Homemade ginger beer

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
You will also need a 6 litre container or bucket to make your beer in.
  • 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.
Serve with ice.

20 thoughts on “Homemade ginger beer

  1. Wow that looks good. Sweet memories of a sunny, relaxing afternoon near Tsitsikamma. Thanks for sharing the recipe – I’m off to buy a plastic bucket!


  2. Oh, Jackie, I’ve got to share this recipe with my partner Sara. She LOVES ginger beer!

    (By the way, I’m up for any potential blogger gathering in the bush–sitting by a pool, watching giraffes wander by, sipping ginger beer–sounds like bush-heaven to me!)



    • No question is silly 🙂 – I think it’s silly not to ask questions.
      I don’t sterilize anything for this – I do make sure everything is nice and clean though. Because I only make 6 litres and it is stored in the refrigerator and its all finished in a week, I thinks its a safe bet. However, I would think that some folk will disagree with me. I am a great believer in being exposed to a reasonable amount of bacteria in our environment and think that over-sterilization of things just makes our immune systems lazy and we then get sicker easier. I say – just keep it all clean and you will be fine.


  3. Oe-oe-oe! You just reminded my that it’s almost time to brew ginger beer!! The weather isn’t hot enough here just yet, but in another month or so I’ll be putting your recipe to the test. It’s very close to the one I use. Ai, and the visual aid you added is making my smack my gums! I can almost taste it. 😉

    My mom used to make hers in plastic drums and put heavy ash trays on the lids. And if the brew is right, those lids popped off with a bang. 😀


  4. Pingback: Reminiscing about Ginger Beer « Greg's World

  5. Pingback: Ginger Ale | Suburbhomestead's Blog

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