How to make non-alcoholic ginger beer at home

How to make non-alcoholic ginger beer at home. Picture: Shutterstock.

How to make non-alcoholic ginger beer at home. Picture: Shutterstock.

Homemade ginger beer is an old favourite that's easy to make and super yum for your taste buds.

While this is an alcoholic-type ferment, this particular ginger beer recipe is considered non-alcoholic (saying that - it's very hard to not have any alcohol content, so please be aware of this).

This liquid ferment uses a "sourdough" type of culture called "the mother" which you can make yourself.

A word of caution - this brew has a reputation for blowing up bottles, the reason being is to make the drink sweet you have to put un-fermented sugar in the bottle.

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The yeasts in the brew continue fermenting to create bubbles (CO2) and will eventually create so much pressure that the bottles can blow.

The solution is to make a batch for a special event and then drink it all then, do not let it linger on your shelves.

So how do you make it? Here's our much loved recipe:

The "mother" culture that gets the brewing started. Picture: Hannah Moloney.

The "mother" culture that gets the brewing started. Picture: Hannah Moloney.

The "mother"

  • To start the mother you'll need a teaspoon of yeast; a teaspoon of sugar; a teaspoon of ginger powder; and one cup of water.

In a glass jar, mix these ingredients together and cover with a cheesecloth or a loose fitting lid.

Every day add an additional teaspoon of sugar and teaspoon of ginger, after around one week it'll be ready to use. You'll be able to tell as it'll be fizzy (you'll see little bubbles) and smell incredible.

The ginger beer

  • This recipe makes 10 litres of ginger beer. You'll need: 250 grams of grated fresh ginger; 100 grams of dry ginger; a teaspoon of chili flakes; a teaspoon of peppercorns; two cinnamon sticks; a desert spoon of cloves; one kilogram of sugar; 10 litres of water; and six lemons.

Method

  • Make three litres of tea with all ingredients, except sugar and lemon. Boil for one hour and let cool. Dissolve in the sugar and add the juice of six lemons - add another seven litres of water to this brew to bring it up to around 10 litres.
  • Once it has cooled down, add the mother. In terms of how much of it you add, you can put 90 per cent of the liquid (almost one cup). You can then add more water and keep feeding it to keep it going for the next batch (if you choose).
  • Bottle into old soft drink or beer bottles, we prefer glass bottles. It will be ready in two days and it's best to drink it all within seven days.

This simple ferment is just so wonderful on a range of levels.

Not only do they taste great, making your own cuts out the need for fizzy drinks from the shop - just another thing you can do to reduce hanging out in the supermarket.

For more recipes and handy tips on growing your own food, check out Hannah's new book: The Good Life: How to Grow a Better World.

This story How to make a mother of a ginger beer first appeared on The Canberra Times.