Recipe yields eight 16 oz bottles of Ginger beer. Divide recipe as needed for desired quantity.
Based upon recipe discussed here:
The original recipe had twice as much lemon juice and for my tastes was to acidic. Change the lemon, ginger and syrup ratio to suit your personal tastes.
The spices are to suit my tastes - feel free to modify spices to match your tastes. Ideas include lemongrass, anise, grains of paradise, dried orange peel, etc. Spices can be added either during the initial heating process (if so, increase the length of time the liquid simmers) or during the fermentation process in each bottle. The later allows for bottle by bottle experimentation but does make for some messier pouring.
8 fluid oz Ginger Juice
8 fluid oz Lemon Juice
40 fluid oz Simple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
76 fluid oz Water
Red Star Champagne Yeast
Juice Ginger root to make approx 8 fl oz ginger juice (I use a juice machine.) Let ginger juice rest for approx 15 minutes. Strain juice into large pot, leaving starch that has collected under the juice behind. Strain lemon juice into same pot. Add simple syrup, vanilla and water to pot. Heat liquid to 105 degrees.
Place 3 cloves in each of eight 16 oz Grolsch style bottles. Fill each bottle with warm liquid and verify liquid in bottle is between 100 and 108 degrees (any warmer will kill the yeast and colder delays activating yeast.) Add 1/16 tspn champagne yeast to each bottle.
Let bottles rest for between 48 and 72 hours in dark warm place that is spill proof in case a bottle ruptures (I use a plastic bin inside a lightproof trash bag in my furnace room where it's consistently around 80 degrees.) After 48 hrs, start testing level of carbonation by cracking the seal on a bottle. The longer a bottle sits in the warm, dark location the higher the carbonation and lower the sweetness. Once proper carbonation is achieved, cool bottles in fridge until cold to stop fermentation. Keep cool until opening to prevent further fermentation. Use care when opening bottles to avoid spills - cold beer is less likely to foam and vent slowly at first.