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How to Grow Your Own Ginger Beer Plant

Updated on March 16, 2016

The true Ginger Beer Plant dates back to around the 1700's and is not actually a plant at all, instead it is a living organism, best described by a man called Harry Marshall Ward as being "a composite organism consisting of a fungus, the yeast Saccharomyces florentinus (formerly Saccharomyces pyriformis) and the bacterium Lactobacillus hilgardii (formerly Brevibacterium vermiforme)". This organism forms a gelatinous cluster which moves about within its jar naturally, and used correctly can allow you to make a lifetime's supply of authentic, naturally fizzy alcoholic Ginger Beer that used to be commonplace in most UK households.

There are many recipes on the Internet for the so called 'Ginger Beer Plant', but most of these call for the use of brewers yeast, which therefore results in fermentation, but NOT an authentic Ginger Beer Plant. Traditionally at the end of each batch of Ginger Beer the 'plant' would be halved, and the second half given away to friends, family or neighbours in order for them to start their own Ginger Beer Plant, whilst the remaining half would be used to make the next batch of Ginger Beer. These days it is incredibly difficult to get hold of an authentic Ginger Beer Plant, and it is widely assumed that this is because it virtually died out during the rationing in World War II. It is not impossible however, and there are suppliers on the Internet selling the authentic plant, although you need to be sure this is what you are buying as there is no legislation governing the description of the Ginger Beer Plant. As I understand it there are some reliable links on Wikipedia which lead to authentic Ginger Beer Plant suppliers.

How to make your own Ginger Beer Plant

Using this method you will see there is no brewers yeast added to the recipe, the fermentation happens naturally within the jar once the ginger root and sugar are left together for a week or so and the 'Saccharomyces florentinus' yeast is naturally produced.

Warning: Producing a Ginger Beer Plant naturally is very difficult and it is highly possible you may not achieve success at all. In all honesty you are probably better off buying a 'ready made' Ginger Beer Plant from a source such the ones I list in the links article at the end of this hub.

Method

Dice a tablespoon of fresh ginger root into small cubes and place this into a sterilised jam jar three quarters full of dechlorinated or mineral water.

Add two teaspoons of white sugar.

Cover the top of the jar with some muslin to allow air flow but protect from debris or insects falling into the jar.

Leave the jar in an exposed place at room temperature, e.g. a kitchen shelf.

Every day for about a week add two teaspoons of sugar and two teaspoons of fresh diced ginger root.

If after one week the mixture is frothy with a pleasant odour it is ready to use. If it is mouldy discard it and start at the beginning again.



The Ginger Beer Plant
The Ginger Beer Plant

An Alternative Recipe Using Dried Yeast (not a true Ginger Beer Plant)

Ingredients for the 'fake' ginger beer plant:

  • Half a teaspoon of dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of ground or fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water

Making the 'fake' ginger beer plant:

Mix ingredients in a jar and cover with a piece of muslin. Secure with a rubber band. For the following week, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground or fresh grated ginger daily.

Assuming you manage to either make yourself, or to find, an authentic supplier of Ginger Beer Plant you then have the ability to make some delicious, naturally fizzy ginger beer of your own in under a week. The only additional ingredients you will need are sugar, lemon juice, fresh or ground ginger and a couple of litres of chlorine free water, (either use bottled mineral water or leave tap water overnight to allow the chlorine to evaporate naturally).

Ginger Root
Ginger Root

Equipment Required

Fermentation vessel capable of handling more than 2 litres of water (could be a bowl or proper beer fermentation barrel).

Muslin cloth,

Elastic band

2 litre plastic bottle

Everyday kitchen equipment like a teaspoon, scales, fine grater etc

Saucepan if using fresh ginger

Ingredients

2 litres of chlorine free water

400g of sugar

lemon juice

Either a dessert spoon of ginger powder or a two inch piece of fresh ginger

Ginger Beer Plant

Method

Next sterilise all of your equipment thoroughly. This is where sterilising powder can come in useful, or you could wash your equipment and then place in an oven at 100 degrees plus for 20 minutes.

Remember sterilising doesn't clean, it just kills. If you've visible dirt inside your fermentation vessel it will still contain bacteria.

Washing up liquid and hot water works just as well - this stuff takes less than a week to make and you'll be transferring it after two days anyway.

If using fresh ginger root you will need to scald it before using. The reason for scalding is to kill any bacteria. Wash the ginger root and then drop it into a saucepan of boiling water for a minute or so.

Remove the ginger root carefully and then grate it.

Add water to the fermenting vessel.

Juice the lemon, you can also grate a bit of the zest into the grated ginger. Put a teaspoon or two into the water.

Add the ginger and lemon zest into a square of muslin cloth. Pull the sides together and secure the corners into a bundle with your elastic band.

Add the sugar to the water and stir in.

Now comes the time to add your Ginger Beer Plant to the mixture along with the grated ginger muslin parcel.

Seal the contents of the fermentation vessel with a lid and assuming this is now airtight add an airlock to allow air to escape. Failure to do this can result in the container exploding as the pressure inside it builds up, if you are using a jar or bowl you can simply cover the top of it with either muslin or a tea towel and secure with an elastic band. You should always leave a third of the jar or bowl empty to allow for expansion.

Wait two or three days to allow the fermentation process to work.

Place a funnel inside the neck of a clean empty plastic soft drink bottle. Line it with a double thickness of muslin.

Carefully pour your fermented Ginger Beer through the muslin in the bottle. Fill to about two inches short of the top.

The gelatinous substance that remains in the muslin is your Ginger Beer Plant and should now be returned to its jar in a warm place, two thirds filled with dechlorinated water and fed daily with a teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of ginger. Keep the level of dechlorinated water topped up until you use your Ginger Beer Plant next. Keep a lid on the jar (or a piece of muslin secured with an elastic band), but don't tighten it completely or your jar will explode, air has to be able to escape. As your plant gets bigger you will need to halve it and either some it to a friend so they can start their own plant, or discard it.

Squeeze all the air out of the bottle so the Ginger Beer reaches the top of the bottle then screw on the lid.

Leave the bottle at a comfortable room temperature for a few days, or until the bottle is hard and has expanded due to the natural production of Carbon Dioxide within it.

Carefully open the bottle and let the pressure escape.

At this point you have two choices, you can repeat the process of squeezing the air out of the bottle and sealing it again in order to make the Ginger Beer more dry, or you can simply place the bottle in the fridge and drink when cold.




Ingredients

Ginger – fresh root ginger (a couple of large thumb sized chunky pieces) or you can use around half a teaspoon of powdered ginger instead

Around a litre of dechlorinated or mineral water

100g sugar ideally unrefined

Juice of half a lemon

Ginger Beer Plant

Optional: pinch of cayenne chilli powder or juice a little fresh chilli in the same way that you juiced your ginger. Please wash your hands very carefully after juicing chilli!

Method

• If you’re using fresh root ginger then start by preparing this - if using a juicer, peel and juice the ginger. If using a blender, blend the peeled, chopped ginger with a little filtered water until it is a pulpy consistency. If using a grater, grate the peeled ginger to get it to a pulp. Now squeeze this pulp to extract the juice to use in your ginger beer. This can be extracted by pressing the pulp through a muslin cloth. For a stronger flavour you can wrap the squeezed pulp in a muslin square and secure it so it can be added to the jar. Again, experiment to find the flavour you like best. If you don’t want the ginger pulp in your brew, just stick it on your compost heap or in your food recycling bin if you have one.

• Add the water to the jar containing your Ginger Beer Plant.

• Then add the ginger juice (or powdered ginger), sugar and lemon juice (and chilli if using) to the jar.

• You need to have about a third empty at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.

• You can then place a muslin or tea towel over the top of the jar and secure it with an elastic band.

• Now leave it for a few days, tasting it every so often. When it starts to develop a nice flavour but still has a sweet taste, then it’s ready to bottle.

Homemade Ginger Beer makes an excellent Christmas gift and has the advantage that it can be made very quickly. Another great gift is the actual Ginger Beer Plant itself, either as a portion of your own plant, or purchased from a reliable online supplier of the authentic Ginger Beer Plant. For an unusual gift that keeps on giving, why not buy a Ginger Beer Plant for your loved one today.

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    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 6 years ago from USA

      Hi Misty - Comprehensive and clear as crystal directions. A very fine article. Thanks.

      Gus :-)))

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Gus, perhaps you might decide to give it a go for yourself one day :)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 6 years ago from West By God

      Thanks Cindy! My son-in-law loves to make beer. I will try to make this and then give him the recipes for Christmas. This year our Christmas will be in January though. New grand-baby is to arrive the first week of Decemeber, so we have to make the party later.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I really enjoy read this hub. I'll bookmark this information. Gardening is my hobby. Good work, my friend. I give my Vote special for you.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi LG, well you know babies, they often fail to arrive when duly expected so you could set it going now easily as it only takes days, not weeks to make! You could easily have a batch before the end of November so why not start now!!!

      Hi Prasetio, well, not really a gardening project, so although you like gardening, I recommend an interest in home brewing and similar hobbies to have a go at this. I love gardening as you know, but even I do not grow the Ginger root for this, but simply buy it from the supermarket. I do hope you give it a try though, as the results can be very impressive, and up to 11%+ in alcohol depending on how you treat the fermentation stage.

    • The Loan Arranger profile image

      The Loan Arranger 6 years ago

      Great stuff - I used to do this as a kid with my dad. Had a couple of issues with exploding bottles, but looking back, that just added to the fun!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi TLA, perhaps it is time to have another try at it. Apparently it is far safer to use plastic bottles for this very reason, especially as the squeezing the air out of them before sealing leaves room for expansion.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great detailed instructions. My Dad used to talk about making ginger beer and root beer from scratch. Sounds like this could become a brewing tradition. I've made a sour dough starter before and it's somewhat like this. Thanks so much for sharing the tips.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You are welcome PegCole17, hope you enjoy it if you make some yourself :)

    • profile image

      rick 6 years ago

      I tried making the ginger beer plant from scratch. It started bubbling within two days, but I kept feeding it ginger and sugar, and then it stopped bubbling and went flat? did I kill it? choke it out? Did the water run out of oxygen? What happened?

      This is tougher to do than it sounds :) but fun.

      Cheers,

      Rick

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Rick, I wish I knew the answer to your question, but the whole process of creating an 'authentic' Ginger Beer Plant appears to be rather a mystery of science, so the best bet is to either keep repeating the start up process and maybe varying locations, quantities etc until it works, or cheat a bit and buy one of the kits that uses yeast, (not authentic, but still tastes great). You can buy the 'real thing', but it can be difficult to find or expensive. The one place I found online that sounds like the 'real deal' is in the links section or here: http://www.dsmz.de/microorganisms/html/strains/str...

      Hope this helps and good luck.

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

      Excellent and well packaged information you actually shared in here which i so much enjoy reading from.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Sun-Girl, glad you enjoyed this :)

    • profile image

      kungfukeif 5 years ago

      Actually real GBP is a combination of bacteria and yeast. Thus yeast is a part of it.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I probably worded this badly somewhere in the article kungfukeif, although I do state in the first paragraph that yeast is a part of true GBP. The thing is that the type of yeast (Saccharomyces florentinus) is unique to the GBP, but when most GBP kits are bought on the Internet etc, they usually are accompanied by brewers yeast which will not produce an authentic GBP.

    • profile image

      ramona 5 years ago

      this is too good, THANK YOU!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks ramona, hope you give it a try :)

    • profile image

      Domno25 5 years ago

      My wife and I just started making a ginger beer plant after reading this. It seems to be doing great after just a few days. Thank you very much for the article as we were having a hard time finding the a way to make it.

      @ Rick, one thing about brewing is you don't want to choke out your yeast with too much sugar. With the low amount of water, it may be good to cut back on the sugar after it starts bubbling. If you put it in faster than the yeast can eat it, the yeast will die. This is something I will take into consideration as well.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for your feedback Domno25, I hope you get some great Ginger Beer from it :)

    • profile image

      joe 5 years ago

      hi, thanks for the info, but i am wondering why this would be considered a real plant? you will only get an introduction of endemic yeasts from where you live. This doesn't necessarily mean you get the exact strain. From Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers the author writes "The simple addition of crushed ginger to any cooked starchy grain will result in starch conversion and subsequent growth of Saccharomyces yeast" therefore I wouldn't think just plain 'sugar" is sufficient. In addition there is no introduction of lactobacillus culture? Seems like wild fermentations instead....thoughts? thanks

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Golly Joe, I can't answer that as I am not a scientist. The concept of the Ginger Beer Plant is such an old one that I doubt even the original discoverer knew exactly how it worked. It has always been known as the 'Ginger Beer Plant' but I don't know why it was referred to as a plant, apart from maybe the fact it kept growing as part of it was passed from person to person.

      Wish I could offer more info, but the extent of my knowledge is already in this article, and the method for making it is also an old one, so I can't give you the full science behind it. I would be interested in hearing the results of any further investigations you might make though.

    • profile image

      Ray 5 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I am trying you method for growing my own Ginger Plant. Can i ask did you grow yours or buy it?. I have made both recipes. They are both fermenting well. I see no Ginger beer Plant after 7 days, but the brew is fermenting well and smells good. Fingergers Crossed. Many Thanks for a great article..

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Ray, I actually did both, and in fairness I had a couple of failures from doing it the natural way. In the end I believe the cheats way using brewer's yeast is easier, although not authentic. The only other way is to buy the authentic Ginger Beer Plant culture, which is more costly and harder to track down.

      Do let me know how you get on with yours :)

    • profile image

      Ray 5 years ago

      I don't think using yeast is cheating,just a different way to achieve the end result.

      Both Demijohns have now been topped up to just below the shoulder. The natural yeast version is brewing somewhat slower.Some of the Ginger is sinking and rising, like a weird lava lamp.I plan to bottle both next Thursday.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Can't wait to hear how yours turns out Ray. Are you going to use a hydrometer to test the alcohol levels?

    • Jeff Martin 21 profile image

      Jeff Martin 21 5 years ago

      Works great you can also freeze or put it in the fridge for 2 months if you go away or want a rest from drinking ginger beer

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Which method did you use Jeff, the brewers yeast or the natural process? Good idea to freeze the plant, I never thought of that :)

    • profile image

      Ray 5 years ago

      A Hydrometer? No.. I will just taste it. If its too sweet i will just leave it to brew a few more days. I will taste later in the week.I have several Hydrometers floating around the house ( dreadful pun )but i think taste testing will be far more fun.I may have to bottle sooner rather than later.

    • Jeff Martin 21 profile image

      Jeff Martin 21 5 years ago

      I am a bit of a purist - so natural is best for this one. In fact it has been a very easy process, although you have to keep at it and the plant takes several iterations to really get established. We travel for long periods and the ability to freeze it is very important. I currently have 3 litres just starting to bubble - my first batch of 2012.

      You should try elderberry sparkling wine and also beer as this is equally as easy and satisfying to make.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, loved the 'pun'. Tasting is the nicer method I guess. you will know when it is strong enough because you will fall over.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Jeff, thanks for the feedback. You should do a hub about the elderberry wine and beer. I bet it would be a winner (if you haven't already done it).

