HOW TO MAKE OUR HOMEMADE GINGER BEER

At Thievery, we are all about quality and modernising traditional techniques. With a love for a hands-on approach, we craft our own Ginger Beer from scratch. We thought we’d give you an insight and share the recipe so you can try it at home! Read how to make it below or make a reservation and order one at the bar!

Making ginger beer involves two different steps – you need to make the fermenting ginger ‘plant’ before you can start making the ginger beer.

MAKING THE GINGER ‘PLANT’

1 airtight glass jar (at least 750mL)
9 sultanas (organic is better)
80mL lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon pulp
4 teaspoons raw sugar
2 cups cold water
9 1.25L plastic bottles (we recommend old soft drink bottles)
Add all ingredients to the jar, then stir and leave in a warm place to ferment. You’ll know it’s ready when there a foam on the surface of the liquid and small bubbles are forming. This can take anywhere between 3 to 6 days depending on the weather. If it’s too cold, the yeast won’t leave their dormant state and your plant won’t ferment.   Once your plant has begun fermenting, you’ll need to feed it 2 teaspoons of ground ginger and 4 teaspoons of sugar everyday for a week. Don’t miss a day or the plant will die!

Now that your week-old plant is alive and well (we trust you’ve been feeding it daily), you’re ready to start making the ginger beer.

 

GINGER BEER

4 cups sugar
4 cups hot water
125mL lemon juice
6L cold water
In a clean bucket, add the sugar and hot water and stir until dissolved. Then add the lemon juice and cold water. Next, you’ll need to add the liquid from the ginger plant whilst keeping the solids separate. We recommend straining through a tea towel (cheesecloth can rip). You’ll need to really squeeze the solids in the tea towel to make sure you’ve extracted as much liquid as possible. Don’t throw out the solids from the plant – this will form the start of your next plant.

Now you’re ready for bottling! Fill each bottle up to about the 3/4 mark. The extra space in each bottle is for the carbon dioxide that gets produced – you don’t want exploding ginger beer. Place the nine bottles somewhere cool and out of direct sunlight.   The ginger beer will take 1-2 weeks to finish fermenting. You’ll know when it’s ready when the bottles go hard and the plastic doesn’t move when squeezed.

 

RESTARTING THE GINGER PLANT  

Place half of the remainder of the solids from the original plant back into the jar, along with 5mL fresh lemon juice, 2 cups cold water, and 2 sultanas. Feed as above (at least every second day) and you’ll be ready to make your second batch in no time at all!

 

-Doug Livingstone

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