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Hard Ginger Beer (Alcoholic)

This recipe makes a semi-sweet alcoholic ginger beer of about 4.5% strength. You can vary the sweetness by varying the amount of lactose in the recipe or make it dry by leaving the lactose out altogether (see notes)

You will need
• A 25 or 30 litre fermenter *
• Enough bottles for 20 litres of ginger beer
• A priming scoop for measuring sugar into the bottles *
• Homebrew sterilizing compound *
• Beer or screw top softdrink bottles
* available from Liquorcraft

Ingredients:
• 2kg glucose/dextrose *
• 500g malt extract *
• 500g lactose *
• 100g to 200g crushed or grated fresh ginger (vary to suit your own taste)
• Up to 4 lemons, sliced or chopped fine including peel (optional)
• 5g yeast nutrient *
• 1 sachet SAFale yeast *
• Water to make up 22 litres of wort *
* available from Liquorcraft


Method
• Heat 5 litres of water then add glucose, malt, lemons & ginger & simmer for 20 minutes.

• Sterilize your fermenter according to directions on the sterilizing compound.

• Add about 12 litres of cold water into your fermenter. Pour the hot mixture through a straining bag (available at homebrew suppliers) into the fermenter.

• Top up with cold water to the 22 litre mark add the yeast nutrient & stir well.

• Make sure the temperature is 30C or less & add the yeast, fit a fermentation lock in the lid of the fermenter & half fill it with water.

• The fermentation should start within 24 hours although it usually ony takes a couple of hours to start. When it starts, bubbles should be rising through the ginger beer & stream through the water in the airlock.

• Allow the ginger beer to ferment until it stops then allow it to settle & clear for 48 hours.

• Use a priming scoop (available from homebrew suppliers) to add a measure of sugar to each bottle.


• Fill the bottle to about 50mm from the top then seal it firmly with a crown seal or screw cap.

• Store these bottles in a warm place for a week or 2 to allow them to condition (become fizzy). They will now be ready to drink.

Notes
You can vary the quantities of lemons & ginger to suit your own taste.

You cannot use sugar or glucose to sweeten a bottle fermented drink like this because it will cause the bottles to explode. This ginger beer is sweetened with lactose which is a non-fermentable sweetener. You can add more or less lactose to suit your own taste. As a rough guide, lactose is about half as sweet as sugar.