We will set up a fermentation in a closed system and capture the generated carbon dioxide to carbonate our home made ginger ale. You may of course adjust the quantities of sugar and/or extract to taste. Note that the lemon called for in step eight is optional. And if you want a spicier drink, you can increase the amount of grated ginger. As with any yeast fermentation, there is a small amount of alcohol generated in the beverage (about 0.4%)
- 1 c cane (table) sugar [sucrose] (1 cup)
- 1 ½ - 2 Tablespoons Freshly grated ginger roo
- Juice of one lemon
- ¼ tsp fresh granular baker's yeast
- cold fresh pure water
Add 1 cup sugar to a 2 liter plastic bottle with a dry funnel. (Leave the funnel in place until you are ready to cap the bottle.)NOTE: Many have asked about bottling ginger ale in glass bottles. I do not recommend it because ginger ale is a very aggressive fermenter, producing high pressure fairly rapidly. Plastic bottles can be felt to judge pressure. Glass cannot. Tardy refrigeration can lead to explosions. Exploding plastic bottles are messy. Exploding glass botles are dangerous...
Add yeast through funnel into the bottle, shake to disperse the yeast grains into the sugar granules.
Grate the ginger root on a fine "cutting" grater to produce 1 ½ Tablespoon of grated root.
Juice a whole lemon. (Lemon is optional, giving a little tartness to the ginger ale. Try it both ways to see which you prefer. I like them both.) and add it to the grated ginger.
Add the slurry of lemon juice and grated ginger to the bottle. (It may stick in the funnel. Don't worry, the next step will wash it into the bottle.
Rinse containers with fresh clean water and add to the bottle and shake to distribute.
Fill the bottle to the neck with fresh cool clean water, leaving about an inch of head space, securely screw cap down to seal. Invert repeatedly to thoroughly dissolve sugar. (The ginger root will not dissolve, of course.)
Place in a warm location for 24 to 48 hours. (Do not leave at room temperature longer than necessary to feel "hard." The excess pressure may cause an eruption when you open it, or even explode the bottle! Test by squeezing forcefully with your thumb; if it dents it is not ready.)
Filter the ginger ale through a strainer if you find floating pieces of ginger objectionable. These are found in the first glass or two poured, and, since most of the ginger sinks to the bottom, the last glass or so may require filtering too. Rinse the bottle out immediately after serving the last of the batch