How to make Homemade Ginger Beer

Never buy ginger beer again. Ginger beer is inexpensive, easy to make, and the perfect fermentation project for beginners. The sweet and peppery fermented drink is exceptional for mixing with cocktails or to drink on its own.

Ginger beer is a naturally fermented beverage made with 3 ingredients, ginger, water, and sugar. The fermentation occurs from the yeast and bacteria found on the ginger. Lactobacillus is found in all types of foods. While most supermarket ginger beers are non-alcoholic the version we are making today has a tiny bit of alcohol. Just under 1% ABV.

In case you are looking for another super easy fermentation recipe check our Blueberry Cider and Adding Flavor.

Three bottles of homemade ginger beer with fresh ginger root and wooden spoons.
Credit: https://mommypotamus.com/homemade-ginger-ale-recipe/

Creating the Ginger Bug

The first step of making ginger beer is to make what is called a ginger bug. We use it to build up the yeast and bacteria colony. So that we are able to ferment the ginger liquid into ginger beer. For making the ginger bug you’ll need a clean mason jar, and then rough chop 10 grams of ginger including the skin. It’s a good idea to use organic ginger so you can ensure there are no pesticides on it.

Next, add 10 grams of any sugar. Were using table sugar and lastly add 250 milliliters of water to the jar. Give it a good shake and mix everything up. Cover it with a napkin and a rubber band. Or if you have fermentation lids you can use that.

Either way, we won’t allow the CO2 created by fermentation to escape but not let anything else in. Set that on your counter at room temperature for 1 day. Just repeat that process for the next 3 to 4 days. Same amounts as before until the ginger bug starts to foam. That foam is a sign that the yeast is doing its job.

Preparation for making ginger bug with jar of ginger, spoons of sugar and glass of water.
Credit; https://zerowastechef.com/2015/06/10/ginger-bug/

Making ginger beer

Once the ginger but is foamed up we can prepare the ginger beer. In a small stockpot add 1 liter of water and turn on the heat. Once the water is almost to a simmer add 100 grams of sugar and 30 grams of chopped ginger. Bring to a simmer and set the timer for 5 minutes to infuse. After 5 minutes strain out the ginger and let the liquid cool down to room temperature. While that cools down strain 50 grams of the ginger bug liquid and set that aside.

When it’s cooled down you can combine those two. Pour it into a fermentation-grade bottle. By putting the ginger beer into a bottle ginger will continue to ferment and it will build up carbonation. Close it or cap it and set it aside for 3 days at room temperature to build up pressure and then throw it in the fridge to chill.

If you want to make more ginger beer in the next couple of days just keep feeding your ginger bug. Until it foams up and it’s ready to use to make more drinks. For long-term storage, you can put it in your fridge and it will last indefinitely. when you want to make more ginger beer take it out of the fridge and feed it for a few days until it starts to foam up.

This ginger beer has a spicy aroma. It is slightly peppery and sweet. You get a bit of a warm bite and a little sweetness as well. You can add more sugar when making ginger beer if you want more sweetness. Cheers.

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