Ginger beer day!
You will see the bug in front of the bottled ginger beer. We make and feed the bug for eight days and then add it to a very dilute sugar syrup with lemon juice, bottle and wait a week for the bubbles.
Yes, its sugar. So I know that its not fashionable. But when you consider that we work with seven litres of liquid and 3 – 4 cups of sugar, that works out fairly diluted. I would think it would be better than store bought soft drink. Especially considering that it is pure sugar and not high fructose corn syrup or dextrose or any other artificial thing that it would be good to avoid. No colours or flavours either and I juice the lemons myself. And you wouldn’t think there would be any sugar left after the yeast eats it all and makes the carbon dioxide. Super fizzy! Suitable for the ginger beer trick.
We make the bug new all each time using dried bread yeast. I have tried carrying the bug over from batch to batch but I think that this hot humid climate is not conducive to this and I ended up with a bug that just smelled rank. Luckily we always have bread yeast and store it in the freezer so its good to be able to use a staple and not have to buy special ingredients. For the same reason, this recipe uses ground ginger which I can buy in bulk and store.
I have previously made a fizzy drink using a dilute honey and water syrup, lemon juice and the flowers from an elderberry tree. Apparently, these flowers contain a good natural yeast that will ferment beautifully in a brewing situation. I have seen a recipe for medieval ale which was flavoured with elderberry flowers. I must try that one day……
Ginger beer has the reputation of exploding if it gets hot, gets vibrations or you just look at it wrong. So I just reuse plastic soft drink bottles which seal well and give a good result. Just don’t open them too fast or you will wear your drink.