Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beer or Lemonade? Make them BOTH!

Hello Beautifuls!
I have made two (short??) videos on making both fermented lemonade, and ginger beer. The recipes are underneath. These are two super tasty drinks, and a great alternative to soda. The ginger beer takes about 4 weeks to be "ready", but the lemonade only takes two days, so I am adding that as an almost instant gratification!  Message me if you have any questions, and remember, these are just "my" adaptations of some wonderful recipes. I try to make it simple & quick, the hardest thing is waiting :). Forgive my heated look, it is 108F outside, and about 90F in my kitchen...LOL...just pretend I am in the South somewhere without A/C, kinda like "Fried Green Tomatoes".

Have fun!

Ginger Beer
This is my adaption from the fabulous book "Wild Fermentation", a great book for your library if you really want to get into the old art of fermentation. Ginger beer takes about 3-4 weeks to finsih, as your ginger "bug" takes 1-2 weeks :). Plan ahead, once you make this, you will be hooked!
You will need:

for the "bug"
Fresh ginger
1 small mason jar with lid, or not (see note)

Chop ginger, making about 2tbls. Put about 1 cup of filtered water into a small mason jar. Add 2tbls sugar, and add ginger. Cover with a cloth or coffer filter with rubber band, or just lid very loosely so air can get in. Do this every 2 days until your bug starts to bubble. I have mine on a shelf in the kitchen with my kombucha and other concoction so I do not forget it! When it bubbles:

You will need:
3-4 inch piece of fresh ginger
2 lemons, juiced
1cup of sugar
1 handful of Sarsaparilla root, or herb of your choice

Bottles, preferably dark.
funnels for bottles, and jar if you strain my way :)

Boil a 1/2 gallon of water, add sugar and ginger. Boil for 15 minutes, then cool. Once cool, add your strained ginger bug (keep about 2tbls of your ginger bug for the next batch), lemon juice, and another 1/2 gallon of water.

Strain liquid if you have added herbs. Then fill into tight closing bottles (dark bottles are best. I recycle grolsch style bottles, and big beer bottles with twist lids :)...) Put a label with date. The ginger beer must ferment for two weeks in a dark place.  Put the date in your calendar to remind you! Carbonation explosions happen if left too long (I can personally attest to this :(..)

WARNING! Cool your ginger beer before opening!
The fermentation causes some serious bubbles, and opening the bottle warm will make it spurt out like a volcano. There is no limit to UP, as my ceiling will attest to! Also, you want to open the bottle slowly, in small waves, letting the carbonation escape. You will find the best way, just practice the first time in a sink :).

Fermented Lemonade (It's FIZZY!)
You will need:
5-7 lemons, or enough to make 2 cups of lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup whey

1 gallon jar with filtered water (I use recycled pickle jars)

This recipe is so simple, gifting you with yummy "good for you" fermented lemonade. Simple fill your jar 3/4 full with filtered water, add sugar and dissolve. Add lemon juice & whey. Now put a tight lid on your jar, and sit in a dark place in your kitchen. After two days, the lemonade will be fermented :). Now you can transfer it to the fridge, cool, and ENJOY!
A Little about Bottles and the Gooky stuff in them:
Fermentation causes a "silt" to form...some people think that looks yucky, but it is quite normal. You can filter this out when you pour your finished ginger beer, just pour it through a coffee filter.

I recycle bottles. If you have a dishwasher, it is very easy to sanitize them, just run them through a hot cycle. I don't, so I periodically boil bottles, and cap them. Then, when I need them, I give them a quick rinse with hot water before I bottle.


  1. Morning, Sunshine! Hey, I'm making a ginger bug right now, and I was wondering: do you also add water every couple days?

  2. Good MOrning! No, only sugar & ginger. I add water when I start a new bug, with a bit of the old one in. Often I use the old ginger too, as it is full of good "fizzle"! :)

  3. Ok. Good to know. It started to fizz the second day, but now it's not doing it, so I was hoping that I was doing everything correctly. Thanks!

  4. Thank you, Heike! Lovely videos! I am all inspired now!!