Homemade Ginger Beer – Family Recipe

The Cultural Significance of homemade ginger beer

When I was a kid, I always thought my mom’s homemade ginger beer was originally from South Africa. Imagine my surprise when I found out it wasn’t! It turns out, homemade ginger beer has a rich history that goes way back. Its roots trace back to ancient times, probably in Southeast Asia where ginger grows naturally.

Ginger beer made its way to Europe in the 18th century and quickly became a favorite drink. People loved making it at home with ginger, sugar, water, and sometimes lemon juice or yeast to give it a fizzy kick. Over the years, the recipe traveled and changed, blending into different cultures, including South Africa. So here I am, sharing my mom’s special ginger beer recipe that has been passed down through our family.

In South Africa, homemade ginger beer is a big hit, especially during the festive season and hot summer months. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without my mom’s ice-cold ginger beer.

But remember, while South Africa loves its ginger beer, it’s enjoyed in many other places too. There are loads of different ginger beer recipes out there!

How to make ginger beer

Here’s the recipe that makes six liters of delicious ginger beer over 39 hours. It’s a bit of a wait, but so worth it!

You need

  • 1 kg sugar

  • 6 l lukewarm water

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 10 ml instant dry yeast

  • 2 heaped teaspoons of ginger powder

  • handful of raisins

  • 5 ml cream of tartar (optional)

  • 2.5 ml tartaric acid (optional)

Do like this

  • Mix all the ingredients (preferably also the optional ones) in a large enough container until the sugar is dissolved. 
  • Close the container and let it stand for 3 hours, or until all the raisins float on top.
  • Decant the ginger beer through a filter into bottles and let it stand for a further 36 hours.
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Homemade Ginger Beer Recipe, Family, Summer, Easy

I Use What & Why

Use measuring tools from the same brand to ensure precise and consistent measurements of ingredients. Let me explain… the brand of the measuring tools itself does not guarantee accuracy or consistency. You can achieve consistent results by using any reputable brand of measuring tools as long as they are accurate and properly calibrated. The latter you’ll achieve when you use the same brand.

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I use a 10 l container to ensure that while I’m mixing all the ingredients, I don’t spill. The lid is equally as important because the ginger beer must be sealed while resting.

By using this spoon with the big hole, I am able to mix the sugar through the water evenly and so the sugar melts away so much quicker. Love my spoon!

And last but not least, I decant into these containers because they not only store so nicely in my fridge, but they seal and that’s important when you store your ginger beer.

Super As a gift, or to treat yourself!

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