Ginger Root Beer (Ginger Root Water Kefir)
Ginger Root Beer Home Brewing –
How to Produce a Delicious Ginger Root Drink by Yourself
All you need for the production (of 1 liter Ginger Root Beer / Ginger Lemonade) is:
- About 3 TBSP special Kefir grains for Ginger Root Beer
- 1 liter of water
- About 60g of sugar (approx. 4 TBSP)
- 1 TBSP molasses (cane syrup / golden syrup)
- 20g of dried fruits (you name it: figs, raisins, plums, etc)
- 50g of fresh ginger (in slices)
- At least 1 or 2 slices of lemon (untreated or peeled beforehand)
- 1 fermentation container for 1 liter (e.g. screw top jar)
- 1 plastic strainer, 1 plastic spoon
- 1 bottle or glass for storing the finished drink in your fridge
Quick Starter Guide
- Use 1 liter of water for your fermentation container and dissolve the sugar (60g) and 1 TBSP molasses completely.
- Add about 3 TBSP special Water Kefir grains (without the finished Ginger Root drink).
- Add about 20g of dried fruits, e.g. 1 or 2 figs or a small hand full raisins.
- Add at least 1 or 2 slices of lemon and 50g of freshly sliced Ginger to your culture.
- Please seal your fermentation container in a way that carbon dioxide still may exit.
- Store your container in a warm place.
- Your Water Kefir drink is ready in about 1 to 3 days. Then, remove the dried fruits, the lemon slices and the Ginger.
- Use a strainer for bottling your finished Ginger Root Beer lemonade. The bottle may be either plastic or glass.
- Briefly rinse your grains in the strainer under running cold water.
- Clean the fermentation container thoroughly. You are now ready to start all over again with point 1.
IMPORTANT! Please never let your Ginger Root Beer culture get into touch with metal of any kind. Metal will harm your culture seriously. Therefore, use only plastic strainers and plastic spoons.
IMPORTANT! In the event of your finished drink smelling musty or showing a strange behavior at any stage please throw it away as a precaution. Take out the grains and thoroughly clean them in a plastic strainer under running water and start all over again with a new culture.
Workplace Hygiene and Cleanliness for Your Handling of Ginger Root Beer (Ginger Lemonade)
- All devices that get into contact with the grains or the culture medium have to be cleaned thoroughly up-front. Please use hot water and dish detergent for cleaning. Finally, rinse off all detergent residues very carefully and make sure that all your devices are totally clean. The Water Kefir grains are very sensitive to chemicals and metals.
- Your hands also need to be clean and free of any soap before touching the special Water Kefir grains although it is better not to touch them anyway - you should rather use plastic spoons whenever possible. This way, you can prevent contamination with other germs very effectively.
Detailed Instructions with Many Tips and Tricks
1. Use 1 liter of water for your fermentation container and dissolve the sugar (60g) and the molasses (cane syrup / golden syrup) completely.
- You can use regular tap water or still mineral water. The water should always have room temperature. Colder water is also okay for your Kefir grains but fermentation will be delayed until when the water has warmed up.
- The Kefir grains feel most comfortable when using regular granulated sugar and 1 TBSP real molasses from the glass (per liter). Molasses is syrup from sugar cane, very healthy and rich of vitamins and minerals. If you do not have any molasses around, you may also use raw cane sugar or whole cane sugar instead. Both sugars naturally contain real molasses. Whole cane sugar even contains the full scope of the natural components of the molasses. When you only want to use these sugars but no real molasses, you have to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. You will then need about 80g of sugar per liter. But bear in mind that you get the full malty flavor of Ginger Root Beer only by adding additional liquid molasses or by using raw cane sugar which still contains the full scope of the natural components right away from the start.
- You can get whole cane sugar, raw cane sugar and pure liquid molasses for example in our online shop in the “Accessory” area.
2. Add the special Water Kefir grains (about 3 TBSP) without the Ginger Root drink. The drink serves only as a transportation means.
- The Ginger Root Beer medium box (with about 30g of Ginger Root grains) is sufficient enough for a culture with 1 liter. Usually the grains are growing very fast over time. In this case, you may add more grains per liter (up to about 6 TBSP); this will also speed up the production. If the grains get too many, just split the culture and or dispose the excess. Thanks to the molasses, Ginger Root grows much faster than regular Water Kefir. And obviously, Ginger Root loves the many vitamins and various minerals included in the molasses as well!
3. Add about 20g of dried fruits (e.g. 1 or 2 figs or a small hand full raisins).
- Your grains will need dried fruits as a food source for their growth (just like its kinsman the Water Kefir). Cultivation without dried fruits may only work for a short period of time and should not be your long-term strategy. Besides, dried fruits give your drink a wonderful aroma you not want to miss. There is no limit to your creativity when shopping for dried fruits: raisins, figs, apricots, plums – whatever you like. Please only pay attention to that your dried fruits are not sulfurized and do not contain any chemical preservatives; that is how your Ginger Root grows best.
