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How to make your own ginger beer - tips and recipe

Wie du dein eigenes Ginger Beer herstellen kannst - Tipps und Rezept - Dr. Ginger

The production of ginger beer

Ginger - in English "Ginger" - was once in the British Isles just as possible as a spicy commodity from Her Majesty's colonial empire, especially from Jamaica. The health-promoting root quickly became an interesting basic substance for all kinds of pleasures - and so there are now various ginger drinks. For example, aromatic ginger liqueur or the well-known ginger ale, which was invented as a soft drink with beautiful ginger flavors at the beginning of the 19th century. In addition to ginger, Ginger Wine is flavored with raisins, lemon and pepper to become a "whisky mac" in a sophisticated mix with Scotch.
At around 2% by volume, ginger beer has very little alcohol, and its yeast continues to ferment in the bottle. In addition, you can easily make your own ginger beer yourself.

Ginger: traditional and very healthy

As a connoisseur of home-brewed, deliciously refreshing ginger beer, you should also be informed about all the good, health-promoting properties of the ginger root: the rhizome was already praised in ancient Indian Sanskrit, in medieval Asia the burning hot root of the bamboo-like reed was used Zingiber officinalis used in cooking in the absence of expensive pepper.
Today it is grown as an annual crop. The thicker the root, which grows to a length of about 10 cm, the sharper it becomes. The rhizomes harvested after flowering contain up to 4% aromatic, essential oil, many healthy minerals and its characteristic pungent substances. The active ingredients stimulate the bile and facilitate fat digestion, they also have a circulatory and blood-thinning effect.

In 18th-century England, it was fashionable to prepare a variety of lemonades to lighten the mood at garden parties. An approach using pieces of ginger root quickly became particularly popular. This is how ginger beer was invented and soon developed into an export hit in the direction of the North American colonies.
It was even brewed like beer, which once had an 11 percent alcohol content. In the course of US Prohibition between 1919 and 1933, hundreds of ginger beer breweries in Great Britain, the USA and Canada went under with the importance of ginger beer. Instead, little by little it became fashionable to brew ginger beer yourself.
In the British Isles, the homemade ginger beer quickly became an extremely popular soft drink again. For its production, the drink was fermented using a ginger beer plant passed down from family to family - although the origin of the said plant is still unknown to this day. The jelly mass consisted predominantly of the bacterium Lactobacillus hilgardii and the yeast fungus Saccharomyces florentinus.
Ginger beer is no longer fermented these days. The omission of the brewing process caused the alcohol content to drop to around 2 percent. The refreshing lemonade is often used as the basis for sparkling cocktails such as Dark and Stormy. 
Homemade ginger beer is a refreshing treat on its own. The preparation is relatively uncomplicated, but quite time-consuming.

Your homemade ginger beer

It will take two to three weeks before you can enjoy your own ginger beer - but it's worth the effort. 
First you have to attach the base, the Ginger Bug. To do this, you should preferably cut organic ginger into small pieces and mix it with water and sugar, preferably whole cane sugar. As with sourdough, this batch should be fed daily with ginger and sugar until it starts to bubble. You then add ginger syrup to the blubber base and the formation of carbonic acid gets going.

The ingredients for about four liters of ginger beer:

For your Ginger Bug you need:
  • 2 tbsp chopped organic ginger
  • 2 EL Vollrohrzucker
  • 250ml of water

For the syrup you need:
  • 140 grams of ginger
  • 3 El Wasser
  • 500 grams of sugar
  • 3 lemons

The preparation:

Start with the ginger bug: the ginger is finely chopped with its peel. Mix everything together with the water and sugar in a large mason jar. Cover the jar with a cloth.
After two days, bubbles should form between the ginger pieces and the bug should start bubbling. Then add finely chopped ginger and 2 tablespoons sugar daily for a week. 

On your brewing day you make the syrup: the ginger is finely grated. Add the lemon juice and sugar and simmer for about half an hour. Then filter through a cloth and leave to cool completely.

Then pour three liters of water over the ginger syrup. Strain and stir in the ginger bug. Now pour the liquid into sterilized plastic bottles - do not use glass bottles! Close the bottles and leave to ferment for about 10 days. 

The best way to do this is to try out how your ginger beer is developing every day. For the benefit!

Discover more exciting drinks with ginger at URBN DRNK.

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