Carbonate Your Own Ginger Ale

Total Time
24hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 24 hrs

I found this recently while going through some papers from high school - something we did in a bio lab. It was actually pretty tasty. Here is the intro: "Fermentation has been used by mankind for thousands of years for raising bread, fermenting wine and brewing beer. The products of the fermentation of sugar by baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (a fungus) are ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide causes bread to rise and gives effervescent drinks their bubbles. This action of yeast on sugar is used to 'carbonate' beverages, as in the addition of bubbles to champagne). 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%)". Credit on the page is to: http://biology.clc.uc.edu/Fankhauser/Cheese/Cheese.html

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup table sugar (cane sugar, or sucrose)
  • 1 12-2 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 14 teaspoon fresh granular baker's yeast
  • cold fresh pure water

Directions

  1. For equipment, you will need a clean 2-liter plastic soft drink bottle with cap (do not use glass as there is a risk of explosion),
  2. a grater (preferably with fine "cutting" teeth, and a funnel.
  3. Put the sugar into the bottle using the funnel. (Leave the funnel in place until you are ready to cap the bottle.).
  4. Add baker's yeast, also through the funnel.
  5. Shake to mix the yeast grains with the sugar granules.
  6. Place grated ginger into a Pyrex measuring cup or similar.
  7. Juice a whole lemon. Lemon is optional, giving a little tartness to the ginger ale. Try it both ways to see which you prefer.
  8. Add the juice of a whole lemon to the grated ginger in the measuring cup. Stir to form a slurry.
  9. Add the slurry to the bottle. It may stick in the funnel. Don't worry, the next step will wash it into the bottle.
  10. Rinse containers with fresh clean water, and dump the water into the bottle, trying to wash any particles sticking to the funnel into the bottle.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!).
  13. Test to see if carbonation is complete by squeezing the bottle forcefully with your thumb. If it dents in as in the picture, it is not ready.
  14. Once the bottle feels hard to a forceful squeeze, usually only 24-48 hours, place in the refrigerator. Before opening, refrigerate at least overnight to thoroughly chill. Crack the lid of the thoroughly chilled ginger ale just a little to release the pressure slowly. You do not want a ginger ale fountain!
  15. Do not leave the finished ginger ale in a warm place any longer than the time it takes for the bottle to feel hard. Leaving it at room temperature longer than two days, especially in the summer when the temperature is high, can generate enough pressure to explode the bottle. Once it is thoroughly chilled, there is little danger of explosion.
  16. 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.

Reviews

(2)
Most Helpful

5 stars for fun, 5 stars for the learning experience for my kids & 5 stars for taste! What an amazing recipe! I made as written, including the fresh squeezed lemon juice and I strained the whole mixture before serving (as my kidlets won't drink pulp in their OJ I didn't even try it here. :) I have a teen & a tot and both had fun helping with this recipe. I am amazed at how easy it is & what a refreshing flavor resulted. Not at all like store-bought, which now seems dull in comparison. The amount of carbonation really surprised us. It took a full 10 minutes just to get the bottle open without a fountain! DH was turning the cap just until it hissed & then closing it down again as the liquid & ginger tried to make an escape out the top. This was a great family project & we are already planning to try making our own lemon/lime soda this summer. I really wanted to adopt this recipe after PAC closed but didn't get the chance. I'm glad I made it anyway. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this recipe, horseplay!

**Tinkerbell** April 28, 2009

Delicious! This has an intense ginger flavour, but the sugar removes a great deal of the sharpness. I added 2 full tablespoons of ginger, and I'm glad I did. My bottle seems to have been minimally carbonated, but I only left it for 24 hours. The bottle felt firm, but I definitely should have left it for another day. Regardless of the carbonation, this ginger ale is delicious, and I'll definitely make it again. Thanks for posting, horseplay!

Lazarus May 02, 2009

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