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Ginger Ale a la Kiki

I got really excited about ginger beer after watching Dr. Kiki make some in one of her podcasts.

I took some liberty with the recipe, adding a lot more ginger, more yeast, and less sugar. The approximate quantities are as follows:

  • 3 heaping TBS grated ginger
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 bottle lemon juice (the kind in the lemon-shaped bottle)

It’s really crazy simple, isn’t it? I hadn’t thought about it until I wrote it down.

Anyway, I bloomed the yeasties in a cup of warm sweet water. It’s fun to watch the yeast make a frothy head. Also, it’s a good habit to make sure the yeast is alive and frisky before you commit any other ingredients.

So the ginger, sugar, and lemon juice all goes into a 2-liter bottle. Then comes the yeast water, chasing it with enough warm water to fill, leaving a little space at the top. Shake, shake, shake.

The contents of the bottle is going to ferment for about two days. The yeast will chow on the sugars and belch CO2 gas in prodigious quantity, as well as trace amounts of flavonoids.

You’ll want to put the bottle in the bathtub or the shower stall, and check on it at least twice a day to let some gas out. Don’t neglect this, or you might end up with a big mess! Also, you want to relieve just enough pressure to keep the bottle from exploding. If you let the pressure equalize, you’ll lose all the gas in solution, resulting in somewhat flatter soda.

In about two days, or until you can’t stand babysitting anymore, chill the bottle. You should open the bottle ice cold and with the same care as you would with a champagne. There is a lot of gas in solution, and you could have an explosive uncorking.

I’ll add more to this post when I have more experience with it, but you shouldn’t have a big splash if you open the bottle cold and don’t agitate overmuch.

I’ve found the grated ginger is perfectly good to eat, and I don’t mind it floating around in my drink. Alternatively, I see culinary possibilities with the fermented ginger root. Try to finish off the bottle by the next day, as the bubbly doesn’t last. I doubt you’ll have any problem with that, however.



  1. M wrote:

    I love this podcast too! I’ve yet to try this recipe, though.

    Have you read On Food and Cooking yet?

    Friday, May 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Permalink
  2. Jig Hexadecimal wrote:

    I can’t say I have read that book. But since you’ve shown it to me, I can’t think of passing it up.

    I like understanding food at the chemical level. I feel it frees me up to cook creatively. I recommend, The Breadmaker’s Apprentice.

    Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  3. Ashish wrote:

    Most help articles on the web are inaccurate or inroneceht. Not this!

    Friday, December 25, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

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