Homemade ginger beer

I have been meaning to share this family recipe for some time and I thought with holidays fast approaching it would be a great time to get this magical "bug" under way.

You need to allow a good few weeks to get the ginger beer ready for drinking. Perfect timing for Christmas.

Makes 5 litres



Ground and fresh ginger



2 lemons, juice


To get the ginger beer flavour and carbonation under way you need to start by making a "bug" . You need to take care of this and feed it every day for 7 days.

This is great to do with your children.

Day 1 — in a clean large (1 litre) glass jar, add 2 cups of water and 2 tsp of sugar, plop in 2 raisins (these will float to the top when activating), stir and cover with muslin. Leave in a warm place overnight.

Day 2 — add 2 tsp sugar and 2 tsp ground ginger, return to leave overnight in a warm place.

Day 3 — add 2 tsp sugar.

Day 4 — add 2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger.

Day 5 — repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach day 7.

On day 8 you will notice the bug will have become cloudy and fragrant, and it should have a thick layer of sediment on the bottom of the jar. The raisins should have risen to the top of the jar — this is an indication that the bug is alive and well!

To make the ginger beer

Add 2 cups sugar to a clean large bowl, add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve.

Add 12 cups cold water, strained juice of 2 lemons and stir.

Add the liquid from the bug. Stir once again.

Pour into sterilised bottles, add a raisin in each and seal with a lid.

Place in a warm area, out of direct sunlight for at least a week or maybe 2, until you can see that the raisin has risen to the top; you will also notice little carbonated bubbles.

Best enjoyed chilled.


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