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  1. #1
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    Home Made Ginger Ale Recipe

    Fermentation has been used by mankind for thousands of years for raising bread, fermenting wine and brewing beer. The products of the fermentation of sugar by baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (a fungus) are ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide causes bread to rise and gives effervescent drinks their bubbles. This action of yeast on sugar is used to 'carbonate' beverages, as in the addition of bubbles to champagne).

    Set up a fermentation in a closed system and capture the generated carbon dioxide to carbonate our home made ginger ale. You may of course adjust the quantities of sugar and/or extract to taste. Note that the lemon called for in step eight is optional. And if you want a spicier drink, you can increase the amount of grated ginger. As with any yeast fermentation, there is a small amount of alcohol generated in the beverage (about 0.4%).

    Equipment

    clean 2 liter plastic soft drink bottle with cap (not glass: explosions are dangerous.)
    funnel
    Grater (preferably with fine "cutting" teeth
    1 cup measuring cup
    1/4 tsp and 1 Tbl measuring spoons

    Ingredients

    cane (table) sugar [sucrose] (1 cup)
    Freshly grated ginger root (1 1/2-2 tablespoons)
    Juice of one lemon
    fresh granular baker's yeast (1/4 teaspoon)
    cold fresh pure water

  2. #2
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    chitown's Avatar
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    Lay it out all the listed ingredients and equipment.

    Use fresh ginger root

    Add 1 cup sugar to the 2 liter bottle with a dry funnel. (Leave the funnel in place until you are ready to cap the bottle.)

    NOTE: Ginger ale is a very aggressive fermenter, producing high pressure fairly rapidly. Plastic bottles can be felt to judge pressure. Glass cannot. Tardy refrigeration can lead to explosions. Exploding plastic bottles are messy. Exploding glass bottles are dangerous...

    Measure out 1/4th teaspoon fresh granular active baker's yeast.

    Add yeast through funnel into the bottle, shake to disperse the yeast grains into the sugar granules.

    Grate the ginger root on a fine "cutting" grater to produce 1 1/2 Tablespoon of grated root. Place grated ginger in the cup measure.

    Juice a whole lemon (optional) and the juice of a whole lemon to the grated ginger.

    Stir the lemon juice and grated ginger to form a slurry.

    Add the slurry of lemon juice and grated ginger to the bottle. (It may stick in the funnel. Don't worry, the next step will wash it into the bottle.)

    Rinse containers with fresh clean water.

    Add the rinsings to the bottle, cap and shake to distribute.

    Fill the bottle to the neck with fresh cool clean water, leaving about an inch of head space, securely screw cap down to seal. Invert repeatedly to thoroughly dissolve sugar.

    Place in a warm location for 24 to 48 hours. (Do not leave at room temperature longer than necessary to feel "hard." The excess pressure may cause an eruption when you open it, or even explode the bottle!)

    Test to see if carbonation is complete by squeezing the bottle forcefully with your thumb. If it dents in as in the picture, it is not ready.

    Once the bottle feels hard to a forceful squeeze, usually only 24-48 hours, place in the refrigerator. Before opening, refrigerate at least overnight to thoroughly chill. Crack the lid of the thoroughly chilled ginger ale just a little to release the pressure slowly. You do not want a ginger ale fountain!

    NOTE: Do not leave the finished ginger ale in a warm place any longer than the time it takes for the bottle to feel hard. Leaving it at room temperature longer than two days, especially in the summer when the temperature is high, can generate enough pressure to explode the bottle! (Speaking from experience here...) Once it is thoroughly chilled, there is little danger of explosion.

    Filter the ginger ale through a strainer if you find floating pieces of ginger objectionable. These are found in the first glass or two poured, and, since most of the ginger sinks to the bottom, the last glass or so may require filtering too. Rinse the bottle out immediately after serving the last of the batch.

    Enjoy!!

  3. #3
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
    slackula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Home Made Ginger Ale Recipe
    Nice one, I think I'll try it

    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    there is a small amount of alcohol generated in the beverage (about 0.4%).
    0.4%??!?

    On second thoughts, nevermind.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Exploding glass bottles are dangerous...
    Amen to that.

    Many many moons ago my mother did up a batch stored in kilner jars.

    Dad put up the heat in the house, cos it was cold and he's a pyromaniac.

    That night we awoke to what the blitz must have sounded like. Exploding glass jars in the kitchen. Took out most of the lathe ceiling in the farm house kitchen. One of the solid glass lids was embedded an inch into a wooden beam. We left it there for years as a reminder.

