Tales of ginger beer

On a whim I decided to make ginger beer Friday evening. I didn’t quite research it enough because everyone said in the recipes, that this was so easy… Well let me tell you, it was a mess!

This was less easy than everyone had led me to believe, mostly because the instructions were not detailed enough. I started off with 8 liters of ginger beer and it fermented for two days in my parents’ bathroom along with my dad’s newest batch of home-brewed beer. I am pretty sure I had added too much yeast to the mix (using ale yeast) but the taste was good before I bottled it last night – just a tad bit yeasty.

Sadly I had not heeded the advice everyone gave of using plastic bottles… I bottled the stuff (all of it – nobody thought it a good idea to mention not to leave in the dregs), and per the recipe I let it sit at room temp for a few hours (overnight, since that was how the timeline worked out).

At 5 am I woke up for no particular reason and went to the bathroom where the bottles were located and found glass and ginger beer all over the floor. As I started to clean it up, two more bottles exploded. Ginger beer and glass were everywhere. I burped the rest of the bottles (which overflowed like crazy) and put them into the bathtub while cleaning up. Once I was done I poured everything into my lemonade container to let the dregs settle out of it.

Once it was settled most of the yeast taste was gone, so they could get re-bottled. This afternoon I re-bottled the stuff, this time without the dregs, into plastic bottles. Now they are sitting on the counter waiting to re-carbonate before they go in the fridge. Hopefully that is the last of the messes. Next time I am trying this without yeast but using ginger to start off the fermentation and carbonation. It was a mess, but I am defiantly doing this again!

Edit: Today the ginger beer is cold from the fridge and it tastes quite good. It got a slight smell of yeast, but it is gone from the taste. The carbonation really worked – it now has bobbles like a champagne does, not like a modern soda. The taste is gingery and refreshing. I am quite pleased with the finished product. But what a mess.

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