Ginger Beer Plant
Item Number: GBP
|Ginger Beer Plant
Beer Plant is a bacteria ferment as opposed to the common yeast ferment.
Yeast itself, add flavor and character to a ferment. Bacteria far less
so. A bacteria ferment will rely more on the character of what it is you
are fermenting. In this case Ginger. A bacteria ferment will produce
less alcohol, and carbonation, but more beneficial acids, especially
lactic acid. Originally Ginger Beer was simply Fresh Ginger Root
allowed to ferment. Fresh ginger added to water will ferment naturally
by the LAB that is present in the air. However it is just as likely to
become contaminated by mold and other airborne pathogens. By using a
plant and some already fermented beer, plus sugar we are giving our
Ginger Beer a stronger head start.
Ginger Beer Plant
Jun (available soon)
Lactic Acid Producing Bacteria. This beneficial
bacteria produces Lactic Acid, acetic acid, carbonation, and alcohol.
Very similar to Kombucha Tea. Kombucha is a AAB, (Acid Acid
producing bacteria. (Acetobactero) LAB does not
produce the beneficial Gluconic Acid that Kombucha does. Also
Kombucha produces less than 1/2 of 1% alcohol while LAB produces from 1/2
to 3 % alcohol. LAB ferments in 1-3 days Kombucha 7-14 days. Water
Crystals , Tibicos, et al, and JUN (fermented tea and honey) are all LAB
ferments. Similar to but different than Kombucha Tea (fermented Tea and
sugar) a AAB ferment.
LAB Ferment with or without oxygen. May use an AIRLOCK to
increase carbonation. which also increases the alcohol percentage.
Kombucha needs fresh air.
upon how much sugar is used. A Yeast Ferment (Beer or wine)
converts equal amount of sugar to alcohol. Typical 5% sugar will produce
up to 5% alcohol. A LAB ferment converts the sugar to greater amounts of
lactic acid and less alcohol.
In Kombucha the Acetobactero
convert most of the alcohol (created by the yeasts) to Acetic and
||Both LAB and
AAB may utilizes any of the common sugar available. See our Library for
more details on the benefits of each. Consider using Piloncillo
Sugar - the favorite sugar for ferments for Ginger Beer.
Make Real Ginger Beer from our plant.
||We recommend BELL or MASON jars. they come
in a variety of sizes and have great sealable caps. You may also
consider using an AIRLOCK
our larger brewing containers
|Lid, airlock or cloth
||Tight fitting cap, lids or airlocks
are optional. You may simply cover the container with cloth, or
paper towel or a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Tight
fitting will seal off the oxygen and produce more carbonation and
alcohol. And you have to be careful of exploding glass bottles (if you
||anything from well water to tap to
ozonated. Water affects the taste, quality and health of both you
and the ferment.
are about 50
types of sugars that may be used in fermenting. Besides sugar
there are Honey and Syrups that may be used.
||After all it is called Ginger Beer.
FRESH GINGER or sliced
dried ginger Died
Ginger is hotter and less sweet that fresh ginger, and less sugar
|Ginger Beer Plant
||This is a
species of Lactobacillius that produces Lactic Acid (primarily), some
acetic acid, carbonation, and alcohol. Used to make Ginger Beer in
1-3 days. Another plant may be produced by allowing the ferment to
continue for up to 30 days (or until a nice new plant is produced) We
recommend you do this just in case the original plant stops working, and
you can give away extra plants to friends.
|Ginger Beer Recipe
liter / quart. To make larger batches simply keep the ratio the same
|Water 28-32 ounces
the water. Reduce heat so that the
water may dissolve the sugar
1/3 cup Sugar: 120-180 grams.
sugar . Typically 5-10% solution.
Lemon juice or Cream of Tater 1/4 teaspoon.
suggested. 1 gram / 1/4 tsp of Cream of tarter, or tsp of lemon juice.
