Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Lashings and lashings of ginger beer

Our How To guide to making ginger beer
(adapted from Posh boy, Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall's recipe)

Initial preparation
First read the recipe and work out how you can busk it with the ingredients you actually have in your cupboard.

Per 2 litre screw-top fizzy drink bottle:


1/4 tsp brewer's yeast ( ok, bread yeast it is then)

225 g caster suger (hmmm..no caster sugar...no white sugar at all...we use brown demerara sugar which has it's own issues as you will read later)

1 1/2 - 2 tbsp finely grated fresh root ginger (or 1 tbsp because we got bored, and the added ingredient of some finely grated skin and fingernails)

juice of 1 lemon (or one old slightly shrivelled lemon)

1 good tbsp honey (roughly measured with sticky fingers)


1) Sterilize everything you're going to use, particularly the plastic bottle (we used campden tablets). Get pre-teen to use nail brush ON HIS NAILS for first time in life (it has of course been used previously for cleaning weird items found in garden).

2) add yeast to bottle

3) With a funnel, pour in the sugar (note, this is why the recipe recommends the use of caster sugar, NOT thick chunky stick brown sugar).

Twenty minutes later and using a chopstick to poke the sugar down the funnel.

Still not working so we come up with our own paper funnel solution...

4)Grate ginger and squeeze lemon juice.

5) Mix grated ginger with lemon juice and honey.

6) Take time out to annoy sibling

7) Pour the ginger mixture through the funnel (still clogged up with brown sugar) into the bottle.

8) Fill the bottle 3/4 full with water. Put cap on: the importance of this is demonstrated in the following 'I'm-about-to-drop-the-2litre-bottle-of-brown-syrup' photo.

9) Allow children to fight over who is going to shake bottle until all the sugar is dissolved.

10) Top up bottle with water, leaving a 2.5cm gap at the top to allow for gas production. Try to keep a straight face while children make several crude jokes about gas production.

11) Encourage the photogenic members of the family to pose besides almost-finished product.

12) Leave for about 48 hours in a warm place. Once bottle feels very hard (or in our case, hardish) and has no give in it, place in fridge for a few hours to stop yeast working.

13) Once beer is thoroughly chilled, filter it through a fine sieve (or in our case a jam bag over a funnel).

14) Scrape 48-hour-ol ginger syrup off all kitchen surfaces


1 comment:

Sam said...

What a well written recipe! It included all the important details I feel we'd also need (bottle dropping, chopstick, scraping nails/surfaces etc) :D

The only thing you missed - did it taste good?