How To Make Old Fashioned Ginger Beer

The yeast free ginger beer

There’s nothing better than a cold refreshing ginger beer after a long hot day.

The following recipe is to make a batch of ginger beer using a ginger beer plant or living culture of ginger and yeast. The whole process takes almost 2 weeks. After further experimentation I have made a fizzy ginger beer without the addition of yeast. It turned out surprisingly well, just by leaving the ginger beer ‘plant’ out on the bench for 5 days open to the air, covered with mesh. I have adapted the recipe slightly for the yeast free ginger beer below.



1 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon of fresh yeast

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

Ginger Beer

1 kg sugar (or less if you don’t like a very sweet drink)

6 cups boiling water

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 L cold water

2 lemons



  1. use a sterilised* glass jar and mix together the yeast and water.
  2. add sugar and ginger, stir well.
  3. 24 hours later add another 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp ginger.
  4. repeat step 3 for the next 5 days, stirring well after each addition

Ginger Beer

  1. mix sugar, boiling water and cream of tartar together stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool.
  2. add the cold water.
  3. juice lemons, strain the juice and add to syrup.
  4. strain ginger plant through a fine muslin cloth and add the liquid to the syrup.
  5. put in sterilised* bottles, seal and leave for 7 days. I have found leaving a 2 inch air gap in the bottle reduces the chances of explosions!

Store the ginger beer outside the house as bottles may explode with the buildup of gases and always open away from your face!

You can keep the plant going ready for your next brew by dividing the plant mass into 2 and discarding one half. Add 1 cup of water to the plant and repeat the feeding process for 6 days.


To sterilise the jar/bottles, I make sure they are very clean, then heat them up in the oven until all moisture has evaporated out, and they are hot. Be careful, they are usually VERY hot to touch. Let them cool before you add anything to them.

With normal alcoholic beer brewing, the brew is put into a large container for a week or so until the yeast consumes all of the sugar and converts it to alcohol so there is no more bubbling or gas being produced, we are not allowing the ginger plant to consume or ferment all of the sugar in the bottles hence why it still tastes very sweet, and therefore has a very minimal alcohol content.

Naturally Fermented Ginger Beer without Added Yeast

On the advice of For Greenies reader ‘Joe’ I have experimented with making a Ginger Beer Plant without the addition of yeast. It’s great when you find out you need even less ingredients to make something! So basically it is only grated/ground ginger, water and sugar and by leaving it open to the air natural yeasts and bacteria colonise the jar and begin the natural fermentation process.

I covered the jar with mesh and left the lid off. After about 5 days of being left out in a warm place on my kitchen bench it started bubbling – the natural fermentation process. I still added the sugar and ginger daily for those 5 days. I bottled and capped the ginger beer, (using 500 grams of raw sugar instead of the 1 kg) and put the bottles outside in a sheltered warm place away from direct sunlight. It is spring here, so fairly warm. We are having an average of 26℃ days…

After one week in the bottle, I tested one and it wasn’t fizzy, so I left in the bottles for another 2 weeks until they were fizzy. It takes a lot longer for the natural yeasts and bacteria to consume the sugar and produce the carbon dioxide fizz.

So I have adapted the recipe to make a non-alcoholic ginger beer, naturally fermented without added bakers or brewers yeast.



  • 1 1/2 cup lukewarm unclorinated cooled boiled water
  • 2 tsp raw organic sugar
  • 2-3 inch long piece of grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger powder (fresh ginger is not as strong as ground ginger so add more if you are using fresh ginger)

Ginger Beer (without added yeast)

  • 500g raw organic sugar
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 L cold water
  • 2 lemons


  1. add all ingredients to a jar. Cover with mesh or pantyhose or a chux cloth to allow the air to get in and critters to stay out. Leave in a warm spot like next to the oven/stove.
  2. 24 hours later add another 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp ground ginger or 3 inch piece of grated ginger.
  3. repeat step 2 for the next 5 days, stirring well after each addition.
  4. when you begin to notice bubbles forming inside the jar (after about 5 days) you are ready to add the majority of water and sugar and then bottle.
  5. dissolve the 500g sugar into the 6 cups of boiling water. Leave to cool.
  6. add the cold water.
  7. juice lemons, strain the juice and add to sugar and water mixture.
  8. strain ginger plant through the mesh (or chux cloth or panthose on your jar) and add the liquid to the sugar and water mixture.
  9. put in sterilised* bottles, seal and leave for 3 weeks.

