Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ginger Snapped

After making and enjoying one batch of Ginger Beer in June I could not quench my thirst for the spicy ferminated beverage and continued to refill vintage soda bottles with it all summer long.

Not to be confused with gingerale, ginger beer is a ferminated drink that is cloudy, spicy and peppery strong. Following is the recipe I use -

¼ C Grate Fresh Ginger
2C Sugar + 1 t white sugar
1 gallon + 1C + 1t Water
1/2tbs Bread Yeast
1/4t Cayenne Pepper
1/4t Cream of Tarter
Juice of 1 Lemon & 1 Lime -
(grate off skin to use as well)

2 Large Pots
Glass Bottles with caps
or Jugs with corks
or Large Pickle Jar
Cheese Cloth and Rubber Bands
Fine Mesh Strainer/Cheese Cloth

Pour 1 gallon water in pot on stove to boil.
Add ginger, sugar, citrus, cream of tartar, spices stirring well until sugar dissolves.
While waiting for the pot to boil make a paste of 1t sugar and 1t water sprinkle the yeast over the mixture to wake it.
Add the additional 1/2 c water and let sit for about 1/2 hour.
Fill the sink with cold water and ice cubes before transferring the pot of boiling water from the stove into the sink, allowing the liquid to cool to lukewarm.
Once the batch is cool strain into the 2nd pot removing the ginger pulp and other goodies.
Stir the yeast mixture and add it to the ginger liquid before transferring it to the final storage bottles.
DO NOT fill to the top!! Leave about 1/5 space empty.
Plug, screw cap or cover with rubber banded cheese cloth and place out of direct sunlight.
Can be refrigerated and enjoyed after a few days of fermenting.
Play with the recipe and make to your liking.
Some people add cinnamon stick, ground cayenne pepper and/or nutmeg for more kick
Though fermented the beverage contains little if any alcohol. Enjoy it cold in the summer or room temperature in the fall!

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