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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Homemade Fermented Ginger Beer

After reading my friend Pamela’s post from Home Shalom on how to make my own Home Made Ginger Beer, I became excited and thought this would be fun for our two teenagers to make and enjoy a cool refreshing drink especially during the hot Texas summer heat. Our main source of liquids in our house is water, smoothies and juice once a while. Our daughter Leah loves to bake and Zachary loves loves to cook. I call them my Apprentice Chefs. Well they jumped at the chance to learn how to make a fizzy drink! (To view recipe quickly scroll down)  Although there is a fermentation process which produces bubbling, this is not considered an alcoholic drink.

A little about Ginger
We commonly use ginger (Zingiber officinale) , the underground stem or root also known as rhizome. Many Asian dishes use ginger for spicy, pungent and aroma.

It is known for many health benefits, for one, it is good to help aid digestion. According to Prescription for Nutritional Healing ginger can be used for: to fight inflammation, cleanses the colon, reduces, spasms and cramps, and simulates circulation. It is a strong antioxidant and effective antimicrobial agent for sores and wounds. It protects the liver and stomach. It is useful for bowel disorders, circulatory problems, arthritis fever, headache, hot flashes, ingestion, morning sickness, motion sickness muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing also comments that it can cause stomach distress if taken in large quantities. It is not recommended for people taking anticoagulants or have gallstones. And its not recommended for extended use during pregnancy.

Here is the recipe which my children followed watching videos.  This recipe was written by both Zachary and Leah

Home-made SPARKLING Ginger Beer
(Takes about 2 weeks from start to finish)

Ingredients for Culture
  • A little over 4 ½ tablespoons (or about 1/3 cup) ginger root, chopped into small pieces (you will not need it all at once, so you can chop it as you need it.
  • bout 3 cups of filtered water
  • A little over 4 ½ tablespoons (or about 1/3 cup) sucanat or organic sugar (honey will lengthen the process A LOT and molasses might make the beer taste like molasses)

Ingredients for the Syrup
  • Almost 1 gallon of filtered water
  • 2 ½ oz grated/chopped into small pieces (a little over 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • one quart mason jar
  • one gallon jar
  • one large pot (enough to hold about half a gallon)
  • cheesecloth, fabric, or netting (be careful, because flies can crawl through the cheesecloth!)
  • one elastic
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • optional: a scale to measure the ginger
  • about 8 bottles. You can use recycled glass jars of different shapes and sizes, but if you use 1 liter bottles, it might be best to plan on finishing each bottle soon after drinking it. Plastic can work also, although not preferable.
  • A knife which can cut through the fibers of the ginger root. When I was cutting it, I noticed how hard it was. It's not that important, though, to separate each piece of cut ginger, as you can strain them out before bottling the beer. :)
  • stove :)
  • refrigerator

Part One.
The first part of the ginger beer consists of making the culture—what will make our ginger beer sparkle (yay!). Always use filtered or distilled water when making this beer as the chlorine in the water can kill the bacteria we’re trying to let grow.

Fill the Mason jar about ¾ of the way and add the chopped ginger and sugar. (Using another sweetener such as honey will dramatically slow down the fermentation process to about one month versus one week) Mix thoroughly to dissolve the sugar and let sit over night. Continue to add 2 tsp of ginger and 2 tsp of sugar every morning and mix in the mornings and evenings for one week.

Now it’s time to move onto part two!

Part Two.
Now that you have your culture ready, we now need to make the syrup. Pour one half ( ½)  gallon of water into a big pot on high heat. Add chopped ginger 2.5 ounces (a little over 1/2 cup) and let simmer for 30 minutes. After that, add the sugar and lemon juice and mix.  If you are using a scale, use the "tare" function or subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement.

Strain the syrup into the one gallon jar and fill almost up to the top with filtered or distilled water. (Remember, the chlorine in the water can kill the bacteria we’re trying to let grow.) Let cool to room temperature before adding one cup of the culture and mixing thoroughly.

Leave the beer out on the counter and stir morning and evening for 3 days.  The day after pouring the mixture into the jar, we already saw bubbles!  It also had a fermented smell to it.

Pour into bottles, placing caps on bottles and place them into the refrigerator for two days before drinking.

Enjoy! This will taste somewhere in between store-bought ginger ale and beer.

This was our first time our two teens prepared this and we look forward to making more of the same as well as maybe fruit flavoured. If you need a more visual content on how to prepare ginger beer, please visit the Home Shalom Post Here.

Have you tried making Ginger Beer or other fruit flavored beer before?  What was your experience?  Do you have tips that you'd like to share?

This post was shared with
Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist
Tuesday Twisters at GNOWFLINS
Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet
Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade 


  1. I'm thirsty for ginger beer now! :-) Great post! I am so glad you tried it... My family much prefers this to kombucha. Great job on the recipe writing kids!

  2. I will have to give this a try again, it's been years since I've made it!
    Thanks for the post!

  3. Does it smell fermenty, like kombucha? I want to try this, but I hate to make a large batch and my kids won't drink it! LOL. Looks great though, maybe I'll halve the recipe and go from there.

  4. Zach and Leah mentioned they could smell some fermentation when they were making it. I don't smell it when I drink it. I have never made kombucha so I can't compare it. Mommy Set Free says her family prefers it to kombucha. Hope this helps.

  5. Fermented, very hydrating drinks like this is what we depend on at our house to get us through the long, hot summer. Thanks for sharing this great recipe at Monday Mania!

  6. How do you make sure it doesn't ferment into an alcoholic beverage?

  7. Anonymous, alcoholic fermentation generally involves yeast while lactic acid fermentation generally involves bacteria. Yeast want to feed on much more sugar than is in these kinds of recipes, so they are out-competed by bacteria, hence only tiny amounts of alcohol are produced. Thus I would follow the recipe, making sure not to accidentally add twice the sugar or forgetting and letting the fermentation go on extra-long. If you follow the recipe and you're in doubt, I recommend giving the beverage a good sniff and then trusting your own judgment. I've had moistly fermenting honey smell detectably alcoholic after about two weeks (makes sense, as there's lots of sugar and yeast thriving there) and it smelled totally different from lacto-fermenting foods.


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