    • profile image

      Ray 5 years ago

      We tasted the Ginger beer last night. Still far too sweet. Heat is the real issue here, the house is just not warm enough.Dug out the old wine heater matt. That should speed things along a little.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, keep tasting it and warming it up. I will love to know how it turns out in the long run.

    • profile image

      Ray 5 years ago

      Tasting at 5:50am. Still a little sweet for my taste but getting better. The natural Ginger has a pleasant taste. Could maybe do with a little more ginger,this may improve with a bit more time. The Ground Ginger has a real bite,blending them may be the answer.Watch this space. I was looking at a 90 Gallon tank yesterday and wondering. No i,ll leave the fish in there :-) .

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, poor fish :) Seriously though it sounds like all is going really well. Ever so excited to hear what the end result is like :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Bottled the Natural Ginger Beer today. Will pop into the Cooler on Monday.It looks like Ginger Beer,Smells like Ginger Beer, only 1 test left. I must wait. I must wait.I must........

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL,I am drooling just thinking about it :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      It worked Ray, and the Ginger Beer looks great, I just hope it tastes as good as it looks. Can't wait to hear from you when you have tasted the finished result :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      This is the Natural Ginger beer, fresh Ginger with no added yeast.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Perfect, as it should be :)

    • profile image

      Richard 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon, thanks for making this page. It's the only place I could find with instructions for making GBP without buying yeast! I've been trying to make one for a few days now (almost a week) but haven't noticed any frothing or ferment-y smells. I make sourdough bread so I'm used to having lots of bubbles, am I perhaps expecting too much from my GBP? I made natural elderflower champagne last summer but I can't recall how frothy or bubbly it got... my GBP currently doesn't look anything like the picture of yours, though.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Perhaps you need it in a warmer location Richard. Give it time, if not the process may not have worked and you might need to start it off again.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Since bottling the Yeast has Changed. Now it clumps together and rises and falls. I may leave this a few more days to see how it develops. No fear of it breaking the plastic bottles.

      Richard Mine took over a week before it started. I never scalded the Ginger as i did not want to kill off the natural yeasts.

    • profile image

      Richard 4 years ago

      That would make sense. This time last week it was 80-degree sunny weather but since then it's been getting colder and colder (it's actually snowing outside right now!). Maybe I should wait until summer is here before trying again...

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, if the yeast is clumping and rising and falling this sounds like your true 'Ginger Beer Plant' which is often described as being like a 'lava lamp' for that reason.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi again Richard, I think Ray makes a good point above.

    • profile image

      Richard 4 years ago

      Thanks Misty and Ray. I actually took the time to read through all the comments this afternoon (Ray, your updates are really helpful!) I've moved my jar to the airing cupboard where it hopefully won't get too hot but will be warm enough to help the yeast along (I was loath to do this at first because of bad experiences with sourdough in there).

      Should I continue feeding it 2tsp ginger and 2tsp sugar every day until it becomes active, or should I stop after a week (which is today I think) and leave it to its own devices? I don't want to kill the yeast with too much food!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I'll let Ray answer this one based on his experience Richard. I fed mine all the way through, but he may have done it differently, and right now his seems to be doing really well. I haven't done this for over 18 months now, but intend to have another crack at it this summer once the weather warms up a bit more :).

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Richard I fed mine for 7 days. Do be sure you Starting Jar is large enough or you will just end up with Syrup Goop. Then wait. Smell it every day if it smells off Bin it and start over.

      I plan to separate the yeast from the bottles now with a small syphon tube.I want to see what develops.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Misty I checked the ginger beer today. The Natural had stopped fermenting, the Yeast version has continued. Now we have 4 litres of Sweet and 4 of very dry. The Quick cure was to blend the both. Both taste good, the ground Ginger is quite a lot stronger. I kept the last of the must in a jar, this will be used again.

      I wonder if the Shop bought pre-cleaned Ginger has had most of the natural yeast removed in the cleaning process.Most things have the yeast on the skin,Sloe,Grape,Elderberry etc.The plan now is More fresh Ginger and another Jar for a fresh attempt.I will Grate/Grind the Ginger next time.There is another thought here,are chemicals being used on the ginger crop that kills the natural yeasts. I will pop again soon..

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the update Ray. You make a good point about the shop Ginger. Perhaps it might be an idea to experiment with growing your own, either in a garden or a container, as at least this way you know no pesticides have been used on it, (or other cleaning.)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Misty Growing Ginger, We have tried that before here without real success.Maybe under a Glass frame will work.We shall see.

      I still believe the Ginger beer plant was originally started in the home. The were no labs making stuff like that or there would be records of it. Some sites suggest adding Geletin and lemon. Maybe i could try that further down the road.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Worth a go in a cold frame or a greenhouse then Ray. It seems to prefer warmer conditions. I am sure you are right about where the GBP started, the only way labs have it now is because they obtained samples of the original plant and 'saved' it. Not heard about adding gelatin or lemon, (gelatin sounds horrible as this is from animal bones), as for the lemon, well maybe, so long as it can't kill the yeast.

    • profile image

      Richard 4 years ago

      After forgetting about my concoction for a week or so (it was hidden away in the nice warm airing cupboard) I went and smelled it this morning. Visually it looked identical, and not at all like it had fermented, but it had a lovely 'something has fermented in here' smell like I remember came from my natural elderflower champagne last year. I've just fed it and replaced it in the warm cupboard and will see if anything looks different tomorrow... Either way I have a day off Wednesday so will be trying the full recipe for ginger beer. I'll be sure to update here!

      P.S. While the bulk of my ginger for feeding has been shop-bought, the initial stuff I used was ginger we grew in our house last summer. If we can do it here in Britain I'm sure you guys can! Definitely use a greenhouse/coldframe/put it in the window indoors though.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great update Richard, (I am in Britain too in the Channel Islands). Can't wait to hear your next update :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      I just drank my First glass Homebrewed Ginger Beer. A little sweet, not very fizzy. Tastes great. Thanks.

      I could drink that all day long. Thanks.

      Hi Richard. I will see if we can grow some Ginger here soon. Thanks for the Tips. I will Pop down to our local Market garden and see what they have to offer.

      We did Pick up more fresh Ginger i will get around to shredding it soon.

      The project below has been keeping me busy.

      https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=3245352... Dont know if you will be able to View this.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Feel free to delete my link before posting. It is way off topic.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi All

      I Started the next batch. I inch Cube of Finely Grated Ginger then Crushed,unwashed. 2 Teaspoons Caster Sugar. Water Boiled, cooled,3/4 pint. 2 Layers of Muslin secured with a Rubber Band. Placed on the wooden surround of a gas fire. This is just warm to the touch,never gets hot. I will feed daily for 7 days and see what the Outcome is.**** Jar is about 1 litre ***

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the update, sounds like it came out great. Keep us up to speed on how your next batch goes too. Don't worry about the link, as because you didn't simply expect me to accept it I will leave it there. The people who annoy me are those to spam my hubs with links to their websites, articles etc without even asking first but essentially you were nice enough to ask :) Looks like an interesting project although I couldn't get any sound on it here so I don't know if there was meant to be any.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      No sound, I don't do sound it takes up more space.

      The new Starter is already starting to work. I can see minute particles moving around.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cool, that looks really good :)

    • vickiturner profile image

      vickiturner 4 years ago

      A friend gave my some ginger she didn't need last week, so I'm giving this a go. It looks very genuine - and not too difficult to do!

      For the benefit of those of us in the UK - 400g = 14 oz, 2 litres = 3 1/2 pints and 100g = 3 1/2 oz.

      Great hub!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I had no idea ginger beer could be made! I have all the ingredients on hand so plan to try it soon. Thank you for sharing an awesome recipe! Voted up and across the board.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Vicki that is helpful to add, (I too am from the UK but luckily my measuring jug has cups, litres and pints marked on it). Good luck with your Ginger Beer and do feel free to post back here as to how you get on :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks vespawoolf, good luck with your ginger beer too, and please post back here if you can to let us know how you get on :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      You may find the Following of Interest:- The Ginger-Beer Plant, and the Organisms Composing it: This is a very Interesting read.Available to download from Royal Society Publishing org.Circa 1892.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, any chance you could post a link ?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, I'll take a look at that later today :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      I have now read the complete Document. It does seem possible that the Ginger Beer Plant could be started without a lab if conditions are right. So i shall keep trying. Today I added the Juice of 1 Lemon to the Starter Jar and the Usual daily feed Of sugar and Ginger. This is day 3.This batch seems to be fermenting very well.The addition of the lemon juice may change that, we shall have to wait and see.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      How exciting, I do hope it works out okay Ray. Keep updating, it is fascinating to read :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      The bit about not having Air is interesting and the need for acid. This is why i added Lemon Juice. I need to read it again, then some more. I will stick my head in the door often. I want to see if anyone else reads the Book.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Wow, that is a long document Ray, I will probably not be able to read it properly until later in the weekend. Still, it looks like it will be very interesting reading.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      Yes it is more book than Document. It is a very interesting read all the same. My fermentation seems to have stopped.I will let it run for a few more days to see what transpisres.There,s going to be failures but that,s good because i,ll learn from them.Maybe the Lemon Juice killed the natural yeast.

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Today I bottled the GB that had been fermenting for a few days. It smells absolutely /divine/, it's definitely been fermenting. I'm looking forward to tasting it in a few days but I don't know if I can wait that long...

      I have a couple of questions: In hte recipe you mention keeping the plant fed daily with 1tsp sugar and 0.5tsp ginger - do you mean freshly grated ginger or ground ginger here? And when I make the next batch, do I again freshly grate ginger into a muslin parcel and dump the plant out into the bucket with the rest of the water, then keep the contents of the muslin parcel as next time's plant? (roughly how much plant should I be using for the above 2L recipe?)

      Thanks once again for the hub, misty. It's been a fantastic help, as have your comments and replies :)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, yes it is definitely more of a book. I will have to wait a while to read it as my Mum goes into hospital tomorrow, and I won't have much reading time to spare. I will read it soon though :)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Richard, grated fresh or ground ginger should work equally well. The plant is usually divided into two halves, half you give away (traditionally) and half you use for your next batch, I don't think it matters how much you use as far as I can tell providing it is at least half of your plant based on the original recipe. I am not really sure I understand your other question, or what you are asking (sorry). I can only assume you might mean this: (Quoted from above article):

      "The gelatinous substance that remains in the muslin is your Ginger Beer Plant and should now be returned to its jar in a warm place, two thirds filled with dechlorinated water and fed daily with a teaspoon of sugar and half a teaspoon of ginger. Keep the level of dechlorinated water topped up until you use your Ginger Beer Plant next. Keep a lid on the jar (or a piece of muslin secured with an elastic band), but don't tighten it completely or your jar will explode, air has to be able to escape. As your plant gets bigger you will need to halve it and either some it to a friend so they can start their own plant, or discard it."

      Sorry if I can't respond to many comments over the next few days, but my mum is going into hospital tomorrow (Monday) and I need to be there for her and make sure she is okay. Will be back when I can. Good luck :)

      (actually right now Ray is more up to speed on this than I am, so perhaps he could offer you advice on this in more depth whilst I am unable to respond more fully myself).

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      Not much news from me, just sticking my head in the door to keep up with any News.

      Richard. I have no real Knowledge of the Ginger Beer Plant. I can only tell you that most people say it must be fed, i don't know that i would want to feed it every day, this would become a bit of a tie. You might take a look at the Ginger Beer group on Yahoo, there is a lot if information there about care. Do be sure you get the right Ginger Beer Group as one of them uses the Phrase Ginger beer for something entirely different.

      There seems to be very little real information about the plant in print. I would suggest you download the document from the Link i posted earlier in the week. Let me know how you get on.

      I plan to try a few times before giving up on trying to grow a plant.I don't want to get a plant just in case i contaminate my attempts to grow it.

      You might also want to consider splitting the plant into 2 separate jars. In case of accidents etc.

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Thanks guys.

      I read the document you posted, Ray - very interesting! I didn't realise microbiology was so advanced in 1879. They even mention a paper by Emil Hansen, who I've found out was the mycologist who discovered the yeast responsible for fermenting beer at the Danish Carlsberg brewery (and which is used to ferment almost all lager in the world today).

      I'm quite fond of home-fermentation. I keep a sourdough yeast culture alive for baking bread with, am currently maturing some plum wine under the stairs, and have made wild-yeast elderflower champagne (not a true champagne or wine, but closer to this kind of ginger beer) in the past. I'd really like to be able to add Ginger Beer Plant to that list!

      My question to Misty, which you may be able to answer Ray, is about the next time I make a batch of ginger beer. For my first batch I took the contents of the jam jar (cubed ginger, sugar and water, and evidently the wild yeasts and bacteria needed for fermentation) and added it to the sugar-water in the fermentation bucket, then added the muslin parcel full of grated ginger. Afterwards, following the instructions, I put the contents of the muslin parcel (a very sticky grated ginger blob) and put this into some sugar-water and have been feeding it. Next time I want to make Ginger Beer, do I do the same as before? i.e., do I put the jam jar contents into the sugar-water and then add a separate parcel of grated ginger, and keep the parcel afterwards?

      I hope everything at the hospital goes well, Misty. I have friends and family in hospitals at the minute. Hopefully when they are released we'll be able to celebrate with homemade ginger beer! (in fact I just heard one of the plastic bottles 'pop' as it expanded!)

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I never placed the grated or cubed Ginger in a muslin parcel Ray, I just kept adding it to the main mix. The straining through the muslin came later once the batch was done.

      Can't stay on longer now as need to be back up hospital tomorrow and see how Mum is recovering from surgery and what her specialist has to say. Really tired tonight (02.00am UK time here).

      The homemade ginger beer is sounding really appealing right now, but at the moment Strongbow Cider is having to suffice (not the same at all lol).

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      I have only used the muslin to cover the jar at this time. Coffee Filters were used to strain before bottling. We seem to have fermentation working again. I note that the Temperature was cooler on the day when fermentation stopped. Could also have been the added Lemon Juice. Strongbow or Ginger Beer, err, I need to test them both a few more times, to give them both a fair chance.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Ray, yes, I am sampling the Strongbow right now, and it is good, but I might persevere a bit longer just to make sure ;)

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Oh, whoops.... I misunderstood the directions. I kept only the little bundle of grated ginger and lemon zest as my plant and threw the strained stuff onto the compost... Fingers crossed that what I have will ferment and be usable next time!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That's a shame Richard, good luck with getting it going. The actual plant is the thing that moves gently around the jar and looks a bit like a blob from a lava lamp.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      Today is day 7 for my new batch. I am now considering my options ( Where did i dig that up ). Ginger beer or continue with my Ginger Beer Plant experiment. Ginger Beer Plant methinks. So i now need to cut off the Air to the yeast, tomorrow's job i think.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, why not try both Ray, but if doing the science stuff stick with the 'plant' as it should be far more interesting :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      I am going to stick with the plant this time.

