Ginger Beer

homemade ginger beer

I am not advocating anything illegal here. I merely want to point out that unless authorities ban ginger, sugar and water, anyone under the age of 21 or living in a dry state such as Tennessee can make alcoholic ginger beer pretty easily.

Ginger beer tastes like grown up ginger-ale with a spicy kick that burns the back of your throat in a pleasant sort of way. I haven’t actually measured the alcohol content (apparently I need a hydrometer) but I would guess by my ginger beer’s effects that it comes in around the low to mid single digits.

Ginger Bug

To make ginger beer, you first need to make a ginger bug, a starter that will ferment your drink and transform ordinary ingredients into delicious bubbly goodness. I have read ginger beer recipes that call for commercial yeast and they probably taste good but I prefer to ferment everything in sight via the microbes present on food, in the air, and on my hands. Have you watched the Portlandia clip “We Can Pickle That”? My younger daughter says I’ve crossed that line.

You’ll find my instructions for ginger bug here. Basically, you grate up a tablespoon of ginger, combine it with a tablespoon of sugar and 1 cup or so of water and feed your bug more ginger and sugar daily for about five days until it bubbles vigorously, smells yeasty and the ginger floats (notice the floating ginger in my bug in the pic below). At that point, you can start your ginger beer (or other fermented drinks like this lemonade or this hibiscus soda).

ginger beer ingredients

Ginger Beer Ingredients

  • Water. I don’t have a problem with chlorine in my water but if you do, fill a large vessel with water half a day or so before you’ll brew your drink and the chlorine will dissipate. You want to do this because chlorine kills microbes. Without microbes, your drink will not ferment.
  • Sugar. I usually use evaporated cane sugar for my ginger beer. Any type of plain sugar will work.
  • Ginger. I have messed up ferments by adding too much salt, by fermenting them too long (mushy dill pickles anyone?) or by just neglecting them and failing to notice problems like a mushy top layer (at least you can scrape that off and fix it). But only once did a ferment refuse to bubble to life—my attempt at pickled ginger. I later read in The Art of Fermentation that non-organic ginger may be irradiated, which kills the microbes. I must not have used organic.
  • Lemon (optional). Occasionally I toss in some lemon if I have it on hand. Add a few tablespoons or to taste.
  • Measurements. I roughly follow a ratio of 1/2 cup sugar : 4 cups diluted ginger-water : 1/4 to 1/2 cup ginger bug liquid


1. Cut up five or six inches of organic ginger into 1/8-inch pieces. You may want your ginger beer less or more spicy than mine. You don’t have to peel the ginger but I do so I can then make candied ginger out of the ginger pieces. I follow this Alton Brown recipe and flavor kombucha with my candied ginger. So good!

sliced ginger

2. Place the ginger and three cups or so of water in a pot. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

simmering ginger

3. While your ginger simmers, stir your ginger bug up. Be sure to incorporate all the white yeasty residue at the bottom of your ginger bug container into the liquid. This is microbe gold. Strain out about 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid from your ginger bug.

strained bug

4. When the ginger has finished simmering, strain out the ginger pieces. My liquid reduced by half.

ginger water

5. In a large vessel, combine sugar and ginger water. I added 1 cup of sugar. After the sugar dissolved, I added about 7 cups of room temperature water to dilute and cool off my very strong ginger water. You can make a big vat of ginger water in a large pot but it will take a while to cool down. YOU MUST LET IT COOL BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE NEXT STEP. Heat will kill your microbes and your ginger beer won’t ferment. No beer for you!

6. Once your mixture has cooled to room temperature, add any lemon juice and the liquid you strained off your bug.

7. Pour into clean, flip-top bottles. Set them aside for a few days before transferring to the refrigerator. Drink them within a week or so.

If you let your ginger beer ferment longer, it will contain more alcohol. But be careful! The carbon dioxide building up in the bottles can cause them to explode. I have never had this happen (and hope I never do) but to be safe, I usually put my bottles in a cupboard to contain any possible disasters. I usually “burp” my bottles every couple of days—open them by rocking the lids back and forth gently and slowly to let out carbon dioxide.

bottled ginger beer

After you brew ginger beer a few times, you’ll get a feel for how much ginger and sugar to use and how long to ferment your drink. I suggest you take notes to help figure out what works best in your kitchen.

Happy brewing!

87 Replies to “Ginger Beer”

  1. […] Source: Ginger Beer | The Zero-Waste Chef […]

    1. Hi-
      Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’ve been using it and love it! I wanted to note for any other brewers who are living at altitude, like me, you’ll need to burp your bottles much more frequently. 🙂 I’m at 6,600ft and find I have to burp the bottles in the morning and evening to avoid explosions- even during cooler temperatures.

