How to brew ginger beer

Monday, October 23, 2023
While both ginger ale and ginger beer contain the delightful zing of ginger, there's a stark difference between the two. While ginger ale is a carbonated drink infused with ginger flavor, ginger beer is a fermented drink crafted from ginger spice, yeast, and sugar, resulting in a unique alcoholic beverage.

The Brewing Process: A Simplified Overview

Interested in making ginger beer at home? The brewing process is straightforward:
  • Ferment a mixture of water, yeast, ginger, and sugar.
  • Add sugar daily to increase alcohol content.
  • After sufficient fermentation, strain the brew.
  • Dilute with water and lemon juice.
  • Bottle the ginger beer.
how to make ginger beer

The Recipe: Crafting the Perfect Alcoholic Ginger Beer


  • 2kg ginger
  • 1 kg brown sugar
  • 1/2 kg castor sugar
  • 2 limes
  • 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Ale-style yeast

  • Start by shredding the ginger using a food processor.
  • Juice the limes and orange.
  • Combine all ingredients in a clean, sanitized brewing vessel (like a fermenter or carboy).
  • For enhanced flavor and clarity, consider boiling the ginger and sugar in water.
  • After boiling, cool the mixture to room temperature before pitching the yeast.
  • Allow the ginger beer to ferment for a week or longer, monitoring its alcohol content using a hydrometer.
  • Once fermented, you can opt to sweeten the ginger beer if desired.

Beyond the Basics - Additional Brewing Tips

  • Pasteurization: To ensure long-term storage and avoid over-carbonation, consider pasteurizing your ginger beer. This process involves heating bottled ginger beer in a water bath, effectively halting fermentation.
  • Yeast Selection: While both brewing and baker's yeast can be used, many brewers prefer ale yeasts or champagne yeast for a distinct flavor profile.
  • Ginger Bug Creation: For a more traditional approach, create a ginger bug using grated ginger, sugar, and water. This mixture, when fermented, can be used as a base for your ginger beer.

Exploring Other Brews

If ginger beer has piqued your interest in home brewing, you might also enjoy exploring other brews like 'prison hooch', hard seltzer, or the classic apple cider.

Engaging in the art of brewing ginger beer offers both a delightful drink and a rewarding experience. Whether you're a seasoned brewer or just embarking on your brewing journey, this guide aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the nuances involved in crafting the perfect glass of alcoholic ginger beer. Happy brewing!
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