My first effort at ginger ale was a definite success, with Kim especially pleased. It required adding additional club soda each glass, and there was still plenty of ginger flavor to go around. But that was the “cheat” method. Now, it is time to try it the “old-fashioned” way. Little bit of yeast, little bit of time…
But first, I had to check out “ginger beer”. Was there any technical difference? Well. Seems with some, no. But with most, ginger beer is the alcoholic (even if only slightly, as is typical), while ginger ale is not. Seems added to that the fermented tends to be more gingery (which may explain the fact that the recipe for the same quantity uses much less ginger). And “ginger beer” tends to be less carbonated and less sweet (though the recipes I have used both called for equivalent amounts of sugar). Then again, the limited amount of alcohol and carbonation and ginger beer would consume some of that sugar, thus making it less sweet.
This all seems to make sense.
So, I threw 1 cup of sugar in a 2Q jug (sanitized, for the safety of all involved). I added 1/4 tsp. of bread yeast. Hopefully that won’t come off bready. I mixed that up well, and proceeded to grate the ginger until I had about 2 tbsp. of finally grated ginger, both skin and pulp. I added the juice of one lemon to that (removing the seeds). While the recipe did not mention it, there was a noticeable color change, with the ginger-lemon mixture turning a pink/reddish shade, rather than its previous yellow. And you could tell it was the lemon hitting the ginger pulp, as the stuff untouched by the ginger remained yellow. This I mixed with a little water and then added to the jug (funnel handy). I used some more water to clean out what was left in the ginger-lemon bowl, adding it to the mix. A little bit more water, to about three-quarters full, and then I shook the living daylights out of it. Topped up to about 1 inch from the top, shook once more briefly, and set it out of the way.
And now we wait. All that was finished at around 4PM, so should be pre-dinner either today or tomorrow.