Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Home-made Ginger Beer and the everlasting Ginger Beer Plant.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Recipes
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Home-made Ginger Beer and the everlasting Ginger Beer Plant. Reply with quote

Home-made Ginger Beer and the everlasting Ginger Beer Plant.

On the run up to my recent birthday, and the dinner that Lois prepared and served for me and my friends, I decided to make some home-made Ginger Beer, to serve as both a refreshing drink, and as an ingredient in Ice Cream floaters; it was a resounding success. I chose to to utilise the "Everlasting Ginger Beer Plant" method, starting it off 14 days before my Birthday dinner.


You will need a large piece of Ginger root, of about 1lb or 450 grams.

2lbs or about 1kg of White granulated Sugar.

1 level teaspoon of yeast (I used a standard cheap bread making yeast).

The juice from 2 whole Lemons, or 4-6 tablespoons of bottled Lemon juice.

Lots of boiling water.

Equipment & Utensils.

1 Large capacity glass jar; I utilised a 1 litre capacity swing top type kilner jar. I really like this type of storage jar, finding them very convenient to use.

A grater that can produce reasonable fine gratings. I used my 6 sided" Dalak" style grater.

A plastic or wooden spatular.

A teaspoon and a tablespoon.

A two gallon/10 litre capacity plastic bucket.

A Thermometer (if you have one, but it is not necessary)

A suitable funnel that fits into the neck of the bottles.

A suitable size piece of muslin or Coffee filters; paper ones that fit into the funnel are perfect, but I use a fine wire "basket" type that I obtained from an old coffee maker.

Enough empty Plastic screw top pop/soft drinks bottles making up about 1 gallon, or 5 litres capacity; Warning; Do not use glass bottles unlesss they are either; sparkling Wine, Chamapgne or Beer bottles, and you have the tops and equipment to cap them properly. I originally used wired flip top bottles to my cost, as one bottle exploded and the resulting mess of fizzy Ginger beer sprayed about my kitchen was difficult to clean up.


Making the Ginger Beer "Starter" or "Everlasting Ginger Plant."

Day One.

Sterlise the storage jar that you have chosen to use. Boil and cool 3/4 of a pint of water, and pour this into the jar. Grate about 1 teaspoon of ginger root into the jar, add a teaspoon of sugar, and stir well preferably with a plastic spatular. A few minutes later when the ingredients have started to settle, add the yeast to the surface of the mixture; do not stir again at this point, the yeast needs some oxygen through contact with the air to begin doing it's thing. Leave the top off of the jar and allow it to stand for about 8-10 hours or over night, then seal the jar with it's lid.

Day Two.

Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated Ginger root, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir in well and reseal the lid on the jar.

Day Three.

Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated Ginger root, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir in well and reseal the lid on the jar.

Day Four.

Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated Ginger root, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir in well and reseal the lid on the jar.

Day Five.

Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated Ginger root, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir in well and reseal the lid on the jar.

Day Six.

Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated Ginger root, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, stir in well and reseal the lid on the jar.

Day Seven.

Making and Bottling the Ginger beer.

Clean and sterlise the following; Bucket, Bottles, and Funnel.

To make 1 gallon or about 5 litres of Ginger beer; weigh out 1 & 1/2 lbs (or about 680 grams) of sugar and finely grate 4 heaped tablepoons of Ginger root and add these to the bucket. Dissolve the sugar with 1/2 a gallon or 2.5 litres of boiling water. Add the rest of the boiling water to make up the rest of the 1 gallon or 5 litres while constantly stirring, and then add the Lemon juice. Allow this mixture to stand and cool to below 40 degrees centigrade (or just above body temperature, if you do not have a thermometer). Install the muslin/paper coffee filter into the funnel, and place over the bucket. You may need the assistance of a second person for this, but I cheated, and drilled a hole in a length of wood to act as a third hand and hold the funnel steady for me. Strain the mixture from your starter jar thorugh the filter, allowing it to blend into the bucket of other ingredients. Scoop a jug full from the bucket and pour over the starter again, just to rinse it through a bit, and then gently squeeze the remaining juices from the starter. Stir the mixture in the bucket well, and allow to stand until it has stabalised at room temperature. Then using the funnel and filter, bottle off and allow to ferment for seven days before chilling and serving. If you have a home-brewing hydrometer this is the time to take your initial reading.

You now have two choices regarding the original Ginger Beer starter;

A) Throw away the starter.

Cool Half the starter. Boil and cool about 3/4 pint of water and add to the original jar, grate 1 teaspoon of Ginger root and add to the jar, stir in another 1 teaspoon of Sugar, and then add the saved half of the original starter. Continue adding more grated Ginger and Sugar as outlined in the instructions above, and in seven days you can make another batch of very tasty Ginger Beer. You can then use the other half of the starter to begin again, doubling your Ginger Beer making capacity, give it away as a gift to a friend or family member, or throw it away whilst retaining and nurturing your half of the original starter.

My starting Specific Gravity reading was; 1.060 and after week of fermenting in the bottles a very low ABV of 0.75% was obtained. This provided a very tasty and refreshing drink before my Birthday dinner party, with the " Coup de grace" being a rather good Ginger beer ice cream floater for dessert. At seven days old, the taste was surprisingly sweet and smooth with a little hint of heat from the Ginger, and a very pleasent "Cream Soda" type texture on the tongue. However, after 14 days of fermenting in the bottles, the remaining 2 litres had acheived a very respectable ABV of 6.35%, the taste of Ginger had sharpened somewhat, but still had that "Cream Soda" type texture on the tongue, leaving the mouth dry, and giving a bit of a bubbly hot smack to the tonsils when swallowed. Lois and I drank the remaining 2 litres, resulting in us then enjoying one of those "tiddly, giggly, pissed and playful" evenings together.

The ingredients all together and ready to start making the starter; 2 teaspoons of sugar, a piece of root ginger, yeast, and warm water.


The ginger root finely grated;


The starter all made up and in it's jar:


The yeast added to the starter:


The starter's daily feed of; finely grated root ginger and sugar:


30 minutes later and the refuelled starter is beginning to ferment:


Making the Ginger Beer; the boiled water, dissolved sugar and extra grated ginger cooling in the bucket, ready for the addition of the starter:


The starter ready to be added to the rest of the batch of Ginger Beer ingredients:


The funnel and filter in postition over the bucket; see how easy it is with a drilled piece of wood:


Pouring the starter in;


Straining the starter through the filter:


Close up of the now drained starter in the filter; this is when you half it, and begin all over again:


The initial bottling of the ginger beer, so that it ferments in the bottles. Warning; do not use glass bottles as shown in the photo(s). Use srew topped plastic fizzy pop bottles.


The first bottle filled and ready for capping:


My first gallon of ginger beer, which will be ready to drink in seven days time:

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Recipes All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You can post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group