Saturday, June 21, 2008


Lashings Of Ginger Beer

Having watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall making elder flower champagne last week, I decided I'd make use of my cider brewing vessels and try and make up something interesting. The ride to Woking each morning didn't reveal any elder flowers so I plumped for ginger beer instead.

After a certain amount of googling, I decided not to bother making a ginger beer plant. Instead my recipe is:
A large chunk of ginger root (about 240 grammes)
Juice and zest from 8 lemons
2.5kg of sugar (I used a mixture of brown and white sugars)
200g of cream of tartar.

Peel and grate the ginger. Add the ingredients to a large pan of water and bring to the boil. I couldn't find a large enough sauce pan so ending up boiling three lots of three pints at a time. Simmer for a few minutes and then tip into the brewing tub.

Leave to cool for half and hour and then top up to the five gallon mark with cold water. Check the specific gravity. Mine came out at 1040 so should give about 5% alcohol.

Dissolve a sachet or two of general purpose wine yeast in water and stir in.

It only took a few hours before it was fermenting away.

To avoid exploding bottles, I plan to let it ferment to about 1005 and then filter and bottle (assuming it tastes ok!). That should give a light sparkle to it as it continues to ferment.

I've still got a couple of other brewing tubs, wonder what else I can make...
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