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-   -   Ginger beer plant (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/ginger-beer-plant-305042/)

icanbenchurcat 02-17-2012 12:49 AM

Ginger beer plant
Have become interested in making a ginger beer plant out of simple ingredients. I put fresh ground ginger in a liter of water with 20 chopped raisins and a little sugar. This went into a 3 liter wine bottle and shaken up. About 3 days later I added more ginger and sugar. 2 days later I put the end of my homemade cider in there (about 20ml of lees).

The intent is to form a colony of lactobacillus and saccharomyces to make ginger ale with.

I see a little haze forming and some white clusters forming on the (now floating) raisins. There has been an airlock, but plenty of room in there to store oxygen. I see a little activity on the airlock now, and I am thinking my expire kent is going well so far.

Anyone else try something similar? What is a good way to culture lacto?

dinnerstick 02-17-2012 06:52 AM

good luck with that expire kent (??)
it's easy to get things to ferment from wild bugs and cider lees but you aren't going to magically get the combination of organisms that produce the polysaccharide clumps of the ginger beer plant. well, if you do i will have to change my assessment on the presence of a deity, currently we're firmly on 'no'

icanbenchurcat 02-17-2012 10:05 AM

Experiment* don't know what autocorrect meant. Lol yeah, probably not quite the same. Maybe I'll buy some real stuff to grow next year.

Raudhbjorn 02-17-2012 03:52 PM

How do you get them to form the polysacccaride clumps? I need more GBP and would rather not spend $15 on getting another batch.

icanbenchurcat 02-17-2012 05:11 PM

Have you tried splitting your batch to make more? I would think the clumps form when the correct balance of cultures are present. I'd be interested to find any old recipe describing how to make one.

Raudhbjorn 02-17-2012 05:28 PM

Yeah I tried splitting them, at one point I had 3 batches of soda going at once. But no appreciable increase in GBP was noticed.

I wonder if any of the scoby winds up in solution? Can I bottle carb soda using GBP?

saramc 02-17-2012 08:47 PM

There is no old recipe that will tell you how to get the polysaccharide clumps lovingly referred to as GBP to grow. If you are familiar with water kefir grains, which will make a nice ginger beer by the way, they are also polysaccharide clumps and are composed of, usually, Lactobacillus brevis : identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide matrix that forms the grains, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus, Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum,
Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroide, Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica, C. valida, & possibly others. Anyway, the water kefir grains (WKG) have been sourced back to a desert cactus, a prickly pear if memory serves...exactly how and why--I have never been able to find that data. Then you have a milk kefir grain(MKG) which is composed of so many things you will scream if I include them, but the MKG can be grown if you happen to have some fresh goat's milk and a sheep's intestine and can keep feeding fresh milk into the intestine which you are using as a carrying device, which gets gently agitated while attached to the side of your hip or llama. And then weeks later you notice these clumps that look like cauliflower florets or popcorn having taken up residence in your milk bag (which was forgotten for a few days or weeks & upon opening and expecting rancid milk you found a tasty cultured, slightly tangy alcoholic laden milk and the grains). You shared them with friends, and they have now made their way across the world. But how the GBP came to be, who knows.

saramc 02-17-2012 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by Raudhbjorn (Post 3797941)
Yeah I tried splitting them, at one point I had 3 batches of soda going at once. But no appreciable increase in GBP was noticed.

I wonder if any of the scoby winds up in solution? Can I bottle carb soda using GBP?

When I had access to true GBP (the ones that came from www.gingerbeerplant.net) and are the size of the pearl-sized medication you would find inside a gelatin medication capsule, maybe the size of acina di pepe pasta...I was fortunate if the GBP showed any growth after 5 consecutive 3-day to 5-day ferments of basic ginger beer, it is a VERY VERY VERY slow grower---the reason the true GBP is so hard to find from reputable sources these days. The WKG will grow by 100% with each ferment under the perfect conditions (mineral rich, sugary water). The best thing to help ensure growth of the GBP is to make sure to use mineral rich water, let them have access to oxygen, and don't skimp on the sugar.

Raudhbjorn 02-17-2012 09:49 PM

Thanks for that Saramc. I think I'll break out my GBP and fix it up a nice sugar-wort shake and let it eat untill it can't eat any more.

dinnerstick 02-19-2012 09:30 AM

but what are you going to feed your llama

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