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Author Notes: I always thought you needed a SodaStream or something similar to make your own carbonated drinks at home. Then I realized all you need is some yeast, sugar, and water! The addition of fresh, grated ginger and some lemon juice (the citric acid prevents the growth of anything funky) produces your own homemade ginger beer!
Despite the name, there is barely any alcohol in this drink, just the small amount of byproduct the yeast produces when creating the carbonation to make this drink fizzy. It is a lot stronger in flavor than ginger ale, perfect for those who like the spicy kick of ginger.
You can strain the ginger beer if you really want to get rid of all the sediments, but I never do because the grated ginger doesn't really bother me, and I feel like you'd lose a lot of carbonation during the straining process. Most of the solids either end up floating on top or settling to the bottom anyways, so it's pretty easy to avoid them if you really want. If you're not planning on straining the solids out, I'd recommend peeling the ginger before grating it (a spoon works really well for this!). —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
Makes 1 liter bottle
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon yeast (I've used both instant and regular baker's yeast and both work fine)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Juice from half a lemon
- Cold spring water
- Use a funnel to pour the sugar and yeast into a swing-top 1 liter glass bottle.
- Mix the freshly grated ginger with the lemon juice in a measuring cup with a spout. Transfer the ginger and lemon juice to the bottle. Rinse out the measuring cup with some of the cold spring or filtered water and pour that into the bottle. Fill the bottle about half way with more cold water.
- Seal the bottle and shake well to mix all the ingredients together. You want to make sure that all the sugar at the bottom has been mixed into the solution. Carefully open the bottle and add more water until there is only an inch of air left at the top. Seal the bottle and shake again.
- Leave the bottle in a warm place out of direct sunlight for about 2 days and then move to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation. Sometimes you can tell when it's ready because if you shake the bottle, you'll see bubbles form, but sometimes you don't, and it's still fizzy. If you really want to make sure the ginger beer is ready, double the recipe and fill up a 2 litter plastic soda bottle. Test the fermentation by squeezing the bottle; when it doesn't give anymore, it's done.
- Pour over ice and enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Daytime Drinks
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