Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cultures For Health REAL Ginger Ale

In years past ginger ale was the tonic of choice if you had an upset stomach or the flu. Today’s ginger ale is little more than a ginger-flavored soda laden with high fructose corn syrup. To make the authentic brew our great grandmothers knew all you need are few basic supplies and a little patience. Bottle your ginger ale in airtight beverage bottles while it is still actively fermenting so it retains some fizz. Just be sure to store it in the refrigerator within a day or two after bottling it or it may create too much carbonation and burst your bottle.

  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 1-1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 4 inches (approximately) of ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup prepared vegetable starter culture (like Caldwell’s or Body Ecology) or 1/2 to 1 cup whey 

  1. Place water in a large non-aluminum kettle. Stir in grated ginger root. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow ginger water to boil for 3 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. When sufficiently cool, around 80°F or less, stir in starter culture or whey.
  3. Pour into airlock jars or plain mason jars with lids. If using plain mason jars release the pressure from the jar at least once a day by loosening the lid. You should hear a little gas being released. 
  4. Keep at room temperature for 2 to 6 days, until the ginger ale is fizzy. You can strain out the pieces of ginger root at this time or leave them in if you like ginger pieces. Bottle in tightly capped beverage bottles and let sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 days before refrigerating.

Note: Lacto-fermented ginger ale mixed with kombucha is a great thirst quencher.  Check out the other delicious ideas that are super easy, healthy and offer a pleasant change from the supermarket toxins.

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