How to Make Ginger Beer

Updated on July 19, 2016
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Rachel is a soap making, wine brewing small farmer in Minnesota, running One23 Farm with her husband, a dozen sheep, and blue heeler dog.

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Super Simple and Tasty Ginger Beer Recipe

Ginger beer is a delicious, refreshing beverage perfect for the summer and fall; and of course, can be enjoyed any time of the year.

Ginger beer became very popular in Europe during the 18th century. Traditionally, the drink is made with ginger root, lemon, sugar and water, and fermented with the bacteria-fungal symbiote known as the ginger beer plant (GBP). The GBP isn’t actually a plant, but a colonal system consisting of fungus, bacteria, and yeast.

Sounds delicious, right?

You can make ginger beer at home without using the GBP as a fermenter, since it can be kind of difficult to get your hands on. Brewer’s yeast, wine yeast, and even baker’s yeast will work just fine. If you’re looking for something a little different, you should give ginger beer a taste! Try this recipe, which requires no special equipment or brewing know-how.

Equipment

  • 2 liter bottle (old soda bottles "recycle" well for ginger beer)
  • Grater
  • Measuring cups
  • Funnel
  • Strainer or cheesecloth

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast, Baker's, brewer's, or wine
  • 2 liters water
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Rate this recipe!

3.9 stars from 9 ratings of Ginger beer

Make Your Ginger Beer!

  1. Wash and grate the ginger root.
  2. Use the funnel to pour the sugar into the bottle.
  3. In a separate cup, juice the lemon.
  4. Add the ginger to the lemon juice, top the cup off with water, and stir.
  5. Using the funnel, pour the lemon juice and ginger mixture into the bottle.
  6. Add water to the bottle until it is about half-way full.
  7. Add the yeast to the bottle.
  8. Close the bottle tightly and shake, making sure all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  9. Add more water to the bottle, leaving a couple inches head space.
  10. Screw on the cap, then back it off a little to allow the carbon dioxide to escape during fermentation.
  11. Set the ginger beer in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Leave it for two days.
  12. After two days, put the ginger beer in the refrigerator (this will chill your beverage and halt fermentation).
  13. As soon as it's cold enough for you, run it through a strainer or some cheese cloth, and enjoy!

Tonight, I'm having a Dark 'N Stormy.
Tonight, I'm having a Dark 'N Stormy. | Source

What to Do With It?

  • You have options! I love the taste, so I often drink it straight - lots of people do. You should at least try it alone before you go mixing it with other things.
  • You can mix the ginger beer with beer or ale to make an English shandy.
  • Or, mix a shot of spiced rum in your ginger beer and call it a "Dark N Stormy," a drink that originated in Bermuda.
  • Add vodka and lime juice, and you've got a "Moscow Mule."
  • The recipe I've given here will produce a ginger beer with an alcohol content between 4 and 6% by volume. For a drier beverage, allow the ginger beer to ferment for a week before chilling it. For a sweeter ginger beer, start with more sugar.
  • For added classiness, enjoy your ginger beer from a Mason jar!
  • The possibilities are almost endless.

Questions & Answers

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      • Spanish Food profile image

        Lena Durante 11 months ago from San Francisco Bay Area

        YUM! I'm a huge ginger lover (I've even been known to chew a chunk of raw ginger when I'm feeling nauseous), so this looks like a perfect project for me. It's nice that this recipe has such a quick turnaround, so you don't have to wait months to enjoy it.

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        Oh you're okay, I was just kidding! haha

      • Matthew Kirk profile image

        Matthew Kirk 5 years ago from Liverpool

        Yeah I re read that and see what you mean! I'm sorry, I meant in a good way.

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        Matthew - I'm going to decide to interpret your comparing me to some old ladies as a compliment ;) Thanks for the comment! It's a simple recipe, and as authentic as I know how to do it.

      • Matthew Kirk profile image

        Matthew Kirk 5 years ago from Liverpool

        I grew up in the countryside and you remind me of some of the old ladies who made country wines and beers and new every little thing about the hedgerow. Really good, seems like a real authentic and traditional recipe!

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        Casimiro - Thanks a bunch! Nice to hear from someone in Costa Rica. I hope you enjoy the ginger beer when you try it - I've been drinking it all summer long! Let me know how it goes, if you get a chance.

