How to Make Ginger Beer (My Tried-and-True Home-Brew Recipe)
Super Simple and Tasty Ginger Beer Recipe
Ginger beer is a delicious, refreshing beverage perfect for the summer and fall, though it can, of course, be enjoyed at any time of the year. Sounds delicious, right?
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 colony-based system consisting of fungus, bacteria, and yeast.
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.
- 2-liter bottle (old soda bottles "recycle" well for ginger beer)
- Measuring cups
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- 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
Rate this recipe!
How to Make Ginger Beer at Home
- Wash and grate the ginger root.
- Use the funnel to pour the sugar into the bottle.
- In a separate cup, juice the lemon.
- Add the ginger to the lemon juice, top the cup off with water, and stir.
- Using the funnel, pour the lemon juice and ginger mixture into the bottle.
- Add water to the bottle until it is about half-way full.
- Add the yeast to the bottle.
- Close the bottle tightly and shake, making sure all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- Add more water to the bottle, leaving a couple inches head space.
- Screw on the cap, then back it off a little to allow the carbon dioxide to escape during fermentation.
- Set the ginger beer in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Leave it for two days.
- After two days, put the ginger beer in the refrigerator (this will chill your beverage and halt fermentation).
- As soon as it's cold enough for you, run it through a strainer or some cheese cloth, and enjoy!
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.
What Can You Do With Ginger Beer?
- Straight Up: I love the taste of this ginger beer just as it is, 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.
- English Shandy. You can mix the ginger beer with beer or ale to make an English shandy.
- Dark 'N Stormy: Or, mix a shot of spiced rum in your ginger beer and call it a "Dark N Stormy," a drink that originated in Bermuda.
- Moscow Mule: Add vodka and lime juice, and you've got a "Moscow Mule."
For added classiness, enjoy your ginger beer from a Mason jar! The possibilities are almost endless!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Rachel Koski Nielsen