Just off to google, but can anyone recommend a recipe for starting a ginger beer plant?I loved ginger beer as a kid and also loved the responsibility of feeding my plant every day. Unfortunately, I think I was given the 'plant' and don't know how to start one and can't remember the feeding instructions.I have found a one time deal recipe, and found a ginger beer recipe in the archives, but really want the one you can feed as I think my kids might like the responsibility. They are keen cooks and gardeners, I think this might appeal. Mum has some old demi johns which I could use if I bring them back to Germany, so initial outlay would just be the ingredients.TIAExpat S
Hi you can start with any yeast. breweres yeast is common but some people use wild yeast from sultanas. But a properly established plant will have companion bacteria so get one if you can.Google saysHere's a UK source:http://www.hamstead-brewing-centre.co.uk/itm00986.htmAnd a source in Germany:http://www.dsmz.de/strains/no002484.htm Ah I recognise that last one it will cost a lot but the strain should be good with a complex composition. they supply to labs who would not be happy to get plain brewers yeast.As an alternative to a ginger beer plant have you considered getting watter kefir grains which you can cultivate in a varety of thingslemon Dried apricots, figs, ginger, you name ithttp://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#Kefir-d-acquaSimon
Hi Simon.Thanks for the links.You're right about the German one being expensive, I'm not sure that I want to drink ginger beer that much!!I've never tried kefir, either milk or water based. I think my local supermarket sells kefir drinks - if I can find a natural one could I use it like a starter for yoghurt? I think I need to do more research on this.Expat S
Greetings ExpatS,I'm copying this out from "Easymade Wine and Country Drinks" in the hope that it might help you. You should be able to get the ingredients without too much problem I hope.1 oz root ginger1 lb loaf sugarhalf oz cream of tartarhalf oz compressed yeast2 lemons2 teaspoons caster sugar1 gallon boiling waterBruise the root ginger and put it in a large bowl with the loaf sugar and cream of tartar. Wash the lemons and peel off the yellow rind very thinly, then remove pith and slice the remainder of the lemons. Add the peel and lemon slices to the ginger, sugar and cream of tartar and pour over a gallon of boiling water.Stir very well with a wooden spoon, then leave to become lukewarm. Cream the half oz of yeast with the 2 tsps of caster sugar and add to the other ingredients, stir well. You can use ordinary baker's yester if you can't find compressed yeast.Cover the bowl and leave for one day, then strain and bottle. Use screw top bottles or tie the corks on. The ginger beer will be ready to drink in 3 days.Cheers, gnomes
thanks Gnomes.I found a recipe like this in one of my many books, but wanted to try one of those long lasting ones where you feed every day or so and give away ginger beer plant to anyone foolish enough to want to try it.If no success, though, i will try this recipe.ThanksExpat s
Many moons ago I had a plant for the children which was fed with ground ginger. Perhaps if you tried Gnomes recipe but substituted the ginger It might work. I think that you fed it with a teaspoon of ginger and one of sugar and topped up with water.this may remind someone of the proper recipe - if not experiment you never know what will result!!!HTH Granethan
I've done a google and come up with the following.Thanks to all of you for taking the time to answer.I may very well try Simon's kefir recipe link too at some point as this also looks interesting.The top recipe is, i think what i was looking for, certainly looks familiar, I think i might try the lemon recipe this week. Will wait to start my plant until i get back from my hols.Thanks all.Expat SStarting a plant1. take 1/2 oz fresh bakers yeast mixed with 1 pint of warm water in acovered jug.2. Every day feed the above mixture with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoonground ginger and stir.3. After one week, leave to stand for 24 hours and strain off the clearliquor.4. Make a sugar solution of 1lb sugar to 4 pints water, add the liquor tothis and bottle in strong plastic bottles and store.5. Divide the original plant into two and add one pint water and feeddaily as before. The plant must be split each week or it will die.6. Leave the bottled ginger beer for one week (if you can) beforeconsumption.CommentsThe above made strong, but very nice ginger beer. Impatience lead usmaking the beer and drinking it well before the week was up (we waited 4days for the plant to grow and 2 days before drinking!) Al's Ginger Beer RecipeYield: 14 x 10oz bottles1 Ginger root1 Lemon, grated rind only2 oz Cream of tartar1 1/2 lb Sugar1 ga Water; boiling1 Envelope yeastGrate and thoroughly mash the ginger root in a bowl. Place in a large potand add all ingredients except the yeast. Stir until sugar and cream oftartar is dissolved. Allow mixture to cool, then add yeast which has beenstarted ( dissolved) in a little lukewarm water. Cover tightly for 6 hours,then filter first through a tea strainer or similar, then through cloth.Bottle and cap tightly, sealed. Place in dark, cool (60 degree) place fortwo weeks. Chill fully before opening to drink.