Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ginger beer

I hadn't made this for a long time, but started off a "ginger beer plant" last week. This is based on the recipe in the Lark Rise Recipe Book, but I have altered the quantities of sugar and ginger to suit my taste. I might use a bit less sugar next time, though, it was very sweet to me on first tasting. It's now been bottled, and will wait for a week before trying. I just hope it's less explosive than the naturally fermented cider I made LOL

To start the plant:

Mix 1/4oz dried yeast with 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp sugar and 3/4 pint of water. Leave for 24 hours, then feed daily with 2 tsp ginger and 2 tsps sugar.

After 7 days:

Strain through a cloth, retaining the liquid. The remaining solid is the plant which should be mixed with 3/4 pint of water, then fed againw ith ginger and sugar to produce a new batch of ginger beer. The "plant" should be divided in half about every two weeks.

To finish the ginger beer, mix the strained liquid with 5 pints of cold water, the juice of 2 lemons and 1 1/2lbs sugar(this is where I would cut down on the sugar, using 1 lb maybe) which has been dissolved in 2 pints of hot water. Mix well and pour into screw-top (beer or cider) bottles. Leave for 1 week before using.

(Taken from the Lark Rise Recipe Book by Mary Norwak - a lovely book, full of excellent, plain recipes, and other items of interest such as remedies, Oxford specialities, etc. Worth looking out for, lots of extracts from Flora Thompson's writing, nicely illustrated too.)

I can't help thinking of Enid Blyton's Famous Five whenever I hear the words ginger beer!

It's cold again here today, not helped by a bitter north east wind - a lazy wind - one that goes straight through you instead of around you!
MrL cheered up by some new socks, a third pair now on the needles -


MoominMamma said...

Thank you SO much for posting this!
This is exactly what I've been looking for - with the 'ginger beer plant'! None of the recipes I looked at mentioned it, and I always remember my Mother doing 'something' before the beer making part, just couldn't remember what!!
I wonder would adding fresh ginger make it more 'fiery'?
Kath xx

MrsL said...

I think it would - might be worth a try. There is a "quick" ginger beer recipe in the book too, which uses the fresh ginger rather than the plant, but I think the plant is a nicer way to do it - you can give half away to soemone to start their own.



Anonymous said...

I think you can easily swap fresh ginger, MM.

The Famous Five always had chocolate cake and apples with their ginger beer too

I have that recipe book and love the potted cheese and meats...great for sandwiches.


The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Ginger beer plant - haven't seen one for years, and I expect it's much healthier for you than commercial stuff. well done for posting this, I'll give it a try.