  5. #5
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    blackgang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    there is a small amount of alcohol generated in the beverage (about 0.4%).
    Nice recipe Chi, But that is to much booze for me,, my last drunk after being sober for 6 months started with 2 cans of Near Beer (it is less than 1/2 %) and lasted for 2 years.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Newbie cbgman's Avatar
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    More years ago than I care to remember, I was well into home brew - wine and beer. I used to do 5 UK gallons at a time in plastic barrels - great until we got a spell of unseasonally hot weather and the lot soaked very quickly into carpet. We never really got rid of that stale beer stench.

    Happy days ??????

  8. #8
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    Interesting project, but I haven't made enough posts, so I can see fuck all of the pictures.
    I still have some remarks though, normally when you are fermenting stuff, you have to use a water trap, but couldn't it just be replaced by a valve from a bike tyre?
    So you can prevent the can from being over pressurised, but still preventing nasty shit from entering the mix.

    And how much sugar did you exactly use?

  9. #9
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    Nice one Chi, I'll be on that as soon as I get some space cleared in the shed

  10. #10
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    ^^It wont be carbonated if you used a air lock. If you used a valve to let it ferment more without over pressurizing it, you will end up with a nasty tasting alcoholic ginger ale with a lot of dead yeast gunk in it.

  11. #11
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    ^^ No, you have to let the excess pressure caused by the fermentation process out. The valve is a one way thing only, will let air in but not out.

    Your sugar question, it depends really as to how sweet or dry you want to make it. When I was making wines I used to like mine sweet, so used much more than the recipe allowed.

    ^ Can get over that by adding a little sugar just before bottling which is what I used to do when making lemon wine, and saving some as lemonade.
    Last edited by Propagator; 26-11-2009 at 03:40 AM. Reason: Madjbs replied b4 me

  12. #12
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    If you let it ferment that much with a whole cup of sugar you will end up with a ginger ale at about 4%abv and it wont be very sweet.

  13. #13
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    That sounds better.

    Quote Originally Posted by madjbs
    If you let it ferment that much with a whole cup of sugar you will end up with a ginger ale at about 4%abv and it wont be very sweet.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cocodile
    So you can prevent the can from being over pressurised, but still preventing nasty shit from entering the mix. And how much sugar did you exactly use?
    You should have a basic recipe as to the correct amount of stuff in it.
    My dad made Root beer for us kids and beer for them.
    But it is a dangerous process, and after it has worked off enough, check this with a hydrometer, then when it is right, add a little sugar/water over the top of the batch, it will rise up some and then settle down, siphon off into bottles and store in a cool dry dark place for the shit to settle, then open and pour off slowly so the dregs stay in the bottom.
    Bottle to early and cap and it is hand grenades, to late and it is flat.
    I have had a few bottles blow, but only when I was using a hydrometer, if you watch the surface when it is working off, watch closely and you will see a few very small beads of gas come to the surface, when they have reduced to 1 very small bead about 1 minute apart, it is ready and add your sugar water over the top and bottle it, be careful til you have the timing down right,, well worth the experimental stages and fukups when you can make a good product.

    Just cover with a piece of clean sheet or dish towel to keep bugs out. You can use a water seal bubbler if using a water carboy.
    seal a hose into the neck and run the hose into a bottle of water so the bubbles come out under water.

  15. #15
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    Thanks, Chi. That's exactly the recipe I use. Works well.

  16. #16
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    if you can make an air lock and leave for 3 months will make excellent wine

  17. #17
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    Happyman's Avatar
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    My Gran made some when I was about 6 for my birthday party.
    Reading the above it is now obvious there was too much sugar.
    About 10 kids all about 6years old - pissed as rats - must have been quite a handful.
    And yes- the few bottles(glass) that were left over exploded quite dramatically a few weeks later !
    Happy days !

  18. #18
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    Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

    Cook Time: 25 minutes

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
    • 3 strips lemon peel (about 4 inches each), yellow part only
    • 1-1/2 cups (about) sugar
    • 3 quarts chilled club soda
    • Ice cubes
    Preparation:

    Place ginger, lemon peel, and 4 cups of water in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add sugar, stirring constantly, and continue to boil until reduced to about 3 cups, another 15 minutes.

    Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in ginger mixture to separate solids from liquid. Discard the lemon peel. The strained cooked ginger pieces may be reserved for other uses (good with vanilla ice cream or yogurt), if desired.

    Cool the syrup, pour into a glass container, seal tightly, and chill at least 1 hour until cold or up to 1 week.

    For each 16-ounce serving, mix 1/4 cup ginger syrup with 1 cup cold club soda and pour over ice. Additional ginger syrup and/or sugar may be added to taste.


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