May add more lemon to taste. Careful that the pH does not go below
3. Optimal pH to start off with is 5. Lemon juice will bring it down to
just under 4 which is OK just a bit longer to ferment.
recommend, Fresh Ginger . The more you use the stronger the taste. Use
at least a tablespoon. Adjust to your taste. If you add directly to the water and ferment you
will have pieces to spit out later. Use a t-bag or you can first extract
the ginger in a separate pot. Boil the water and add the ginger (either
grated or sliced or dried) Continue to seep, the longer the greater the
extraction of nutrients) Avoid boiling as it is damaging to the ginger.
Seep for at least 20 minutes. then strain and add the juice to the water
You may also add
spices adding flavor, and health.
mix the ingredients, adding oxygen to the liquid.
Ginger Beer Plant
||Be sure the
water and Ginger Beer Plant are at the same temperature. Add the plant
and some of the beer (liquid) from the previous brewing.
||Use a paper
towel, cloth or coffee filter secured with a rubber band. This will keep
out bugs and fruit flies that may stop by. Use an Air Lock or tight
fitting lid to increase carbonation (and alcohol)
1-3 days at 25-30C (77-86F)
be ready in just a few hours.
you no longer see any bubbles or the it slows to a trickle the ferment
is finished. The longer the time the less sugar and the less sweet will be your Ginger Beer. And
if you use an airlock or a tight fitting cap the greater the carbonation and the
greater the alcohol production. Leaving a loose fitting lid allows the
gasses to escape, and less alcohol produced An airlock - or a balloon
fitted and secured over the mouth of the fermenting container is safe and can be
monitored. A tight fitting lid w may explode, possibly breaking glass,
and is especially dangerous when small children are present.
the Ginger Beer Plant
the Ginger Beer Plant and reserve some of the beer (liquid) to start
another batch. If you want to save for later leave Ginger Beer Plant
with enough liquid to completely cover the plant then some. Place in a
suitable size jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until next
Beer or not.
|Time and Temperature
effects the ferment, LAB will ferment
from 60F to
the high 80's. The warmer the faster the ferment, and the sooner its ready. When
you see a steady stream of bubbles its fermenting. When it slows to a trickle or
stops it is time to bottle. If you leave the container open you may not
notice the bubbles. If you like it sweet, harvest it earlier. You
may also increase the amount of sugar you use. Our basic recipe is 1/3
cup per quart. You can go up to 1/2 or even 1 cup. Too much sugar may
create what is referred to as as "stuck ferment" . If that
happens, add some water, shake well and set in a warm place to see if it
restarts. If its too sour. The longer the ferment the more sour
and the greater build up of beneficial Lactic and Acetic acids. You may
decide to go for Ginger Beer Vinegar. Filter and bottle, leaving
a large amount of air space in the bottle or container. Use a cloth or
paper filter, secure with tape or a rubber band, to keep out
critters. Keep in a warm place 74-85 F ideal. This will not be a
true vinegar, as the acetic acid levels is unlikely to go above 2-3%. As
a ballpark figure, this may take several months.
is a quick ferment and ready to drink as soon as you are. But patience
is good, and brewing can be a art.
Carbonation & Flavors
increase the carbonation Bottle the beer. Allow to stand at
room temperature (74F+) for 1-3 days. Carbonation
drops may be added for head retention, and mouth
If you wish add additional flavors,
many herbs & spices that may ferment on its own, like FRESH GINGER,
Cayenne, Elderberries, berries and fruits. or may be combined with other
sugars for both taste and health benefits Please refer to our medicinal
herbs or spices (like
turmanic) or Stevia to sweeten without adding additional sugars Yes, these
could have been added at the beginning. But then your Ginger Beer Plant
will be impregnated with your additives and no longer pure. Not really a
problem - unless you want to now try other flavors or species. For
example cayenne. Everything after that it still taste like
cayenne. That's why we recommend adding your flavors later. Or
using a spare GBP.
Food grade plastic bottles -will have the number 2 inside a triangle
on the bottom, The main reason is safety. Plastic has the advantage of telling
how much pressure is in the bottle (by feeling the firmness). We recommend using
the size bottle that you typical will consume at one time. Once opened Ginger
Beer will so flat.
