Finally my ginger beer plant arrived today – it should have been here yesterday, shame on you Post Office for your ever slipping standards.
Let me begin by saying, if a recipe for ginger beer asks for brewers yeast it is not ‘traditional’ ‘authentic’ ‘old-style’ or anything else, it is ‘faux-ginger beer’. To make ‘traditional’ ‘authentic’ ‘old-style’ ginger beer you need a ginger beer plant.
A ginger beer plant does not require yeast. You cannot start one yourself. You need a ginger beer plant from someone else. Just think for a minute, I start my ginger beer ‘plant’ with brewers/bakers yeast, then after my brew I split it in half and give it to my friend. Why? Can’t he get the yeast himself and put it in a pot? It’s just plain silly! Ginger Beer Plant (GBP) is a very special substance which relies on lots and lots of internal co-operative processes to work! So please, please web authors stop posting your recipes for ‘real’ ginger beer!
Anyway… I’ve popped it straight in the fridge, unfortunately I’m not here this weekend as I’m off on my stag do. It’s a somewhat more eco friendly stag do than I originally planned – we’re off to centerparcs in Nottingham for the weekend. Whilst I’m looking forward to it, sadly I’m equally excited about starting my ginger beer. Unfortunately the two aren’t compatable, so I’ll have to start my experiment the moment I get back.
Meantime here is a REAL recipe for REAL ginger beer:
Ginger beer plant
2 litres of clorine free water (just leave an open topped bottle of tap water in the fridge overnight)
A quarter tsp of cream of tar tar
A quarter tsp of the juice of a lemon to taste
Just a little more sugar than you would like to taste
A good dessertspoon of ginger powder to taste or about two inches of fresh ginger scalded and grated or finely sliced and held together in piece of muslin tied with a rubber band.
Put all the ingredients in together in a fermentation bucket (food grade plastic) and stir to dissolve the sugar. Leave in the fermentation device for a couple of days. Then bottle in a 2 liter coke bottle straining through more muslin cloth to remove the ginger plant. Leave the bottle for a couple of days until when squeezed it feels quite solid. Put it in the fridge to chill – this will effectively render any remaining yeast asleep.
Be warned – the end product is quite, quite fizzy (apparently more so than champagne).
The amount of GBP (Ginger Beer Plant) ought to have doubled, if not this time it should have done so during your next brew. Take half and give it to a friend/family/stranger.
GBP can be stored in the fridge once rinsed, drained and covered when not brewing.
Both the original instructions (modified by me) and the plant came from www.gingerbeerplant.net – I won’t be offering any yet until I’ve at least drunk my first batch and I intend to make five gallons…