I’ve only had bad ginger beer. I guess the reason for this is because it isn’t that common here in Finland and therefore the chances of getting good homemade ginger beer is small.
I was going through my recipes last week and I came across this ginger beer recipe. Seemed easy enough and I decide to see if it was just something that I did not like or had I just had bad ginger beer. Note that this includes lemon. I do not know if it is common to use it in ginger beer but I liked the outcome.
Ginger beer with lemon
Approx. 3 litres
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 table spoon of grated ginger (I put 1 1/2)
- 1 1/2 dl lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- 2 1/2 dl sugar
- 3 raisins
- 2 1/2 liter water
- 10 g fresh yeast or 5 g dried yeast
1. Grate the lemon zest into a large pan. Peel the ginger and grate as much as you want into the pan. Add the lemon juice, sugar and raisins. Add 1 liter of hand warm water into the pan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the yeast and the rest of the water.
2. Cover the pan with cellophane and leave in the warm for 4-6 hours. Mix a couple of times.
3. When the raisins and the lees have risen the beer is ready to be sieved. Pour the beer through a sieve and a funnel into a clean bottle. If you do not own a funnel then pour the the beer first into a jug and then into the bottles. Fill the bottles so that there is approx. 7 cm space between the beer and the cork.
4. Add a raisin to each bottle. You can keep track of how the carbonic acid is forming by watching the raisins. When the raisin have risen then enough carbonic acid has formed. Screw the corks on tightly and leave them on the table over night.
5. In the morning screw open the corks so the excess acid gets out. Put the bottles into the fridge. The taste of the ginger beer will smooth out and the acidity will be emphasized. It will be at it’s best after two days. It will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
And for you finnish readers….
A few notes. they do say that you can watch the raisin raise. This did not happen to me and I thought the beer was ruined. I moved the bottles into the fridge and waited for two days. Still the raisin did not raise. Luckly I did not throw out the drink since the raisin rose when I opened up the bottles and it tasted just fine.
The other thing that I will do differently next time is to use fresh yeast. I’ve always been a bit skeptical of dry yeast and I think that if I had used fresh yeast I would have gotten a bit more acidity. Maybe…
But I’ll use this during out Mayday parties this year. It is a great partner with our trditional Sima drink which I’ll share with you when May arrives.