Saturday, March 8, 2008

Homemade Ginger Ale

The kids and I have had fun making a few batches of ginger ale. It is very easy and in my opinion very good but if you think of it in comparison to other commercial ginger ales it is not going to tasste the same. It is a lot easier to make then root beer. Here is what you need:

1) Empty clean 2 ltr plastic bottle with cap
We use our left over 2 liter bottles from club soda for bottling our ginger ale. Wash them out and they are ready to go. It is not recommended to use glass because it is much harder to judge the fermentation. Exploding glass bottles are dangerous. You also need a funnel and a grater with fine teeth.

2) Ingredients for each 2 ltr bottle include:
-sugar 1 cup
-freshly ground ginger 1.5 to 2 tablespoons
-1/4 tsp of yeast
- cold fresh pure water
-optional juice of 1 lemon

3) Use the funnel and pour 1 cup of sugar into the bottle. Add 1/4 tspn of yeast. Cap and shake.

4) Use the funnel and add your ground ginger. If you add the lemon then you should add this to the ginger when you put it in the funnel.

5) Pour water into the funnel and the ginger will wash down the funnel into the bottle. It it gets stuck use a plunger (not from the bathroom it would be too big). I used a skewer to get the ginger moving. Add about half a bottles worth of water then cap and shake to mix the sugar yeast with the water. Continue to add cold fresh water until 1 inch from the top of the bottle.

6) Cap the bottle and let sit for as long as you dare. For the last batch I went about 10 hours or so but you can probably go 48 hours before it explodes. You can experiment. You can easily judge by squeezing the bottle to see hard hard it gets.

5) Open slowly and easily unless you like to clean up a mess. I like to strain off the major ginger sludge with a strainer and pour it back in the bottle. If you think it needs more fizz then you can let it sit out for 8 hrs and it will fizz back up. Put in the refrigerate and enjoy your homemade ginger ale.

Warning: this can contain some alcohol somewhere in the range of 0.4%.

You can experiment with the amount of sugar, ginger, lemon and also how long to ferment it. We haven't tried it yet but it would be fun to see how long it takes to explode the bottle.

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