Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Even More Dangerous Creations on a Lazy Satruday Afternoon

This Internet is dangerous, it gives you ideas, provide you blueprints and pushes you to the edge..........OK! I exaggerated.

Looking for a nice cold beer, I came across this recipe to make ginger-beer/gingerale - it was too damn easy to give it a pass, so I went out and got me the necessary ingredients for a lazy Saturday afternoon project. All items was so easily available. Sugar, Lemons, Yeast, Water and some empty plastic bottles. I made about 6.5 liters of 'beer' - 4 x 1.5L bottle and a small one for testing.

What you need:-
3 cups of sugar for roughly 6 liters of 'booze'.
3/4 tea spoon of yeast - don't overdo this, could taste yucky.
3 whole lemons - juice extract and skin scraping
4 1/2 tablespoons of ginger grating. Add more for stronger biting taste.

First off, grate the YOUNG GINGER - fresh from the market type - into fine grating. The recipe suggested that you could just 'put them in', however I modified it with simmering it in hot water for about 1/2 hour together with lemon skin - grated. As you can see, the lemons here are 'naked' - and guess what, it was easier to extract the lemon juice, with the naked skin.

While the 4 1/2 table spoons of grated ginger was being simmered with scrapings from 3 lemons, I prepared the sugar/yeast in the bottles. I mixed 3 cups (roughly measured - to taste) of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon of active yeast and distributed it equally into 4 bottles using a funnel. Just let it sit in the bottles - we'll wash it down and stir it up later.

Once the ginger/lemon skin gratings were boiled, I let it cool off in water while extracting the lemon juice - 3 whole lemons.

Strained the ginger/lemon grating brew, and once cooled down, mixed the lemon juice into it, and stirred it up. This was then equally distributed into the 4 bottles (plus the sample). All the remnants was washed down with cold filtered water and poured into the 4 bottles, topping it up almost to the top.

The bottles were then tightly capped and stored away in a humid place allowing the yeast to start working on the sugar to give my 'beer' some carbonated 'effect'.

How long? This is why I made a sample - my guess, 24 - 48 hours.
For this reason, it is recommended you DO NOT use glass bottles as the carbonation expands the bottles - the bottles get harder when pressed - glass could explode!

I'll try out my sample in 24 hours or so, if its 'hard', then it'll go into the fridge - the lower fridge temperature will stop the yeast from working anymore and my brew is ready for consumption.

This is best served chilled and you can substitute ginger to make your own flavored soda pop! Also, be warned, there is a very small level of 'alcohol' in the brew, my guess below 0.5% - you have been warned.


I'll admit, I waited to test it first before posting and here is the result:-
- the colour was very close to actual ginger beer
- the bottle was filled with pressure, just like a carbonated drink bottle
- there was some sediments at the base, but rolling it around make it look ok
- opening the bottle - yes! there was that usual fizzy thingy as in all carbonated drinks
- first taste - not too bad, you could taste the ginger in it, but I must admit, I did not use that much sugar
- I believe, the lack of sugar ( and type: caster instead of coarse sugar) did affect the taste
- maybe 'kurang manis' was just not right. Next take, with more sugar - as recommended.
- overall, pretty happy with the results. The fizzy-ness was not bad!
- FYI. The best brew, took about 5 days, with 1 day in the refrigerator - served nice and chilled.
- my lemon-flavoured soda pop is being brewed as I write, that will be a different story altogether.
- cheers!

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