1 Barter Ginger Beer & No Strings Ginger Ale recipes
1 Barter Ginger Beer
Preparation Time: 2 days
1 large piece of fresh ginger (1 cup), matchsticked
1.5 packed cups dark brown sugar
2 L water
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp fennel seed
⅓ cup raisins
⅛ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp Nottingham ale yeast
1. Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, fennel seed, raisins, lime zest, and 3 cups water in pot.
2. Add 1 cup water to a 2 cup measuring cup, then add matchsticked ginger until water reaches the 2 cup mark. Add the ginger and the additional cup of water to the pot.
3. Bring water to a boil and add brown sugar, stirring to prevent it from burning or boiling over. Once the pot boils, remove from heat and cover.
4. Combine 1 cup warm water (<90ºF) and ¼ tsp yeast in cup.
5. Wait 1 hour.
6. Transfer contents of pot to a pitcher (with lid) and add 3/4 juice of lime and vanilla extract.
7. Add 3 cups cold water.
8. Allow contents of pitcher to cool to <90ºF and add yeast starter.
9. Cover pitcher and allow it to rest overnight at room temperature.
10. Strain out the solids and transfer the ginger beer into an empty, clean, 2L soda bottle. There should be about 2” of air at the top of the bottle.
11. Squeeze most of the air out of the bottle and cap tightly.
12. Place bottle in warm, dark place(70-90º F), allowing the yeast to carbonate the bottle. Check the bottle after no more than 8 hours.
13. When bottle is thoroughly hard, place bottle into the refrigerator overnight to halt the activity of the yeast. Caution: If left at room temperature, the bottle may explode from excess CO2.
When bottle is cold, the ginger beer is ready to drink. Open bottle slowly to prevent a foam geyser.
Notes: Less sugar will produce a crisper, dryer ginger beer but I'd stay in the 2/3 cup to 1 1/2 cup range. More ginger will produce a stronger ginger beer but I wouldn't go more than 2 cups ginger. It might be my imagination but I feel like, after a week or so in the fridge, the ginger flavor backs off a bit and the citrus flavor becomes more pronounced. I often let a couple fennel seeds and raisins make it into the bottle, they're a tasty surprise in my glass. Original gravity 1.0523 but bottle will carbonate before it registers a change in ABV, therefore the ginger beer is <1% ABV.
No Strings Ginger Ale
Preparation Time: 2 days
Everything you strained out of the 1 Barter Ginger Beer before bottling
1 lemon (juice)
1 cup cane sugar
2 L water
1. Once you've bottled your ginger beer, dump everything you strained out back into the pitcher.
2. Add lemon juice, sugar, and water. Stir thoroughly.
3. Repeat steps 9-13 above.
That's a mighty tasty recipe! Let me know how it turns out. Quick question though, are the raisins there for mouth feel? I never had a drink with raisins in it that didn't taste like raisins were in it :(
I like a little raisin flavor but they're mostly there to add to the body and mouthfeel. It tastes just fine without.
I've actually made this a couple times already, tweaking the recipe. I mean, you have to have something to do while you wait to free up the fermenter, right?
In case anyone is wondering, using bakers yeast with this recipe is a terrible idea. *facepalm*
Part of the learning process. I now know WHY I will not use Bakers Yeast in my Ginger Ale.
I am wanting to make a bigger batch size, say a gallon or 2. Do I also have to increase the yeast as well as everything else?
Also a cup of ginger seems to be a lot to begin with - upping this will give me a lot of ginger to deal with.
Finally, limes are impossible to get so will a lemon do?
has anyone done a bigger batch?
Any help will be appreciated.
As for the yeast, I would increase the yeast proportionately to increase their viability. The lime in the ingredients surprised me. I frequently see lemon being used in ginger beers and sodas, so I do not see any reason it would not give you a good flavor profile.
For my second batch I decided I wanted a little more heat and a little less of the forward fresh ginger aroma. I used 6 oz ginger, same amount of white sugar and about a tbsp of molasses (this is still quite a bit less ginger than the 1 barter recipe.) and boiled for about a half hour to drive of some of the more volatile flavor compounds. For this batch I tried some additional seasonings from this "1 Barter" recipe. I added some cinnamon, fennel seed, nutmeg, lime zest, allspice and raisins.
I liked the flavor, there was not much more heat. I also got a slight bitter aftertaste that wasn't great but didn't make it undrinkable. I think this was probably a result of boiling for a prolonged period and extracting something unwanted from one of the additional seasonings (my guess is the allspice).
For my most recent batch added a little more cinnamon, replaced the fennel seed with star anise, added a tsp of coriander and used light brown sugar instead of white sugar + molasses. Used about the same amount of ginger. I put sugar water and lime zest in the pot to boil for about 15 minutes to extract the oil from the lime zest, then added the rest of the seasonings let it return to a boil and shut off the heat and let it steep for an hour. This one isn't ready to drink yet. It should be ready to put in the fridge this evening, then I'll let it chill for a few days before I tap it.
My take home message is to get the sugar to water ratio where you like it (I think about 12 oz per gallon is a good place to start) then experiment with flavorings. In my experience so far, it's hard to go too far wrong. Take good notes and when you get a combination and procedure that works well, keep doing that.
The amount of yeast is perhaps the least important factor. I think it's better to start with too little though than too much. It'll take a little longer to carb up, but although I like a little bit of yeast flavor in the final product, I wouldn't want too much.
By the way, where to do you live that it's impossible to get limes? My favorite soda recipe so far is a lime soda. I used about 18 oz sugar and 2 cups of water to make the syrup, boiled with the zest of 4 limes for about an hour. Let the syrup cool for a while then strained it, added 1.5 cups freshly squeezed lime juice topped up to 6 L with filtered water and added 1/2 tsp champagne yeast. IT--was--a--MAZING!
PS - I forgot to mention. When you're making the syrup, have a bottle of whiskey handy. Mix a tsp of the spiced syrup with a jigger of whiskey (or brandy). It's deelicious!
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