      4:30am is much too early for Ginger Beer, i,ll have to have Tea and biscuits.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL again ,ahh well, all the more Ginger Beer for later :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      The starter is now in a Demijohn with Airlock. This will left now for a few weeks to see what develops. While waiting for something to happen or not i shall endeavor to find a natural source of the yeast Saccharommycetes. Mr M Ward seems to think it was found in Vegetable Shops.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      That was easy. Saccharommycetes is found on Grapes. Now i can try that. Grapes will be used with no Ginger for a few days to encourage a good growth of the yeast. Once it is well established the fresh Ginger can be added.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Saccharommycetes = Bread Yeast/ Bakers Yeast. Doh!! :-). This should have been obvious, bakers yeast would have been everywhere. Sorry for 3rd Post in susch a short time.

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Well, batch 1 of my ginger beer turned out very nice! A rather yeasty flavour which is surprising considering there's only wild yeast in there. After about a week it's still very sweet so I'm leaving it a little longer to let it get drier. The ginger flavour is also very subtle so next time I'll really try and squeeze all the juice out of the ginger.

      I'm fairly sure there'll be a 'next time' quite soon as I think my jam-jar ginger is still fermenting (though it hasn't turned into the lava lamp ginger beer plant yet, maybe it's just been too cold).

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      This is great, keep the info coming Ray. So are you going to stick to the grapes or buy some baker's yeast instead?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like you are doing really well too Richard. This is fun, especially hearing how you are both getting on and what the results of your efforts are producing. Keep on with the updates :)

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      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      I'm going to have to give this a try. I mean the making of the plant. First have to get me some new ginger. May try to grow ginger to, i like to learn new things and experiment.

      I make kefir, water and milk, and i think the maintenance of ginger beer plant will be similar. You can start a new batch or let it rest if you don't want a new batch.

      If you are intrested i'll give the directions on how i think it will work best.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Please feel free to add any such info the comments here Linda. The more the merrier and the more info this provides for anyone reading it. Thank you :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003

      I have made another Starter today. It,s not what is normally accepted. Grape ( for the yeast ), Fresh Ginger. I could have just purchased Bakers Yeast but it is not always labelled with the name of the yeast. No Lemon Juice as there will be acid in the grapes.

      Well Done Richard, I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labours.

      Loveley Sunny day here today. Temp Is still 11.5 outside, that's great.

      Saw my first swallow Saturday. I wondered if he would survive the the rain after such a long flight. He was feeding tonight i guess he is going to be fine :-). Odd how there's often one that will arrive back before the rest.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Can't wait to hear how it goes Ray, (and of course what the end result is like.)

      Weather here finally sunny today, but no idea how long it will last bearing in mind the recent rains. Still it was warm here today at least :)

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      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      This is how i make a very good kefir culture even when it is way down and i think it will work realy well with gbp too.

      When i want to give my waterkefir a rest and to let it clean itself, i put it in a jar with water and sugar and nothing more. But if you feel the gbp might need a little acid to help it along getting there faster, you could add some fresh lemon juice.

      I usualy let it sit longer then when i'm making kefir to drink, but it doesn't taste very well so i don't mind throwing it out.

      I have noticed that if i leave it in for one or two weeks they grow better then when i clean out the water every day. Ofcourse you can also just throw out three quarter of the jar and add new water and sugar, it will keep the sourness of the soulution and you won't lose the small gbp.

      I hope this helps a little with your experiments. And as soon as i make a start with my gingerexperiment i'll let you know (probably in a couple of days).

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Linda :)

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      Rya 4 years ago

      Hi Linda-Hoogenboom

      My Experiments have been to try to grow Ginger Beer Plant from scratch. This may not even be possible but i will keep trying for a while. I have added Lemon Juice in one of the starters and in the other i added grapes. The Lemon was to Add Just Acidity. The Next starter has Grapes, this was for acidity and wild yeast.

      It was good to see that you have used Lemon Juice in your Ginger Beer. I believe it is needed for the good growth of the bacteria. Thanks for your Input. I shall look forward to hearing more about your Ginger Beer Plant.Thanks :-)

      Richard:- The Ginger Beer that i made with no yeast is also quite sweet. I have also noted that it need to be warmer than than the Ginger Beer with added yeast. The brew with yeast was dry for me,i blended both brews.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Look at that i forgot to say hello. Hello :-) .

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Ray, hello back again :)

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      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Hi Ray

      I'm going to try to grow my onw gbp to.

      I like to experiment with things people say is hard or impossible.

      At this moment i only have kefir. The waterkefir i have is symilar but not exactly the same, so the care will probably be symilar to.

      Today i'll start my first attemd to grow my own gbp. And to grow my own gingerplant. So the coming days and weeks gone be exiting.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      The Grape,s may have been a bad plan.The starter was covered with a nice snowy white Mould today. This starter has now been consigned to the bin. Still it was a very pretty white Mould.

      Maybe different grapes will prove more fruitful ( sorry about that ). I will give it another whirl.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Ray, trial and error is a wonderful thing :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      One little thing i keep forgetting to mention is that the Ginger Beer Plant will not form if there is any air in the mixture. In the experiments that were done by Mr H Marshall Ward, he clearly states that none of the trials that had access to air ever grew Ginger Beer plant. There must be no air at all. So leaving the plant in the open Jar for the first week is probably counter productive if the Ginger Beer Plant is wanted. Maybe the next batch should be in a Demijohn with an Airlock from the start. What do you think?.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That actually sounds like a very good idea Ray, although I wonder what happens afterwards. I can only assume that once you finally do remove your plant through the neck of the demijohn, (tight squeeze) that it must stay as the plant in spite of now being exposed to the air, otherwise they would never have been able to pass it on as they did in the past. It must just be the initial stages that require a lack of air therefore. One other concern would be how to feed it during the first week or so if you can't access the inside of the demijohn without introducing air into the mixture.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      The answer is to make sure there is enough sugar to last for a while.Getting out of the Demijohn will only be a problem if i succeed.

      One of the other thing that comes up a lot is that the plant can double in size with each brew. Nobody mentions that it grows between brews, this is may be because it`s back in the jar where there is access to air. I guess it,s time to find another Demijohn and do a trial on a bigger starter.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Well worth trying Ray, but I am guessing ginger will also need to be in the demijohn in order for this to work :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Yes, that would indeed be added right at the outset.The first natural brew has is in a Demijohn already complete with Ginger.

      The plan now is to start another one going, adding all the ingredients. This could be left for as long as 3 weeks. It wont be good ginger beer but it will serve it`s purpose. Ginger wine maybe :-). You will have to bear with me while i play.

      I wonder how Richard and Linda are getting on with their efforts.

      Do you get an Email if someone writes to your Hub or do you need to check them every day?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, I get a notification that someone has commented emailed to me and then I need to come to the site to read and approve the comment before it becomes visible. I am on here every day anyway so it isn't a problem.

      Looking forward to hearing how your demijohn efforts go. A Ginger wine actually sounds lovely and I would be tempted to have a go at that myself as I have the demijohns, airlocks etc already. If yours turns out like wine can you give me your exact recipe and method please as I know my Mum would love the resulting brew if I made some :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Ginger wine is good. I have some Stones Ginger Wine for special occasions, like when i am thirsty :-).

      The new starter will be done Monday.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, my Mum loves Stones Ginger Wine, hence the reason I would like to make some ;)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I found this while cruising the WWW.

      2 oz fresh root ginger, chopped

      1 lb sultanas, chopped

      2 lb ripe bananas, chopped

      2 lb sugar

      1 tsp citric acid (or juice of a lemon)

      1 tsp nutrient

      1 tsp pectolase

      white wine yeast

      1. Put ginger & sultanas in a fermenting bin. Dissolve sugar in 5 pts of boiling water, and add.

      2. Boil bananas in 1 pt water for 20 mins, then strain the liquid into fermenting bin.

      3. When cooled to 20c, add yeast & additives

      4. Stir daily for four days, then strain into DJ, fit airlock

      5. Rack and ferment to dry as usual

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      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Here a little update.

      In my little ginger beer plant growing jar has no gbp yet, but i'll be feeding it today again.

      The idea of no air could indeed be the clou why it is hard to get the gbp growing. It would also be logical, beceause in the early days everything happened in closed bags, with no air added after closing.

      Might go and have look at doing something with a closed bag, maybe a zipplock, just to see what it will do.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, this might be a daft question but what do they mean by 'nutrient'? I am sure I can buy pectolase and white wine yeast online, but would really know what I was looking for when it came to searching for 'nutrient'.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Linda, thanks for the update. the ziplock bag might well prove a good idea. I suppose you could buy one of those heat sealers alternatively as they are great for totally sealing the appropriate kinds of bags.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Nutrient is yeast food. Most home brew hops will sell it to you. To be honest i never used to buy it. If the yeast work without it why go to the expense of adding chemicals. If it does not work then there is something wrong with the wine. Pectolase, ( from memory ) helps to prevent Haze. ( i looked it up ) Another item i would not be worrying too much over. If you were going to show the wine, or take it to garden fetes then it might be worth adding some.Not buying that will pay for the next batch.

      Linda. The Chances of getting GBP are probably quite small. Have you read the Marshall Ward document from the link 2 weeks ago. The document contains just about all you will need to know about GBP. Good Luck.

      Still trying here.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, that is helpful to know, now I just need to find a place I can buy a fermenting bin :)

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Hi Ray

      I'm reading it, but at the moment i don't have much energy, so it isn't going very fast.

      I like to try things, that are hard to do. Even if in the end it doesn't work i had fun trying.

      I'm kind of crazy in that way, i like the proces as much as the result. And it gives my brain something to work with, if i dont let it lose on this type of things, it won't let me sleep.

      This week i'm starting over, because i'm going to it in a different way. As soon as i have it ready to go i'll post it.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      It,s been very busy here for the past few days,the new starter has not been made yet.Maybe tomorrow will find some time.Have you found a brew bin yet?.

      I went swimming just outside of the Harbour in St Peter Port in 1971. It was the fist time i had been able to see to the bottom of quite deep water. It was the first time in my life that i had been scared by Height.I looked down while in the water, it was a long way down. It passed in just a few seconds,an amazing place to swim.

      Linda. The Challenge sometimes get,s the best of me. Several weeks to design and build an Electronic Ohm,s law calculator,just to see if i could.It will never be used.

      The Ginger beer Plant looks like it may be tougher. The plan is to keep doing it for now.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray,

      No I haven't found a fermenting bin yet, but I may have a lead as to where I can get one off someone who has given up home brewing. I have my Husband getting in touch with her as he is the one who knows her. Fingers crossed she hasn't already given her gear away yet.

      Funny how things change. These days they would not allow anyone to swim in the harbour, probably too many boats now so it could be dangerous. The old bathing pools up by the Aquarium are still open though, and of course as they are built into the rock at water level, the water in them gets changed every tide. I have to say that as a kid I loved swimming on the beaches or wherever I could over here, (somehow at that age you seem to be immune to the cold). Now days I find the water too cold to swim in and prefer to wait until I go abroad to hotter climates, or alternatively swim in swimming pools where they can be slightly heated. My 78 year old Step Dad is amazing though. He is the retired Fire Chief here, and throughout most of the Summer and into the Autumn he swims daily at Petit Bot Bay which is just down a bridle path outside their house. He is an incredibly strong swimmer and actually only looks about 60. He is fitter and stronger than most blokes I know half his age.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      My big starter is still fermenting quite happily. This brew has not been fed to at least 2 weeks,there should be no Air left in the Demijohn by now.Still not started the next batch. I must find some time soon.

      We were supposed to stay on the Island for 3 weeks, but i was ordered to leave. I had Caught Shingles and in the 70,s they did not allow people to stay on the Island with what was then considered a contagious disease. My friend Graham who was born on the Island returned with me.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      How exciting Ray, I am fascinated to hear how it goes next.

      Re-the Shingles, I never knew they had that law, how bizarre.

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Hi again :)

      It's been a busy couple of weeks so I haven't had the chance to make any more ginger beer or update you on my progress. The first batch of ginger beer I made was very sweet, even after I left it for a week with the cap loosened to ferment some more. It also tasted very yeasty (and one friend even described it as malty), something which surprised me as it only contains the natural yeast. I'm starting on batch 2 today, hopefully I will make it more ginger-flavoured this time (it was very subtle in the last lot). And this time I'll keep the right bit! What I had saved did ferment, but hasn't turned into the lava-lamp GBP at all. Regarding the anaerobic nature of the organisms, I was under the impression that that's why it's kept in water - to keep air away from it. Anyway, my fermenting bucket should be sterilised by now so off I go...

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the update Richard. I read that if you want it to become more dry in flavour you should loosen the cap of the plastic bottles and squeeze all the air out before resealing the bottle. This causes the bottle to expand over the next few days as the gas builds up in the ginger beer. Doing this process twice increases the dryness of the resulting brew.

      I think Ray will have an answer to your question about the water keeping the air away from the organisms, but I suspect it would not work as air will still get into the water if it is not in a sealed environment, hence the use of airlocks in winemaking etc.

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Here a little update.

      I have two experiments going at the moment.

      One is in a sealed bag and the other is in a "weckpot". They are standing for about 4 days or so. In the weckpot there is a slight layer of white developing. In the bag there isn't a real layer but there are getting white spots to. The white isn't mold or something like that, i think it is the yeast starting to grow. I started both with compleet ginger grated, mixed with sugar and a little water. We'll see what will happen.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the update Linda, it will be interesting to hear the comparisons after another week :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      The Demijohn is still bubbling. Ginger beer/wine is very clear, even though it,s still fermenting.

      The Ginger seems to be changing Colour, it's becoming opaque. Sediment in the bottom of the Demijohn is thicker and when i move the the Demijohn it looks like it,s clinging in fine strands. The Lava lamp effect is evident for a while after it gets disturbed.

      Richard the liquid in the Jar or Demijohn will absorb air. The document actually mentions that and then goes on to say that Air must be full excluded to get any Chance of growing the plant. That was why i fitted the Airlock. I reckon the C02 is heavier than Air so the air will be ejected,maybe. The other thing is, it needs light to develop also.

      Linda, I had fungus on one starter i was very pretty bout the smell was awful,I had to bin it.

      Went Fishing on Tuesday. Caught 6 Mackerel. What a lovely Day it was..

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the latest info Ray, it sounds as if all is going really well.

      Re-the fishing, well the mackerel fishing around the Channel Islands (where I live) is hard to beat. You should come over sometime. Actually all the fishing around the Channel Islands is hard to beat, so if you are into sea fishing this is one of the best places in the world to enjoy it :) Personally I prefer coarse fishing, and hence why we have the only coarse fishing lake open to the general public on the island (Guernsey). If you ever come over you will be more than welcome to fish it free of charge, (the Carp go up to the late 30lb's in weight).

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      30lb + I have a mate that would love it. I only fish beaches :-). I think i only take a fishing rod because it gives me an excuse to sit on the beach.

      I may get back to the Isle one day, it would be a great to see it again.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL, the beach fishing is great here too, as is fishing off the rocks or from boats. Take your pick :) If you do come over bring your mate and we will give him a free days fishing here at the lake (rod licenses are not required in Guernsey). We can always lend him gear if he doesn't want the hassle of bringing his own with him.