- Figs are usually the first choice for an optimal growth of your special Water Kefir grains although Ginger Root may be nurtured with any regular type of dried fruits.
4. Add at least 1 or 2 slices of lemon and 50g of freshly sliced Ginger to your culture.
- Lemon slices acidify your culture and enrich its delicious flavor (and its healthy ingredients). Lemons that are not sprayed just need to be cleaned under running water before cutting them whereas chemically treated and waxed lemons also need to be peeled up-front in any case. You may also use bottled lemon juice instead of lemon slices but make sure that it is free of preservatives. In the end, Ginger Root Beer taste best though only with “real” lemon slices.
- Cut about 50g of fresh and peeled Ginger into thin slices and add it to the glass. When you have no fresh Ginger around you may also use dried Ginger or candied Ginger. Of course, you only get the especially savory taste and valuable ingredients of the fresh Ginger by using fresh Ginger Root.
- For variety in taste of your Ginger Root Beer or to get it even more aromatic, you may also add various other tasty and healthy spices like there are Vanilla, cinnamon and star anise. Just try out what you like best and what is good for your health. Again, please bear in mind to have a backup fermentation ready in case your experiment with a new recipe fails.
5. Please seal your fermentation container in a way that carbon dioxide still may exit.
- In case you use a screw top jar, you should never seal it completely air-tight. The excess carbon dioxide still needs to be able to exit, please only screw down gently therefore. For example, when you use a carafe or any other type of container for the production of Water Kefir, it is acceptable to cover it with cling wrap and then to use a rubber ring as fastener.
- It is important to seal your Ginger Root container tightly (but not air-tight) so that the carbon dioxide can displace all air within the container. This makes it impossible for other bacteria and or germs to propagate.
6. Store your container in a warm place.
- The warmer you store your special Water Kefir grains the faster fermentation starts. Your Ginger Root is a perfect lemonade supplier at room temperature! It is best to have 23 to 25 degrees Celsius. It usually takes only a few minutes until you may witness a lively fermentation performance: bubbles of carbon dioxide show up and the grains may start to swim moving up and down. Indeed it is fun to watch your Ginger Root working! This action might not take place every time though because sometimes the Kefir grains need a few rounds of fermentation to get “into the groove” especially under new conditions.
7. Your Ginger Root Beer lemonade is ready in about 1 to 3 days. Then, remove the dried fruits, the lemon slices and the Ginger.
- Your Ginger Root Beer drink is ready in about 1 to 3 days - depending on ambient temperature, amount of added grains and other parameters. It takes a shorter time in summer and a longer time in winter.
- Your taste sets the duration of fermentation. After one day, your Ginger Root Beer will taste very sweet like lemonade with a slightly sour flavor (comparable to Ginger Ale). After two days, sugar level will be already very low and your drink will feature a very balanced sweet-sour and slightly alcoholic touch. On the third day, your Root Beer will become markedly sour, alcoholic and slightly bitter. You should consider starting a new fermentation on day 4 the latest. At this time your lemonade will be very intense in flavor although many Ginger lemonade friends still like it then because they want to forgo on the high levels of sugar during the first days.
- You may want to squeeze the lemon juice from your lemon slices directly into your finished drink. The dried fruits from your drink and the Ginger slices are eatable of course. And you can even use bigger fruits for two or three fermentations in a row. That usually works with no problems but please be careful and pay great attention to hygiene.
8. Use a plastic strainer for bottling your finished Ginger Root Beer lemonade. Please only use glass bottles.
- Some people report that a short secondary fermentation in the bottle in your fridge positively enhances the taste of your drink. 1 or 2 days in your fridge make it even more sparkling and refreshing. Your Ginger Root Beer tastes best when enjoyed cool. Especially in summer, it is a healthy and inexpensive alternative to regular industrial soft drinks which usually contain much more sugar.
- Please also make sure that excess carbon dioxide may still exit the bottles in your fridge.
9. Briefly rinse your Water Kefir grains in a strainer under running cold water. Clean the fermentation container with hot water. You are now ready to start all over again with point 1.
- Please move your strainer a little bit when rinsing of your grains under the cold water. Remove any fruit stones or Ginger fragments carefully with a plastic spoon.
- When your grains get too many, just split the culture and give it to your friends. With proper care, they will get a new friend for a lifetime, too, because the grains do not stop growing.
- In case your Ginger Root just grows very slowly, please try it with bottled mineral water since the tap water quality is not so good in some areas. In particular, Kefir grains do not like very soft water and do grow very slow by times.
- Kefir grains withstand a vacation of yours best in your fridge. On that account, please cover your grains with water and add 1 to 2 TBSP sugar. Cover them up loosely. When you want to start a new culture, pour away the old fluid and start anew. Bear in mind that it might take a few rounds of fermentation before your culture fully produces tasty Ginger Root Beer again.
Note: All information and tips on our website have been selected and verified by us with great care. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee for the currency, completeness and validity of the given data. We assume no liability for any damage and or accidents.
When following our recommendations, tips, and notes, please also use your own personal judgment and experience in the proper and safe handling of food.