Not adding yeast means that you need to leave the ginger beer sealed in the bottles for much longer before they become fizzy and are ready to drink. I found 3 weeks was enough for me in my climate. Feel free to open a bottle and try it and if needed leave the other bottle for longer. I also found using the no added yeast method there was much more visible ‘sediment’ which is the natural yeast and bacteria colonies developing (just like a kombucha.)

Most importantly, it is best served icy cold after a hard day of work in the hot garden!


79 Responses

  • Spencer Ross de Vere
    August 29, 2019 at 9:10 am

    If I add a 2 to 3-inch piece of ginger root (cut up) daily for 5 days, to just 1 cup of water, the ‘plant’ becomes too clogged with ginger to properly stir. Are you sure the ‘plant’ remains as one cup of water for the whole 5 days ?

    • April 1, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      You could start with 1 1/2 cups of unchlorinated water so it doesn’t get too thick.

  • Mark Wild
    April 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    just starting this . how do you keep the plant going so as to use it again ?

    • April 13, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I might be contradicting myself but it is just as easy to start a new fresh one as it is to keep the old one going. If you want to use the old starter, when you strain it to add to your sugar mix, leave some liquid behind and just add a tsp dried ginger/ inch fresh grated ginger, cup of luke-warm water (preferably unclorinated filtered so it does not kill the yeasts which are responsible for giving fizz) and another tsp or 2 of sugar/sweetener. If it doesn’t start producing bubbles after a few days and your climate is really cold you may need to add a little more yeast. It is all about experimentation! Hope it goes well!

      • Robin Tuttleby
        February 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm

        I have made ginger beer every summer for decades and didn’t ever use yeast. I use the sultana method. Put 8 sultanas, juice 2 lemons, 1teasp lemon pulp, 4 teasp sugar, 2 teasp ground ginger, 2 cups water in a screw topped jar. This will ferment in 3 to 6 days depending on the weather, then feed it 2 teasp ginger powder and 4 teasp sugar each day for a week. To make up the ginger beer, dissolve 4 cups sugar in 4 cups boiling water. Add juice of 4 big lemons. Using muslin, strain the “plant” into this and add 28 generous cups of cold water.(Makes 11 beer bottles). Store in the garage. Halve the gingery grounds, remove the sultanas and put half back in the jar. Feed for a week as before then bottle again. Give the other half to a friend. It is ready to start feeding immediately. Should be ready to drink in about 2 weeks. We have kept this up to 6 years and it is still good.

        • February 10, 2018 at 6:05 pm

          Thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds really easy and I’m looking forward to trying it! Cold ginger beer is so good on a hot summers day!

  • March 22, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    […] We all love Ginger Beer and have talked about brewing our own for a while, so one day I just decided to give it a go. I had a look around at a bunch of recipes, which were all pretty similar, but based my batch mainly on this recipe from forgreenies. […]

  • Rudi
    September 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I forgot to add the tartar, will this effect my brew?

    I’m making the yeast free version.

    My bug was also bubbling away after 2 days, (our house is warm) so I couldn’t resist and made my batch on day 3. Hopefully it tastes gingery enough?!

  • vicki
    August 13, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    we cannot get fresh yeast here how much dry yeast and what type

    • August 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      I have used 1 small teaspoon of dry baking yeast with success, and you could also use brewers yeast.