      You can take a look at our lake if you are interested. The website for the lake is www.lesrouvetslake.com

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Hé here a little update from my starters.

      The starter in the jar is doing very well. It starting to make flake's and it looks very well.

      The starter in the bag seems to have a harder time, but it's aire free and blowing up the bag to a baloon.

      Next week next update.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      How exciting Linda, I am particularly interested in your experiment with the bag, just make sure it doesn't explode on you as there won't be an airlock like there is in a demijohn.

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      Richard 4 years ago

      Just opened my second batch of ginger beer and it's beautiful :D Much more gingery and sweeter than the first time. I squeezed all the liquid out of the grated ginger this time which I neglected to do the first time, which accounts for the extra gingery flavour, but I'm not sure why it's not as dry as before. Maybe just luck.

      My plant seems to be doing OK in its jam jar, the ginger it still looking very stringy and hasn't attained the lavalamp effect yet. It's open to the air with only a square of muslin guarding the top, so perhaps it won't ever attain that, but it's definitely fermenting as it's given me 2 batches of ginger beer so far!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like you are doing great Richard. Well done. I still haven't had a chance to make any yet this year as I am up to my neck in my vegetable allotment right now. Hope to get to it in a month or two though :)

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      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi All, I've just started experiments to start the elusive GBP plant from scratch.

      So far I've taken your original method, and it seems to be working great. Its gone quite cloudy within 3 days, and smells wonderful. I can also see tiny white powdery/globules settling at the bottom. I suspect these are just yeasts but we'll see. Sometimes I see the lava effect but its just the ginger pieces.

      I added a bit of water to mine this evening, as I think it will get more acidic with time. My understanding is the process produces lactic acids, which make the solution more and more acidic. While this is good, it can be that if it gets too acidic it can damage the yeasts and kill the bacteria. I might try to calculate the acidity with some litmus paper.

      I have a feeling that the reduced access to oxygen will be key. When the plant has no oxygen, it will use an anaerobic metabolic pathway to process the sugars in the solution. Keeping air in will allow other biological pathways to function, thus producing different results.

      Unfortunately I don't have a safe airlock for testing yet, I might try to devise a way of keeping the air out but the pressure low. If the pressure increases in the vessel the acidity will also increase, possibly too much. This might also be detrimental.

      I was very surprised about how quickly it got going, its been pretty warm here in Vienna, so maybe that's why.

      Best of luck, I'm willing try lots of different methods if you have any wacky ideas or thoughts about how to do this. I'm also reading Ward's paper, its very interesting. I'll post a summary of any extra information that I can glean from it that might be useful.

      Thanks for all the helpful insights so far.

      James

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Welcome James, I am sure you will find our little group very helpful and will also quickly enjoy sharing updates with those whose experiments are also well underway and ongoing.

      Good Luck with yours, it sounds like they are going well so far :)

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      Richard 4 years ago

      I had an interesting development today. The entirety of ginger in the plant has risen up in the water - not floating completely on top, but before it's been sitting at the bottom. There's still some sediment of sugar and ground ginger at the bottom so my assumption is there's a buildup of gas caught in the ginger mass.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That does sound intriguing Richard, and if it moved about in the jar regularly I would be tempted to think it could be the actual 'Ginger Beer Plant', but you are not doing it using the airless method that Ray says is essential. He may well have some suggestions as to what or why this has happened when he next checks in here.

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      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hello Misty, Linda, Richard and Ray!

      A quick update, I think my initial "open" fermentation has been going a bit quick. The GBP solution I made smells very gingery, but also sour. I did read on http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/ginger-beer-plant-... that the real GBP can have slight sour smell also. (Almost like sour milk, but no too unpleasant). Did any of you also experience this?

      In any case I decided to drain my ginger beer plant, and put it in fresh water. I kept the liquid and bottled it with more water, ginger, sugar and lemon juice. (Although its just a primitive mix of everything in 2L PET bottles). I figured I could try filtering off the bits after its gone fizzy, and re-bottle later.

      The rest now has some added ginger cubes, and sugar to continue the GBP.

      I'm going to try find some equipment this weekend to help me create a closed GBP fermentation, with a pressure valve, but also one where I can keep air out, but prevent the pressure from raising above atmospheric pressure.

      I'll keep you updated.

      To Richard, sounds good that its rising. Mine has also done this, it definitely indicates there is some fermentation occurring. Hopefully a GBP plant will spawn soon.

      James

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 and all

      Still fermenting here, must have been going for at least 4 weeks without any feeding. The Demijohn will need to be topped up soon or the yeast will stop working because of the Alcohol content.

      Richard It has to be gas in the yeast, you may also be producing some gel. The need for it to be airless was checked many times by Mr Ward. The actual words don,t come to mind. He did state that no Ginger beer plant formed in any of the specimens with access to any air. Go on prove him wrong ;-). The Gel is good,needed for GBP, you may want to get an airlock on that. Why bother if you are making Ginger Beer that you like already.Cos you have the GBP bug now and you want to grow it. That's the next 10 years of your life sorted out, busy busy busy.

      No Carp in my Demojohn.

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      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi All,

      I decided that my original smells too funny, and so I've started 2 more. This time, they're both sealed (except for feeding time). One I have crushed the garlic into a mush, and the other is just large chunks.

      I have still kept the original, and want to see what happens. The smell is turning to a kind of "pineapple gumdrops" smell. This could indicate the presence of esters (formed from organic acids, and alcohols) which would make sense but its just a guess. This would mean that alcohol has definitely been produced.

      My 3 bottles are still going, albeit very slowly. Its been 4 days now and I'm not sure if any of them have expanded at all. I'll keep going.

      James

    • profile image

      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Just gone through the feeding time.

      My original is now extremely strong, I had a sniff as I stirred in some sugar and more ginger, it must be very alcoholic. Still has a pineapple smell too. I'm thinking I should start making beer from it again.

      Nothing special to note from the new starters, just fed them, I'm sure they'll pick up soon.

      I put marks on my bottles so I can see the level go down as they went down, and within a few hours each has gone down by about 1 cm. So something is happening.

      James

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Nice one James, thanks for the really informative update, but garlic?? this sounds a horrid ingredient to include as I associate it more with bolognese sauces as opposed to a sweet gingery drink like Ginger Beer :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      A friend dropped in today and we tested the Ginger Beer. I opened the bottle, very little fizz, only a few bubbles. It was quite a let down. Then i made a mistake i poured some into my friends Glass, i woke up abruptly, like Champagne. Have you seen the Mentos and Coke demonstration, it was just like that. Carpet, Cupboard, old PC, box of components and me soaked. I stuck my palm over it and headed out the door, it did the same again outside. Anyways it did taste good, most of the sweetness was gone. Nice bite but not Hot. My friend wants to make some now.

      The Demijohn is still fermenting slowly. I have boiled some water today to add to the mix, that will hopefully keep it going for another month. Shame that it will allow air into the system but that should soon get used up, with any luck.

      I turned down an offer of GBP again today.I am still not ready to quit.

      Maybe Bass Fishing on Friday , weather permitting.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, did you know that the only reason Champagne fizzes is because of impurities in the glass. Each bubble contains a miniscule fragment of dirt essentially. If the glass was 100% clean (impossible) the Champagne would be completely flat when poured!

      To make the Ginger Beer hotter try adding a chilli pepper during the fermenting stages, this will really give it a kick apparently.

      Let me know how you progress.

      Good luck with the Bass fishing by the way. We were given some fresh Bass yesterday as it goes, but we passed it on to my Mum and Step Dad as they adore fish far more than we do :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 and all

      The fishing never happened this week. Rain and Wind put a stop to that.

      The Demijohn is fermenting quite rapidly again. Still no luck with GBP though. I reckon another 1994 experiments should sort it out.

      Garlic? Italian Ginger Beer maybe. Garlic is a little Oily, it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

      Chilly would certainly make it hotter, but i am not ready for that yet. I need GBP ( stamping my feet ) first :-).

      I have never though about marking my bottles, unless my brother is visiting. I will give that a shot on the next batch.

      I have tried Ginger cubes but they seem to hang on to the flavour rather than imparting it in to the Ginger Beer. I stick mine in the blender now, more taste, less ginger.

      The last Ginger root is in the Kitchen and producing Buds. Just need to find a place to plant it now.

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      I seem to be missing a couple of posts. Joined the Hub to see if that fixes it.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, not sure which posts you could be missing apart from your most recent one which I just approved, (so you should be able to see it now). All the others are there and have been for ages.

      Keep up with the GBP experiments, I am sure that you will hit on success soon :)

      Shame the fishing didn't happen, but hopefully you will get a chance soon when the weather finally decides to settle down.

      Re-ginger root, why don't you try growing it in a planter bag or a large plant pot. That way you don't need to 'find room' for it :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Maybe i never hit the Post button. It,s not important. I registered tonight and i,ll now get an email when someone posts, that will be a lot better..

      The post i am missing was about Bubbles,yes they need help. I don't know if you have ever made a cloud bottle but they need a little smoke before you can see the clouds in them.

      The Fishing will keep for another day. No Bass for supper , yet.

      I will try planting the Ginger Root it will be interesting as i,ve never seen Ginger growing.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      It looks better viewed from a distance.

      https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-as...

      Picture from Ginger Beer today. I am not even going to suggest it`s Ginger Beer Plant, but do take a look. It looks very interesting. There seems to be a lot of them.

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Hé here a long overdeu update.

      The bag ferment doesn't work anymore. Have to find a bigger bag, so the yeast has enough food.

      The bottle has the same problem.

      On the other hand the ginger roots started growing and are doing very well. The are going to be planted next week.

      So find some new materials and start over again.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Yes the text would vanish Ray, but only because you left the page before posting the comment. If you posted the comment first, then checked the link, you would not have lost the text. Once the text is posted it will vanish if you refresh the page or revisit the page, but only until I see I have received a comment, read it and then approve it. At this point the whole world can see it :)

      No, I never made a cloud bottle, but it sounds intriguing. This is the kind of thing that makes a great short article for Hubpages by the sound of things.

      Good Luck with the Ginger Root growing.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      PS. Great picture by the way. Looks intriguing. Guess we'll just have to wait and see how they develop :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Linda, sounds like your experiments are progressing nicely, but you just need larger vessels. Keep on with the updates, and feel free to post photo links too if you have any.

      I would love to also know how your ginger root growing goes, and I expect Ray might well find the information useful too as he wants to have a go at growing it himself.

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Growing ginger root is very simple. when the root has a nice new bub, just put it in soil and it wil grow into a plant. Then it will make more ginger roots. It dies above ground in the winter (when it gets cold) and you can dig up the root then. Or you can just cut of a piece at a time of the growing plant during the season.

      It will grow in a pot or just in the garden. At least thatr is the information i found. I'll keep updates over how they do.

      And when i have time i'll take some pictures.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 and all

      Thanks for the tip about leaving the page. I should have realized it would happen if i clicked my picture link.

      I would also like to how Linda plans to grow the Ginger. The bag would probably be ok if you just drained some liquid then topped it up with a little water and sugar.

      I will give think about a Cloud Bottle Hub later. Right now i need to sleep. Wife's dog kept us up all night, noise from railway repairs during the night had scared him.

      Nice to see so many people here Today :-). Ginger Beer is so much fun.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Linda, that sounds great. I might try growing some myself at some point (I just love growing anything edible) :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi again Ray, looks like Linda has explained how to grow ginger root really well in her most recent comment if you want to have a go too :)

      If you go down the actual writing of hubs route, make sure you apply for and get an Adsense ID (ideally after you have written at least 10 hubs). That way you an put the ID into your account settings here, and then you can get paid based on the automated adverts that appear, either through Adsense, or through the HP Ad Program (depending on which one you choose, personally I earn far more on HP Ads).

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      If anyone else out of our group is interested in starting to write here and earn some extra money, please can you join up through my referral link as I actually do earn a few pennies each time you do this way (and it doesn't effect your personal earnings at all). The join up link is:

      https://hubpages.com/user/new

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I am not sure i really want to write a Hub yet.

      Thanks to Linda for explaining how to grow Ginger. We,ll have a go at that.

      Back to the Ginger beer.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You don't have to write at all if you don't want to Ray, it is just so you know that if you do decide to you can earn a small income from doing so :) I do quite well and earn well into three figures each month now, although I have been writing here for over 4 years. Lots of people don't choose to write though, instead preferring to read, comment, interact in the forums etc.

      Good luck with the ginger root growing :)

    • Linda-Hoogenboom profile image

      Linda-Hoogenboom 4 years ago from Oss Noord Branbant Netherlands

      Ray. Yesterday i wrote a hub on growing ginger roots. Maybe it is helpful for you.

      For the experiments, i'm going to try it with a bag that has a tap, so i can let the excess presure out every day. I hope to find a big one, 5 litres or more. I think that might work.

      And the jars i use are also availeble in 5 litres so thats my next path.

      And i might go and find myself a wine making vessle with an airlock.

      I'll keep you posted on how i get on with my projects.

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      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi All!

      Just to inform everyone about the Garlic, I was using a Garlic crusher to crush the Ginger. I guess that's some kind of Freudian slip! So of course its only Ginger in there.

      Ray! Congratulations, I think you succeeded in producing Ginger Beer Plant. I bought some on the internet, as I wanted to have a control against which I can compare my own GBP when I finally make it.

      I have to tell you your picture looks identical, a semi-transclucent goo, but with that small darker spot in the middle.

      I've also made a batch from the real GBP, and I have to tell you it makes excellent ginger beer, and pretty quickly too.

      Ray if you would like, once you have got your's growing a little bit, I'd be happy to exchange a sample of mine with a sample of yours via post.

      I can then get my friend to analyse it under his microscope to see what bacteria and yeasts are in it.

      I'm going to re-read through all your old posts and try to replicate your setup as you seem to have found some essential key to accomplishing this.

      My main discovery for this week, if you keep fermenting standard ginger root, keeping it exposed you end up with Ginger Wine, or Ginger Schnapps. (Plus a big headache!)

      One thing that's key with the GBP, is the yeast inside it produces alcohol, but the bacteria converts this into CO2 gas mainly, so alcohol levels don't build up too much.

      Hi Linda,

      My wife is also attempting to grow some ginger root herself, she wants to supply my experiments eventually. We already saw a shoot coming through.

      It's my father-in-law's birthday this weekend, and my present is some authentic ginger beer, and a Ginger Beer Plant.

      Nice to read all your updates, Ray's success has got me rather intrigued.

      James

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 and all

      Had another Ginger beer plant recipe from a friend, from a 1930,s book. It states it`s a recipe for Growing Ginger Beer Plant but sadly it`s the normal Ground Ginger and yeast recipe. Wife thinks i am doing it wrong, i should be using ground ginger according to her. Shall i tell her that was the 2nd batch i did. Nah, It will give me an Excuse to start another batch .

    • profile image

      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      I just had some more thoughts for Ray about his new GBP. It seems to me that out on the other forums people keep bringing up the idea of making GBP from scratch, are instantly shot down by some commercial interest saying its not the real thing. It has to be a particular strain of bacteria and yeast for it to be "the real deal".

