2021-02SFC  Edible Austin Leaderboard

Ginger Beer


Courtesy of Kate Payne
Photography by Jo Ann Santangelo

Fairly difficult

Ginger Beer


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 1 cups c. plus 4 qt. filtered water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons tightly packed grated organic ginger, divided
  • 1 Juice of 1 lemon, strained (optional)

Ginger Beer Directions

  1. Start the ginger bug by filling a pint-size mason jar with one cup of the room-temperature water and 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Stir to dissolve and add 2 teaspoons of the grated ginger. Cover the jar with cheesecloth or a flour-sack towel and secure with a rubber band. Let sit for 24 hours.
  2. Stir in 2 teaspoons each of the ginger and sugar and let sit for another 24 hours.
  3. Then stir in another 2 teaspoons each of the ginger and sugar and let sit for another 24 hours. Bubbles should begin to form after the second day.
  4. When the ginger bug starter is foamy, make the ginger beer decoction by bringing 2 quarts of the water to a boil with the remaining 2 tablespoons of grated ginger. Boil for 15 minutes. Strain out the ginger and pour the hot liquid into a gallon-size jar or crock.
  5. Dissolve the remaining sugar in the hot liquid, then add the remaining room-temperature or cold water. Check the temperature of the mixture; when the jar is no longer warm to the touch, strain and add the ginger bug starter. Add the strained lemon juice, if using, and secure cheesecloth over the jar or crock.
  6. Allow the ginger beer to ferment in the jar for up to 3 days. Stir well to incorporate the live cultures evenly and decant the ginger beer into sealable bottles (using at least one plastic bottle).  To avoid the possibility of over-carbonation causing a glass jar to shatter, use all plastic bottles.
  7. Allow the sealed bottles to ferment at room temperature for 12 to 36 hours. Check the carbonation periodically by gently squeezing the plastic bottle. When it no longer gives when gently squeezed, the process is complete. Once carbonated, place the bottles in the refrigerator and drink within 3 weeks.

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