    • mel
      July 25, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Just my recipe:
      Makes 2-3 liters
      4-5 Table spoons graded ginger
      1/2 TEA spoon Champagne yeast (typical start then add )
      1 cup Sugar
      2 cups water ( left out to evaporate chlorine )
      Get “STARTER” going 1-2 days ( covered with coffee filter wait until foam/ small bubbles )
      Transfer to 3 liter with airlock
      Top off water – LEAVE 2-3 inch headroom
      1- 2 cups additional sugar
      1/2 TEA spoon nutrient / 1/4 TEA spoon Tartar (optional)
      10 oz Guava Nectar
      Check SG – take note to determine how much alcohol (<1.000)
      After 2 weeks – strain/ siphon to PLASTIC bottles
      fill only 2/3 and SQUEEZE all all out and cap
      can rack for months, but check bottle HARDNESS
      ( burp as necessary )
      Should be clear and 8-10%
      can be mixed with fruit juice/soda etc.
      Drink up

      • July 29, 2015 at 9:47 am

        Sounds like a good recipe for ‘adults only’. I just got another batch of ‘no added yeast’ ginger beer going in Fiji. They grow alot of ginger here so it is irradiated, abundant and inexpensive. Looking forward to a cold one of these in a couple weeks!

  • Scott
    August 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I have been able to ferment my ginger without adding yeast!!! Yeah, it is currently producing bubbles.
    So my questions are:
    How do I know if my natural fermentation produced an actual S.C.O.B.Y.???
    When straining my plant how do I filter out the raisins and ginger fibres from the yeast plant???
    Thanks in advance!!!

    • August 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      If it is producing bubbles that is the work of the bacteria and yeasts, so in effect you have a SCOBY. You could either keep some of the liquid and solids to keep that SCOBY going, or you could start a new one from scratch. I would just use some fine mesh or cheesecloth to strain the solids out to make the final brew.

  • Ruth
    July 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    I’ve made ginger beer without added yeast. It’s great to find other people doing it too.

    A couple of points –

    I didn’t leave mine open to the air, just carefully washed and chopped some stem ginger (not from a supermarket, as I suspect their stuff is irradiated, which may kill off the natural yeasts colonising the ginger).

    With experimentation, I found growing the plant for two weeks produced a stronger final fermentation (fizzier ginger beer). The yeast seems to like it quite warm (25+ degrees C).

    Then I feremented in demijohns for about a week. Produced a very explosive end product!

    Oh, and the ginger beer IS alcoholic, it’s produced as part of the fermentation process. After a week it measured about 2.5%. heady stuff!


    Hope some of this helps.

    All the best!

    • August 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks Ruth for your message. Great to know another person making successfully making their brew.

  • Francesco
    May 23, 2013 at 2:29 am

    sorry but if after my first batch i forgot to feed the plant for 2-3 days should i start a new one or will it live again if i feed it?
    sorry to disturb you and thanks

    • May 28, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Hi Francesco, it should be alright, you will know if it is still active by adding more sugar and seeing if it gets consumed and bubbles of gas are produced.

  • Ben
    April 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

    My plant has been going almost two weeks with little sign of activity. Slowed on the feeding after a week coz it was getting clogged with fresh ginger. Room is pretty cold (around 12C) but i figured it would just take longer. Any suggestions of how to get it going or should i start again?

    • April 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Maybe too cold so taking a while. You could always try adding a small amount of yeast or water kefir grains. Does it smell ok? If yes keep trying with it, perhaps put it in a warmer place like next to the stove top.

  • Jake
    April 10, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Ok so i followed the steps of the natural yeast ginger beer and after 3 weeks in the bottles i drank a cup full. Tasted great but few mins later i feel light headed. My ginger beer is very alchoholic. Where did i go wrong? I was thinking maybe that adding the 500g of sugar and the sugar fermented in the bottles for 3 weeks causing it to turn alchoholic?

  • Tom
    March 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Hi there, I’m just about to start a plant to make my own GB. I noticed you have cream of tartar in your recipe.. I just wanted to know what the function of the cream of tartar has? Some blogs are suggesting the use of citric acid to gain a bit of extra fizz.. Interested to hear some thoughts

  • February 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    […] 8,455 te ONLY way to make ginger beer is the old way .. its awesome. How To Make Old Fashioned Ginger Beer | For Greenies […]

  • Peter
    December 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks for quick reply, temperature been around 25 – 30degrees. used a mesh lid so air could get in.

    I did however dissolve sugar granules in hot water first, prehaps this is why it did not work?

