How to Make Fermented Ginger Ale

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The first time I tried homemade fermented ginger ale was when my mom made it about 2 years ago. I’ve been hooked on its subtle spicy kick ever since!

Growing up you always hear to drink ginger ale if you have an upset stomach, well I can promise you that the canned or bottled stuff on the grocery store shelf will not soothe your stomach ache. How could it when the ingredients list is as follows?

Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (preservative), Caramel Color, Natural Flavors.

Where is the actual ginger?

Ok, back to the real deal stuff…

fermented-ginger-ale-01 You can use either a ginger bug or whey to make the homemade version. I will be sharing the whey version in this post because that is what I had on hand at the time. If you want it more fizzy then using a ginger bug is the way to go.

You’ll notice that I peeled the ginger root as much as I could. You don’t have to be perfect with that, in fact, some people don’t peel it at all. Either way is fine! Just make sure to rinse off the ginger well to remove any clinging dirt.

fermented-ginger-ale-02 Next you’ll want to throw the ginger into a mini food processor to chop it into small pieces. I recommend first rough chopping the ginger so that the food processor can chop it up easily.

fermented-ginger-ale-03 Now you can just add all the ingredients (chopped ginger pieces, lime juice, whey, cane sugar, and sea salt) into a 2 quart mason jar. Fill the jar with 2 quarts filtered water, making sure to leave at least 1 inch head-space at the top. Add your lid and tighten well. Make sure to mark the jar with the date so you don’t lose track of fermenting time.

A quick note about the sugar…the sugar is not for our consumption. It is there for the lactobacillus, the good bacteria, to digest and convert it into lactic acid which in turns acts as a natural preservative.

Time to Ferment

Leave the jar on your kitchen counter for 3-5 days. The length of fermentation time will depend on how warm your kitchen is. The warmer it is, the quicker the process will go.

Check the lid of your jar daily for pressure. If you are not able to press down on the lid and hear the “clicky” sound then that is a signal that your jar needs to be burped to release the pressure. Burping is easy! Just loosen up the ring and you will hear the pressure expel. Tighten the lid back up and check on it again the next day. Make sure not to skip burping or else the jar may break.

Storing Your Fermented Ginger Ale

Once the fermentation time is up, you have 2 options. First, you can just store the entire jar of ginger ale in the fridge as is…ginger pieces and all.

Or, you can strain the ginger pieces out with a fine mesh strainer into a new mason jar and store just the liquid in the fridge. If you keep the pieces in with the liquid then the flavor will continue to develop over time and get a little more spicy.

Some people like to warm up the ginger ale once it’s finished, but I prefer mine cold straight out of the fridge. It’s really refreshing that way.

One more thing to note

I find that my ginger ale continues to ferment even when kept in the fridge. The fermenting at this cool of a temperature is very slow, but I have noticed that if I leave the jar sealed for several days that when I do open it, a good amount of newly built up pressure releases so make sure to burp the jar every so often during storage.

Check out my accompanying video to this post:

Fermented Ginger Ale Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime or lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 cup whey
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 quarts filtered water

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients, including filtered water to a large mason jar. Secure with a lid. Add date to jar.
  2. Leave on counter to ferment for 3-5 days, making sure to burp the jar as needed.
  3. Once fermentation is achieved, move ginger ale into fridge for long term storage.
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This post was shared at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop.

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