Redwings Round the World

Flashdance II's Ginger Beer



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History.  Mandy on Navarra got this idea / recipe from Heather on Flashdance II and frequently served us this delicious drink whenever we were aboard.  We loved it and started making our own in St. Lucia.  It's a great substitute for buying soft drinks.  Not quite as sweet, great taste, cheap to make, mixes well with alcohol, and is just a real hit with guests.  We drink a bottle a day or so now on average.  The recipe below is based largely on Heather's original recipe, but we do a few things differently.

Here is what you need to make a 20 liter (5 gallon) batch:

20 liter / 5 gallon container (best if translucent plastic with large top)

150 grams bruised fresh ginger (two to three handfuls)

18 liters of water (almost 5 gallons)

One handful of raisons

2 kgs (about 4.4 pounds) of sugar

2-5 lemons

One package yeast and or bottle of ginger beer

How you make it:

1)  Boil two liters (about 10 cups) of water.  Peel the ginger, cut into about 1 cm cubes, and smush with a garlic press or mash with a mallet collecting all ginger bits and juice together.  Dump ginger in boiling water and boil together for about 20 minutes.

2)  Turn down heat to very low and stir in sugar dissolving completely.  The originally recipe called for about 25% more sugar.  If you like it sweeter, add a bit more.  We actually usually make it even less sweet and add only about four pounds of sugar.  Either white or brown sugar works.  We have been using brownish cane sugar from the Islands which has worked nicely and gives the beer a nice amber color.

3)  Pour the mixture into the 20 liter / 5 gallon container.  Add handful of raisons, and 15 grams (2-3 tsp) of tartaric acid (citric acid is a possible substitute - tartaric acid can be hard to come by - we got ours from a beer making supply store in the US), add the juice of 2-4 lemons (depending on how tart you like it) and a large bottle of ginger beer from the last batch (or from somebody else with this recipe) as starter.  If you don't have any, use a packet of bakers yeast.

4)  Shake the jug well.

5)  Leave the jug until the raisins have risen to the top and small bubbles are visible.  About 2 to 7 days.

6)  Strain or siphon the beer out of the large container into plastic bottles that are built for carbonated drinks (plastic coke bottles, fizzy water etc - regular water bottles will blow within a few days).

7)  Ready to drink within about 24 hours!  Drink them all within 3-4 weeks or the bottles will explode.


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