    Anyway started a new lot, 3 days in and signs of bubbles ect. This one is much better. Lookinf forward to first try of a cool glass, will let you know how I go. Also about that that lemonade question, any suggestions? Pete.

  • Peter
    December 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Tried the naturally fermented batch. Used ground ginger powder ( hoyts )

    However after 5 days no bubbles, and also lots of build up in bottom of jar. really dissapointed, will bottle thou and see what happens. Why did it not ferment properly with bubbles?

    Is it because I used diries ground ginger powder?

    this is my first time please help, Pete.

    • December 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Hi Pete, it could be because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, was your jar open to the air, with a mesh lid or sealed? And what is the temperature where you had it? It sounds like by using ground dry ginger that has been processed and heat dried, that there are no natural yeasts present which are on all fresh unprocessed fruit and vegetables. I would suggest you try fresh ginger (use more of it than dry ground ginger) or a combination of fresh and dry ginger. Let us know how you go. I’m happy you are experimenting! That’s what it is all about!

  • Peter
    November 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Wow these recepies sound great, will plan to make a batch of GB for the first time and see how I go.

    Was originally looking for a lemonade recipe ( fizzy )
    Could this be done using yeast? I know this is all about Ginger Beer, but help would be appreciated, Cheers Pete.

  • Ele
    November 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Just bottling now and using same method I used in the 80’s out west. I use fresh gratted ginger and powered ginger with bakers yeast, this needs 2 teaspoons of sugar each day as well as 1 teaspoon of powered ginger. It is a very active bug and bubbles away nicely. I add a sultana and a slither of fresh ginger to each bottle when bottling and leave for about 3 weeks.

  • mrs I
    November 6, 2012 at 8:54 am

    My son and I make ginger beer and find that adding a teaspoon (or more)of chili powder on day 1 adds a bit more bite without changing the flavour.

  • Ian Winchester
    October 2, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I am growing 2 varieties of ginger in my home garden. one is a native ginger & the other is a comercial variety which is ready for harvesting. Plants are easy to grow. I am going to try & make my own GB from my home grown ginger. Will let you know how it goes.

    September 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm


    Just made first batch, using Champagne yeast. Will post results.

    Thanks much,


  • joe
    September 18, 2012 at 9:13 am

    You can make a “plant” by leaving ground fresh ginger sugar and water in a container with cheesecloth over it out for a few days. it collect naturally occurring yeasts and will make delicious fizzy ginger beer!

    • September 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Thanks Joe, sounds easy will give it a go…

    • September 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Hi Joe, yesterday I finished bottling my naturally fermented ginger beer. I did what you suggested and left a jar of grated ginger, water and sugar, with no added yeast out on the kitchen bench in a warm place for about 5 days. Yes it did start to ferment/produce C02 and I’m excited to see how it will turn out – fizzy or not, and the taste too! Thanks for the idea!

      • October 8, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        After a week in the bottle ‘getting fizzy’ I tried 1 of my ‘naturally fermented without yeast’ ginger beer. It tasted like flat ginger beer. So that means it may need longer in the bottle, or that the natural yeasts and bacteria in the air were not consuming the sugar and producing Co2. I will leave in a warm place for another week and then test the carbonation then.

        • October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

          After 3 weeks in the bottle, it was fizzy enough for my liking. Also noticed a few ‘bits’ floating around… Must be the natural yeast/bacteria colonies…

  • cameron
    July 17, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Can I just the fermentation process happen in a proper homebrew fermentor? The bottle it after 2 weeks?

    • July 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      If you wanted to make alcoholic ginger beer.

  • Warren
    July 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Just browsed all comments, nothing to add but what a good old fashioned way of life. I have been making gingerbeer from kit for years, now will be the change of my life! I will be attempting to grow my own. Thanks to all for convincing me.

  • Ginger beer
    June 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Why should I leave it for seven days?