---------------------------------------------Lemon-based Ginger beerRecipe is for 1.5 L plastic bottle2 tblspns warm water1/2 tspn sugar1/4 tspn dried yeast granules-1 cup sugarjuice of 2 lemonsrind of 2 lemons1 tspn to 1 tblspn dried gingerPut first measure of sugar in warm water to dissolve, add yeast and stir.Place in warm place to start working.Finely grate or slice rind from 2 lemons and place in a heatproof containerwith the 1 cup of sugar and the dried ginger. Pour over 1 cup of boilingwater and leave to steep for 10 minutes. Strain into 1.5 L plastic bottle inwhich the ginger beer will be made. Top up bottle with cool water to neartop so that final temp is approx. body temp. Add yeast to bottle as soon asit shows signs of working, ie. it foams. Cap bottle tightly. Mix thoroughlyand put in a warm place. Leave until bottle becomes undentable. Depending onthe yeast this can take anything from 12 hours to 3 days, but best to checkregularly, as I guess there is a risk of explosion with this! Refrigerateuntil thoroughly chilled and OPEN WITH GREAT CARE!This recipe came from the ChCh Press a couple of years back and makesexcellent ginger beer. You can also add more sugar afterwards if you like itsweeter. Yum.
Yes your top recipe seems like the one I had. Will try it again for the granchildrenThanks for reminding me and for finding it!Granethan
Looks like the one I remember from when I was a kid, Granethan.I hope you enjoy it.I know back in the 70s early 80s when I was a kid, fresh ginger was not as commonly available so we used powdered. I'd love a recipe for the fresh ginger to feed like a plant. Maybe I'll have to have one conventional plant and one I experiment with.I love this kind of culinary messing, I play with sour dough/ old dough starters too for breadmaking. There's something magical about yeast!I also enjoy yoghurt making although i don't bother right now as i can buy inexpensive, good yoghurt very easily here.Cheers.Expat S
Oohhh... I'm excited. I really really love ginger beer, but have never had home made - usually just the rubbishy stuff in cans, and I still love that. The posh ginger beer is even better though, even if it is bloody expensive. I might be brave and try to make some for myself. Wonder where I can get the bottles from?So what happens to the plant? Does it just flavour the water, or does it do funny transformative things? Is proper ginger beer actually alcoholic? (And, Expat, do you reckon that it would count against my Challenge points if it is??) Do the bottles really explode? (I live in a one bed flat and can't really afford to be bombed out by volatile soft drinks.) How different does it taste?Properly excited, now. Someone tell me which the best recipe to use is, and I'm going to get going! (Off to the offie now to get a can of ginger beer. I'm really easily led...)
Hi Casper.Real Ginger beer is indescribably better than the tinned stuff, even Idris which is quite good.I haven't drunk it for over twenty years, so has become the stuff of legends in my memory. I remember a joyous summer when I had full responsibility for the ginger beer plant.I don't think it was difficult, I was in my early teens, I think.Having said that I used to help dad make homemade wine which was much more fiddly.We used to make it in demijohns (wine making vessels with two little handles at the neck of the large bottle). I seem to remember that you had to use filter papers to get the sediment out for the new plant.I made ginger beer a couple of summers running and only ever had one messy explosion. I did stand the demi johns on a tray just in case, but it even overflowed this, but as I say, only once.It is a little bit alcoholic, but despite drinking a lot (I was an addict), I don't think I ever got inebriated and I would only have weighed about 80lbs at the time. Earlier googles came up with 2% alcohol content. As to challenge points, probably the sugar content would be worse than the alcohol!The first recipe in my post looks like the one I would have used, although I've never started my own plant. Having said that the lemon ginger beer recipe looks easy and without parental responsibility as it's a one time deal.I was going to try the lemon recipe tonight, but I don't have a suitable bottle so off to buy water tomorrow for the bottle!!!I think I might brew in the cellar - the temperature is the most stable down there and if I should get an explosion it won't matter so much.I fully intend bringing some of dads old winemaking stuff back with me from the UK so that I can start my ginger beer brewing in earnest!!As to supplies, I don't know now, but Boots used to have a homebrewing section in their stores. Otherwise a homebrewing store might help. For storage, I guess Grolsch bottles might be good and would really replicate the Famous Five feeling as i think the old bottles used to be wired with a marble in the top. (If you were an Enid Blyton fan, you would remember that the famous five always drank lashings and lashing of the stuff!!!)Well, apologies for the long post.Expat Spouse.PS I have half an idea that the fool has a homebrew board, they could give further ideas about supplies!!