Fill each bottle about an 1/4 inch from the top and screw on the plastic lid
firmly. Leaving an airspace will allow some of the CO2 to collect there instead
of re-dissolving back into the ferment. If you ferment is leaning towards the
sour side then fill the bottles all the way to the top and squeeze the bottle
while putting on the cap to remove all the air. Plastic bottles are safe and you can see and feel the
Keep glass bottles in a bucket in case one of them
explodes. Use an airlock
or a small balloon. Place the balloon over the neck of the bottle,
secure with a piece of tape. Sort of neat to watch the balloon inflate
If you allow enough time the balloon will deflate and be pulled back
inside the bottle as the gases become re-absorbed.
After your Beer is finished fermenting you may filter (or not) and bottle
to save for later.
Flip Top Bottles are popular and reusable.
Just before you refrigerate you may
want to preserve it for a longer shelf life. The Ginger Beer will be
fine for awhile but how long is uncertain.
A typical choice for beer and wine home
brewers are Potassium sorbate or potassium metabisulfite. This prevent further
fermentation. Chemicals may cause headache in
some people. Another choice is to be sure the pH is below 4.0 (1-3.9) as measured
with a pH meter is
recommended by the Pickle Bill (Minnesota's Dept of Ag for safe
food) The pH must be below 4.0 at the final stage of bottling, when
you will be storing the bottles for later use.
Filtering: The cloudy or hazy beverage may taste fine, but it
does not look finished and many a friend will balk at taking a
glass offered. This is why virtually all commercial beverages
are filtered. A brilliantly clear beverage is more appealing than a cloudy
or hazy one. Sterile filtration is the ultimate act of clarifying ,
leaving it sparkling clear, and pleasing to look at and virtually
incapable of re-fermenting. Filtration removes yeast, bacteria, and
debris also makes it more stable because yeast or bacteria that could feed
off residual sugar have been removed. As a result, the amount of SO2 and
other chemical preservatives can be reduced. Most of these techniques are
not used in home ferments but are discussed in greater detail in our
section on Advanced Fermentation. Sadly the greater degree of filtering
the greater reduction in taste.
|To Filter or Rack
is simply pouring the beer through a filter like cheesecloth.
capturing the sediment in the filter. This also adds back oxygen to the
Beer and may re-start another round of fermenting.
Racking is siphoning off the
Beer from one container into another without disturbing the sediment of
the original container. This leaves behind the sediment, and since it is
done slow, less oxygen is added back and less chance of re-fermenting
occurs. Offers greater clarity to your Beer.
What happens in the refrigerator.
out and mellows out the taste. Chills out the Ginger Beer as it were. Portion of the tartaric acid will precipitate out as crystals.
and other sediment may fall to the bottom. This of course depends
upon the degree of filtering or racking that has been done.
should be as fresh and pure as possible. The water is heated or boiled in order
to extract as much flavor from the ginger as possible and to dissolve the sugar.
The hotter the water and the longer the time the greater will be the extraction.
However the greater and longer the water boils the less oxygen there is in the
water for the ferment. Distilled
water which I recommend, has much
of the oxygen removed and therefore should be energenized in a blender or
whisked. Add the juice of the lemon, citrus acid, and cream of tarter as soon as
the water is below 37C / 100F. Do Not Add the GBP at this Time. Wait
until the water, sugar and ginger are at the same room temperature.
||By measuring the sugar content with a hydrometer before and after these
stages once calculates the alcohol content. Since the ferment is very short and
limited Ginger Beer is generally very low at less than 1/2 of 1%. A hydrometer
is a useful tool for greater precision brewing.
||Another instrument for
greater precision and safety if bottling for extended periods of time.
Quality of ingredients as well as what ingredients are used are of course
primary in any ferments be it major commercial endeavors or the simplest
home brewer. Two critical factors: Time and Temperatures are sometimes the most
perplexing to the home brewer. While really good Ginger-Beer is really
simply to make and a rewarding family activity, attention to more and more
detail can lead to award-winning ferments and acclaims of astonishments from
friends and neighbors. For a greater depth of understanding refer to our Ginger-Beer
Plant Research section and Advanced
A pleasant tasting carbonated drink may be made from ginger, yeasts and
sugar. A simple recipe is described on page 136-139 of Sandor Ellix Katz
research on Ginger-Beer Plant and other Fermented Beverages