Ginger beer, homemade ginger beer – cold and slightly fizzy with that distinctive flavor – transports one back to hot summer days in South Africa.
Popular recipes used in South Africa, are with water, sugar, Jamaica ginger concentrate and yeast with tartaric or citric acid and cream of tartar – and then there is the ginger beer made with the cultivated plant.
My challenge has been how to make it here, living in a condo with limited space.
This recipe is for a small quantity and uses bakers yeast, fresh and ground ginger with a little lemon juice for the acid. It is a refreshing ginger drink that is not too sweet. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, a little more sugar could be added.
Please read the notes below the recipe before making the ginger beer.
- 4-5-inch piece of fresh ginger root, 3-4 ounces
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 7 pints (14 cups) warm water
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup raisins
- Peel and shred the ginger.
- Place 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of water into a saucepan and stir, while heating, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the fresh and ground ginger to the syrup, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Set aside for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Strain the ginger syrup (press the ginger with the back of a spoon to extract all the flavor!) into a large container, jar or bucket, with a lid.
- Stir the teaspoon of sugar and the yeast into the ¼ cup of water. Set aside for a few minutes to hydrate and froth.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, and the frothed yeast, to the ginger syrup.
- Mix well and cover.
- Set aside in a warm place for 36-48 hours, during which time fermentation will take place.
- The raisins will move up and down and will eventually remain suspended, mostly near the top.
- Scoop the raisins and froth off the top of the ginger beer and use a funnel to fill the bottles to within about 3 inches of the tops. Seal the bottles.
- Refrigerate the ginger beer to stop any further fermentation.
- Allow 1-2 days for the flavors to mature before serving over crushed ice with a slice of lemon.