4 sanitized 500ml (or 1/2 gt) glass bottles with lids
Prepare ginger bug: In a glass jar, add 1 cup filtered water and 1 tbsp each ginger and sugar and stir to combine. Cover jar with a sheet of paper towel or a clean cloth and secure with a rubber band. Let ferment in a warm place away from direct sunlight for 24 hours. After 24 hours, stir in another 1 Tbsp each grated ginger and sugar and let ferment for another 24 hours. Repeat again each day until your bug is bubbly when you stir it. The bubbles are an indicator of an active ferment. Depending on the temperature of your house, this can take 2-7 days. Once your ginger bug is bubbly, you’re ready to make ginger beer!
To make ginger beer: Place pitted and chopped cherries in a bowl and stir in 1/3 cup sugar. Cover with a towel and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 5 cups filtered water to a boil. Add 4 tbsp grated ginger and remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup sugar until dissolved. Cover and let steep for about 30 minutes. Then strain into a large bowl using a fine-mesh sieve and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the strained ginger is room temperature, proceed with cherries. Add them and 1 cup water to a blender or food processor and blend. Strain cherry mixture with fine-mesh sieve into the strained ginger bowl, pressing on solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the fresh lemon juice.
Using sieve, strain your ginger bug into ginger cherry mixture and stir to combine. Pour into sanitized bottles, leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top. Seal tightly and set aside in a warm place, out of direct sunlight, for 2-5 days. As your ginger beer ferments the sugar, you will create a fizzy drink. Remember that this is building pressure inside the glass bottles though. Make sure to test your beer daily, by slowly opening one of the bottles and checking for fizziness. If it’s not fizzy yet, reseal and allow to ferment another 24 hours. Once you test and find a fizzy brew, reseal and transfer all of the remaining bottles to the fridge for storage. Consume within 30 days.
This delightfully fizzy ferment is a tasty way to make your own probiotic, healthy ‘soda’. Although a very small amount of alcohol is created during fermentation, this is a non-alcoholic ‘beer’ and can be served to kids.... Read More