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How to Make Delicious Ginger Beer at Home

Updated on February 02, 2014
How to Make Delicious Ginger Beer
How to Make Delicious Ginger Beer | Source

Instructions for ginger ale are included in this guide as well so that those looking for a non-alcoholic alternative have an option for the kiddos.

Looking for a Non-Alcoholic Alternative for Your St. Patrick's Day Party?

Ginger Beer is an alcoholic beverage. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to traditional beer, you'll need to shortcut your process and leave out the fermentation. Because Ginger beer is fermented (the bubbles being produced by yeast), the bottle produces carbon dioxide and the beer becomes alcoholic. The alcohol content can be quite high in ginger beer (akin to that of a light wine) so bear this in mind when reading through the recipes and choose whether you wish to ferment.

In short, Ginger Beer is beer. It tastes different because of the spices in it, but ultimately ginger beer is still an alcoholic beverage.

Ginger Root is an ingredient in ginger beer.
Ginger Root is an ingredient in ginger beer. | Source

Did you previously know the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer?

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What is the Difference Between Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer?

The difference between ginger ale and ginger beer is the alcohol content. As with the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate, many Americans seem to make this mistake. While these beverages are similar to one another, there is a key difference. Like the cocoa butter in hot chocolate (vs. hot cocoa), the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale is the yeast (and therefore the fermentation process).

All ginger beer has some alcohol content. It may be small thanks to a short fermentation process, but the alcohol content in ginger beer can be higher than that of a barley-based beer.

If you're looking for an alternative, you want ginger ale because it obtains its fizz from a carbonating machine and not from the yeast put into ginger beer.

4 stars from 5 ratings of Simple Ginger Beer

Simple Ginger Beer Recipe

This recipe for ginger beer is simple and should be very easy to follow. Please make sure that you follow the instructions exactly: The fermentation process in brewing ginger beer may cause your bottles to burst and you want to make sure that you're paying attention to the pressure in the bottle you've used so that you can release it when necessary to avoid accidents.

It's not recommended to use glass bottles. Use plastic. It's easiest to rinse out a soda bottle that you bought at the store. Straight-sided bottles are best (such as Pepsi as opposed to the contoured bottles Coke comes in).

Note that the amount of alcohol in this recipe is negligible but to keep alcohol content in mind with ginger beer when you're considering making a different recipe or purchasing it. Processes vary!

(The longer you let the beer ferment, the more alcohol it will develop. If you consume it more quickly, you won't have to worry as much about alcohol content.)

Use white sugar when making Ginger Beer. Other sweeteners won't work properly.
Use white sugar when making Ginger Beer. Other sweeteners won't work properly. | Source
Prep time: 1 hour 20 min
Cook time: 72 hours
Ready in: 73 hours 20 min
Yields: 7 Servings
Ginger Beer
Ginger Beer | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup White Sugar, Make sure you use sugar! Alternatives won't produce the same effect.
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • Freshly Grated Ginger, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • Lemon Juice, to Taste
  • 2 Liter Plastic Bottle, Don't use glass!

Method for Making Ginger Beer at Home

  1. Peel your ginger and grate it finely. Add 1 cup of your water to a pot and place this over medium heat, then add the ginger and the sugar to the pot as well. Continue stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved into the water.
  2. Allow the sugar, ginger and water mixture to steep until the water has been sufficiently reduced, leaving you with a ginger syrup.
  3. Strain your ginger syrup to remove the ginger solids and discard the solids, retaining the syrup. This is the base of your ginger beer.
  4. Using a funnel, sprinkle the yeast into the two-liter bottle and then add your syrup and lemon or lime juice to taste. Pour the rest of the water over this mixture, cover the bottle and then shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Store the bottle out of direct sunlight for 2-3 days to ferment. You may move it to the fridge at this point to prevent further fermentation (keeping it mostly a "soft" drink) or you may continue to let it ferment. If you wish to continue the fermentation process, release some of the gas every couple of days in order to prevent the bottle from exploding.
Grating Ginger
Grating Ginger | Source

Adding More Alcohol -- Or Less

If you ferment your ginger beer for 2-3 days, you should get the fizz you're looking for without a lot of alcohol content, and the ginger beer should still be a good alternative for children when the grownups are drinking barley beer. It's up to you as the parent whether you're comfortable with your children drinking any alcohol, and those sensitive to alcohol should consider a different option (such as the ginger ale listed to the right).

