cups of sugar.
4. Add another ~.5L of cold water and let it cool until it's not plastic-meltingly (/yeast-killingly) hot.
5. Pour it into the bottle, preferably through a tea filter and a funnel.
6. Add 1/4 tsp yeast.
7. Squeeze the bottle while you put the lid on so it stays dented.
8. Leave it out somewhere it's safe to make a mess, just in case.
9. In a day or two, the dents will fill in and the bottle will be hard like soda bottles in the grocery store. Chill and drink.


- When I skipped the boiling (the first time), it took longer than 2 days, I think because the chlorine in the water was giving the yeast a rough time.
- The second time, the bottle was hard within a day, and it produced a surprisingly messy quantity of foam when opened, even though I opened it carefully.
- This version is practically (and legally, I think) nonalcoholic, and very sweet. If you vent the pressure every day or two (or perhaps just cover it with plastic wrap instead of a cap) and let it keep fermenting for a while, you should get something stronger.
- Add more ginger. This is a pleasant amount, but a long way from the HOT HOT HOT that I sometimes like.
- It goes well with cinnamon.

Next project: small beer, perhaps a scaled-down version of George Washington's recipe.