November 4, 2012

Ginger Ale

I just posted about all my food pets needing feeding. I ended the post talking about a new pet I'll be keeping, thus maintaining, thus feeding - Home brewed Ginger Ale. Monte loves this, especially with meals. Guests have really liked it too. So it's a keeper.

Ginger Bug for Ginger Ale

First I make a ginger bug.
Scrub a fresh ginger chunk, no need to peel, and store in a baggy in the fridge.

Put some water about 2/3 full in a quart jar. Add- 
1 Tb of fresh grated ginger and
1 Tb of sugar

Stir vigorously to incorporate air and dissolve the sugar. Either rubber-band the top with a napkin or something breathable. I might even start doing it in one of my Pickl-It Jars (another past post).

Continual Brew Kombucha crock, Dairy Kefir, and my brewing Ginger Ale to the left on warm mat in back of my pantry

Keep this in a warm spot.
Every 24 hours add another-
1 Tb sugar and
1Tb fresh grated ginger
Stir well

I have a seed starting heat mat on a shelf at the back of my pantry that my Kombucha and Dairy Kefir sit on, and now my brewing ginger. By 3-7 days (mine's usually ready in 4 days) you'll hear it bubbling when you're stirring. This is your bug, or starter, for ginger ale.

1 Cup of the ginger bug will make 1 gallon of ginger ale. The rest of the bug can store in the fridge for the next batch. You might as well make a gallon (or more) -

1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/3 packed cup of fresh grated ginger
1 Cup of the bug
1/3 cup lemon juice (usually 2 lemons)
Enough water to fill for 1 gallon of beverage

Either boil the sugar in some of the water to dissolve. Remove and add ginger, cool and add the rest. Or just stir well till sugar is dissolved.

I don't have a gallon jar (ah, I should be using my 3 Liter Pickl-It - next time) so I use two 1/2 gallon jars. This time I loosely put on the white plastic lids rather than the rubber-banded cloth lid. They'll need to be tightened and shook, or stirred well, every 12 hours.

Start tasting about day 3 to see if bubbling with carbonation and if sweet enough. It can brew longer, but it's usually ready to strain off and bottle. More starter and sugar could be added to a batch not brewing, or just a bit more sugar.

If you want carbonation, bottle to within 2" of top. Cap. Leave at room temp or warmer for 3-5 days to build up carbonation. It will also get less sweet. When to your liking chill till ready to serve. Chilling slows fermentation. I store the extra in my cellar.

Our Cellar- Ginger Ale, Moroccan Lemons, Dairy Kefir cheese in olive oil, Kombucha, Fermented Salsa

Poured from stored jar in cellar and it really fizzed!

NOTE added 11/11 - I know I said to let sit at room temp after bottling for more carbonation, but I've been straining each 1/2 gallon that's brewed about 3 days with the bug into 1/2 gallon jars and storing in my cellar, which is consistently about 48 degrees. When I bring up a bottle to pour into my fridge container it is VERY fizzy!

3/11/13 Note - I'm still making ginger soda, dairy kefir, and kombucha as shown above. BUT I'm often adding turmeric root, which looks related to ginger, to the ginger soda brew. Click here to see that post.

This post Linked to: Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday Mania
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