    • July 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      So it can ferment and become fizzy in the bottle so when you are ready to drink it it is still fizzy 🙂

  • Andy
    May 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Hi I,m just about to start a ginger beer plant ,I am thinking of replacing sugar with dextrose ,has anybody tried this .we are trying to go fructose free ,appreciate any advice

  • Rick
    April 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Just wanted so say thanks for posting the recipe! I’m considering trying my hand at making some homemade ginger beer, but I just have one question: since the ingredient calls for both yeasst and sugar, won’t that cause the mixture to turn alcoholic? I know the recipe says its nonalcoholic, but I was told mixing yeast and sugar produces alcohol. Just wanted to double check before I tried this at home, as I only want to make non-alcoholic ginger beer.

  • david viney
    April 27, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Hello every one ,I see a lot of people are having problems with the ginger beer not being fizzy enough,well all you have to do is when bottling, put in two carbonating drops.you can buy them from supermarket or homebrew shops , see my grandmother made the best ginger beer, and another tip before u bottle add one sultana to each bottle, or raisin , bueatiful, if it dosent taste execeptional the ginger beer, leave in bottle for lownger , 12 weeks. Note sultana will bloat in bottle too. My grandma allwayswrapped each bottle with used newspaper,when they explode,which a couple did every now and again, saves glass going everywhere.

  • ginger
    April 22, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    How long can you keep ginger beer bottled on glass for in the fridge? Don’t want exploding bottles

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Once it is in the fridge the culture slows down so shouldn’t explode, but you could always use re-used glass bottles and corks if you are worried.

  • March 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

    […] UPDATE: I forgot to list the 1/2 t of cream of tartar that I added based on the advice of another homemade ginger ale recipe and another. […]

  • Nicholas
    March 13, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I recently tried my hand at making gingerbeer, the recipe did not give any options for maintaining the gbp. The recipe basically just instructed me to boil water, add sugar, honey, lemon juice, and the gbp, then to leave it in the pot at room temp, covered only by a towel for 4-5 days. Today is my 5th day, and I’ve just bottled and corked it, and put it in the fridge. Will my beer taste good? If not does anyone know any better recipes?

    • March 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Nicholas, it sounds like the recipe should work, it’s all about experimentation!

  • Benny
    December 15, 2011 at 9:36 am

    My brew has been bottled for 6 days now and I just cracked a bottle (pet) and there was plenty of gas in it, but the drink itself when poured isn’t fizzy. I used 1 kg white sugar when bottling. Has a beautiful taste though no gas. Looks like the soda stream machine will get a workout pumping in some co2.

  • Deborah
    December 12, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I kept a bug going for several years back in the 80s without needing more yeast. I kept a muslim cloth over the jar instead of a lid. When I went on holiday I got a friend to babysit it. Each week when I split the bug I either gave half to a friend, or used it to flavour a cake or muffins. I made the ginger beer in PET bottles. I once ran out and made some from a different recipe that was ready next day – nowhere near as nice, and 3 weeks later when I couldn’t get the lid off the severely-swollen last bottle, I made the mistake of trying to get the lid off with my teeth. The staff A&E thought it was hilarious- children, don’t try this at home!

  • Judy
    November 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    All your comments are interesting, my nana used the sultana’a also

    I hope to try a batch soon


  • Rob
    November 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    A ginger beer plant is started off with water, sugar, ground ginger, lemon juice and sultanas (organic are best). The naturally occurring yeast on the sultanas grows and is fed by the daily feeds of sugar. Ground ginger is also fed each day to increase the ginger taste, if your plant slows down drop in another sultana taste just like bundy ginger beer

  • Tuesday Wildchild
    September 24, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    This takes me back to when I used to have ginger on the go all thge time. Will now start one again.

  • drumsynth
    August 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    i am making ginger beer for the 2nd time, i made a starter with no yeast that worked, ginger, water and sugar, fed it everyday for 7 days, then i stored it in fridge and it went dormant and now ive awoken it with more ginger and sugar. i turned the first batch into root beer. i just started a 2nd batch of starter with yeast and ginger and sugar. will update.

    • August 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      That’s interesting you used no yeast. Was it fizzy? There must have been enough natural yeasts in the ginger, container or water…

  • Catharine
    June 30, 2011 at 12:35 am

    can anyone give me hints on maintaining a ginger beer plant while on vacation? i just got one going and made my first batch but will be gone for 3 weeks. Will the plant survive in the fridge if i feed it before I leave?