      Thinking about this from a scientific point of view, this is non-sense! The ginger beer plant is so called because it is a system that produces ginger beer. Much like a power plant produces energy.

      So if you produce something, that has a symbiotic relationship in which a yeast ferments sugar into alcohol, and that is surrounded by bacteria that converts the alcohol into CO2 gas then you have produced a "real" GBP.

      It doesn't matter what the culture is, as long as it carries out the same process.

      Now some cultures might vary in efficiency, and therefore produce slightly different brews etc. I have therefore come to the conclusion, that buying the official GBP is purely for purists who wish to collect a specific culture. Or at-least a fast-track method for getting started.

      Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

      James

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi James

      I believe i already commented but here,s my take on it. It could not have come from a Lab, because nobody knew what it was until Marshall Ward spent 10 years or so studying it in his Lab. It was probably grown by accident. I do not believe all of the GBP could have come from just one accident in one place, there must have been 1000,s of people brewing the Ginger Beer all over the UK. I would also think that when the GBP was passed around often it was just yeast, the lucky people managed to grow GBP. The relationship between the Bacteria and the Yeast and how they got started is all in Marshall Wards Paper/Book. The Actual GBP does not Vary, what is mixed in with it after its passed around does vary quite a lot..That would probably account for the differing flavours. All some or none of this may or may not be right, i only read the book and that does not make me any kind of expert on the subject.. Yeat and Ginger will do the Job, for me it`s about growing the plant, i don't really mind if it makes better Ginger Beer i am happy with what i have made to date. I believe it will be more down to luck if i ever achieve it.

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      One day i am going to find a better spell checker.

      I missed a Post that James made . James i will be happy to swap if and when i get it going :-).

    • profile image

      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi All,

      I have a question about Lemon juice. I was instructed to feed my GBP with sugar (10g per 100ml H2O) and a "good squeeze" of lemon juice.

      The first time, I squeezed the lemon through a fine sieve so only lemon juice entered the solution.

      The second time, I used a juicer, and poured direct into the GBP's freshly prepared sugar solution.

      However 24hours later, it had a horrible sour/vinegar smell, coming from the top where the lemony sludge/flesh was floating.

      Did anyone else notice this with lemons? I also noticed a hint of that smell in my first brew, and wondered if anyone had an alternative to lemons? Perhaps ensure a well filtered juice will be better.

      James

    • profile image

      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi Ray,

      I also read a bit of Wards paper, unfortunately I haven't had time to read it thoroughly yet. I found it fascinating reading it, how clearly he writes and its full of interesting information. I especially like how he mentions directly in the paper where he got samples from, (e.g. mr so-and-so, of Barnaby street). Gives you a real sense that this was a real person who wrote it, and you can imagine him carrying out all the experiments.

      I fear today's academic papers are a little more dry!

      As you say, he identified a bacteria and yeast which must be present, and the other stuff is essentially "contamination". I do believe that its possible for other strains to form similar relationships like Kefir grains. However if someone produces such a "semi-transclucent" milky globule its probably GBP. As ward says, the bacteria and yeast are very common in household kitchens.

      I also think its likely that it was independently grown by 100's/1000's of households from the start. Even if it wasn't always the exact same stuff.

      I believe the GBP was also shared around between friends and family quite a bit. Just like the german friendship bread (sour dough) affectionately known as Susse Hermann. Because of this, it would only take a few hundred "starter" plants to populate the nations larders.

      I'm trying to find myself a nice demijohn and airlock to start try and reproduce your conditions. Do you know of any good sources online.

      I'm stuck in Vienna at the moment, and they don't seem to have any good home-brew stores. I know in Bristol there's an excellent shop on Gloucester Road called Brewers droop, so I might try to get one from them over the summer.

      James

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sorry I have not checked in here for a few days guys, just been really busy and then I was away at my Sister's last night. Back now though. I did at least manage to approve the comments though :)

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi James a friend of mine from Aus had some gear posted by the Homebrew Shop in Exeter. I can try and find the name if you think it will be of use to you.

      I used fresh Lemon and a Juicer, noticed no problems.I did add a little Baking powder to remove some of the Acidity.

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizons2003

      Welcome home :-).

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray :)

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      jameswalmsley 4 years ago

      Hi Ray,

      I've since been filtering, and had no problems. I was under the impression a bit of acidity was good, or does the baking powder prevent from increasing too much?

      I was told that Potassium bitartrate (cream of tartar, from wine production) will make the GBP grow quicker, as its a good source of potassium which the plant likes.

      I'm using those jars with the clamps and rubber seals (but with the rubber seals removed) so they are not air-tight. After a few days (its quite hot here now) there can be a slight vinegar smell which masks the yeastiness.

      Someone told me that vinegar smells in brewing can mean you have bad bacteria in the mix, has anyone else heard this/noticed it?

      Thanks for the homebrew shop in Exeter recommendation, I'll try to track them down on the web.

      James

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 and all

      My Brew has really slowed this week, i am going to have to add more sugar to get it going again.

      James, Vinegar smell is normally caused by the Vinegar fly. If it`s a strong smelling Vinegar then you need remove the Ginger Beer plant, give it a good rinse and hope it survives.

      I added baking powder for 2 reasons. Water here is very soft and Ginger Beer plant does like a bit of hardness in the water. It will also help keep the Acid levels down after adding the lemon juice, i am told it helps the yeast, may be an old wives tale but no harm in giving it a go. Cream of Tartar , from memory is acid from apples. Lemon Juice can be used instead. Check it though, my head is full and often the pages overlap :-) ***I just checked my Info, it,s wrong but not far off the mark, lemon juice will normally suffice.***

      Shop Is called Quay Side Homebrew He has Posted stuff to a mate of ours in Australia several times in the past, so i guess he would do the same for you.

      Fished Lyme Bay on Sunday Evening. 2 of us fished we caught 2 Dogfish, 1 each. Can,t win em all.

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      hi mistyhorizon2003

      It,s gone very quiet in here. Where did everyone go?.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Good question Ray, perhaps they are busy dealing with flooding or something. I know right now I am stressing over the levels of rainfall which are preventing me getting on to my allotment to weed it prior to my going away on the 16th July. I can see the weeds getting bigger and bigger, but the ground is too waterlogged to walk on it, (it is a heavy clay soil). Haven't been able to get on here nearly as much therefore.

    • Ray Lyford profile image

      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Clay is always a lot of work and far worse when it`s wet. You can make it lighter by adding compost. We used old grow bags that people were throwing out and just kept spreading them in the garden. It takes a long time to find enough used bags but it is cheap and works. Farm manure would also help but far too many people complain about the smell. I always put Newspapers in the furrow before planting beans. Keeps them moist in dry weather and breaks down to make the clay less cloggy.

      My Ginger beer i think will be wine now. It`s been on for quite a few weeks. The demijohn is now 3 parts full and still fermenting. It does clear very well and only take a few day to settle after being disturbed. I will probably start a new batch soon and add more Ginger and a wine yeast to this one. There's nothing Happening with the Gel like Substance.

      Did you do and Ginger Wine?..

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I so wish this were practical for me Ray, but my allotment is over 100ft long by 18 feet wide (see my website grow-vegetables-at-home.com ) . I have had truck loads (and I mean tipper trucks) of raw seaweed put on to it, horse manure etc. It really is just too big for adding used compost to be either practical, or cost effective. I even have to have the allotment ploughed and then rotavated by tractor every year. I usually win plenty of first places at every show, in fact I have won best root vegetable in show two years running with my long carrots (grown in oil drums of sand with boreholes created that I fill with my special compost recipe). I also won best exhibit in vegetable section last year with a range of my produce on a 6' x 4' run of table. Weather as it is this year I am guessing I will lose both of those trophies to people who have huge greenhouses to grow in, (which I don't). I guess there is always next year of course ;)

      I haven't done the Ginger Wine as the 'friend' with the brewing equipment never went back to Richard (Hubby) to say if she still had it, so I am back to square one. I expect it will end up being a Winter project now, and then only if I can obtain a fermenting bin.

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      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I can see how that would be difficult.

      Fermenting Bin? you planning mass production :-). The largest batch we ever made was 25 Litres of Mulberry wine, we had a tree in the Garden. Here we have a tiny garden, so seldom grow anything.

      I just looked at the time, i cant believe its that late. Thats the problem with Online games the time just races past without me noticing.

      Men's Final at Wimbledon later, i shall be watching Murray win that. I really don't like Television but i will watch the Tennis.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Ray, it was just that the recipe you posted for me earlier in the thread quoted the need for a fermenting bin. Quote:

      2 oz fresh root ginger, chopped

      1 lb sultanas, chopped

      2 lb ripe bananas, chopped

      2 lb sugar

      1 tsp citric acid (or juice of a lemon)

      1 tsp nutrient

      1 tsp pectolase

      white wine yeast

      1. Put ginger & sultanas in a fermenting bin. Dissolve sugar in 5 pts of boiling water, and add.

      2. Boil bananas in 1 pt water for 20 mins, then strain the liquid into fermenting bin.

      3. When cooled to 20c, add yeast & additives

      4. Stir daily for four days, then strain into DJ, fit airlock

      5. Rack and ferment to dry as usual

      Hmm, not sure of the solution to these quantities without a fermenting bin (not to mention the method).

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      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      You dont have to make that recipe, there must be dozens of others. The Sultana's and Banana's will give it a powerful taste. I will see what else i can find.

      It,s awful being a Roger Federer fan and watching him beat Murray. The only time i have ever wanted Federer to be the runner up..

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Ray, that would be great :)

      Sorry about the tennis result, must have been a tricky one for you to watch. Still, at least someone you liked won either way ;)

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      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Found this :-

      2 oz fresh root ginger, chopped

      1 lb sultanas, chopped

      2 lb ripe bananas, chopped

      2 lb sugar

      1 tsp citric acid (or juice of a lemon)

      1 tsp nutrient

      1 tsp pectolase

      white wine yeast

      1. Put ginger & sultanas in a fermenting bin. Dissolve sugar in 5 pts of boiling water, and add.

      2. Boil bananas in 1 pt water for 20 mins, then strain the liquid into fermenting bin.

      3. When cooled to 20c, add yeast & additives

      4. Stir daily for four days, then strain into DJ, fit airlock

      5. Rack and ferment to dry as usual

      I had some friends over a few nights ago, it went something like this.

      Try this Homebrew Ginger Beer. Nice mate. How do i make it, where do i get the stuff. How long does it take?.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Errrm Ray, I think you are having a 'senior moment' as that is the same Ginger Wine Recipe you gave me before, and that leaves the same problem over not having a fermenting bin lol.

      Nice to know your Ginger Beer went down so well with your mates. I would still like to know the alcohol content you got it up to, but the hydrometer would have to be used to determine that.

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      Ray Lyford 4 years ago from Exeter, Devon

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Oh dear cant believe i posted the wrong one. I am having a senior week i think.

      I,ll have another look soon.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Never mind, sounds like a result of too much well brewed Ginger Beer lol. Any time you find a good Ginger Wine recipe it would be great, but preferably based on the recommendation of someone who has made it before, as no doubt there are hundreds online, but they may not be very good so a recommendation is always preferable :)

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Hello all from the states. I have started a ginger beer plant from scratch as described first using raw ginger root chopped with the bark on. Then fed ground raw ginger root and sugat as described. I am at day 5 and it smells wonderful and has the lava lamp thing going on but small pieces and bubbles are few and small. Hoping it will get a little more energetic in the next few days. Cannot wait to brew some ginger beer and tip a a traditional dark and stormy.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like you are doing ever so well Rambunctious. Do come back with any progress updates as you go along. Thanks for sharing your experiences so far with us :)

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      When I first started the culture I was only feeding 1 tsp of sugar and ground fresh ginger. The last 3 days I increased this to 2 tbsp ginger and sugar and the fermentation has become quite vigorious. From my perspective the ginger beer plant is basically a small scale version of ginger beer without the lemon juice. I plan to make my first ever batch tomorrow 4 gal. Go big or go home I guess. Hope my friends like it. Because there getting some.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Wow, that is a lot of ginger and sugar, so I will be extremely keen to hear how this works out for you Rambunctious. Keep the posts coming :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      The Ginger Wine is still fermenting quite well. It will be separated from the Ginger root soon. It clears within 2 to 4 days of being disturbed. I will try to do some pictures soon.

      Not been around much due to a Chest Infection, but i am still reading the hub. I am pretty much better now.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      So sorry to hear you have been unwell Ray, glad you are still reading though. Hopefully you will soon be back to normal. Hope the Ginger Wine turns out well, (I look forward to the pics).

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Well it is officially brewing 12L filtered declorinated water 3 cups casting sugar, 3.5 cups brown sugar , 2 lemons juice and zest, 3 key limes juice and zest, 12 whole cloves, 8 oz chopped ginger. I will let you know how it looks in about 3 days for bottleing. So far smells and tastes great.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Looking forward to hearing the next update Rambunctious, sounds great so far :)

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      Almorr 4 years ago

      Hello Mistyhorizon just discovered your ginger beer plant hub, Ginger Beer was a non alcoholic drink that was very popular where I live in Scotland during the 1950's. I sometimes by a 2 Litre bottle at the supermarket, it is manufactured by the same makers as Irn Bru, there factory is only 2 miles from where I live in Cumbernauld. Perhaps someday I will try from your recipe to make my own, but I think that is a big maybe, homemade Ginger Beer sounds excellent, it might not be a fizzy as the bottled commercial brand.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Alan, I must admit I drink the commercial, fizzy and non-alcoholic ginger beer all the time, although I like the 'Old Jamaican' brand the best. I am sure you could still have a go at making this ginger beer if you reduced the recipe by half or two thirds in order to reduce the resulting quantities. This of course has the added advantage of ending up alcoholic like the original ginger beer was in the 1940's. Yummy :)

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Hi Misty,

      Sorry for the delay but fermentation was very slow at first just started to pickup the last two days. Bottled today and tasted an uncabonated version. Very good can taste the citrus and ginger very dry not too sweet. So in fear I was too late in bottleing, I added an small amount of sugar hoping to help charging the bottles with co2. I will let go a couple of days checking if bottles are hardening and then I wIll chill them out and see how it turned out. I can already see how a good dark rum would work well with this..... YUM!

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great news Rambunctious, I really hope you can get the 'fizz' into it as that makes or breaks it for me. Let us know how it goes and if adding the sugar does the trick :) (hope you remembered to squeeze the air out the bottles first or they won't be able to expand and show you they are filling with gas).

