This instructable features making ginger beer from a real GBP plant, not yeast which has been in existance for probably centuries. If you've drunk commercial ginger beer it's nothing like this, it has a much smoother, tangy, fuller flavour than the sharp crisp versions made with just yeast.
Oh how so many people have been fooled into making authentic, real ginger
Traditional ginger beer was made using a ginger beer plant. This is NOT
something that you can easily make yourself - it must be possible to make
it yourself because someone hundreds of years ago by chance seems to have
created it. If a recipe calls for yeast it is not REAL ginger beer!
I have heard dark rumours that you can make one by blanching ginger and
leaving it with wild yeasts to ferment (just like a sourdough starter).
Why is this do you say? It's because a real ginger beer plant is a
symbotic relationship between yeast and bacteria creating a unique flavour
you cannot achieve with just brewers or baking yeast.
It is only in recent generations (read: 1887) that a gentleman called
Harry Marshall Ward looked into the sybiotic relationship and had he have
known it was going to pretty much consume the rest of his life, he'd
probably not have bothered. He named the process 'symbotic fermentation'.
I call it good beer!
It is however extremely difficult to get ginger beer plant as its use has
almost entirely died out. I assume from some of my research that it is
due to the WW2 where rationing made it almost impossible to maintain the
plant. Some did survive however as there are small countries that still
brew it traditionally and small internet shoppes which if you're looking
for it will sell it to you - but be warned, there are those who are
cashing in on your ignorance who sell you '100 generations old ginger beer
yeast' which is for all intensive purposes, just yeast. Just old yeast...
When a plant has made a batch, traditionally you could split it and give
it to friends, family or strange people on the internet.
So the first thing you need to do is go forth, find a supplier. There are
a few links on Wikipedia (thanks to a bit of fervent editing I updated the page anonymously a few days ago). Go forth, make purchases or put begging comments
in the bottom of this instructable and when I've got enough, I'll do my
best to send some out.
FYI unfortunately I've been terrible getting samples out to people (mine just isn't growing at present). Instead I'm going to post links to people who are producing good samples commercially rather than promising any out- T
Step 1: Equipment List
Right starting at the top!
2ltr of water chlorine free water (I used bottled which isn't environmentally friendly but because I just don't drink soft drinks anymore I needed the bottles! Also I didn't have time to make chlorinated water, see the process below)
400g of sugar
lemon juice (so having a lemon is a good idea)
Either a dessertspoon of ginger powder or two inches of fresh ginger
Ginger Beer Plant
Fermentation vessel capable of handling more than 2ltr of water (could be bowl)
muslin cloth, elastic band
2l plastic bottle or several flip top beer bottles
general kitchen equipment like a tea spoon, scales, fine grater etc
Saucepan if using fresh ginger
Bung and airlock
How to dechlorinate water
Dechlorinating water - dead simple, put in bowl, leave overnight for chlorine to evaporate. This is better for pet fish and often tastes nicer. It also won't kill your delicate ginger beer plant.