Originally Posted by Evochild
Here in South Africa there are many home made Ginger beers sold in the shops, all are non-alcoholic.
Even a small amount of yeast multiplies, and produces alcohol when fermenting, as long as it has a sugar source to ferment.
Yes, we have non-alcoholic 'ginger beer' in the US also, called ginger beer and is ginger soda pop, it is made without fermentation. We also have alcoholic versions made with yeast. Where you have yeast and fermentable sugar you will achieve alcohol. Ginger beer is a play on names across the world as it is used to market soda pop or an alcoholic brew. Ginger beer, to me, is made by using a ginger beer plant like this http://www.yemoos.com/gingerbeerproductpage.html;
but ginger beer is defined in the eyes of the beholder. I have had nice alcoholic ginger brews made with bread or wine or cider yeast/ginger/sugar/lemon, or even water kefir grains, even made a ginger kombucha tea but true GBP eclipses them all for me. I will say that the ginger beer made from water kefir grains or true GBP had the least amount of alcohol, and the cultures reproduce and are reuseable and make great gifts for people who want them.
I hope your recipes come thru for you, it is great when we get a token of our childhood/youth back and it sounds like your Mom's recipe may be the missing link. If you are willing to share your Mom's recipe I would be honored. :-)