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Only 4 hours later and the bottles are already feeling somewhat firm. I think I have a winner here, cannot wait to try the fizzy stuff. I wish I had a hydrometer to check the specific gravity to determine proof but I am thinking pretty high as to the dryness and the amount of sugar added at the beginning. Too bad I am not more scientific about this stuff. If it is great I may never be able to reproducd it. LOL

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds really good Rambunctious. I would advise investing in a hydrometer asap. I have one and everyone seems to borrow it off me, yet I recall I only paid a few pounds for it on ebay so they are not expensive to buy. Can't wait to hear how the final result turns out :)

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Well I have now tried my ginger beer several times the carbonation is weak but as for the alcohol content must be high as I can only consume 1-2 8 oz glasses and need to stop due to fuzzyness. Note: I am a regular consumer of alcoholic beverages. My friends who have tried it do like it and have the same overall effect. So I will give my experiment an overall pass however maybe next time a little less fermentation time.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Still, it sounds good for a first attempt. Perhaps a couple of sessions of squeezing the air out of the bottle and allowing the gas to expand it again will improve the carbonation in your next batch. Let us know how it goes :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Just checking.. The Ginger wine has stopped fermenting at long last.. It is looking very clear. I will try it soon.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Wow, it should be good by now as it has been fermenting for ages. You really should check the alcohol level as it must be pretty high by now I would think.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I will check the Taste several times, if i get light headed i will know how much alcohol there is :-)

      I Purchased a Biolux NV microscope a few weeks ago, now i can see the yeast multiplying.

      After several months waiting for appointments i have finally been told i get to keep my disability. Having heard horror stories from other people, i am quite glad to have that out of the way. They were very nice people, nothing like the stories i have been told or read about.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Congrats on getting to keep your disability, makes a change to hear that someone was actually treated in the manner they were entitled to, i.e. with respect and compassion as opposed to the authorities looking for any way possible to wriggle out of their responsibilities.

      That microscope sounds fun. I suppose if I still worked at the vets surgery I could have done the same thing on theirs, but although I probably still could if I asked them, I doubt I would get around to taking a sample all that way, (so much nicer to have the equipment at home).

      Let me know how the taste test goes. If your next comment is pure gobbledegook I will know it went well ;) lol

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      The Microscope has been in a lot of sales lately for just £39.99

      20 - 1280 mag and comes with Video camera so it can be used on a PC. It has the lens's as well so it can be used without camera..

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the info Ray. Right now money is really tight, so whilst that is a very good price I still can't stretch to it for a few months at least (a good few hefty bills to clear first). Perhaps I can look at it again in January and hope the price is still low due to January sales or something.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      You can Hope so. I will try to remember to get the ginger wine sorted this evening. I hope you get get some luck with your finances, i know what it,s like to struggle with money, cant say i ever liked it.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      No it isn't much fun Ray, but no doubt finances will improve once Christmas is out of the way and a few bills are tool

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Lets hope you have a better New Year :-)

      I tested the ginger wine last night. It needs more Ginger. I Used only 1 root and ground it down well. Nothing else added.Pleasantly dry, not like cheap dry wines.

      So this is what i think a basic Gallon of Ginger wine will need.

      3 Ginger Roots. ( i did mine in a food processor )

      2lb Sugar. ( cane sugar will add to the flavour, make it darker )

      8oz Sultanas. This will add a lot to the flavour. Don't mash them.

      Wine Yeast . Bakers yeast will work but i found it quite slow.

      I would not add more than 8oz of Sultanas as they can give the wine an overpowering flavour. I guess some people might like that.

      This will be a dry wine. Not too dry though.

      I will try this next.

      .........................................

      I still have 1 Demijohn fermenting. Yet another attempt at Ginger Beer Plant. I may Just buy one soon.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That sounds excellent Ray,

      If your above recipe works out okay I will give it a try myself, but will need to know a method as well as I haven't made any wine for years. I do have a demijohn and airlocks though.

      Let me know :)

      Thanks

      Cindy

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      My method is the same for most things, sponge cake, bread pudding, wine and beer Chuck it in, mix it, done.. LOL There,s a Pictue of one of my cakes on my Facebook if you want to see the end result. Let me know i will post a link. Out for a meal with friends tonight. So it will be in the morning.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Link sounds good so feel free to post it :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I lost the Finished pictures. Let me know if the link does not work and I will sort another link. It works for me but that may be because it's my account.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray,

      Sadly the link didn't work so ave deleted it to avoid other readers following it and getting the same result. If you are able to post a working link that would be great :)

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I am Installing and sorting out software for Windows 8 today. I suspect it will be a long job. Will try to do another link later. Thanks for deleting the other link.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Ray, whenever you get a chance would be great :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Cake

      Another Picture link for you https://skydrive.live.com/?sc=photos&cid=2dcd3...

      It works for me..

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sorry Ray, no luck, it appears you need a Microsoft Skydrive Account to access the pics, and I for one don't have one so just get taken to a log in screen. I think the Facebook idea was the better option as most people have a Facebook account. any chance you can try putting it back on FB and linking to it there?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Ray, for some reason the FB link doesn't work (maybe because we aren't friends on FB?) The second link works though. Looks really good, did you make the cake yourself?

      Edit: Going back to your earlier comment I see that you did. Great stuff, I love Dr Who.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi Cindy

      The cake not finished in the picture, we spent far to much time on it. My daughter and her mates loved it. I don't know what we did with the final pictures. Learned a lot about big cakes by making this. 2kg of soft icing needs a lot of support. I would add an extra day to make it if I was doing another one. It was very odd they all looked at it and kind of approved, then they noticed the blue light flashing on the top, that got me lots of extra street cred. The light had not been done in the Picture.

      You can always send me a friend request in Facebook if you want better access to my pictures.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I would love to have seen it with the light on top Ray, sounds really clever. I would need your surname to send you a friends request on FB, but to be honest I don't use FB all that much for socialising, mainly as a 'sharing' tool for articles I have just published. If you let me know how to find you on there I will send you the request, but please don't be offended if you rarely see or hear from me as I don't really follow it day to day.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Ray Lyford is the user name. I wont be offended if you don't come in and chat. I don't like facebook much, I use it for pictures and staying in touch with my sisters.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Ok, so there are 2 Ray Lyford's, how do I know which one is you? Are you the one with the 'static' type electricity pic?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      If that is you it looks like I am already your friend as it isn't giving me the option to send you a friends request. I am on FB as Cindy Lawson (same profile pic as here) if you want to check from your end.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      hi mistyhorizon2003 request sent.. Do you have any idea how many people share the same name. You should search for your name sometime..

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003 Had some people over last night, they liked the Ginger wine a lot. That is very encouraging.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Excellent Ray, I will check out the Friends Request :)

      Sounds like the wine is going down well...... if only I was nearer!!

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Ha, you being so far away means I get to test more.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      lol, if I was there I doubt you would be getting half as much :)

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      KnowItAll 4 years ago

      Your chances of 'growing' a true GBP are miniscule. What you are doing is the equivalent of 'growing' a show quality Welsh Corgi Terrier by leaving a bowl of kibble on the back stoop.

      If you live near a Ginger Beer factory, you might have a chance, just like you would attracting a Corgi if your neighbor happened to be a Corgi breeder. Otherwise, you will almost certainly end up with some random wild yeast and/or bacteria, just like you would most certainly end up with a stray mut (and possibly some rats, cats, and cockroaches) feeding on the kibble left outside.

      While the original GBP was not created in a lab, it was selected by only the better tasting/performing strains being the ones that got passed around. This resulted in a particular colony being the preferred GBP. This is the strain that was preserved by the German lab, and I believe it was given to them by someone from the UK.

      There are only a few sources for the true GBP. Most vendors sell water kefir, since it grows at a much faster rate, and call it GBP. To make things even more confusing, the vendors selling kefir as GBP have elaborate descriptions about how theirs is the true GBP.

    • profile image

      KnowItAll 4 years ago

      I forgot to remove the 'terrier' from the Corgi description. I originally thought it was, but had looked it up before posting and forgot to edit. Although, a Corgi terrier would still be easier to grow from thin air than a GBP.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for your thoughts on the subject KnowitAll, a few of us had a similar 'conversation' earlier in the thread and to quote one of the other commenters might be beneficial here. What he actually said was

      " It seems to me that out on the other forums people keep bringing up the idea of making GBP from scratch, are instantly shot down by some commercial interest saying its not the real thing. It has to be a particular strain of bacteria and yeast for it to be "the real deal".

      Thinking about this from a scientific point of view, this is non-sense! The ginger beer plant is so called because it is a system that produces ginger beer. Much like a power plant produces energy.

      So if you produce something, that has a symbiotic relationship in which a yeast ferments sugar into alcohol, and that is surrounded by bacteria that converts the alcohol into CO2 gas then you have produced a "real" GBP.

      It doesn't matter what the culture is, as long as it carries out the same process.

      Now some cultures might vary in efficiency, and therefore produce slightly different brews etc. I have therefore come to the conclusion, that buying the official GBP is purely for purists who wish to collect a specific culture. Or at-least a fast-track method for getting started."

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      It's not really about success or failure, it's about trying. Can't win every race but ya still run. :-) . I bet you cant grow any type of Corgi from thin air. You information about the GBP seems a little awry. The yeast and bacteria needed to grow the GBP was present in all samples.There was never a lot of different GBP's. There were samples with a lot of other types of bacteria but none of them were needed for GBP.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, the comment about the GBP was not made by me, it was made by 'KnowitAll' and the comment I quoted in my reply was made by a chap called James earlier in the comments. I am guessing from reading your comment above that you thought I wrote one or both of those comments.

    • profile image

      KnowItAll 4 years ago

      I saw the earlier discussion, and the pertinent part of the quote is the section that blatantly categorizes any dissenter as having some malign 'commercial interest'. I highly doubt that the people were profiting in any way from their advice, but were merely trying to clarify what GBP is and inform about its true nature. There are many companies trying to pass off water kefir as GBP.

      From you: "Thinking about this from a scientific point of view, this is non-sense! The ginger beer plant is so called because it is a system that produces ginger beer. Much like a power plant produces energy."

      Ginger Beer Plant (GBP) is not a process or system- it is a specific culture than can be used to produce a type of Ginger Beer (which has unfortunately come to mean many things). Using a different culture to produce a type of 'Ginger Beer' does make the culture a GBP. I don't know if you will ever be convinced of it, but perhaps others reading this will.

      Comparing making ginger beer to making energy is equivalent to saying a Picasso painting can be made by anybody slapping paint on a canvas. While pure energy as an end product has no inherent uniqueness, what is produced by different humans/cultures does. Additionally, I am sure you would not be happy if you local utility started supplying your house with a different 'flavor' of electricity that made you appliances spit it out in disgust.

      I think a better comparison is gardening. If you want a spinach salad, you plant spinach and don't just let random weeds take root and use them in a salad. Although, by your logic they would both result in the same thing- some green leafy things in a bowl.

      The main issue I have with your post is your premise that GBP is able to be created by a 'wild' colonization of a sugar solution. This is highly unlikely, and borders on impossible. Might a tasty beverage result- yes, but it will almost certainly not be from GBP, and also not have the same flavor profile.

      If your goal is not to grow your own Ginger Beer Plant, but merely to produce some version of "ginger beer" (which has unfortunately come to mean almost any fermented, or not, ginger beverage), then perhaps the title of this thread should be modified since currently it is misleading.

      Your 'process' actually sounds much more like attempting to grow your own Kombucha SCOBY. Along those lines, as you have noted in this thread, a quicker way to success is to do many small 'starters' placed in several locations. Some will be good, some bad, and some with too much of one thing or the other, that may be good when combined.

      RE: Science

      Simply stating 'thinking about it scientifically' does not make it scientific. Scientifically (truly), GBP is a specific culture, and not a process as you stated. GBP almost disappeared, but was preserved through the efforts of a few people.

      This, for instance, is not science:

      "the fermentation happens naturally within the jar once the ginger root and sugar are left together for a week or so and the 'Saccharomyces florentinus' yeast is naturally produced."

      This is like believing that flies spontaneously generate from rotting meat, or mosquitoes magically arise from water. The yeast would need to be introduced somehow to the mixture. The specific yeast and bacteria in GBP are highly unlikely to be present to colonize the mixture, and for that matter it is unlikely that any pleasant tasting yeast and bacteria would.

      True GBP creates a particular flavor profile. While there may be a different combination of critters that will produce the same/similar flavor, it is unlikely to merely happen upon it.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I think Ray's post crossed with yours above 'KnowItAll' but from what he says the relevant bacteria was present in every sample. I should also point out that when you say "From you: "Thinking about this from a scientific point of view, this is non-sense! The ginger beer plant is so called because it is a system that produces ginger beer. Much like a power plant produces energy." that actually this was NOT from me, but was from James, I merely re-quoted it in my reply to your original comments.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Ray's link which you may have seen leads to the document that backs up the relevant bacteria being found in every sample :

      http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/183...

    • profile image

      KnowItAll 4 years ago

      Have you read the article yourself?

      I am not sure what point you are trying to make by citing it.

      The GBP has been proven to be a SCOBY of a particular yeast and bacteria. This was the conclusion of the paper you linked to. In that paper the author used known GBP samples to determine this.

      Getting this specific GBP SCOBY from a 'wild' culture is highly unlikely which is why even in the heyday of GBP, people passed cultures amongst each other, even though the prevalence of the wild culture in the environment (due to its widespread use) would have made creating a 'wild' culture more likely than it is now.

      You muddle the issue with this article you created. The title alone is misleading, since it is highly improbable to "grow your own" GBP. The likelihood of the yeast in GBP populating your 'starter' is miniscule. Furthermore, you alternative method for a culture using bread/beer yeast as an inoculant, which you initially state is not a true GBP, is continually referred to as GBP.

      You are more likely to get acetobacter in a 'wild' culture than any lacto strain, and almost certainly not the specific lacto strain in GBP. This will lead to a vinegar taste, and not the lactic acid tart/sour taste that GBP gives.

      While the author of the paper on GBP was able to get a 'wild' culture of GBP by using uncleaned sugar and ginger, he was doing this in a time and environment where the yeast and bacteria specific to GBP where more prevalent than today, especially in his own lab where he had been growing GBP for some time. Additionally, the source of the sugar and ginger most likely came from a grocer who himself produced Ginger Beer commercially using true GBP. This is not the case today, so such a 'spontaneous' GBP culture is not likely.

      One of the purest sources for true GBP starters is from a man in the UK who sells them for ~9 British Pounds (gingerbeerplant.net). Rumor is that the GBP sold for ~$100 USD by the German lab that banks it originally came from this person.

      Rather than cloud the issue, you could provide a better service with your forum by encouraging people to grow and share true GBP as was done in the past. Sharing the cost of one sample among even 3 people is negligible. Within a week there would be enough GBP to split, and a few weeks later, enough to share with others.

      Given that

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Given that I actually have hundreds of articles on the Internet and this one is four years old now, I simply haven't got the time to devote to breaking down every comment I receive point by point in order to reply to it. I am a busy person and write for my living (this is just another article to me), so I suspect it might be better for you to wait for Ray to respond more scientifically, especially as this is a big hobby of his, and he provided the original link I quoted above and has definitely had the time to read ALL of it, which in honesty I haven't because of being so busy. Thesedays he spends more time on here than I do, and this is why I believe he is actually better qualified to answer you than I am.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, glad you realised it wasn't me who had made the original comment, and that your reply was actually aimed at KnowItAll and not at me :)

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      KnowItAll 4 years ago

      If you are a paid writer, I don't see how in g0od conscience you can title an article "How to Grow Your Own Ginger Beer Plant" when it is a highly improbable task, and also to continue to perpetuate it by supporting comments to the contrary, especially when you know the truth- It is virtually impossible to get a true GBP through wild colonization.