For a higher alcohol content, ferment for longer. You may potentially need to add more yeast into the process, and you'll need to continually stir your beer in order to keep things working the way that they need to.

On the other hand, if you want less alcohol, brew for less time. Drink your ginger beer just as soon as it's fizzy enough to be a soda. This will give you the minimum of alcohol.

Ginger beer is considered perishable because of the fermentation process. If you want it less fermented (and less alcoholic), drink it immediately following its fizz.

Ginger Beer may produce sediment.
Ginger Beer may produce sediment. | Source
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 8 oz
Calories 103
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 29 g10%
Sugar 29 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Estimated Nutrition Information

The nutrition information supplied to the right is estimated due to the fact that different sites had varying information on the nutritional content of granulated sugar. One site claimed that sugar had 0 carbohydrate in it (which is obviously not true) and with inconsistent values, the best possible results are illustrated here.

Sediment in Your Ginger Beer

Your ginger beer may produce sediment, particularly if you ferment it for longer or use a ginger bug (for soda making) in your ginger ale. This sediment is normal in the fermentation process. You may either strain the liquid back out (leaving the sediment in the strainer) or drink carefully and leave the sediment in your bottle. If you pour before drinking, you an avoid it altogether and use it for flavor.

Ginger Ale
Ginger Ale | Source

How to Make Ginger Ale at Home for the Kiddos

If you prefer something that doesn't have any alcohol in it at all, it's quite simple to make your ginger ale at home as well. This can be given to the children so that they feel like they're consuming the same drink that the adults are when drinking their ginger ale.

While ginger beer often has a low alcohol content, you may wish not to allow your children to drink it even so. Ginger ale is a good solution to this problem and is incredibly simple to make.

You should already know how to make your ginger syrup from the recipe above. Add this to carbonated water (soda water) and mix well. Voila! Ginger ale! It really is that simple to make delicious ginger ale for your children to drink while you enjoy the alcoholic version of the drink.

If giving this to children you may wish to consider going light on the ginger because of its strong and spicy flavor.

How to Make a Very Strong Ginger Beer

© 2014 Becki Rizzuti

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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 2 years ago from Brazil

      I have always wanted to make this. I would prefer the non alcoholic variety. This is something I had in the UK which was a Jamacian brand (or so the label claimed) and loved it.

      This will be my project for this week.

      Thanks for this.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      You're very welcome! Well-made ginger beer is delicious. The shorter your fermentation time, the less alcohol that's in it, but you can always mix the syrup with soda water.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      I haven't tasted Ginger beer in years but will definitely give this one a try. Will let you know how I get on.

      Eddy.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Great, thank you Eddy! Hope you love it. Easy to make and delicious to drink.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I love ginger beer and ginger ale (and now I even know that I've had both!) Might have to try out your recipe, it looks fairly easy. My family has a reputation for some serious home brews, so here's hoping the alcohol content won't put us under the table! Voted interesting, rated and pinned.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much, Suzanne! If you want something stronger, try the brew in the video. I haven't tried this one as I prefer hard cider over hard ginger beer. The longer you ferment it, the stronger it should be!

    • Jeannie Randall profile image

      Jeannie Randall 2 years ago from South Dakota

      I look forward to trying this-thanks for sharing!

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Hope you enjoy it, Jeannie!

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 2 years ago from Mumbai

      This looks delicious. Thanks for making it look so simple, will try this out soon. :)

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Good to hear!