Uh posted a long reply to this that got eaten. send me an address and I will send you some kefir grains.That is for milk, I have not got any water kefir grains.sticking Ginger beer plant into google will produce a lot of recipes Its a long time since I was a boy and made it. so I can not reccomend one though a brewers yeast base is probably best. you should use those Big plastic Coke bottles. Rather than a demi John It wont blow and will produce a FIZZ. brewers yeast is potentialy more alcoholic than bakers yeast or kefir grains but I would not worry too much:^)Simon
Hi Simon.My best posts always get eaten too! I'm actually very witty! :-)Thanks for the offer of the kefir, it was really kind of you. I'm in Germany and would hate for you to go to so much trouble especially as I'm unreliable and will probably kill them!I'll try the big plastic bottles which would save the hassle of bringing back demijohns from the UK, thanks good idea.I'm currently drinking the 1.5 litres of water in the bottle which I have found for making the quick recipe. There's no point me starting a plant till I get back from my hols, but really fancy some good ginger beer!! will post if it turns out well!Thanks again.Expat S
Beleive me kefir grains are pretty indestructable. They can sit round for months being ignored.Anyhow you can culture it from comercial kefir if it has not been been pasturised. but unlike grains you may have to replace it every few months as the balance of microrganisms changes.Simon
Thanks Simon.Will look for unpasteurised kefir when I get back. Replacing every few months would be ok, as I'd probably get fed up by then anyway. In the link , it gave descriptions of changing milk based to water based, so once I've tried the milk one i can split it and try converting it!!!Will maybe give it a go when i'm back from my hols.Thanks.Expat S
it gave descriptions of changing milk based to water based, so once I've tried the milk one i can split it and try converting it!!!I doubt that you will succeed with no grains. Still while your experimenting could I suggest you try using Kefir as a sour dough starter.Simon
HI Simon.Kefir as a sour dough starter.Have you tried this? Do you feed it first and then use your fed starter?Currently I'm making bread with old dough i.e keeping some raw dough back from previous batch and then adding it to the next batch. It seems to make a more interesting bread with no extra effort.I still add yeast to the mix, so the old dough is merely for its flavour and keeping abilities.Expat S
Yes I tried it a while back Dom reccomended...Ingredients and Method for Kefir Sourdough Starter:1 cup of kefir [either milk-based-kefir or Kefir d'acqua] 1 cup of plain whole meal or unbleached white flour.Mix ingredients together in a jar to form a smooth wet paste. Cover jar with cloth or paper toweling. Let sit between 3 to 4 days at room temperature. Stir once daily. When ready it should be quite bubbly with a sweet-sour and yeasty aroma. It should also increase in volume as shown in picture.But I seem to remember this was far to long and the starter was fine after about a day.Simon
Thanks Simon.Sounds easy enough.I'll maybe give it a try!Expat SPS.This morning, I made the quick lemon and ginger beer recipe which I posted. Just waiting for it to get up to pressure! This time i used powdered ginger as per the recipe, but i think in future i might try fresh ginger as IMHO it has a more complex flavour.
I usually think of myself as fairly knowledgeable about food, but what the hell is kefir? I've never heard of it - assume it's some kind of yeast thing?As for ginger beer - there was an even quicker recipe on the bbc website that I suppose is a lot more like ginger lemonade. Grate a load of ginger and lemon zest, pour over hot water, add sugar, leave to stand for ten minutes then sieve and top up with lemon juice and soda water. Made it last night and it didn't last for long. (I think that I might be so desperate to try the proper ginger beer that I'm going to have to buy some of that 6p pikey cola from tescos and just pour the cola down the sink so that I can use the empty bottles!)