      Correcting the problem is trivial- Change the title of this article to "How to Make Your Own Ginger Beer", and then simply state there are several ways to go about fermenting: Get a true GBP; start your own wild SCOBY culture (non-GBP) (your current erroneous DIY GBP section); or use dried yeast to get a known good yeast strain for your SCOBY.

      Random bacteria are likely to colonize either 'home made' starter to form a SCOBY with acetobacter (vinegar producing) being the most likely. Having a lacto strain colonize is less likely, and the lacto strain present in a true GBP virtually impossible.

      Another method is to simply use the dried yeast without leaving it out to let bacteria colonize the mixture. It will not have the acetic bite introduced by the bacteria, which is why most yeast based Ginger Beer recipes specify adding lemon juice.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I don't get paid to write the articles, I get paid for the views they receive (on this site), right now you are actually earning me money every time you visit the site. I never said it was easy to get a GBP naturally, but I did list ways to try and achieve it that if persevered with can work. Yes I could change the title of the article, problem is that the people searching for info on the GBP would be less likely to find this article then, also it would result in a lot of people expecting to a recipe for a soft drink, not a brewing article.

      I am interested in you responding to Ray's comment too, as so far you haven't answered his comment he addressed to you which said:

      "Your information about the GBP seems a little awry. The yeast and bacteria needed to grow the GBP was present in all samples.There was never a lot of different GBP's. There were samples with a lot of other types of bacteria but none of them were needed for GBP."

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Ray, I have added the gingerbeerplant.net link to the links section in this hub so other people can find it easily.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      In order to restore some level of peace (I hope), I have made some edits to the article itself that will make it more clear just how difficult trying to achieve a GBP is naturally actually is. I have also reiterated in the way to make a GBP that is not a 'True' one, that the GBP referred to in that instance is a 'fake' one.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      I would have changed nothing. There are thousand of people selling Ginger Beer Plants on the Net. Almost all of the Ginger Beer Plants being offered are made with yeast. A ( ahem ) real ginger beer plant also has Yeast and a bacteria. The yeast is commonly known as bakers yeast. Very little difference except for the symbiotic relationship that forms due to a lack of Oxygen. I would guess I could re-read the documents about it all again and remind myself of the correct names and terms use, but I have other things to do.

      Most of the comments on the site are months old and all the recent stuff has been about my Ginger wine and failed attempts at Ginger Beer plant.

      The Ginger Wine was Tasted by a real wine drinker tonight and he liked it a lot. So I can make an acceptable Gallon of wine with just 2 ginger roots and 2lbs of sugar. I am calling that one finished.

      There is still another batch brewing, albeit slowly. It is already clearing well, while still brewing. I will keep you updated from time to time. You can always throw the odd message at me on FB. I don't have any plans to give up yet. I will drop in to read any Posts.

      I may yet do a Hub on making Capacitors from junk .We shall see.

      Thanks for moving the Link.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, nice to have your thoughts on the subject, and in many ways I agree with you. It is also worth remembering that there is no legislation governing the description of the Ginger Beer Plant, so actually I didn't have to change the description at all for the 'fake' version of a Ginger Beer Plant, but I chose to in order to calm things down here before it got nasty.

      Glad the Ginger Wine has turned out good. Any chance of the full recipe and method as you did it because I would love to give it a try based on the feedback you have had from the wine drinker? Cheers.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      Wine Drinker, by this I mean a friend who drinks wine rather than beer. I never serve wine with my meals, he would.

      I used the following.

      1 Ginger Root ( 2 would have been better ) Chopped in food processor.

      Juice from 2 lemons

      2lbs Sugar

      .........................

      Started with natural yeast, added bakers yeast later.

      The Ginger was not removed until the ferment had finished.

      It took around 3 or maybe 4 months to ferment.

      This would have been a lot quicker if I had used one of the newer wine yeasts and added yeast nutrients, by why bother when there is no time limit.

      It clears very well.

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, can I also ask what method you prefer to sterilise your equipment, and did you fill the demijohn right up? Also by 'Natural' yeast do you mean fresh yeast as opposed to dried?

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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I make chutneys as well Ray, and I usually wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and then put them in the oven on about 140 degrees Celsius for about 20 mins to sterilise them. Naturally I would have to let them go cold before adding a cold liquid to them, but it would worry me that once cold they might no longer be sterile (if you get my drift). I don't think our microwave is big enough to fit a demijohn into lol, and otherwise I am guessing Miltons fluid as used for babies bottles might be the best option.

      Thanks for the yeast info too. I might cheat and go straight for brewer's yeast as I have so very many hobbies that it is hard to allow spare time for possible failures.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      My Mother made wine for many years , i don't think she ever sterilized a bottle. Tinned Peaches and bakers yeast in the Garden Shed.

      I would go with the yeast as well now.

      Just checked the Milton it seems to be used by a good few people.

      Thats it then, get on with it.. LOL

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      lol, like the sound of this Ray, will be on it very soon :)

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Oh my goodness, I am making my second batch ever of ginger beer and have really simplified the recipe. I will admit,I am cheating by reusing yeast from some wine I made but this is totally wild yeast from the grape vine in my back yard. Made wine by simply crushing 7 gal of stemmed grapes in a bucket and let nature do its thing. I call I call it caveman juice. I have used two 4 oz packages of organic ginger, 6 cups white granulated sugar, 6 cups dark brown sugar, 1 med orange, two lemons , three small limes and about 18 whole cloves.

      Step 1 blend 2 oz ginger , 2 cups white sugar and two cups filtered water, let sit in jar room temp for a week.

      Step 2 Blend remaining ginger with filtered water ,Boil sugar ,lemons ,limes, orange, cloves in enough filtered water to make up a 5 gal batch, save some filtered water to assist in cooling. After cooled to room temp add previously made ginger, sugar, water mixture" this may already be a good starter but as I needed to be sure for time constraints I added a wild yeast. After two week I have just sampled and it is wonderful will bottle next week and should be perfect for the new year.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hey, great to hear from you Rambunctious, it's been a while. Sounds like a great recipe and you are having good success. Keep us up to speed with the progress (any idea of resulting alcohol content yet?)

    • profile image

      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Sorry would only be pure speculation again as I did not take an initial reading. But I did get a hydrometer and may test future batches but for now flavor, carbonation and side effects will have to do. So far Yummie.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      lol, well let us know how the alcohol levels progress when you do use the hydrometer. Right now it sounds like it is working out well :)

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

      i love ginger beer and now i can't get it here in peru but i can get an abundance of fresh ginger. Thanks i will give this a go and see if it turns out how i remember it. Coming up to christmas it seems ginger is all the rage. Pinned to try. Thanks

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      If you can get fresh ginger you are in the perfect position to make your own Ginger Beer lemonkerdz. The only difference of course is that using this method yours will be alcoholic as opposed to a soft drink. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

      alcoholic.......have no problems with that, looking forward to a good gingery drink

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      lol, go for it lemonkerdz, should be good powerful stuff ;)

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      That's a great hub - memories of making my own ginger beer for my own children - really interesting, thank you for sharing.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you Sallybea, so delighted this brought back memories for you :)

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Still have one on the go. Just looking in.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great to 'see' you Ray, hope all is well with you and your latest batch ;) Let me know how it turns out.

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Well I am at it again. I have simplified the ginger beer plant starter recipe. I simply use a blender and blend raw organic ginger root skin and all in about 4 cups of a simple sugar solution pour it into a bottle and shelve for two weeks under and air lock. The first week I open and tip the bottle to let any co2 pour out cap and shake vigorously then shelve for the next 24 hrs. Repeat for 7 days. Then check for signs of fermentation for another week. Success with be starting another 5 gal batch of ginger beer soon.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds great Rambunctious, fascinating method of getting started too. Would love to hear how this works out.

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      anita graham 4 years ago

      Can blackstrap molasses be used instead of sugar?

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I honestly don't know Anita, I have never tried them as we don't have access to molasses in Guernsey (UK) shops. As they are sugar I would have thought they could work, but the best thing you can do is have a go and see if it is successful. Assuming you do I would love it if you could post back here and let us know how you got on.

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Well brewed up another 5 gal. batch as decribed in previous posts but added a cup of honey for fun. Starting gravity measured 1.5 so if this ferments out should be around 5.9-6.5 A.B.V. when done. I like the blackstrap molasses idea. Might have to give it a whirl next time.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds delicious Rambunctious, can't wait to hear how it turns out :)

    • profile image

      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      I was rereading previous posts and you know ... People who knowitall really bother those of us that do. So far every time I have tried to produce a ginger beer plant as you had described and I had modified the method. It has always worked... Just need to use raw organic ginger and do not wash or sterilize the first small starter batch.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Rambunctious, I really appreciate that supportive comment. Personally I came to the conclusion in the end that 'Knowitall' was trolling this page, and as he was becoming quite offensive and aggressive in his comments I took the decision not to allow any more of them. He did try to post here a week or two back, but I deleted his comment as opposed to approving it so no-one got to see it.

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      Rambunctious 4 years ago

      Well, I took a sample after 2 weeks fermenting and hydrometer shows S.G. of 1.32 calculated an A.B.V. Of around 2.9%. I will let it go for another 2 weeks and retest. I will also add some priming sugar and bottle.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds very promising Rambunctious, especially after just 2 weeks. Can't wait to hear the final alcohol percentage of the finished batch.

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      Ray 4 years ago

      Hi mistyhorizon2003

      The Wine is still brewing , slow but sure. Still using the original Ginger Mash. I have not removed the ginger. It,s very slow to ferment but i am going to let it carry on and see how it turns out.

      Still not tempted to buy GBP. I will get some sometime just to compare the outcome from both.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am sure your patience will produce the results you want Ray. Good things come to those who wait :) I would be ultimately interested to hear what the comparison was like if you did make a batch from authentic GBP and compare the results though.

    • profile image

      Ray 4 years ago

      I would not dare keep it secret. :-)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      lol, very pleased to hear it Ray ;)

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Well I am finally racking off my ginger beer. The final gravity is 1.02' starting was 1.052 calculated A.B.V. Should be around 4% . I am adding another 2 cups priming sugar to this batch and will let settle for a couple of days before bottling. The hard part waiting for another 3 weeks for it to get fizzy. I also am going to start another batch. I plan to increase the sugar a little and recycle the G.B.P. I should have plenty when the warm weather finally gets to Wisconsin.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      4% sounds pretty good Rambunctious, especially for a drink that is meant to be refreshing and therefore not too alcoholic. Just wish I was nearer so I could taste it ;)

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Just bottled the most recent batch and could not bear to put the last bottle up for carbinating. O.M.G. I got this it is great just over ice uncarbinated. Works well with cruzan blackstrap rum too. :-)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      That sounds so delicious Rambunctious, I could drink one over ice right now (even though it is freezing cold over here).

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Hi again, I had started another batch 3 weeks ago and was a little disappointed in the low alcohol content as only 4% so I added more sugars. Starting gravity was 1.000 let it go for three weeks reusing previous ginger beer plant and today it tested at 1.020. If I am calculating correctly this stuff is somewhere around 9-10%.... I drank the sample for taste and it is very good. Further tastings will confirm or debunk A.B.V. Content.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like the alcohol levels are increasing with a few adaptations made. Keep up with the regular tastings and let us know the end results Rambunctious. Thanks for the update :)

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      M2M 3 years ago

      Hey ive recently started brewing beer and im goin to be making some sparkling elderflower wine soon. Ive had a ginger beer bug on the go for a few weeks now, just finishin drinkin the last of the second batch. Third batch is in the bottles.

      I started the bug using ground ginger, white granulated cane sugar, de-chlorinated water and beer yeast. Left it for 7 days (feeding daily with sugar and ginger) in a jar covered with a cloth, strained and added to make up 5L with more sugar and citric acid.

      The first batch was a disaster, I think when I strained it, the cloth I used was too fine so there wasnt enough yeast left in the bottles. It didnt carbonate at all and was very sweet, almost undrinkable untill I added some rum.

      Second batch was much better, I had split the bug in two and had both in seperate culture jars, one being fed with demerara sugar and the other white. When I came to bottle I didnt have enough white sugar so bottled both using demerara sugar and lemon juice, no noticeable difference between them. I also had the issue of floating lemon bits but just strained them out when pouring into glasses. Much better carbonation, colour, and taste. After 10 days the taste had improved dramatically from the first tasting at 7 days.

      Third batch was bottled on sunday one culture with white sugar and one with dememara, should be more of a difference with these ones!

      I have also read through all the comments and have even taken the time to read Ward's study report, took a while but I got through it in the end from what Ive understood it that a ginger beer plant is a symbiotic organism consisting of the yeast 'saccharomyces florentinus' (refered to by Ward as its former name 'saccharomyces pyriformis') and the bacterium 'B. vermiforme'. He suggests that even combined with other types of bacterium or yeast respectively they wouldnt form the same bond, and that they were probably introduced from the ginger bought from the grocers it would be nice to know if he ever continued the research in that direction. I would imagine shop bought ginger these days are unlikely to be carrying one or both of the required elements.

      I believe that they originally combined in a few different locations and as they probably yielded the better flavoured ginger beer were the ones that got passed around most. The ginger beer plant as such is quite rare and hard to make from scratch unless you happen to have the correct combination of bacteria and yeast in your ginger or floating in your kitchen. Dont think im saying not to try though, you might get lucky! Im certainly going to give it a go, probably with shop bought ginger first while I grow some of my own, just to give it a go. If it doesnt work then ill buy some from somewhere.

      Ill try to keep you updated on my progress

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Wow, thanks for such a detailed reply M2M, sounds like you are really getting in to this, and I truly wish you every success. It would be wonderful if you can post back here with the results of your efforts, especially any differences you have between the shop bought ginger and the ginger you grow yourself. Can't wait to hear more.

    • profile image

      Ray 3 years ago

      Hi Mistyhorizon2003.

      Hi Rambunctious

      The Sparkling Elderflower Wine is like Champagne to drink, i prefer the Elderflower. Well worth the Effort.

      You can now buy Elderflower Schoer if you are lucky enough to have a shop near that stocks it. Not as good as Elderflower wine but it does taste like Elderflower and is good with dinner if you have visitors that need to drive home.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the tip Ray (long time no see, so good to have you visit again). I always heard Elderflower Wine was lovely, but confess I only tried it once many years ago when my Uncle made a batch using one of those kits you used to buy from Boots (the syrup rather than the actual flowers). I would love to try making it myself though using the real flowers.

    • profile image

      M2M 3 years ago

      A quick update for you guys, batch number 3 was great, not as gingery as id like, just have to add more next time! The half made with demerara sugar had more of a rum like flavour, a bit too much to be honest so with the next batch I went with a 350g white 100g demerara mix. this batch should be interesting too as its been in the starter jars for over 2 weeks and ive kinda been neglecting it, but yesterday added some sugar and it seemed to come back to life nicely. I bottled up today, and with some of the spare bug I am experimenting with making up the final recipe right from the start, adding the bug to 5L water, 450g sugar, 8 tblsp of dry ginger and 2 tsp lemon juice into a demi-jon covered with a cloth. Im going to leave it for a week and, when I bottle the next batch from the culture jars, Ill strain it out and bottle into plastic bottles with the rest of it to see if there is any noticeable difference. If not itll certainly make life easier not having to remember to feed it every day. Ill let you know what happens.

