In Pursuit of Ginger Beer

So it turns out I learnt a les­son today. Dry yeast made by the loc­als in Sarawak don’t last if you leave them out for too long. That said, as these things usu­ally lead down one road or another, I have decided to take on cre­at­ing my very own ginger beer.

First, since I can’t be bothered to shop for yeast, I tossed in about 2 tea­spoons of finely chopped ginger to 2 tea­spoons of sugar into a pasta sauce bottle — then filled up half of the bottle with water.


I have left said bottle with the lid just lightly placed on top beside the refri­ger­ator. I will soon find out the dis­ad­vant­ages of not using a cheese cloth to cover up the top.

This could be poten­tially dis­astrous, though I have, for a while now, always wanted to try some proper fermentation.

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I am adding two tea­spoons of sugar and two tea­spoons of finely chopped up gar­lic to the bottle in the morn­ing, and giv­ing it a thor­ough swirl in the even­ing. It’s actu­ally smelling like a pretty good mix­ture of gar­lic and sugar.

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The bub­bling is increas­ing. Plus, after briefly shak­ing the bottle this even­ing with the lid tightly-sealed, a “pop” was aud­ible after open­ing the lid. I plan to go shop­ping for the rest of the ingredi­ents for ginger beer tomor­row. Accord­ing to my cal­cu­la­tions, I shall be mak­ing approx­im­ately 3 litres of ginger beer for my first batch.


Also worthy of note, the peanut-butter-jar-full of Sarawak yeast I tossed out on the assump­tion that my one rep­lic­ate test of viab­il­ity turned out to have some liv­ing organ­isms after all. I had dumped the whole thing into the large basin my mother is using to hold organic waste. A famil­iar whiff of some­thing alco­holic eman­ated from the basin when I lif­ted the lid hold­ing the decay­ing con­tents at bay.

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Using the ratio of “ginger : water : sugar = 2 : 6 : 5″ scaled to approx­im­ately 3 litres, I set out to start brew­ing the ginger beer by boil­ing blen­ded ginger with sugar and some locally-made nut­meg juice, plus a tea­spoon of cream of tar­tar. Yep, I am going for the spicy ginger beer. As they say in Dune, The spice must flow!

After boil­ing, I waited about 6 hours for the mix­ture to cool down to a level that wouldn’t dena­ture the yeast I had cul­tiv­ated from the first step. THe next step was as simple an dunk­ing most of my ginger beer bug into the mix­ture of ginger, sugar, and water, then filling them into con­tain­ers to begin the fer­ment­a­tion process.

Here are the three con­tain­ers I chose for this experiment:


For the V-Soy Tetra Pak™, I fun­nelled in the filtered brew and screwed it as tightly as I pos­sibly could. The pasta sauce con­tainer and Tup­per­wear™ received everything else, brew, chunks and all.

I worry that the pasta bottle would explode from the pres­sure of built-up car­bon diox­ide, so whenever I see the lid of the Tup­per­wear™ becom­ing rigid, I would unscrew the lid just enough to allow the gas to escape. Do also note I am not mak­ing an alco­holic drink to knock people out, so everything will be enter­ing the fridge first thing in the morning.

This tim­ing is also neces­sary since I won’t be around to observe the exper­i­ment due to a trip to KL in my epic struggle to obtain a Visa to study in the US.

Now I shall go release some pent-up pres­sure before that glass bottle explodes.




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