February 12, 2013

Ginger and Turmeric Soda/ Ale

Left Ale has added turmeric root color
I've posted about making Ginger Ale before. I'm still regularly making it since it is a favorite of Monte's, as well as guests.

Turmeric root to the left and ginger to the right - they are related

I'm again posting the how-to. My health food store had a root looking like ginger next to the ginger - it was turmeric. So I tried adding half the grated ginger as turmeric last week. It was ready for drinking Sunday . . . And we like it!

See the turmeric color when grated compared with the grated ginger?!

Turmeric stained hands


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.

Continual Brew Kombucha crock, Dairy Kefir, and my brewing Ginger Ale Bug to the left on warm mat in back of my pantry. NOTE!: I love this picture BUT I no longer keep all these brewing side-by-side. Ferments need to be separated to prevent contamination. My dairy kefir is the one to suffer!

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 more batches.

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 from heat and add ginger, cool and add the rest. Or just stir well till sugar is dissolved.

Ginger bug, lemon juice, sugar and grated root in jars

I don't have a gallon jar so I use two 1/2 gallon jars. I loosely put on white plastic lids rather than the rubber-banded cloth lid. They'll need to be tightened and shook, or stirred well, every 12 hours.

Enough "ginger bug" left to start another batch

Start tasting about day 3 to see if bubbling with a bit of carbonation and satisfying to your taste. 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 as it "eats up" the sugar. When to your liking chill till ready to serve. Chilling slows fermentation. I've not let it sit out longer. I fill my refrigerator pitcher and 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!

Additional notes:
Turmeric is very good for you. Look it up . . .

Your bug can keep going for further batches. Just keep adding a bit of sugar and grated ginger like above. Refrigerate when not using for a batch of Ginger Soda.

Current Note (10/20/2015): Our youngest son, now several years married, makes his own ginger-ale. But is making it in 5 gallon quantities. He keeps it in one of his Kegerator containers with it's own tap on the outside of the fridge!
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