    • June 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Catharine, is it just a yeast and ginger plant that you have made yourself? If so I would just start a new one when you get back from vacation, as I don’t know how it would do without being fed the sugar everyday.

  • Tony
    May 28, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Hi kat
    Many thanks for you observations. I also use bakers yeast and am now onto my third batch. I will monitor the carbonation level and if I feel it is reducing I will start another bug. I think the yeast does self propagate if properly aerated and kept in a warm place. I think stirring the bug every time sugar and ginger is added will help.

  • Tony
    May 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Hi Guys

    Can anyone tell me why when u divide the bug in half at bottling u only add more sugar and ginger to feed the bug you have left and not more yeast as well. Surely after multiple divides like this the yeast will be gone or does it self propogate

    • May 28, 2011 at 12:13 am

      I have recently found out that yeast does self propagate, but when I kept my GB starter going for a few batches it progressively lost it’s ability to produce the CO2 or fizziness when I didn’t add more yeast. This could be because the amount of oxygen in the yeast/ginger/sugar/water mix is low and the yeast needs the oxygen to multiply? Maybe try leaving the jar lid off or shaking the starter after the 2nd or third batch? I have also read that there are differences between bakers yeast and brewers yeast. They are different strains and bakers yeast tend to ferment and produce CO2 rapidly whereas brewers yeast is not as ‘explosive’, taking longer to produce the CO2 (bubbles) but transforming more sugar into alcohol.

  • Lindy McGuire
    May 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hi, I want to make gingerbeer for the first time.Mum used to make it when we were kids growing up out western Qld.
    Can I use sterile wine bottles and use their screw on caps?
    Thanks Lindy

    • May 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      yes, but if the temperatures are higher than 20 degrees you risk the bottles exploding, so I would store them outside.

  • Terry
    April 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I recently made a batch of ginger beer similar to the recipe described above.
    Being my first attempt it isn’t quite as I would have liked as it was a little to sweet and not enough of the ginger bite. As Doug said, using less sugar may suite some peoples taste. As far as exploding bottles, ( I use glass 375ml beer bottles) the way I prevent any nasty explosions is by using 1x 600ml plastic re sealable coke bottle as a guide to what the pressure is in the bottles. After 3 days at 25 to 30 degrees C the pressure was quite substantial at which time I hastily put all the bottles in the fridge. The drink is very gassy, I am not sure what the result would have been after 7 days at that temperature. I am trying Champagne yeast on the next batch with less sugar and more ginger. I Hope it tastes better than the last brew.

  • Doug
    February 1, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Ginger beer is dead easy to make, I have been doing it on and off for years.
    Fresh ground ginger from Buderim Ginger is best not the stale stuff you get in supermarkets however I think Buderim has discontinued ground ginger. I have had reasonable success getting my ginger from some of the Asian stores where their turnover is much better.

    If you use raw or brown sugar the GB tends to taste beery, white sugar doesn’t. Depends on your taste. Limes add a nice flavour as an alternative to lemon however I found limes must be green in colour not the over ripe yellow colour. The same can be said of lemons as long as they have some green as well as yellow. Using over ripe fruit can add a woody taste to the GB but it is all up to the users taste. Feel free to experiment but only make a small trial batch rather than throw out your mistakes.

    When bottling the beer I found it is much easier to dissolve the 600 – 700g of sugar in about 1 litre or less of boiling water and let cool. Now combine the rest of your ingredients. This way you only end up with about 2 litres of concentrate.

    Divide this equally between 6 of 1.25 litre PLASTIC (PET)drink bottles. Sterilize the bottles first in sodium metabisulphite available from your local brewing shop or supermarket. Use 11g per litre for the sterilising solution or as stated on the packet. Follow all other precautions and instructions before using.
    DO NOT rinse out after sterilising or you may re-introduce organisms from the water supply.

    Now all you have to do is top up your bottles with plain water leaving about 40 to 50mm airgap and store them in an Esky in a cool place. Place a felt tip mark on the water level in the bottle and monitor this level. As the pressure builds the level will drop because the PET bottle will expand or stretch.
    DO NOT let the level drop anymore than about 20mm as you are now approaching the burst pressure of the bottle. If this happens carefully release a little of the pressure from the bottle not too much though and remark the level as the bottle will not shrink back to its original size. Discard any bottle that have been stressed in this way after you have enjoyed the contents.

