We’ve been making ginger beer for some time now and generally it has been our storeroom staple. It’s cheap, natural, easy, super fast, most of the ingredients are from the supermarket and best of all its great on a summers day.
Our ingredients are
- Unrefined Sugar
- Cream of Tartar
I haven’t given amounts as I make it in a big blue barrel which I found in my uncles shed, I don’t even know how much the barrel holds! I’ve put tap at the bottom which is amazingly handy for bottling and it means that I don’t have to worry about straining the brew through muslin. I just open the tap and bottle through a sieve, funnel and a bit of garden hose. I know that 1kg of ginger, 1 pack of unwaxed lemons and 2.5kg of sugar gives me a nice brew. I’ve used my hydrometer to get my strengths right and as long as I’m not using any sugary ingredients it works perfectly. Simply wash the ginger, slice it in the food processor, put it in a pot with the unrefined sugar, lemon rind and boiling water, bring to the boil then throw it into the barrel, top up to the handles with cold water and add the lemon juice, cream of tartar and yeast. That’s it, once its stopped fizzing and the sg is below 1 then bottle (usually in 2 litre fizzy bottles) and prime. Its super fast and you can use a very similar recipe for loads of other beers including nettle.
DO NOT PANIC if you do not own a big blue barrel.
This brew has done us perfectly up until now but recently everyone has been going on about Crabbies ginger beer saying its fantastic, so I bought a bottle the other day to compare. I quite liked it as you can taste the spices but not as much of the fiery ginger heat and it was very sweet. There is also a slight price difference at £2+ a bottle compared to about £8ish for a barrel. This lead me to thinking could I improve our home brew to rival and dare I say surpass its more expensive relation. My thinking is that if I can add some spices and a little more sweetness but still keep the fiery heat of our home brew we could have a king of ginger beers.
The Ginger Beer Challange
To create a fantastic tasting ginger beer that will rival any other on the market but cost very little to produce. It must also be made using minimum home brewing equipment, most of which can be bought from the supermarket. I’d like this to be a staple for any home brewer but more importantly a great starter for someone with little or no equipment.
I’m starting now and when I’ve got a great recipe I’ll publish it here.