New Year New Life – Lacto Ginger Beer Starter

It seems apt at the start of the new year with nice warm (if variable weather) above 20 degrees Celsius that I start a lacto fermented ginger beer starter 🙂

With the warm weather on the way being able to produce some natural ice cold drinks is also a good driver 🙂

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I have done lacto fermented starters before and they have worked out well but died off over winter due to neglect.

I am starting this one a bit differently to the other one less water and the addition of some molasses to add some trace elements to the mix after some conversations with friends.

To make start with.

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of grated organic ginger (if you are not using organic soak it for a few days to get the chemicals out that can stop the fermentation process).
  • Equal amount of unrefined sugar to the amount of ginger you are using.
  • 1 teaspoon of molasses
  • Filtered or boiled and cooled water to room temperature about twice as any table spoons as the sugar (a bit less a bit more no issue)

The biggest trick is to make sure you sterilise everything as much as you can for me this means a kettle of boiling water and making sure that you don’t put things like teaspoons on the bench top between uses, or forgetting to sterilise the knife used to cut the ginger. It can seem a bit excessive but it will help in the long run.

Mix it all together and leave for two days in a nice warm spot in your kitchen where you can keep an eye on it then add a ½ table spoon of grated ginger and a ½ tablespoon of sugar each day for 5 days. Should be bubbling nicely well before then 🙂

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Time to get out and enjoy the garden on this new years day 🙂

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Lacto Brewed Ginger Beer

I have been away for a while due to work commitments to study. It is one of those odd things that happens. I have a 5 year plan and I don’t think I will use this diploma I just got at the end of that 5 year plan but the next 5 years it will be required to lead to the end of the 5 year plan (I think that makes sense)

Sadly you have to balance out the ‘what you want’ versus what it takes to get there. For me it is a balance but one I am aware of and try to manage. I do not want to get to the point where lied to myself so much thinking I can sell my present to do what I want in the future but neither do I want to car wreck the future by doing only what I want rather than what I have to do.  

And also at the end of the day education is always a good thing. People should never stop learning formally or informally. To stop is to in a way to start the trip to death.

But enough of my musings. I have a lot to catch up on for everyone but I also want to spend the day in the garden so my balance for today is the short post below on brewing lacto ginger beer. Last year I did this and this year I am trying again and it is looking very promising with the starter brew smelling SO GOOD after a week of me helping mother nature make it.

To make the starter you need a clean sterilised large mouth jar. A cup and half to two cups of rain water (tap water is ok but boil it and leave 24 hours to get rid of any chlorination before using) . Add a tablespoon or so of grated peeled raw ginger. The amount depends on what you end up grating from the amount you peeled. No matter how much it is add an equal amount of sugar to it needs to be added. Cover opening of the jar with a piece of muslin cloth and rubber band.

Each day you add around the same amount of ginger and sugar and stir vigorously (I tend to swirl it once day as well) after a couple of days you should see bubbles forming and the lovely ginger beer smell will come of it.

It may take a bit longer as it depends what wild yeast is around and the conditions. This year has been great for wild yeast (as I discovered making elderflower cordial which is another story)

As with all my brewing but particularly when using a wild yeast process make sure you sanitise everything when I grate the ginger I pour boiling water over the grater and plate and leave for a minute or so and even pour it over the knife used to peel the ginger. I obviously make sure all of the spoon used to measure and add the ginger and sugar and the stir is clean and had had boiled water poured over it to clear.

I have a couple of more days of making the starter then I can make it up into beer and will post on that then.