Hi Casper.The ginger beer is bubbling away nicely in my kitchen as I write. This is the one day one -I'd forgotten how gratifying it is to make things with bubbles. I loved making wine as a teenager - there's just some magic in watching things ferment!!!!The recipe you describe sounds pretty good. I make lemonade in this way, but have never tried adding ginger. Might be good to try for an emergency refreshing drink!!As to the bottles. I found an unopened bottle of water in the cellar, so have drunk that and am now using the bottle. Otherwise I was going to buy bottles especially too. Unfortunately, the bottle has a 'pfand', so if I were to take it back I would get 25 euro cents back. In other words, my plastic bottle cost me 25 cents!!! Germany are big into recycling and often offer cash incentives to return glass or some plastic.Anyway, looking forward to my lemonade. :-)Kefir is a cultured product, until this week, I'd only come across it as a milk based drink. I would say that it is more like yoghurt than anything. A quick google came up with this site which gave an ingredients list for their culture :https://www.bodyecologydiet.com/store/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BE&Product_Code=BE010&Category_Code=cfSo similar to yoghurt but includes some yeast too.HTHExpat S
Argh lost the post. It is a slightly fizzy yoghurt like drink.To quote the Wikipedia article I mostly wrote.Kephir (alternately kefir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, matsoun, matsoni) is a fermented milk drink originating in the Caucasus.Kefir grains are a combination of probiotic bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipid and sugars. They are grown in milk (most commonly cow or goat milk) for a day or more at room temperature. The resulting beverage is called kefir. It is a faintly fizzy and slightly alcoholic drink, similar to yoghurt.The exact combination of bacteria and yeasts vary between cultures. To ensure consistency, commercial producers now generally use a powdered starter culture rather than grains. However, such cultures do not form grains or continue to culture indefinitely, making kefir grains the preferred choice for individuals. Kefir grains grow over time. Excess grains may be stored, eaten or given away. If you would like to request kefir grains, or have some to share, please visit the Live Kefir Grains (http://184.108.40.206/clarkson/Show/Clarkson/kefir/) database.Variations that thrive in various other liquids (typically fruit or sugar based solutions) exist. They may vary markedly from milk kefir in both appearance and microbial composition. The beverage made from them is called kefir d'acqua or water-kefir.For more information, see Dominic N. Anfiteatro's kefir in-site (http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html).Carlos F. Dias Jr. Kefir Real in-site - Brasil (http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/kefirbrasil/index.html).you drop some grains in milk leave for a day then strain out the grains. slightly rubbery things like little cauliflower florets.If the Kefir has seperated into Curds and whey (Which looks absolutely revolting) then it is probably time to remove excess grains. you can use curds and whey individually in recipes typically I use curds instead of cream in soup. the whey well it depends.maybe Sauerkraut or its relatives. Most often though I stir them back together and sweeten them a bit more. Kefir, Orange and banana smoothiesare to die for.Simon
Thanks for the great explanation Simon.I have sampled the 'quick' ginger beer recipe.It's really quite good. It got bubbles very quickly as my kitchen is pretty hot at the moment. So, it didn't even need a twelve hour 'brewing' time.As a wee experiment, I chopped a teaspoon of fresh ginger and added this with three teaspoons of sugar to 1 cup of boiling water. When this mix had dropped to room temp, I added the liquor to the ginger beer bottle and continued the brew.Not sure if I could do this topping up for long, but as the basic recipe is very simple, it's not really necessary. Just fancied a little experiment.Expat S
Hmm when I said slightly alcoholic I meant slightly. I seem to remember that the level of alcohol is less than naturally occurs in the gut.Simon
Hi, saw this request and thought this may help. I have used this recipe for years now, good luck. (Try it with Capt. Morgons Spiced Rum!!)But I didn't tell you that!Old-Fashioned Ginger Beer RecipeStarter for Plant1/2 oz Yeast2 ts SugarTo Feed The "Plant"7 ts Ground Ginger 7 ts Sugar To Flavour1 1/2 lb SugarJuice Of 2 LemonsMix starter ingredients with 3/4 pint of warm water in a glass jar. Stir, cover and leave in a warm place for 24 hours. This is your starter "plant". Feed the "plant" with 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger and sugar each day. After 7 days strain through a fine sieve. Dissolve the sugar in 2 pints of water. Add the lemon juice and the liquid from the "plant". Dilute with 5 pints of water, mix well and store in corked bottles for at least 7 days.Use strong bottles as pressure may build up which will cause thin bottles to explode. For the same reason use corked bottles rather than those with a more secure closure that will not 'give' under pressure. The amount of sugar in the final stage can be varied according to taste.
