Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ginger Ale

Over the past year or so I have fallen head over heals for fermenting. One of my favorite ferments has been Ginger Ale (non-alcoholic). It is so incredibly easy to make with unbelievable results. And the health benefits you ask? Well since its fermented it contains healthy bacteria for your gut and a powerful elixir for what ever ails you. To hot? Ginger Ale. Sour tummy? Ginger Ale. Hungover? Ginger Ale. Over ate? Ginger Ale. The perfect dark and stormy? You guessed it...home brewed Ginger Ale.

Ginger Ale


4-5 glass bottles with plastic tops (I have found that empty liquor bottles and glass juice bottles work best)

1 glass jar, pint size with ring or rubber band

Piece of linen or old warn kitchen towel, enough to cover the jar

Good amount of freshly grated, preferably organic ginger

Sugar (also preferably organic and unbleached)

Stock pot

Large bowl preferably with a puring spout and big enough to accommodate 1 gallon


Lemon juice from two lemons

Making the "Ginger Bug"

Add one cup of filtered water to your jar

2:2 Ratio-Add 2 teaspoons grated ginger, skin and all plus 2 teaspoons sugar.


Cover with your cloth and secure with a canning ring or rubber band.

Keep your bug in the counter and feed it with the 2:2 ratio every day or so until it begins to bubble and fizzle, about 5-8 days. Then its ready!

Do NOT refrigerator your bug, it needs the yeasts in the air to become ALIVE!

Making the Ginger Ale

In a large stock pot bring to a boil for 15 minutes:

2 Liters of filtered water

1 1/2 cups organic sugar

2-6" of freshly grated organic ginger (skin and all). Note: the more ginger you use the more gingery your brew...i like to use 6" more than 6" and it begins to taste soapy.

Let it cool. Super important! You don't want to add your bug to a hot bath, you'll kill it.

Once the mixture is cool strain out the ginger using your colander, into the large bowl. Then strain your bug using the colander directly into your cooled ginger sugar mix(save about 2 tablespoons as a starter if you plan to repeat the process).

Add the lemon juice and 2 more liters of filtered water and stir. You should have about 1 gallon.

Make sure your bottles are clean and dry then using a funnel transfer your ginger ale to the bottles leaving about 2-3 inches from the top.

Screw the tops on tight, date your bottles for two weeks from the day you made it.

After two weeks is up place a bottle in your fridge and chill it. When you are ready to enjoy please be careful...your Ginger Ale packs a powerful carbonation, slowly and with A LOT of patience open your bottle in increments. Or you will have ginger ale all over your kitchen ceiling.

Note: the bottle of ginger ale above was the last time I will use a flip top bottle. This ale ended up all over the counter,ceiling and floor. Oops. this is not your Canada Dry ginger ale, this is the real thing, be open to its taste and i promise you will never want to drink plain old dead ginger ale EVER again.
AND, the ginger you used to feed your bug can be used again! Keep it in a jar in the fridge for tea and stir frys.