    One of the main causes of this is too much sugar or the storage temperature is too high, if possible maintain the temperature around 18C. Many recipes quote 1 kg of sugar, I only use between 600 and 700g, usually the lower amount however I occasionally get GB that is partially flat due to not enough sugar. Consistency in ingredients and method is the secret here.

    If any bottle bursts then it is contained within the Esky or other suitable container. Do NOT use the soft polystyrene coolers, they will not contain the explosion.

    Using PET bottles removes the risk of flying glass shrapnel and it is easy to monitor the pressure.

    The longer you brew and the more sugar you use WILL raise the alcohol level and will taste more beery.


    • frank
      February 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

      hi doug

      thanks for the tips, i am currently enjoying a brew from a can that used brown sugar, and it has a nice beer hint,

      do you have details for using fresh ginger and details on how you make your plant?

  • mitchell
    January 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    making gb plant for the first time to day. I am using baking yeast so i hope it works!

    • January 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      let us know how you get on… be prepared for explosions 😉

  • Wayne
    September 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you for the recipe i found you add 2 or 3 sultanas to bottles just made is the bom

  • Don
    June 10, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Sorry to be the bringer of bad news, but real GBP is really hard to get hold of these days. It’s not just yeast, but a “symbiotic organism” consisting of a type of fungus and a type of bacteria which grow together to form GBP. There are a few websites out there selling it, although I think they mostly sell just brewers yeast, although one or two may be legit. The following is a good writeup… http://www2.parc.com/emdl/members/apte/GingerBeer.pdf

    • June 12, 2010 at 5:49 pm

      That’s good to know, thanks Don. That is a great resource you have linked to. Oh how I would love to get hold of a ginger beer plant from the late 1800s!

  • Simon Wards
    April 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Starting plant today, do you seal glass jar during making of plant ?

    • April 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Simon, I just recycled a glass jar and sealed it with the lid. Are you using fresh yeast? I used brewers yeast and after the 6th batch from the same plant, when opening the bottle there was still a lot of pressure but the ginger beer had considerably lost its fizz. Not sure why it did that I think it came down to the yeast not being so active… The first batch was so fizzy that it made my eyes water. Oh and I had an explosion too! Lucky it was stored under the house…

  • March 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I have kept the ginger beer plant going for about 6 weeks now. I have found that using powdered ginger is best (more flavour) and the brewers yeast progressively looses its ability to ferment the ginger beer in the bottle resulting in half fizzy beer. Time to start a new ginger beer plant using dried bakers yeast as an experiment.

  • February 15, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Hi ~ thanks for the instructions! This is something that I have wanted to try making. Did you use regular (baking) yeast or brewer’s yeast?

    • admin
      February 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

      Hi Kristin, I used brewers yeast, but I might try a batch with bakers yeast as it is something I have in the fridge all the time (for making bread). Although once you make the ginger beer plant, you can keep feeding it and you may not have to make it again for a while… I also used fresh finely grated ginger (instead of the powdered ginger) which is not as strong so I recommend adding more fresh ginger than the recipe calls for and blending it or grating it finely to allow as much flavour to come out. Hey I love the Prudent and Practical site 🙂 Kat

  • admin
    February 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

    we had one bottle explode in the middle of the night! Hence why you should put the bottles outside the house to ferment. The rest of the bottles have gone into the fridge to stop the fermentation. This has been less than the directed 7 days of fermentation but because it is summer and temperatures during the day average 27 it has been quicker than expected.

  • admin
    February 5, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Update: am just making the Ginger Beer now and about to bottle. I am re-using beer and wine bottles and have a capper. I am sterilising the bottles by putting them in the oven so no chemicals are used. Hopefully i don’t get too many exploded bottles!

    • admin
      February 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Update: so far so good no exploding bottles! 3 more days to go then the bottles go into the fridge to stop the fermentation process. I’ll be bottling another batch with the ginger beer plant that I kept going.

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