Homemade Ginger Beer! Naturally Probiotic and Perfect for Summer
Special Recipe share from Asa McKee, Co-Founder and CEO at Khala & Co.
Something about sipping on ginger beer lets you know summer is here. So every spring I get ready for summer by making some naturally probiotic ginger beer. Thought the time might be better than ever to share how I do this, in case you were looking for your next project to do while staying safe at home!
Step 1 - START YOUR GINGER BUG
Gather the following ingredients:
- 1-2 fresh organic ginger roots (I use skin and all but make sure to wash it, if non-organic peal first ~ you will have better results with skin as it has lots of natural goodness that will help the bug)
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
Grate the ginger or chop finely and mix all ingredients together - I find a simple glass jar that has been thoroughly washed works perfectly as the meeting place for the ginger bug's origin story.
Next: feed the Ginger-Bug once a day with:
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar (I sometimes add molasses instead of sugar - which is super yum and much healthier)
Stir Ginger-Bug well with a wood spoon making sure to really mix everything in a whirly-cloud to include the sediment that starts building up on the bottom.
Repeat feeding and stirring everyday.
Loosely topping the jar with a Khala Cloth is a great way to prevent foreign materials from getting in and allowing the breath of natural
fermentation to take place. (Hint: Our 3 Small pack will do nicely)BUT... Keep away from other fermentations like sourdough! I've found that this affects the development of your fermentation
(ie. sourdough starters can steal the ginger bug's thunder.)
After 5 days you should see some bubbles!
Step 2 - BREW YOUR GINGER TEA
After your ginger bug has been fed for 5+ days and is really looking active (ie. lots of bubbles; but if it need more time just keep feeding and stirring daily) the next step is to brew a batch of ginger tea! I like mine on the stronger side, so I use a whole Hagrid-sized hand of grated ginger. You can use less if you don’t want it to be too strong - just adjust accordingly to your taste.
- Boil 2 quarts of water then turn off the heat.
- Grate the ginger into the water and then add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and stir to dissolve. This is the base of the “tea.”
- Add juice of 2-3 limes or lemons and zest from one 🍋
- If you are feeling creative you can also play with adding Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Turmeric and Star Anise (I would use some but not all of these together) remembering that just a little of these spices will do.
- After the tea has cooled, strain the grated ginger out of the new ginger tea.
- Next, strain the liquid from the ginger bug, and add the liquid bug to the cooled tea. 🌿
- Add enough cold water to the mix of the tea and bug to make 1 gallon ~ about 2 more quarts.
- Pour mixture into clamp-top bottles, make sure to leave an inch from the top.
- Clamp the bottles shut, and store them in a warm dark place for 2-10 days then refrigerate.
- Once refrigerated for about 24 hours - enjoy! Drink with ice, sliced lime/lemon, and your favorite spirit (vodka or whiskey are classics 🍺).
It is important to sterilize all bottles and kitchen utensils you use in this process. Pressurizing the wrong bottles can create glass bombs! Make sure that the bottles you are using are Fermentation grade. If in doubt about your container, don't allow pressure to build up so you find out the hard way.
Also fermentation is tricky, we are not responsible if anything goes wrong! I'm just sharing what I do in my home kitchen.