Greetings! Today I've got a biggie for you: how to make your own homemade, delicious, nutritious Ginger Beer! It takes a bit of time but the result is so worth. Check it out!
We're making a probiotic Ginger Beer here. "Probiotic" means that it contains living, beneficial microbes. Taking probiotics replenishes the life in your intestines, which aids in digestion and nutrient assimilation. This probiotic Ginger Beer is super healthy, super inexpensive to make, and super delicious!
It takes about 4 weeks from start to finish, but don't let this deter you! This recipe will yield 18 liters/5 gallons of Ginger Beer.
-5 gallon food grade plastic bucket
-4 lbs panela/rapadura/dehydrated molasses
-1 lb. ginger
Step 1: Make your culture. The first step of the process is to make your "ginger bug," which will be used to inoculate your brew. In a sealable container, mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon white sugar and 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Important: Do not peel the ginger root! The skin of the ginger introduces the beneficial bacteria which you will cultivate in your ginger bug and which will ultimately bring your Ginger Beer to life.
Your "bug" must be maintained. Every day for 1 week, add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon grated ginger to the jar and shake well. Within a week it should be bubbly and fizzing--that means that it's alive! You're ready for Step 2.
Step 2: Make Ginger Beer. Chop/grate the remaining ginger root and the 4 lbs of panela/rapadura/dehydrated molasses. Fill and heat a large pot of water and add ginger root and panela. Bring to a boil and remove from heat (make sure that the panela has completely dissolved). While you are waiting for the water to boil, juice the 6 limes. Once water, ginger, and panela have come to a boil and been removed from the heat, strain the mixture into your bucket and fill with cold water to top of bucket. Add the lime juice and strain the liquid from the ginger bug in as well. Stir well, and continue to stir every day for 1 week.
Step 3: Bottle. After stirring every day for 1 week, it's time to bottle. We use clean glass bottles. Usually after 1 week or so in the bottle, enough carbonation has built up to make a delicious, fizzy drink (if you don't allow carbonation to build up, it tastes like a flat soda). If you bottle in glass, a trick to keep track of carbonation levels is to use one plastic bottle. Watching how much the plastic bottle bulges as carbonation builds up inside will let you know when all your glass bottles are ready to be opened. Generally this takes about 1 week, though temperature and other factors can speed up or slow down fermentation.
Week 4: Drink your Ginger Beer! If you were paying close attention, you'll notice you used up the who ginger bug back in week 2 when you added it to the hot ginger/panela tea. Whenever you want to make more Ginger Beer, begin at week 1 with a fresh bug. You can vary the recipe by using other sweetened herbal teas in place of ginger, inoculating with the same ginger bug. Enjoy!
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