Growing up, my mother made a lot of ginger beer in summer just before Christmas. She had the most amazing bottles that she used, glass covered in wicker and I remember lying in bed at night hearing a cork pop every now and then.
As spring has begun here, and the weather is toasty hot again, I thought there would be nothing better than having some ice-cold homemade ginger beer to sip on while lying next the pool, watching the giraffes meander past.
- +/- two 5cm bits of fresh ginger (my mother used powdered ginger as fresh ginger was hard to find)
- a lemon
- 4,5 cups of sugar
- a few raisins
- 2 litres of boiling water
- 4 litres of room temperature water
- One 10g pack of instant dried yeast
- Grate the ginger into the bucket (unpeeled is fine)
- Grate the rind of the lemon into the bucket and squeeze the lemon juice into the bucket
- Add the sugar
- Add raisins
- Pour the 2 litres of boiling water over the sugar/ginger and lemon and stir till the sugar dissolves.
- Top up to 6 liters with cool water
- When the temp of the mixture is about body temperature (this is important – it must not be too hot) sprinkle the yeast onto the ginger beer and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
- Cover the bucket and leave overnight. I sometimes leave it for 24 hours so timing here is not essential as long as it has had a good few hours to brew.
- Sieve the ginger beer through a clean dish towel.
- Bottle the beer in plastic or glass bottles with tight sealing lids. (I use plastic recycled fizzy cold drink bottles)
- Leave in a cool place for two to three days. Release the pressure in the bottles twice a day. Leave for longer if you want a more alcoholic beer. If it tastes too sweet leave it for another day before refrigerating.
- Once the ginger beer tastes just like you want it, put the bottles into the fridge.