Ginger Beer Recipe

Photo of a fermenting bottle with a ginger bug in it, and a bottle of home-made ginger beer.

Ginger Beer Recipe

Just for something completely different, today’s post will be a recipe for my favourite probiotic drink: homemade ginger beer. It’s done in multiple parts, and looks complicated, but is really very easy once you get used to making it.

Make sure everything you use in making this is scrupulously clean. The idea is to grow good bacteria only.

It seems like a lot of sugar when you first make this up. Fermentation uses up the sugar, so it’s not so sugar-laden by the time you drink it.

1. Starting Your Ginger Bug


  • two teaspoons ground ginger
  • two teaspoons sugar
  • quarter teaspoon dry yeast (optional – gets fermentation started faster)
  • one cup water

Combine all ingredients: Your ginger bug is made. Now you need to feed it every day.

Keep this in a fermenting jar (has a valve to release built-up gas) or a jar with a cloth over the top, secured with a rubber band. The fermentation will produce a lot of gas, and it needs to go somewhere.

2. Ginger Bug Daily Feeding

  • one teaspoon sugar
  • one teaspoon ground ginger

Add these to your ginger bug every day.

3. Making The Ginger Beer

This is done weekly.

  • Ginger Bug that has been fed daily for a week
  • four cups of sugar
  • six litres of water
  • half a cup of lemon juice

Put sugar and one and a half litres of water in a large saucepan. (I use a big stock pot.)

Stir and heat until the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat.

Add the lemon juice and the remaining four and a half litres of water.

Strain the ginger bug through a sieve lined with a couple of layers of muslin.

Set the sediment to continue your ginger bug. (Details follow)

Add the liquid strained from the ginger bug to the ginger beer mix.

Bottle the ginger beer in clean, well-sealed bottles. This time, the gas need to be contained.

Mark with the date it will be ready, which will be one week after making.

A week later your ginger beer is ready to chill and drink. It will continue to ferment, and will have a stronger taste the longer it is left. Open carefully. (Note: if you find your bottle wasn’t sealed properly, the ginger beer is flat, or it tastes wrong, discard it.)

4. Continuing the Ginger Bug

Wash your ginger bug jar.

Halve the sediment from your old ginger bug.

Discard one half. (Or use it to make a second ginger bug to give to a friend.)

Return the other half to your ginger bug jar.

Add a cup of water.

Go back to step 2. Feed your ginger bug and continue to feed daily.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

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