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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