Homemade Ginger Ale

You’ll need some tools:
  • Clean 2 liter bottle with cap (no glass at this stage)
  • Funnel
  • Fine tooth grater
  • 1 cup measuring cup
  • 1/4 tsp and 1 Tbl measuring spoons
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Lemon juicer device
You’ll need a few ingredients:
  • Ginger root – enough to grate for two heaping tablespoons.
  • One lemon
  • One cup table sugar
  • Water – Portland tap is awesome
  • 1/4 teaspoon brewer’s yeast – I use dry ale yeast from F.H. Steinbart

It’s not really Spring weather around here, but you can still enjoy some Spring/Summer beverages. Here’s my home-made ginger ale recipe for you to try. (previously blogged at KO-OP)

Begin with your clean 2 liter bottle, use your funnel and pour in the sugar and yeast. Grate the ginger so you have about 2 Tbl worth and put in a glass measuring cup. You can use a potato peeler to clean the ginger if you like, not necessary, but at least rinse it and cut off any dry root. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into the measuring cup as well. Mix it up so it’s a slurry of lemony ginger. Making a mash will help it pour through the funnel. Don’t worry if you get a seed in there, you’ll be straining later anyway. Pour the slurry into the bottle, fill with cool water, leaving a couple inches at the top. Cap tightly and put in a warm place, like near a window. The heat will help activate the yeast.

You’ll need to check on the bottle within the 24 next hours, squeezing the bottle to feel the bottle pressure. This is why you should always brew in a plastic bottle, the pressure can explode a glass one. Fermentation should take 24-48 hours, so keep checking the bottle’s firmness. I’ve had the yeast fail for one reason or another and the bottle never pressurizes, but you can add another 1/4 tsp of yeast and cap again. Once the bottle is firm like a new bottle of soda, put immediately into the fridge and let cool overnight.

After the ginger-ale is cooled, I usually pour into 1 liter glass bottles for storing, serving or giving to friends. Still remember that it’s a carbonated beverage and even when cooled, the yeast will still ferment slightly, so there’s some pressure when opening. Always point away from your pants when opening!

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11 Responses to “Homemade Ginger Ale”

  1. Lauren says:

    I’m so excited to try making this!

  2. Kate says:

    Congratulations on your wool blanket shade being published! I happy that this blog was born out of rejection–it shows being stubborn and mildly spiteful has a place in the creative process. Now the idea of making my own ginger ale is unbelievably exciting and ginger ale will always be in season to my mind…

  3. Wow! Sounds delicious, I know what I will be making this weekend ;)

  4. Martha says:

    What did you think of the taste of the gingerale? My husband recently made a similar recipe (twice) and he described it as overly sweet.

    • MMP says:

      Hi Martha. I haven’t noticed it too sweet for my palate, but here’s a tip… make it with a 1/2 cup of sugar only. You’ll need that much sugar at least just to interact with the yeast, but by the time the process is over most all of the sugar will be converted and the ginger-ale will have a very dry, crisp taste. Hope it works for you!

  5. Katie says:

    Have been wanting to try this for a while. Will get right on it!

  6. Stephanie says:

    I might be opening up a can of stupid here, but is it alcoholic?

    • MMP says:

      Hey Stephanie, that’s not stupid… actually I think there is a trace amount of alcohol that develops in the fermentation process, but it’s very tiny if anything.

      • Stephanie says:

        Oh well….
        I live in a country where alcohol is illegal so a new recipe – something different like ginger, would’ve been my new home science project…. May still see what I can do! (Blow out the windows probably)
        PS- I read your blog for the leatherwork and craft, honestly.

  7. Stephen says:

    This is fantastic. I’ve done 2 batches so far and it has been a hit with my friends and family. This receipe pairs excellent with a certain brand of London gin but that is another story…

    I have a question, do you find there is not a lot of carbonation after 24hrs? Have you left it longer in the plastic bottle to get a sharper “fizz” so to speak?

    Excellent site and cheers!

    • MMP says:

      Hey Stephen, I have had varying degrees of fizz for sure. I’ve let it go a little longer to much better effect, but I won’t push it too long and risk an explosion! I’ve also tried different yeasts… champagne yeast gave a great result.

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