      Im not sure if I mentioned in my other post what I mean by a ginger beer bug, its the term used to describe the "fake" ginger beer plant that is described in the recipe above, using yeast other than 'saccharomyces florentinus' to simulate the effects of the ginger beer plant.

      By the way the sparkling elderflower wine was great and so simple to do too, again its one you can do by adding yeast or leaving the natural yeasts to do their thing. I made another batch today while bottling up the ginger beer!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      What a fabulous and informative update M2M. Can't wait to hear about your next results and comparisons. The comments here are really a fantastic resource for anyone who is thinking of trying these experiments in brewing for themselves.

      I really want to try to make the Elderflower wine for myself, but need to make sure I am correct in identifying the Elderflowers and don't get them mixed up with a similar looking weed (the results could be horrible lol).

    • profile image

      Ray 3 years ago

      Hello mistyhorizon2003 and all

      You can buy dried Elderflower from a lot of Homebrew outlets. It,s not hugely expensive to buy, Cost / Time it might be better unless you enjoy the walks and picking your own.

      There is a weed that looks like Elderflower but it does not grow into trees. The Scent is also a giveaway.

      Internet Police bit follows.

      Remember to leave some flowers to grow into berries for the birds :-)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Ray, very helpful. I do love being out in the countryside, and I am pretty sure we have what I think is a large Elderflower tree up by our fishing lake so I might be able to get some from there (we don't have any homebrew outlets here in Guernsey, hence why I couldn't get hold of a fermenting bin).

      Love your comment about the birds and the berries, I was thinking that Elderberry wine is also very good, so that is another good reason to leave flowers on to develop into berries. I wouldn't be taking a vast amount anyway, just enough for a couple of demijohns of wine.

    • profile image

      M2M 3 years ago

      Elderflowers are quite recognisable just search for a pic online you'll soon be able to tell if the one by the lake is an elder tree or not. Id recommend picking the flowers and making the wine the same day, its not essential but you get a better flavour and its less likely that you'll have to add yeast. I've added yeast to mine as the flowers were given to me by a mate, and I didn't have time to make it straight away. I froze them, probably killing any natural yeast on the flowers themselves. There are probably enough yeasts floating around my house as there a few things fermenting in unsealed containers knocking about, but I was a bit pressed for time with the first batch and couldn't risk fermentation not starting straight away.

      As for not taking too many, you only need about 10-15 heads per gallon batch so unless other people are using the same tree it shouldn't be an issue.

      Ok back to the ginger beer. Batch number 3 seems to be carbonating a lot more than the first 2. It might be due to the hot weather were having, or possibly the yeasts have had more of a chance to multiply from being in the culture jars for so long.

      The "final recipe from the start" experiment is bubbling away nicely. It has occurred to me that I might have to add a bit of priming sugar when I bottle, Ill test the gravity and keep you posted.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the advice, that is really helpful. It will only be me using any flowers from the tree (assuming it is an Elderflower, we are going to take a look tomorrow when we are next up at the lake). looking forward to the update on your specific gravity of your Ginger Beer too :)

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Just started new batch 8 lbs white granulated sugar, 2lbs dark brown sugar, 2 oranges, 2 lemons, 8 key limes, 16 whole cloves 8oz skinned chopped ginger root, 5.5gal batch total volume. O.G. 1.076 right at the 10% est A.B.V. Mark. Will try to rack off and bottle @ 1.025 and let it finish in the bottle. Using cleaned yeast culture from earlier batch of hard cider presently in bottles to carbonate. Racked them into bottles @ 1.20 started at 1.060

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds wonderful Rambunctious. I must try your recipe after we complete our house move later this month.

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Having a dark and stormy from sample.

      I just racked my 5.5 gal batch of ginger beer. O.G. Was 1.076 now it is at 1.040 still a little too sweet so I will let it go for a while yet before bottling. Taste test it is pretty good will be great when bottled and allowed to carb up. Hoping to have it finish around 1.010-1.015 est. about 7-8%A.B.V. One change I did with this batch was to not use the bark of the ginger when brewing the wort and did not let it ferment for more than the first two weeks with the fruit and spice and ginger in the wort. Used to get a funny smell from the beer when done. It drank well just had a funny smell. Sample tonight crisp clean and refreshing just a little sweet no odd smell.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Leaving out the bark sounds like a good tip then Rambunctious. Looking forward to doing my own first batch (since our house move), but tricky as I am also starting up a small scale free range egg business and this will take a lot of my time until we have a good customer base established.

    • profile image

      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Ooops might just have made a huge mistake. Racked the ginger beer into a bottling bucket. Access is too easy and flavor too good. This may never even get to a bottle for carbination.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Lol, well it must be good on that basis Rambunctious :)

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      Rambunctious 3 years ago

      Well I did get 10-16oz bottles from the 5gal batch but now only have 2 left. Those dark and stormys are really good. Starting a new G.B.P. will let you know how it progresses.

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      We have moved house now so roll on the summer as we have a nice dining room now which I think would be ideal for doing a bit of home brewing :)

      Glad yours turned out so well, looking forward to further updates.

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Rambunctious. Will check it out tomorrow as I need to go to bed shortly :)

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Okay, change of plan, I just watched it tonight anyway. Wow, thanks for the mention in the video. Good video, I especially enjoyed it once you showed the speeded up version so you could actually see the plant moving in the jar. Great stuff.

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      Rambinctious 3 years ago

      Well I brewed a new batch today following previously listed recipe. O.G. was a match at 1.076. I plan to stir twice daily for the first week then let it go for two more. After that I will rack off the fruits and will dry hop so to speak with another 2 oz chopped ginger that has not been boiled to see If that gives a little more ginger heat. Will keep you posted.

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Can't wait for the next update Rambunctious. Good job you never get sick of drinking the finished product :)

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      Rambunctious. 3 years ago

      Well another two weeks has passed I pulled a sample and tested S.G. today it is at 1.050 has not moved much but is moving. Flavor is very good and crisp. Dry hopping fresh ginger into the secondary has added a little more tongue bite. Est. A.B.V. ~3.3%.

      I guess I will just let it keep going for a while yet as long as I still have air lock activity.

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      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounding good. It will be interesting to see how high the alcohol content ends up.

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      Rambunctious 2 years ago

      I have now racked the latest batch to the bottling bucket O.G. 1.076 tested today as 1.045 est A.B.V. ~4%.

      I could wait no longer for a dark and stormy. My last batch finished started at 1.076 and finished at 1.040

      I thing this will finish the same in the bucket before I bottle or consume it all.

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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hope it tastes as good as it sounds Rambunctious :)

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      Rambunctious 2 years ago

      I pulled a gallon of my ginger beer and pitched some EC-1118 yeast I had lying about will let this ferment to dry just for fun.

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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds good, not to mention a whole gallon of ginger beer :)

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      Cindy Lawson 2 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I woukd suggest periodically testing for alcohol content using a hydrometer as well as tasting the brew to test for flavour. It has been a long time since I last made any now, but if you read through the comments here you will find that a couple of people have been experimenting with different techniques in order to get the best results. I think you would get some very useful info based ion their techniques.

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      Richard 23 months ago

      After looking thru many places, this was the easiest ginger beer plant to make. I'm not a control freak but cleanlines is next to Godliness so I didn't bother with sterilization. The gbp was making little bubbles after 2 weeks so I followed the recipe and made nearly 3 liters of ginger beer.

      Then put the ginger back in the glasss jar and more gbp on the way.

      I let the bottles sit until there is room in the refrigerator, usualy 2 - 4 days, releasing the pressure occassionally and once cold, excellant!Latest

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      Cindy Lawson 23 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for sharing your experience Richard. So delighted you had a good result

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      Richard 23 months ago

      Just reread your instructions. Is the sequence important? I put 350 - 400 gr sugar in plastic dough raising bowl, add 2 liters tap water, stir with a woden spoon til the sugar is dissolved, grate lemon zest in a piece cloth, cut the lemon in 2, squeeze the juice into the bowl, drop the lemon into the bowl, grate an inch or 2.....or 3 of ginger in the cloth with lemon zest, tie it up and drop it into the bowl, then pour in the gbp and snap on the plastic lid. It pops off at a certain pressure with a nice loud pop.

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      Cindy Lawson 23 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Richard, based on your results it appears the sequence does not make much of a difference, but you could try various ways to see if it improves the results. Sometimes experimenting with methods can lead to new ideas and a better finished product.

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      vawterrichard@gmail.com 22 months ago

      Does anyone mention a pear aroma & flavor? My wife says it smells like pear juice and has a pear flavor. Not that it's bad tho.

      How long can I use the original ginger beer plant. Does the ginger ever go bad. I don't throw any away. I keep making larger batches

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      Cindy Lawson 22 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      If you keep feeding the 'plant' with sugar and ginger it should go on forever. re the pear aroma, well I have to say that is a new one on me lol. So long as it tastes good I wouldn't worry about it.

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      Richard 21 months ago

      After bottling the ginger beer I often put the ginger remaining in the muslin in an airtight container and into the refrigerator. When ready I dump into a quart jar, fill 3/4 water. add ginger & sugar and get immediate results. Last batch of refrigerated ginger had strong alcohol smell but used anyway. Starting to bubble.

      Any idea how long it can be refrigerated before going bad and could the alcohol smell be dangerous and be dumped?

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      Cindy Lawson 21 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I honestly have no idea on that one Richard but would be surprised if it would do you any harm just because it smelt like alcohol. Seems it is still working if things are starting to bubble. Good luck and let me know if it all works out okay.

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      mike 20 months ago

      Hello. First thank you for the post. I am just starting to try and create a GBP and found your information very useful. I am trying to create one of each GBP you describe above. Question: you say fill a jam jar 3/4 way full. Can you tell me how much water this is?

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      Cindy Lawson 20 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great question Mike. I am basing this on a standard sized UK jam jar that holds about half a pound of jam. 3/4 of one of these is about 300ml. Hope this helps.

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      mike 20 months ago

      Awesome thanks. I started these 2 experiments on Saturday. As of this morning, the "fake" plant was frothy for the first 2 day but has since settled and i dont see much action. the "genuine" plant has small bubbles forming on the outside. Does this sound OK? again thanks for all the info.

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      Cindy Lawson 20 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      A bit early to tell for sure, but sounds okay so far Mike

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      Richard 19 months ago

      Ginger beer manufacture is still ongoing with great success. Only had 1 bad batch so far and was 5 liters down the sink. I read that molassas could be used and had a large jar of blackstrap molasses and used instead of sugar. It fermented perfectly with lots of pressure in the bottles. The result was a perfect looking guiness with a perfect foamy head. Taste was the worst I'd ever tasted. No one would drink it. Now it's only sugar, ginger & water for a perfect drink. Sometimes the GBP tastes a little sour but extra sugar puts it on the right track again. Wife thinks I should bottle & sell. A small bottle sells for over 30 noks in Norwegian health stores. Mine is better!

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      Cindy Lawson 19 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like your wife is right and you should be selling it then Richard. Wish I could taste yours as it sounds lovely.

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      Richard 18 months ago

      2 batches of GBP down the drain.....just as I was getting good results after 5-6 months of production. Scooped fruit flies outta last 2 batches and continued process. Now had 2 jars going with double muslum cloth but had a layer of fruit flies in each.

      Going to Jerusalem and back Sept 30 and start all over. So far, never a bad batch of GBP with ginger, sugar & water. Knock on wood!!

      I've skimmed thru the comments above and quite interesting comments & people.

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      Cindy Lawson 18 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sorry to hear you have been unlucky and lost a couple of batches. Fruit flies are horrible things and always seem to end up in my glasses of wine no matter where I am. hope you have better luck with the new batch. When you get time it is worth reading the comments thread in full as there are lots of useful tips and snippets of information various people have shared within them.

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      Richard 18 months ago

      Working on the last 2 liters of ginger beer. May not last til Sept 30 so gotta drink it before holiday. It's strong & hot. (like my wife:-) This batch had cayenne pepper, red pepper and ground black pepper blended with the grated ginger & lemon rind.

      Rambunctous is an interesting person. Just watched his movie. Reminded me of the NRK TV footage of the slow boat going up the coast of Norway. It lead to other ginger beer utubes which I'll watch one day.

      Also googled Guernsey and was surprised it is closer to France than UK. Couldn't find Isle of Wight...too much ginger beer! When I was diving in Northsea the Norwegian divers had their salary sent to a company in Isle of Wight. Stupid American me paid Norwegian taxes.

      Will let you know how the next batch turns out in a month or so.

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      Cindy Lawson 18 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Bet the batch with all the pepper in was fiery lol.

      Guernsey is a very small island just 25miles square. We are very close to France and can see St Malo on the horizon on a clear day. We are not a part of the UK, but are what is known as a Crown Dependency. Basically we are under the protection of the queen, but are self governing. Guernsey is a beautiful and safe island if ever you get a chance to visit it.

      Look forward to hearing how your next batch of ginger beer goes :)

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      Anne 11 months ago from Spain

      When I was a kid ( many years ago) I had a friend who´s Grandad made ginger beer and we rode a long way on our bikes to go and visit him and taste it. My god it was like drinking liquid fire LOL. I wonder in those days where he got the ginger from as it was something I don´t think I ever saw for sale in a shop, though you could buy powdered ginger.

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      Cindy Lawson 11 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Maybe he grew his own or was given fresh ginger bac2basics. Guessing his was the non alcoholic variety of he was giving it to you as kids, unless of course he only gave you a very small amount ;)

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      Anne 11 months ago from Spain

      He gave me a small glass full, but it was so peppery hot all I could manage was a sip LOL.

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      Cindy Lawson 11 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Lol, perhaps you should try making it again yourself. Now you are an adult you may find your tastes have changed and you really enjoy it. It doesn't have to be too peppery depending on how you make it.

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      Gloria 7 months ago

      Wow, must be our hot climate it Australia - we have super bacteria!

      I always put unpeeled chopped ginger in sugar water, feed every day and Viola! 3 days later, a fizzy ginger plant. Even in the middle of winter. Maybe 'cause my kitchen is full of kefir already?

      Never had an issue. Do it every summer now, then pitch it in the compost come winter - start another in spring. Make all sorts of sodas and alchoholic beverages from it.

      Reckon it must be the climate.

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      Cindy Lawson 7 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You are so lucky Gloria. For most of us it can take a number of attempts to get the right bacteria. Like you say it must be the wonderful climate where you live .

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      Jenna Kitchell 6 days ago

      Question about this

      "Squeeze all the air out of the bottle so the Ginger Beer reaches the top of the bottle then screw on the lid.

      Leave the bottle at a comfortable room temperature for a few days, or until the bottle is hard and has expanded due to the natural production of Carbon Dioxide within it."

      Instead can you use a glass jar with an airlock lid?

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