Homemade Alcoholic Ginger Beer – With a Kick
Guys. If you pay money at the store for ginger beer – stop it. If you never drink ginger beer – GET OUT. I mean, unless you’re allergic to ginger beer or something. If that’s the case, sorry to have brought it up.
I’ve been pretty big into meadmaking lately, because all of you guys are crazy about it and you’re pretty smart, and my AleHorn gets bored of beer sometimes. I recently made a ginger bug as a mead starter, and my kitchen has smelled like ginger for a few days, the inevitable result of which is an unnatural craving for ginger stuff. I wanna drink that starter up – but meadmaking is about patience. Dammit.
So I looked into making some ginger beer, which as it turns out is insanely, ludicrously, absurdly easy. Use this recipe that I found on Food52 or don’t – but be careful, because a lot of the recipes are for non-alcoholic ginger ale, which would be no good at all-except to make dark and stormies.
Anywho, it’ll have about as much alcohol as a light beer, says the recipe.
Here is the Easy to Make Alcoholic Ginger Beer Recipe
You’ll need these things:
- 1.5 tsp champagne yeast
- 2.5 cups warm, filtered water (NO! NOT TOO HOT! Be nice to your yeast, always.)
- 5 tbs Freshly grated ginger (1 tbs daily for up to 5 days)
- Granulated sugar (amount will vary based on taste)
- The juice of 2 lemons
- 1 large glass jar
- 2-3 pop bottles
- 1 sliced jalapeno (if you dare)
Do these things with those things:
- Stir the yeast into the warm water until it’s all dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon sugar, lemon juice, sliced jalapeno (only if you want) and stir. The pepper will give you a satisfying burn. Pour into a big glass jar that can accommodate all the liquid with room to spare. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth or some cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band around the mouth. Place it in a very warm area (that’s not too hot) like near a heater.
- Every day, feed the ginger beer. The bottle should be slightly warm to the touch. If it’s not, your yeast might go to sleep. Feed it another tablespoon of both grated ginger and sugar. Stir and replace the towel.
- After a week, you’ll see little bubbles floating to the surface of your ginger beer. It’s time.
- Prepare to bottle. Use plastic soda bottles, as glass could explode from the carbonation. Guess how much water you’d need to fill the bottles 3/4 of the way full, then boil the water. Dissolve a bunch of sugar in the water. It should be sweet like soda.
- Strain the chunks of ginger out of your ginger beer starter using a cheesecloth. Add a cup or so of the starter to each sanitized, dry soda bottle using a funnel. Adjust for intensity using more or less of the ginger mixture according to your preference. Add boiled water that’s been cooled to room temperature until the bottles are 3/4 of the way full. If they need more ginger, add more starter. If they’re too sweet, it’s ok, that’ll diminish.
- Seal the bottles with their caps screwed on tightly. Place them back in the warm spot. After a few days, they’ll be hard to squeeze, which means the CO2 is building up. When they’re too hard to squeeze at all, unscrew the cap until the carbonation just starts to escape, but don’t open them all the way. Repeat this step whenever the bottles become too hard to squeeze.
- After a 1.5-2 weeks, the yeast will have eaten up most or all of the sugar in the bottle, which means it’s definitely party time. Open a bottle to taste test, and add more sugar or lemon if needed. Consume the whole bottle within 24 hours after opening. Make some mixers with it, or drink it straight. Yum.