Old-fashioned ginger beer
- August 2006
- Makes 3 litres
- Takes 20 min to make, plus overnight standing, fermenting and chilling
Lashings and lashings of home-made ginger beer is a must for any self-respecting picnicker.
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 unwaxed lemon, thickly sliced
- 250g golden caster sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¾ tsp dried fast-action yeast
- Put the ginger, lemon, sugar, cream of tartar and 750ml cold water into a large pan over a medium heat. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1.5 litres cold water and sprinkle over the yeast. Cover with a lid and set aside in a cool place overnight.
- The next day, sterilise the bottles by cleaning them in hot soapy water. Rinse and set aside.
- Strain the ginger beer through a nylon sieve and divide between the bottles – leave a 5cm gap at the top to allow for the build-up of gases. Screw on the lids tightly and leave in a cool place. Check every few hours, unscrewing the cap a little as the pressure builds up, to allow the gases to escape.
- The ginger beer is ready to drink when fizzy, which will be within 12-36 hours, depending on how hot the weather is. Chill, then serve with plenty of ice and drink within 3 days (don’t drink if it smells old and yeasty).
You’ll need 2 x 1.5-litre plastic bottles. Never use glass bottles as the pressure builds up and they will explode!
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