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 2 years ago from Eastern Shore

      We used to buy ginger beer when we would visit Williamsburg, Virginia. What a great recipe. I will have to give this one a try.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Hope you enjoy it!

    • bethperry profile image

      bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      My husband and I enjoy trying new beers, so will definitely have to try this recipe - and really, it doesn't seem very complicated. Thanks much for posting!

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Not complicated at all, Beth! Good luck!

    • Haiden William profile image

      Haiden Clark 2 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      huh, this was all quite interesting, thanks!

    • queerlyobscure profile image

      Cecil Wilde 2 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I've made my own ginger beer (using a recipe from the 1973 Australian Women's Weekly) with... what you'd call 'mixed success'. I'll have to try out these recipes and see if I can improve on it!

    • amiebutchko profile image

      Amie Butchko 2 years ago from Warwick, NY

      My sister in law made ginger beer for a party and it was delicious! Definitely worth making. Great hub!

    • James Frost 2 years ago

      Very long process to do.But a try to this worth it

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you all so much for your comments! I hope it goes better for you next time, Cecil!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day! This is very useful. I never knew how to make homemade ginger ale or ginger beer. Nicely done.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you so much!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 2 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      I didn't know that ginger beer was not the same as ginger ale! I learn something new every day! Congratulations on winning Hub of the Day!

    • Rasimo profile image

      Rasimo 2 years ago

      This is really interesting, I never even considered making ginger beer before I read your hub! You have worked out exactly how to do it. I don't drink regular beer, but this sounds quite tempting to make next weekend!

    • Zainab Tarawali profile image

      Musu Bangura 2 years ago from Nation's Capital

      I love ginger beer. Having African parents, I remember them preparing it for functions and parties. It's really good if you add cloves to it. I also love the Jamaican brand too.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      It's very low in alcohol content, unless you intentionally brew it to be stronger in alcohol, so it's a great alternative. I love, love, love home made ginger beer!

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Oh, I bet cloves would be very nice! Thank you for the tip!

    • Lizolivia profile image

      Lizolivia 2 years ago from Central USA

      Glad you got hub of the day or I may not have seen this. Been wanting to make this for a while. Ginger, and mint too, is good for what ales the stomach. I add ginger to foods but finding real ginger ale is difficult. Thanks

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      It is! I've done a hub (on another account) about using ginger to treat morning sickness, as well. Mint is also very, very good.

    • Anthony Moreau profile image

      Richard de Mey 2 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      Now this something our like to try being the beer connesuir that I am.

    • AVailuu profile image

      A. Cristen Vailuu 2 years ago from Augusta, Ga

      Ginger anything is good, but ginger beer just sounds amazing! Great article!

    • tammiejo67 profile image

      Tammie Hardrick 2 years ago from Illinois

      My husband discovered Moscow Mules which require ginger beer. I am looking forward to trying my hand at this. Thank you.

    • iprogress profile image

      Peter 2 years ago from Liverpool United Kingdom

      Awesome Page, definitely going to try this one. I didn't know the difference between the ginger beer and ale either. Its not usually my thing but i think i'll give this one a try for homebrew.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      I love it! Hope you do too (:

    • mary 2 years ago

      Sounds good my husband would like this.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      I hope you try it, Mary! I'm sure he'd love it.

    • Gladiols 2 years ago

      It sounds amazing. Great article! Thanks for sharing.

    • beckisgiftguides profile image
      Author

      Becki Rizzuti 2 years ago from Indianapolis, Indiana

      Thank you, Gladiols! I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do!

    • Soren Osman 2 years ago

      This looks great. I don't exactly have access to alcohol so I have been making homemade wine for a few months. It is a tasty, cheap, and STRONG alternative to spending 15 bucks on a not that great bottle of wine or 12 pack

    • Amber Harding profile image

      Amber Harding 18 months ago from London

      Ginger ale is what I connect holidays with! It's a great drink and I love both its alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions.

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