Beaujester.Thankyou. I will be trying out your recipe. It looks very similar to the one I used as a child.Unfortunately, my kids don't share my love for all things ginger. So it will be just for me and the occasional glass for hubby.Does the rum come ready spiced? I know Captain Morgans, but haven't come across the spiced one! What proportion rum to ginger beer? Do you make it a short drink or a long one like you would with say a PIMMS ?Would make a good alternative to gluhwein in the winter!Not sure if I would be able to buy the spiced rum here in germany, but maybe the standard one would do the trick!Thanks again.Expat S
When we spent a long holiday in Zimbabwe almost 15 years ago, we often had a very refreshing drink called 'Malawi shandy' - equal proportions of ginger beer and lemonade with a dash of Angostura bitters and ice. Really nicecheers,Diziet
Sounds delish Diziet. Maybe one for the warmer summer days. Was it the fizzy 'sprite-style' lemonade or real lemonade or the cloudy stuff?Expat s
Sounds delish Diziet. Maybe one for the warmer summer days. Was it the fizzy 'sprite-style' lemonade or real lemonade or the cloudy stuff?Bog standard fizzy stuff, though of course cloudy lemonade would be better!Diziet
Thanks Diziet.Will try to remember that one for next summer!!! :-)Expat s
The starter recipe for Ginger Beer is as follows.1/4 tsp. yeast ( ordinary dry bakers yeast from the supermarket).2 tsps. sugar.2 tsps. ground ginger.3/4pt. lukewarm water.feeding. daily for seven days. 1.tsp. sugar.1 tsp. ginger.method.use a 2lb. jam jar or large coffee jar. put all the starter ingredients into it put lid and place some where warm and dark.feed daily for seven days.on the eigth day filter the contents of the jars through 2 layers of musslin and a coffee filter.to maqke the beer.2pts boiling water.5 pts. cold water.1.5 lbs. sugar.depending on your taste.juice of 2 lemons or limes.disolved the sugar in the boiling water.add the fruit juice. add the five pints of cold water.then add the liquid from the jar.bottle in 2ltr fizzy drink bottle.leave at room temprature for 24hrs or until bottle goes hard.them put in fridge, very important unless you like moping floors and carpets.when done take the yeast and ginger mixture from your plant and divide it into two. place each into a seperate jar and start again.hope this helps. as far as i know this recipe has survided for at least a few hundred years good luck.
MortimerCongratulations on your first post.How did you find a thread that has been dormant since October 2004??hgv
Hi look @ http://www.recipegal.com/beverages/Ginger-Beer-Plant.htm think this is what you want JIM
Hi there Expat S I know you posted this ages ago but i was talking to a friend the other day about the ginger beer plant I had as a kid which produced fantastic & very fizzy ginger beer. The conversation prompted me to try and find the recipe to start one off for my kids. Thanks to the power of Google I found your posts very quickly and now I have the recipe. Thank you. I will start one off for them. What i will say though is thank God for plastic bottles nowadays. When I was a kid ginger beer became our stable diet due to having to do the "strain & split" every week resulting very quickly in having gallons of the stuff! At that time the containers most often used were the glass lemonade bottles of the day. We had so much ginger beer, that one time, I stored about a dozen or so bottles of it in a cardboard box in the garage. One hot summers day there was a terrific explosion. I guess one bottle had overpressurised and exploded setting off a chain reaction resulting in the whole lot going up and a very sharp and sticky mess! The only way we could tell how many bottles had exploded was to find and couunt the bottle tops. Great times!Hityouth
Hello Hityouth.Have fun.I don't have a plant going at the moment. I'll start one again in the summer. I am the only drinker in the family, unfortunately, so in the winter I get my ginger fix in other ways! On similar lines, I do have a sourdough starter still alive and kicking- it's about 18 months old now and still pretty lively.In then 'old days' i used to commandeer old demijohns from my dad. In fact, I brought one back with me to Germany last year. Still the risk of explosion, but only the stopper comes out. It is always worth keeping the bottles on a tray and having a stopper which will blow before the bottle if you are using glass. Plastic works really well though- the quick ginger beer is truly excellent although you don't get a plant, of course.well, enjoy.Expat s