Step 5: Biological carbonation

Fill your 2L bottle to an inch or two below the top with fresh water. Screw the cap on tightly, and shake until everything is dispersed. Be certain to flush the sugar from the nooks at the bottom of the bottle. The picture below shows everything in the bottle before it's been shaken.

Once you're finished, place the bottle in a warm-ish place (I set mine on top of the fridge, towards the back) and let it steep. Check on it every few hours by squeezing the bottle. When you can no longer push in on the bottle (i.e., it's become pressurized), take the bottle and put it in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation and keep things from exploding. It never takes more than a day or so for me, but depending on how you vary the ingredients, things make take a little longer.

Note: I am quite serious about the exploding bit. If you leave the bottle just sitting in a warm place for a few days, it will likely explode and send sugary water all over the room. So keep an eye on it!
<p>I made 2 liters with about 1/8tsp of yeast and it still tasted yeasty. Uhg. </p>
<p>refrigerate first, and decant. Most of the yeast should settle to the bottom. Are you using brewer's yeast, or baking yeast? The brewer's yeast might settle better.</p>
Not bad; I just need something to filter out the ginger once it's ready to pour.
Hey, How do think this would turn out if I used an airlock to let out the co2 instead of keeping the cap on? Acohol percent?
If you let the co2 out, the final product won't be carbonated, but I can't imagine there would be any other differences. You couldn't use the pressure test to see if it's ready, though, so you'd have to try it, I guess.
Hi, I did the recipe two days ago - 48 hours. Nothing seems to be happening. I'm wondering if I put too little yeast in. Did you mean 1/4 teaspoon? It says tsp...but it seems like very little. Should it be tablespoon? Is there different kinds of yeast? I used Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I put three lemons in - could the acidity kill the yeast. It is 70 F inside. What did I do wrong?
Yes, it really is 1/4 teaspoon. It is not much, but otherwise it would taste yeasty. Are you sure that your water was warm enough when you added the yeast? It should be a bit warmer than your hand.
Huh! You know I think perhaps you forgot to mention that. It just says fresh water. <br><br>But that makes sense, the yeast we have here in Sweden has to be in about 40C to activate.<br><br>Thanks!
Better to use a beer or champagne yeast over a bread yeast or you can make your own... <br> <br>Better to make a starter first with wild yeast. This is simple as adding a teaspoon of sugar and a 1 tsp grated ginger to 500 ml of water. Add both to the water each day for 7 days. Now you have a concentrated bubbly starter. Use this in your favorite recipe. <br> <br>I'll do an instructable soon on RAW vegan giner brew!
Ive made this a couple of times but the last time it had a nasty sort of bitter alnost alcoholic taste. I put around 16 smallish tablespoons of sugar which i thought was alot and i tried to make it very gingery. I also used around half a packet of bread yeast and left it for a day. Could it have produced enough alcohol to leave a bad taste or what else could the taste have been? :S
Your prob is using bread yeast for a beverage....it will taste bad. Better to make a starter first with wild yeast. This is simple as adding a teaspoon of sugar and a 1 tsp grated ginger to 500 ml of water. Add this to the water each day for 7 days. Now you have a concentrated starter. Use this in your favorite recipe.
Amazing tip for getting more lemon outta that lemon? Microwave it 10 seconds first, it'll be warm, and the juice will release easily. :)
Nice 'ible, I'll have to try this soon. Alternatively, for those not wanting to use biological carbonation, it is possible to use dry ice, but you have to be VERY CAREFUL!
To answer some questions - the yeast only need about 4 oz of sugar per 5 GALLONS to fully carbonate the drink. Also, if you use an ale yeast, the bottles are less likely to explode if you forget about them (the ale yeast dies as the pressure builds up). But it actually takes a lot to explose a good 2 liter plastic bottle (or a good glass bottle) - more likely the problem you will experience with an over carbonated bottle is that the contents will completely empty onto your floor when you go to open it (this is kind of fun the first time, but do it outside and wear clothes you don't care about!)
Use a fermentation lock replacing the cap. They are cheap at beer making suppliers.
The goal is to carbonate it with some of the sugar, then chill to stop the fermentation so you get a bit of sweetness as well. An airlock would just make a relatively flat, dry drink.<br />
&nbsp;I do like this: I lay the bottle almost horizontally over a glass on a table. Then I slowly unscrew the cap. Liquid (ginger ale, actually) starts to flow out of the bottle but it falls into the glass. By the time I remove the cap, my glass is half full (or half empty, for the pessimist ;-), but nothing falls on the floor. Then it's easy to continue to fill the glass or to straighten back the bottle.
I've been using this method for years now (<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.vurt.co.uk/Articles/GingerBeer.html">http://www.vurt.co.uk/Articles/GingerBeer.html</a>) and have only had one explosion. It occurred after around 18 hours and wasn't because the bottle failed but rather the cap - the pressure became too much for it and the threads gave way.<br/>
&nbsp;do you think the lemon could kill yeast? perghaps my water is too cold
