Ginger beer is also called ginger ale, and the two are essentially the same thing. Making good old-fashioned ginger beer at home is east and inexpensive to do, and you will get much more of a gingery taste than you would from any store bought bottle. Once you master the process of making ginger beer, made nice and easy by this recipe from Toria Vey, you will be hooked!
How to make ginger beer
This recipe makes an estimated two litres of ginger beer.
For the ginger syrup, you will need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
For the ginger beer, you will need:
1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast or brewer’s yeast
Ginger syrup (ingredients listed above)
3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
7 cups filtered water
Peel a chunk of the ginger with the tip of a teaspoon, and grate it using the fine side of your grater.
Place the ginger, sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for one hour.
Strain the mixture, discarding the ginger solids, and allow to cool fully.
The result will be ginger syrup, which you can use to make ginger ale.
If you don’t want to mess around with the fermentation process, you can make ginger ale by pouring three or four tablespoons of your syrup over ice and soda water.
Bottle the rest of the syrup and store it in the refrigerator until you need it.
For the full ginger beer experience, place a funnel in the top of the bottle.
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Sprinkle the yeast in, followed by the syrup, lemon juice and water.
Put the lid on the bottle and shake the mixture until the yeast is fully dissolved, store it on a shaded shelf out of direct sunlight for 2-3 days, or until yeast is achieved.
At this point, it is ready to drink, and must be stored in the fridge to prevent further fermentation.
Do not forget about the bottle, though, as the pressure may build to a point that it explodes.
As with any yeast-powered drink, the fermentation process will naturally continue unless you prevent it from happening.
Refrigerating the drink will slow down the process but not stop it completely, that’s why ginger beer should be treated as a perishable drink.
Make sure to consume within one-two weeks of making the beer.
Be sure to open the bottle every day to release the extra gas. Unless you know you will check on it every day, it’s best to avoid using a glass bottle.
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