Jim's Ginger Beer
Excellent, and really refreshing - much better than bought ginger 'beer'. The traditional cloudy stuff.
15g fresh yeast, or a 7g sachet of dried yeast (wine yeast will produce more alcohol)
2 rounded tsp ground ginger
2 rounded tsp sugar
425 ml tepid water - bottled, not chlorinated tap water (tap water is probably OK, but too much chlorine can kill yeast)
Leave 24 hours.
Feed daily with 1 rounded tsp ginger and 1 rounded tsp sugar, and give it a bit of a stir.
On the seventh day, using a wire strainer and some muslin, cheese cloth or loose weave cotton, strain the ginger mix through the cloth into a large bowl. Squeeze as much liquid as possible into the bowl. This is what flavours the drink and continues to ferment it in the bottles.
Dissolve 600g sugar in 1 litre of hot water.
Add 3 litres cold water and the juice of 2 lemons.
Bottle using plastic bottles and let them sit on the kitchen counter, with the tops loose, for a few days to continue fermenting and build up the alcohol level. Then tighten the tops and put the bottles in the fridge. The longer you leave them out, the more alcoholic it will become.
To keep the plant going, add 425 ml water to the remaining solids and repeat the process.
Discard half of the plant every 2 weeks - or give it to a friend who wants a go!
If you want to use fresh yeast, you can buy it in little cubes from Mercadona.
None of the quantities, timings or techniques are cast in stone.
The plastic bottles I prefer are Mercadona's 1.5 litre tonic, although I'm keeping some 2 litre Fanta bottles in reserve. These are nice strong bottles, unlike those in which you buy still water.
Once it goes in the fridge, it will still continue fermenting - to be on the safe side, I let off the pressure each day or so.
We got rid of all our wine making equipment before we moved out here, and I didn't want to use a bucket, so this is what I did:
I split the infusion between three 1.5 L bottles.
I prepared the sugar syrup in a pan, then once cooled a bit, again split this between the three bottles.
I then topped up the bottles with tap water to about 5 cm from the tops of the bottles.
Upend a few times to mix, loosen the tops, and leave alone for a few days.
For my next trick:
We've got some ginger capsules from Healthspan, which we use to supplement fresh or powdered ginger in ginger cake and biscuits. You're supposed to swallow them, but that's a waste! On the current batch, I'm adding the extract from one of these capsules each day, along with the powdered ginger & sugar. Hopefully, it will give the next bottling an extra kick.