Friday, 20 July 2012

Ginger Beer

A friend, an exceptionally good cocktail maker, got me into home-brewing ginger beer. Several months ago, while I was in the UK, I watched him painstakingly grate his way through several ginger roots- at least until I felt sorry for him and finished it off- and mix it with lemon juice, sugar syrup, yeast and water, and leave it to do its thing. I put it on my mental to-do list, and eventually got round to it in April.

This is Toby's recipe for ginger beer:

50g grated or juiced ginger root
75ml lemon juice
125ml Simple syrup
300ml warm water

1 tsp yeast

Mix together and fine strain into a fliptop bottle. Leave to ferment for 1-2 days and don't put it next to the oven as I, being an idiot, once did. You may need to add more sugar after this as the yeast eats a lot. Also, this recipe shifts a lot so play with the proportions until you're happy. 

The first time I made ginger beer, I followed these instructions to the letter. It was excellent, not too sweet and with a cold-clearing amount of ginger flavour. 
Since then I have played around with the recipe. I always double the quantities (at least) because there isn't a huge yield, and instead of faffing around with a hand grater, I throw the peeled, roughly chunked ginger into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds. I have been letting it ferment for longer too, up to one week. Personally I think I prefer the shorter time, but others who have tried it are keen on a higher alcohol content. 

My favourite variant has been a coral-pink rhubarb and ginger beer. I replace half the weight of ginger with rhubarb (chopped in the processor along with the ginger) and used half orange, half lemon juice. The flavour was still predominantly ginger, but you can tell the rhubarb is there. 

A ginger and pear version was also good, but does come out a rather unappealing colour.


  1. Sounds good, do keep meaning to make some. You don't have the yeast listed in the ingredients list...?

  2. Thanks for the heads up, I have amended it.
    I'd definitely recommend making it, it is easy and tastes awesome. Only complaint is you do have to use a lot of ginger for a relatively small amount of beer. Good fun to make though!

  3. Love this post, Katie! I just chose you for the Liebster Award on my blog, hope that was okay! I just never cease to be impressed by your creations! Lots of love, we need to catch up!!