Ginger Beer Recipe
Ginger beer is one of our favourites at Wild Bob's HQ and it always goes down well at our Trail Kids sessions when we're celebrating something special too! This recipe is a very simple and fun method of making your very own fizzy drinks!
First up you'll need to make yourself a bubbling, ginger bug. It's a simple process but will take a week or so to get going. Just follow our recipe here and you'll be ready to brew your first batch in no time.
What you need...
Equipment: large mixing bowl, a tea towel and some string to cover the bowl with, a muslin and string to tie, a funnel, a sieve and a ladle.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of sugar, juice of 1 lemon, 500mls boiling water and 2 litres of water straight from the tap and your ginger bug.
You'll also need bottles with a capacity of 3 litres. I tend to use 6 x 500ml swingtop glass bottles from Ikea. You can also use old plastic bottles if you have any lying around, better to reuse than to buy new!
When it comes to sugar you can use whatever you like. The more refined the sugar the quicker the beer will be ready but the less flavour it will impart on the finished product.
As I've mentioned before tap water should do the job when it comes to water unless you have particularly hard water or high levels of chlorine in your drinking water. You should have solved these problems while making the ginger bug recipe and there are a few tips over on the ginger bug recipe page for what to do if you're struggling.
What you do....
Right, first up make sure everything is clean, bottles, mixing bowl, etc. Then place your 1 1/2 cups of sugar, juice of 1 lemon and 500ml boiling water in a mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Next, add the 2 litres of tap water to the bowl. Then you need to place your sieve over the mixing bowl and line it with the muslin. Give your ginger bug a stir and pour it through the muslin. Pull the corners of the muslin together to make a little parcel of the solid elements of your ginger bug and tie so the contents remain in the muslin and don't get into your ginger beer. Place the muslin containing the ginger bug into your bowl of ginger beer, cover the bowl with the tea towel, tie in place to keep it covered and leave overnight.
The following day you will be ready to bottle. Simply remove the muslin containing the ginger bug, remembering to give it a good squeeze, and set it aside. Using the ladle and funnel decant your ginger beer into your clean bottles. Remember to leave at least 4 fingers gap above the top of the liquid in each bottle so you don't end up with any exploding bottles! Ensure the lids are properly fastened and set aside away from direct sunlight at room temperature. Your ginger beer will begin to get a bit of a fizz after 3 or 4 days but for best results leave for about 7 days before popping it in the fridge and enjoying chilled!
The contents of your muslin are still very much usable and will give you your next batch of ginger beer. Simply put the contents of your muslin back into a clean jar, if you've got some ginger beer left in your bowl top the jar up to 2/3rds full, screw on the lid and pop it back in the fridge. The sugar content in your ginger beer will be plenty to feed the ginger bug for a week or so, you will then need to feed the ginger bug weekly with 2 tablespoons of sugar to keep it alive. If you've no ginger beer left in your bowl after bottling simply add the juice of 1 lemon, 2 x tablespoons of sugar and top up with tap water to 2/3rds full. Once it's in the fridge remember to loosen the lid every now and then too, we don't want any exploding jars!
When you're ready to brew again just remove the jar from the fridge the day before to allow it to come to room temperature and follow from the beginning of this recipe!
Once bottled the longer you leave the ginger beer out of the fridge the less sugar will be left in your finished product and the stronger the flavour will become. It's all about personal preference so experiment a little until you find out exactly what works for you. :)