How to make homemade ginger beer

Posted by: Erin November 15, 2020 No Comments
how to make ginger beer

Move over, bread baking. Homemade ginger beer is the DIYers new sourdough.

by Heidi & Erin

Whether you’re in the market for a DIY cold remedy, or simply craving a tasty science project, homemade ginger beer is as fascinating as it is delicious.

Eight months into Covid and the activities are starting to run a little sparse. Bread baking? Nailed it. Knitting? There’s only so many scarves one can handle. Netflix and chill? There is literally nothing. left. to. watch.

Enter homemade ginger beer.

Our sister somm Heidi sent over this recipe after whipping up a tasty batch for herself. It initially seems intimidating, especially when using science-y jargon like “fermentation,” and “wild yeasts,” but it’s actually really simple. And while homemade ginger beer from scratch is a multi-day project, like gardening, most of it is just waiting for it to grow.

The key is patience as it’s done in two steps. First you need to make your starter, just like you would need for sourdough or kombucha. Then, you make your ginger beer with that starter as the base ingredient.

I recommend you read the directions below carefully a few times, so you don’t go through all the work and have something go amiss. But, if you take it step-by-step, this is a fun

Ginger Bug:

Ginger bug
Photo: Heidi Meisinger

This is the starter for your Ginger Beer. Think of it like a starter for sourdough bread or kombucha. Essentially, we’re doing a home science project with wild yeast fermentation. Get ready to geek out and have some nerdy culinary fun.

In a one-litre glass or plastic container combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped ginger (keep the peel on!)
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Mix until sugar dissolves.

Cover with a cheesecloth for 24 hours (if you don’t have cheesecloth, a very loose-fitting lid will work, but make sure it’s loose).

To the bug mixture, add 2 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp grated ginger every day, stirring well, until it becomes fizzy. This can take anywhere from 2-5 days. Store in fridge until ready to use.

Note: The peel is where the yeast and good bacteria live, it’s necessary to start the fermentation process.

Second Note: While the yeast and bacteria are eating the sugar, carbon dioxide is released. If you tightly seal your jar, the pressure could build up and shatter the glass. Very dangerous.

Third Note: To keep the ginger bug alive indefinitely, continue to “feed” it once a week. To do this, pour off 30-50% of the water, topping the jar back up with fresh, filtered water and adding the equal portions of ginger and sugar. The water that’s been poured off, you will strain and use in your ginger beer.

Heidi’s Ginger Beer

Steeping the ginger beer
Photo: Heidi Meisinger

In a pot combine:

  • 2 litres of fresh water
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated ginger

Bring to boil then let simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Let cool naturally to room temp (*must be room temp or you will kill the yeast).
Strain through fine mesh colander into a clean bowl.

To the bowl add:

  • 1/2 cup of your strained ginger bug that you made earlier
  • Juice of 3 lemons
Ginger beer
Photo: Heidi Meisinger

Mix the contents thoroughly and pour into flip top bottles, leaving about two inches of room at the top.
Leave the bottles out at room temperature with flip top closed for 3-6 days or until it fizzes.
Make sure you “burp” your ginger beer  every day by opening the flip top.
Once fizzy to your liking move the bottles to the fridge.
No need to burp your ginger beer when in the fridge.

Moscow Mule

A classic ginger beer cocktail, the Moscow Mule is spicy and refreshing.

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 5 oz ginger beer
  • Lime wedge
  • Mint sprig

In a copper mug or collins’ glass filled with ice, add in your vodka and lime juice, stirring to combine. Top with your ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges and mint. 


Want to learn more about cocktails? We offer virtual and in person cocktail classes!


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