Sunday, 8 December 2013

The week just gone and some ginger beer

We've had another lovely week. 

We were involved in another bulk food buy.  I handed Belle the camera while I helped to divide the food.
 It's so nice to have a house full of nuts, sultanas, flour, puffed rice.....
 I marvelled this week at how different my children are.  I asked Belle to come and plant some lettuces with me.  I tried entice her by telling her how peaceful a task it would be.  "And dirty and irritating.", was her response!  Then she proceeded to chase butterflies through the garden and played with the dogs.
 Then along came Pumpkin.  "What are you planting Mum?"  "Lettuces.  Would you like to help?"  "Oh yes pleeease!"
And I've been knitting madly, madly, madly!  I've suddenly realised my grandchild is highly likely to arrive before I've finished my little jacket.  She's due in eight days!!  The race is on.

I found this very old pattern in an op shop.  It had instructions for different sizes of needles to the ones we use now but it didn't matter because the same op shop had old needles too! 
Now I haven't forgotten that I promised to share my ginger beer recipe so here goes...


There are two parts to making ginger beer.  Making the plant and feeding it and then making the actual drink.

Make the plant as follows:-

Put eight teaspoons of ginger and eight teaspoons of sugar (I use raw) into a jar with 1/2 teaspoon of dried yeast.  Pour in a cup of water and stir.  Put a piece of muslin over the jar and secure with a rubber band.

Every day for a week you will need to add one teaspoon of sugar and one of ginger and stir.  You will see the plant become more active with little bubbles forming and it gets a little frothy on the top.  The activity varies with temperature and time of year.

Make the drink as follows:-

After a week of feeding the plant I put 4 cups of raw sugar into my stainless steel bucket, add four cups of boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves.  If you're using a plastic bucket, just mix it up in a saucepan and transfer when you add the water.
Add sixteen cups of cold water and 1/2 cup of strained lemon juice.  Line a sieve with a couple of layers of muslin, stir the plant and pour it into the muslin.  You could do this over a bowl but I just get someone to hold the sieve directly over my bucket.  Pick up the edges of the muslin so that the remains are contained in the middle and squeeze out all the moisture.  Stir the bucket and bottle into very clean bottles.  We find it's ready after about 5 days.  I bottle in old soft drink bottles and if they feel very firm then they are ready.  Now a word of warning.  This stuff is explosive!  Open outside.  We have found the best method to be if you open the lid slowly but have a cup ready to catch any frothy overflow.  Trying to hold the lid on just causes it to squirt in every direction.
Now you need to take care of your plant.  Put half the leftover ginger plant into a clean jar with a cup of water, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of ginger and off you go again!  Daily feeding for a week and then make your next batch.

It really is very easy to make and we all enjoy it on a hot day.  I make a double batch sometimes and just use a little less water so that it can fit into my bucket.

On Christmas day we will be enjoying ginger beer and pink fizzy rhubarb!  Well the children will be!   I think I may be enjoying a glass of another kind of bubbly.


Lynda D said...

Thanks Linda, your instructions are simple to understand. I grew up on home made ginger beer and with six kids it was a regular thing to be making it up. It was also a regular thing to have massive explosions in the drinks room. Mum used glass jars and sometimes it would all get too much and off it went. Memories.... nothing have ever tasted so good.

Busy mum of 3 said...

Is that a non alcoholic ginger beer recipe?

theroadtoserendipity said...

Mum used to have a ginger beer plant on the go at all times. We lived on the explosive stuff. No coke for us (too expensive) and mum's rhubarb champagne was the ONLY rhubarb product that Steve would consume. I love that jumper pattern...isn't it amazing how everything old is new again? That jumper looks exactly like one that is going off like a rocket on Pinterest at the moment. Fingers crossed you get the jumper made before the big event. Cheers for the recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Yes it's amazing how different children can be. My grandmother had 14 grandchildren all were taught to plant vegetables and tend gardens but of all of us, I am the only one who continues this tradition. Not one of my cousins has a vegetable patch. But we all have that knowledge she passed down so who knows when they need it it will be there.

Linda said...

Lynda I remember exploding glass bottles from my childhood too! I hope you give it a go. It's fun to make and lovely to drink.

Busy mum, I have no way of measuring that. I certainly hope so coz I'm feeding it to the kids!

Rd to serendipity, that's interesting about the Pinterest pattern. I'd love a link if it's possible. I joined Pinterest but I don't really use it or even quite get how to use it!

Nesi said...

Where do you get your bulk food from.?

Linda said...

Hi Nesi, There are a group of us that order together. One person co-ordinates for us. She collates the orders and I think we use a few different sources. I believe the main ones are NSM and BAS Foods in Melbourne.

Nesi said...

Thanks Linda, next time I am in Melbourne I will have to check them out