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Old Fashioned Ginger Beer

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wee stu

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My daughter (10 years old) is developing into a keen brewster in her own right. She's knocked up three very pleasant (non alcoholic) ginger beer kits, to date.
Spurred on by the old man, however, she wants to ditch the kits and make "real" ginger beer, in her very own brury.
I was wondering whether anyone on this site had experience of making their own ginger beer using a traditional homemade, ginger beer plant? Recipes and/or tips all most welcome.

And yes I have googled, and passed on a substantial file to my daughter as "homework", but she got a promise from me that I would ask my fellow AHBers for there advice as well.
 

pint of lager

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Stu, ginger beer plants can be a marvelous source of just about any wild yeast floating around.

About 15 years ago, we made quite a few batches using a plant, eventually it went wild and there was exploding bottles. Nasty.

After doing lots of brewing, I would now use a known pure yeast, rather than something exotic that happened to be floating by at the time the plant was forming. With the effort you put into making a brew, taking a lucky dip on yeasts can lead to batches being dumped.

This is definitely a good time to use pet bottles.

If you want a recipe, I will dig out the book, that had some good recipes in it, was the ABC Q and A Cookbook.

Was I think, sultanas, sugar and dried powdered ginger, fed for a week with a spoonful of each every day, then divided up, half into a brew, the rest fed for a week.
 

Doc

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A quick look at my bookshelf and one of my old-fashioned books I've found a recipe for how to do it from starting your own plant.

Beers,
Doc

How to start a Ginger Beer Plant

Grow a Ginger Beer Plant
Take 55gr of bakers yeast and put into a jar with 280ml of water, 2 level teaspoons of sugar and 2 levels teaspoons of ginger.

Feed It
Each day for 7-10 days feed it by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teapsoon of ground ginger. You will see it grow day by day

Strain It
Strain the mixture through a piece of muslin or a very fine house sieve (keep the sediment) and add to the liquid the juice of 2 lemons, 450gr of granulated sugar and 570ml of boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then make up to one gallon with cold water.

Bottle It
Put the ginger into pop bottles, filling to about 75mm from the top, and leave for 2 hours, taking care not to put them on the stone floor, unless standing on a piece of wood. Then cork lightly. Keep for seven to ten days before drinking.

Start again
The sediment you had left over after straining can be divided into two and put into seperate jars. Now you can start again, but you now have two plants instead of one. Give one to a friend so they can make their own Ginger beer. Add half a pint of water to the other plant and carry on as before from Feed it.
 

wee stu

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pint of lager said:
Stu, ginger beer plants can be a marvelous source of just about any wild yeast floating around.
[post="47238"][/post]​
Thanks lager. In part, I think I am looking at it as a bit of a science experiment for the young lady! I think the traditional plants used the sultanas as their source of yeast. Mmmmm lambic ginger beer, sounds the grouse. :ph34r:
Pet bottles do seem like a very good idea, as well as storage outside the house. Talked to lots of people who remembered their parents and grandparents making it. Nobody could remember any recipes, but they could all remember the explosions in the night :eek: .

Doc said:
A quick look at my bookshelf and one of my old-fashioned books I've found a recipe for how to do it from starting your own plant.
[post="47240"][/post]​
Cheers doc, maybe we'll play around with two versions, one using a stable relaible sourceof yeast and one throwing caution to the winds.
 

pint of lager

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From "ABC Radio's Q&A Cook Book" by Peter McCormack.

An Old Family Recipe.

The Plant:
1/2 cup sugar
1 dessertspoon ground ginger
juice of one lemon
1.1 litres water
additional sugar and ginger

1. mix first four ingredients in a wide necked jar or similar container
2. allow to stand for 3 days
3. pour off almost all the liquid and feed the residue for four days with 1 teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of ground ginger

The Ginger Beer:
4 1/2 litres water
4 cups of sugar
juice of four lemons
2 tablespons ground ginger

4. After four days, stir the plant vigorously and strain through muslin or nylon into a large container.
5. To the liquid add the sugar and water dissolved together, the lemon juice and ground ginger
6. mix well
7. bottle and seal well

Subsequent Procedure

1 1/2 cups water
7 teaspoons ginger
7 teaspoons sugar

8. return the "plant" residue to jar
9. add water
10. feed for seven days with one teaspoon of ginger and one teaspoon of ground ginger
11. Strain through muslin or nylon, reserving liquid and plant

3 cups sugar
1 gallon water
1/2 cup lemon juice

12. make up liquid with sugar, water and lemon juice
13. mix well
14. bottle and seal
15. ready in 10 days
Repeat ad nauseam.

We followed this recipe for quite a while and enjoyed it thoroughly, till the plant went wild and the bottles exploded.
 

Kai

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First off I reckon you could possibly even consider ditching the plant and doing the newfangled thing & using a known yeast strain. After all, the ginger beer plant method probably originated a bit before you could buy yeast in nice little sachets.

Secondly, from what I gather about homemade ginger beer, the general method was to rely on either refrigeration or pressure to retard the yeast, leaving sugar in the brew and the ginger beer sweet and tasty, hence all the memories of bottle-bombs as a kid.

I think sosman makes his own ginger beer from time to time, and if you talk nicely to chiller he might come up with an all grain recipe for you ;)
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I think I wil make a couple of batches of ginger beer using the plant method. I can always add a bit of pot. sorbate to stop the yeast fermenting.

Jovial Monk
 

sosman

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I used to make ginger beer from a "plant". Pint of Lager - where has your sense of adventure gone?

Use the sultanas and make a wild yeast plant.

My mantra for ginger beer is this:

"Ginger beer is all about timing, bottle before it has fermented out and drink before it explodes".

My less traditional recipe is at ginger beer. Just adjust ginger to taste and leave out safale if you make it from wild plant.

I find they tend to ferment slowly with safale. Maybe one advantage of using a plant is that the yeast get accustomed to a sucrose solution. Chucking in a bit of DME would add some protein and other nutrients that would presumably be beneficial.
 

Doc

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How did your daughter go with this Wee Stu ?
Got a ginger plant growing in your kitchen yet ? Pics ?

Beers,
Doc
 

wee stu

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I think it is gearing up to an Easter break project doc, watch this space!
 

apd

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wee stu,

I thought I'd revive this thread to see if your ginger plant got off the ground, so to speak.

I'm interested in how this goes as I'm into making sourdough bread and this sounds like a pretty similar process.

Cheers
 

SpaceMonkey

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I remember my mum getting a plant up an running and making some half-decent ginger beer as a kid. Unfortunately the fun stopped after one of the bottles blew the door off the cupboard they were being stored in!!!
 

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