This is a lovely refreshing probiotic drink with many health benefits. My husband loves it and usually has it with his main meal of the day. It is a fairly length process but once mastered it is well worth the trouble. Whilst I try not to use sugar there is relatively only a small amount in this drink and the sugar is needed for the fermentation process and some of the sugar is used up in the process of carbonation. So, on the whole, I think it is a worthwhile trade off as there are so many benefits from ginger.
Main benefits of ginger
• Ginger can treat may forms of nausea • Reduces muscle pain and soreness • Anti-inflammatory • Ginger may drastically lower blood sugars and improves heart disease risk factors • Ginger can help digestion • It contains s substance that may help prevent cancer • Can help brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s disease • The active substance Gingerol can help fight infections and thereby support the immune system
6 cups of filtered water 1 cup of grated fresh ginger 1 cup sugar 1 cup of ginger beer bug/baby (see ginger beer bug/baby post) Juice of 1 lemon 1½ litres filtered water 3 litre glass jar with lid
Grate the ginger, and place in a saucepan with 6 cups of filtered water. Bring to the boil and boil for approximately ½ an hour. The longer it is boiled, the stronger the ginger flavour. At this stage carefully taste the liquid bearing in mind it will be further diluted with another litre of water. I have boiled mine for ¾ of an hour.
Strain, add the sugar, stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it cool to room temperature.
When cool, pour the ginger liquid into the large glass jar together with lemon juice and ginger beer bug/baby (you can save a small amount of the bug/baby to start the next batch). Cover with muslin or place the lid on loosely.
The next stage is where it will ferment and also produce the fizz. Place in a dark area away from direct sunlight. Allow to stand for 2 to 3 days depending on room temperature. (In the winter, I place mine in the bottom of the airing cupboard). The ginger bits from the ginger beer bug/baby will float to the top when ready.
Then decant into thick bottles with a sealed flip lid. This will contain the carbonation. If it is fizzy enough for your liking at this stage, refrigerate. If you would like more fizzy drink, leave at room temperature for a day or so, then refrigerate. Refrigerating the ginger beer will slow down the fermentation process and help to stop it becoming too fizzy.
One word of warning, I have had too much carbonation build up and when opening the bottle it has shot up and hit the ceiling! If you are finding that your ginger beer is too fizzy, burp the bottles daily. (This means just releasing the lip a fraction to let out some of the gas.)
NB It is important to use filtered water as the chlorine in tap water could interfere with the fermenting process. The amounts of filtered water can be adjusted slightly as can the sugar used. I have used soft light brown sugar which will give a slightly different flavour. Experiment and have fun!
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