Homemade Ginger Ale

I loved Ginger Ale when I was a little girl.  I got it infrequently, only when my grandparents held grown up parties where my mother and her sister would help to serve.  I think it started with me wanting the nice coloured drinks that were being served.  Those were alcoholic so not so suitable for a 4 year old and someone had the idea to give me Ginger Ale which looked like the whiskey that was served (I have a feeling that I howled until I got it).  It amused the adults that I really liked it, but I still do.
I came across some recipes for making your own Ginger Ale quite some time ago while browsing the Internet so I started to experiment with that.
There are a lot of recipes on the internet for this, but this is my recipe.  It's a result of many, many trials.  I like it very much.  It's a great thirst quencher.  My husband likens it to moonshine and says it's disgusting!  Having led an innocent life I can't say.  I never tasted homebrew.  But I'm just really  happy that I don't have to share.  If you are interested in trying it out here's the recipe:
- I have tweaked and tried and now I have a delicious drink.

Ginger, about 45 grams, finely grated (don't bother to take the skin off).
Sugar, 180 grams.
Lemon, juice of one.
Yeast, 1/4 teaspoon.

And... this is according to taste, but I love to add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla sugar and a few red pepper seed OR a small pinch of chili pepper.

How to:
Take a 2 liter plastic soft drink bottle, clean it thoroughly out and fill with cold water up to the "shoulder".
Put everything except yeast in a saucepan.
Heat to boiling while stirring.
Remove from heat, put a lid on and let stand for at least an hour.
Sieve the content of the saucepan through a fine sieve or muslin cloth.
Add that to the bottle.
Add the yeast to the bottle and put the cap on and shake it.

Then wait:
Put the bottle in a dark place, perfect temperature is 10 - 15°C.
Best result in my experience is with the cooler temperature - it takes a little longer (up to 5 days) but has less yeasty taste.

Check the bottle after 48 hours, and then regularly after that. It can explode if left too long!

When the bottle is quite hard to the touch it's ready.
Put it in the fridge.
This should stop the germination and helps to settle any sediment.
When the botle is cold, open it to let out the fizz and then check it every day or it might explode in the fridge - which I imagine is very messy.

I siphon it to another bottle to get rid of the sediment, but you can just pour gently if you don't have a small hose.

It is now ready to drink and is wonderful served quite cold.

NOTE: About the explosive nature of the brew - the yeast produces carbonation and if the pressure builds up, something has to give. That something is the bottle!
An exploded plastic bottle is annoying, but broken glass is DANGEROUS!!!! 

I have never had an explosion because I can't wait to see if it's ready, but I'm told that it is a possibility. So just keep touching the bottle, you'll know when it's done.

The photo:  Next to my shed I have this space for mint, perfect because it can't spread.  I have to cut it mercilessly to enable the white violas to survive. They have an adorable scent.


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