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        Casimiro 5 years ago

        Going to try this ASAP! In Costa Rica of course we can grow our own ginger and the remaining ingredients are easy to get too. Excellet write-up and I appreciate the humor, too. Thanks Rachel! P.S. Tweeted to my followers, too.

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        That sounds really interesting, Alistair. If you try it, you should definitely write a hub regardless of the existence of other hubs. I'd like to read what you have to say about the milk Kefir. Thanks for telling me about it.

      • Alistair Olver profile image

        Alistair Olver 5 years ago from Wiltshire, UK.

        Hi Rachel, The Kefir grains are a natural probiotic that you can make yourself. You can purchase the grains and simply add them to milk for 24 hrs to produce a probiotic drink that is better than any commercially produced drinks. It contains a broad spectrum of bacteria and yeasts, that convert all the milk sugars into various vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc and is great for improving gut flora and thus can help with a variety of different health conditions. There is also a Water Kefir for those who may think they might have an intolerance to milk. I have just ordered my first grains to try, so may right a hub about it later; I see there are some hubs already on the subject.

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        theraggededge - Thanks for the comment, and the info about kombucha. Sounds interesting! I'll have to check it out.

        vespawoolf - "Simple" is the best part of home-brewing, as far as I'm concerned! I hope you'll try it, and let me know how it goes if you do. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

        I have all the equipment and ingredients in the kitchen to make this right now! I'm glad it's simple, too, as I don't always do well with making fermented drinks. Thanks for all your serving ideas, too!

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 5 years ago from Wales, UK

        We drink lots of GB in the UK. Some alcoholic ones too. Regarding kombucha, it's also made with a yeast/bacterial colony as a starter. Hasn't got a kick like GB but is fantastic for improving health - getting rid of gut candida and the like.

        Great recipe, will have to give this a try.

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        Rick - First of all, I really appreciate that you tried the recipe AND took the time to let me know the results. I think you're right about the temperature impacting the fermentation. I've been leaving my ginger beer in an un-air conditioned room, where it probably gets up in the 80s during the day. And you're right, I do like it to be a little sweet when I drink it! I like my cider very dry, though - go figure. Anyway, this is definitely a great recipe to play around with, and I hope you'll keep sharing your results. I just mixed up three batches the other night (got one in the fridge for drinking tonight) and I decided to try adding the juice and pulp of one lime to one of the batches - I'll let you know if it's an improvement! Take care :)

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        Alistair - Keffir Grains or Kombucha? To be honest, I don't know what that is! Enlighten me :) If you can ferment it into something delicious, I want to know. And let me know how your ginger beer turns out, when you decide to make some.

      • rick combe profile image

        rick combe 5 years ago from USA

        I made this recipe three days ago and tasted it tonight. I made a gallon and used slightly less than double the ingredients. I have never tried ginger beer and I will admit that my expectations weren't very high for this simple homemade version, but I was wrong. This stuff is great! I would compare it to a ginger flavored Mike's hard lemonade in quality, flavor, and sweetness, but better. The sweetness was the only thing that bothered me. I let this batch brew for right at 72 hours, but it was in an air conditioned room at about 70 degrees, which slowed the fermentation. This is a little sexist, but this level of sweetness is perfect for most of the ladies out there as women typically prefer sweeter drinks. I recommend that guys making this let it ferment for about 5 days or a week like it says at the end of the recipe, which will leave the beer with less sugar and more alcohol. I'm going to try that next time, and i'll post my results. Thanks for the great recipe Farmer Rachel!

      • Alistair Olver profile image

        Alistair Olver 5 years ago from Wiltshire, UK.

        As soon as I get a chance I will certainly give it a go. Have you tried Keffir Grains or Kombucha? I might look at this too!

      • Farmer Rachel profile image
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        Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

        bd - It's about as simple as it gets. Hardest part is grating the ginger root ;) If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it goes!

        Alistair - Thanks :)

      • Alistair Olver profile image

        Alistair Olver 5 years ago from Wiltshire, UK.

        Cool

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Rachel, I like this. Who knew this farmer girl could brew her own beer. I will have to give this a try, looks simple enough. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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