I was watching an episode of River Cottage, a UK food show a few weeks ago and came across this easy method for making your own ginger beer. The same method could be applied to almost any flavoring that you might want. I recommend fresh ingredients over dried or artificial. If you are going to make soda yourself, you might as well make something as wholesome and tasty as possible. You can buy any soda you want at the store. Make this something different.
This ginger beer, like all brewed sodas, will contains a small amount of alcohol due to the fermentation that creates the bubbles. It is usually never more than 1%-2%, though.
If you do, it is almost guaranteed that you will explode the bottle, causing yourself quite a bit of danger and mess. Stick with plastic. Even then, keep it in a location that won’t be harmed too much from flying sugar water, should it occur.
Here is the River Cottage recipe. I will add my changes in parentheses.
Date Published: 03/11/2010
There’s lashings of Hugh’s famous fizz all round on River Cottage Every Day
Hugh: “For this, you will need screw-top, 2-litre plastic bottles, which you have cleaned thoroughly using sterilising tablets.”
(I sterilized my bottle with a capful of bleach to a bottle of water. Swish it around and then poor it out. RInse with fresh water. I only had 1 .5 liter bottle on hand. It seemed to work just a well, although you may want to short the ingredients a bit to compensate for the small size.)
Per 2-liter bottle:
- ¼ tsp brewer’s yeast (I used the baking yeast I had around)
- 225g caster sugar (I used 1/2 granulated sugar and 1/2 brown sugar)
- 1½-2 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 good tbsp honey
Method: How to make ginger beer
- Add the yeast to the bottle. With a funnel, pour in the sugar.
- Mix the grated ginger with the lemon juice and honey.
- Pour the ginger mixture through the funnel into the bottle. Now fill the bottle about ¾ full with water, put the cap on and shake the bottle until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Top up the bottle with water, leaving a 2.5cm gap at the top, to allow for production of gas. Cap the bottle tightly, then place it somewhere warm. Leave it for about 48 hours. Once the bottle feels very hard and has no give in it, your beer should be ready.
- Place the bottle in the fridge for several hours to stop the yeast working. Once the beer is thoroughly chilled, pass it through a fine sieve and serve.
© River Cottage Every Day
After about 48 hours the bottle was very firm and the bottom of the bottle had pushed out from the pressure. I placed it in the fridge for a few hours this morning and tasted it this afternoon. There was a burst of gas released when I opened the bottle, but the soda remained quite fizzy on pouring and drinking.
The soda was very gingery and a bit sweet. I might cut back on the sugar just a bit next time. If it is too sweet, you can mix it with sparkling water to match your tastes.