Ginger Beer

Ginger beer was made for mixing perfect summer drinks and it’s a breeze to make your own version at home. Making ginger beer is a simple three-step process.

Ginger Juice

ginger juice ingredients

Do you have a juicer collecting dust? Now is when it finally earns its keep. No juicer? Well…honestly, this step is going to take a while. Settle in and work that microplane.

Using a fine grater, grate about 6 tablespoons ginger into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to collect juice, pressing on solids until you collect 3 tablespoons juice. Set aside until needed.

Spiced Simple Syrup

syrup ingredients
3 oz 3oz. 1/2 cup water 1/2 tsp Szechwan peppercons 2 star anise 1/2 oz. dried galangal
I like my ginger beer with a Southeast Asian kick. These three ingredients should be available from any really good spice vendor (like Spice Hound or Coit Road Farmers Market in East Cleveland) or Asian market (like Park To Shop on East 30th in Cleveland).

Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 1 hour. Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl, pressing down to get all of the juice out of the mixture. Set in the refrigerator, uncovered, until it’s cooled to at least room temperature.

This is the reason to make ginger beer at home. There are plenty of great brands in stores, but are they flavored with vanilla & cardamom? Lime & basil? No sir. The flavor of this simple syrup – and hence your ginger beer – is limited only by your imagination.

Fermentation

  • spiced syrup
  • ginger juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 cups of water
bottle
  • Place all ingredients (listed to the left) in a cleaned, empty 2-liter plastic soda bottle.
  • Check for the desired amount of carbonation; the bottle should be very stiff when squeezed from the carbonation. It is really important that once you achieve your desired amount of carbonation that you refrigerate the ginger beer.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, opening the bottle at least once a day to let out excess carbonation.
  • This recipe relies on yeast to provide the carbonation through kick-started fermentation. Which means, if you don’t pay attention, there’s a non-zero chance that your plastic bottle could blow up under pressure. So pay attention; otherwise you’ll be cleaning up instead of drinking.