Since I don't drink soda regularly, I didn't have any 2-litre bottles, so I used something from sparkling grape juice.&nbsp; Since I removed the label and didn't take the time to check the volume manually, I had to guess on the time and amounts of everything.&nbsp; The first time it was too sweet; the second time it wasn't sweet enough and tasted like alcohol; the third time it didn't have enough ginger flavor or sugar, so I opened it and added some home-dried ginger pieces and sugar, and it turned out with a good taste but not enough carbonation; the fourth time I added some blackberries, honey, and orange zest, and it turned out pretty good.&nbsp; I finally decided to actually get a two-litre bottle (ironically from ginger ale) and measured everything, so hopefully this batch turns out well.<br />
is this alcoholic
Technically yes because it contains yeast which reacts with the sugar to create alcohol and C02, but in reality, the alcohol content is very very very low. Made this last weekend, absolutely brilliant! I'm doing another today in a plastic fermenter with a airlock and going to see what it's like.
so you could drink a couple glasses and feel perfectly fine
You could drink six bottles of it and feel fine, honestly.
Mine's sitting in the fermenter atm. But we used juiced ginger instead of the grated, because last time, it took a week to get the ginger shreds out of the grater! Should be done soon. Well, I have no idea really. We'll see :D
try using kind of large holes; it's ok if it isn't fully ground up (i.e., some strings) because you can strain it.<br />
How was it?
Um tasted tainted. But I think it was because it was a new keg. But I think the ginger has seeped in so it should taste like plastic. However, I'm more than sure that all of the sugar was used up (it stopped fermenting). Still adding sugar tasted ok, but a hint of something not so great. I'll try again eventually when i have time. But feel free to try it yourself.
I think that if you drank six bottles of this you wouldn't feel fine, but it wouldn't be because of the alcohol, it would be from drinking ridiculous amounts of amazing ginger ale.
all soda technically has alcohol, non alcoholic beer has a higher content than this though. Actually bread has alcohol in it too.
I think you'll find it's more like 2 - 3% alcohol.
Generally yes ~4.5% should be about right for ginger-ale. I'm not sure about the lemon part, it's supposed to kill bacteria and leave the natural yeast, however I hear it also kills the natural yeast (so people use beer or champagne yeast for example) ... I'm uncertain about this.
Greetings. the old glass bottles would burst when there was too much gas pressure. I made blueberry champaigne using 2 liter plastic soda bottles. put them in the overhead in the cabin and forgot about them till one fell out and landed on the floor. There was so much pressure in it that it was hard as a rock. Were about a dozen of the plastic bottles up there all totally solid and the bottom indentations totally rounded out. not one of the leaked or burst. Don't see why they would with ginger ale. I even used champaigne yeast that is noted for producing extreme gases under pressure. No problem.
Up to ~100 PSI for most plastic bottles! So yes, your comments are valid. I could only burst those bottles with dry ice....
would fermenting it longer make it have a higher alchol content?
Would this be safe for a kid to drink? Like a teen maybe? Also, could I use dried Ginger powder instead of Ginger root? I'm really looking forward to making some of this stuff.
this is just soda it has such a miniscule amount of alchohol you would go into a sugar coma before the alchohol had any effect.
Non-alchoholic beer has .5% alchohol, and one of my local high schools was giving it out one day last year.
what about 3 year old child
this fermented 4 a day. wine ferments for months. a 3 year old can have small quantities of wine without problems. this has such little alcohol you woiuld need many gallons for noticible effects.
could you use ground ginger?
Love it! I'm on a serious "home made ginger ____" binge but have somehow skipped ginger ale. Is the lemon there for anything other than flavor?
do you have to strain it first? just wondering cause there is a lot of pulp.
Thanks for the Instructable! I come here every week and dream of the things I "could" do if I had the time & motivation but this one stopped me in my tracks. I immediately got a bottle going (I LOVE ginger and we ALWAYS have it in the house). I'm now enjoying a cool cup of it and it's fantastic! Not as spicy as I've had in other ginger beverages and I used 2.5T of ginger....I'll try more next time (there will DEF be a next time). Couple things - there is a slight tonic taste to it that I don't care for but it's a minor taste compared to the warmth of the ginger. Any idea where the tonic taste comes from? (There is no yeast taste at all but a subtle yeast smell.)
The kind I buy has capsicum in it, and I am wondering if steeping some chillie peppers and using the juice to <em>enhance this</em> would be good....I will have to try <br/>
Wow, that is some good ginger ale. Mine came out flat because it only fermented for a few hours but it came out really ginger-ale-tasting. I'll have to try again and let it ferment longer. 5*'s
you know if you fill a cup up almost to the top with Sprite or something similar then a dash of Dr. Pepper it tastes exactly like ginger ale
Sure, just like mayonnaise and burnt toast makes chocolate syrup. I looks like it, but the taste is nothing similar.
did YOU know that ginger ale and captain morgan spiced rum together tastes like cream soda? it do it do
KeithB -(from South Africa) I double the quantity and use a 4.5 lt demi-jon. My last batch I added a handful of rice and some raisons, this give the yeast abit more carbohydrate to work on and definitley increases the alcohol content. I then ferment this brew for a few days, 3-5, then decant into 2 liter bottles, leaving as much sediment behind as possible, a few raisons and a bit of fresh ginger as well as a tablespoon of sugar are added to keep fermentation going top ensure some fizz!! Good stuff, makes my wifes knee's weak!!

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