      Thank you again! You’re blog is the best!!!

      1. Your blog not you’re blog. Yikes.

      2. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Hi Elvira. I’m glad you like the ginger beer and thank you so much for sharing that important information. Exploding bottles are no joke! Thanks also for the kind words about my blog . ~ Anne Marie

    2. Hi Anne-Marie,

      I’m a little late to this post but I was wondering if you could clarify something for me: do you add water to your ginger bug once you strain off the liquid you’re going to use? Or does the liquid come from the ginger itself after the first feeding? Thanks!

      1. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Hi Ana, I strain the ginger chunks out of the ginger bug until I have my 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup of ginger bug. I don’t add water to the strained liquid. BUT I do add more water to the jar of ginger bug to replenish it and keep it going, along with some fresh ginger and sugar. I hope that helps. ~ Anne Marie

    3. Do you have any suggestions to make sure it stays as low alcohol as possible? I know there’s trace amount regardless, but I’m looking for something I could make up on over the weekend and take into work Monday through Friday without, uh, misfortune occurring. I’m currently in the habit of working my way through a small bottle of ginger ale every day at lunch and dinner to help settle my finicky stomach, but I’m trying to eliminate the plastic, and while I do have a carbonater I don’t want to have to keep buying CO2 cartridges, so I was hoping ginger beer could serve as a replacement for me instead.

      1. Hi Amber,

        If you put the bottles in the refrigerator a couple of days after filling them, the alcohol content should be very low unless you live in an extremely hot and humid climate, in which case the ginger beer will ferment much more quickly. In that case, let them sit for only a day. If you do this, you should be able to drink it on the job 😉

        ~ Anne Marie

    4. Hi! I’ve just bottled my second batch of lemonade. Before that I made the ginger beer. Now what I’m wondering is why is there alcohol in the ginger beer but not in the lemonade?! It’s pretty much the same ingredients and way you do it, isn’t it?

      1. Hi Amke, I’m pretty sure any ingredient you ferment with sugar, whether it be fruit or veg, will ultimately build alcohol. It just depends on how long you let it go before putting it in the fridge.

    5. Hi! Sorry if this has been asked before, but do you do anything with your leftover sliced ginger from making the ginger water or do you just compost from there? Thanks!

      1. Hi Elizabeth,
        I sometimes make candied ginger with it. It’s delicious. You can then use that in other recipes or add it to kombucha to flavor it.
        ~ Anne Marie

    6. Okay so I’ve made this and loved it!! Was just wondering if you share some thoughts on making more of a hard alcohol ginger beer using the bug? Could you do, say, a first ferment with the bug then add some champagne yeast and a lil sugar for a second fermentation, for example?
      Keen to hear your thoughts!

    7. Hi Anne-Marie –

      I started fermenting for the first time after being inspired by your Instagram account (its amazing btw). I had a ginger bug going really well for 7 days, and then I decided to start my ginger beer. From what I can tell, I followed your recipe perfectly, but its been 4 days and my beer is completely flat, some bubbles on top but no carbonation. In addition, I replaced the bug and continued feeding it. and now thats dead too 🙁

      My 2 questions are —
      – What could I be doing wrong.
      – What should I do with the flat ginger bug and beer liquids? It has so much ginger and goodness, I wouldnt want to waste it!

      Thanks for your help! 🙂

  2. I HAVE to make this! We love ginger beer.

    1. It’s my favorite drink Colleen. So delicious and easy to make. And inexpensive too! I forgot to mention that in the post.

  3. This is a great recipe. I once made ginger beer myself, and it was even simpler than that. I mixed up ginger, water, sugar and yeast and just let it brew away. Probably not as good as yours, but it got pretty strong after forgetting about it for a week!

    1. That sounds delicious too. My daughter once made lemonade that way. She added yeast, bottled it and let sit for several days. It was very bubbly and tasty. I like simple 😉

  4. It looks so beautiful and delicious!! What a fun project!!

    1. Thank you! It is so much fun to make. And incredibly delicious!

  5. I am so going to do this in January!!! 😀

    1. It’s SO good Malu! And easy to make too once you get the bug going (which is also easy to do). Let me know how it turns out 🙂

      1. Will do, Anne-Marie! 😀

  6. Can you use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar?

    1. I haven’t tried that, Jenn. I would experiment with some of your bug and see how it works. I have read about people using honey or maple syrup for kombucha and it can either work or kill the mother. It’s just trial and error. If you do try this with honey or maple syrup, will you please let me know how it goes? Also, if you use raw honey, you’ll have all the good microbes from that in there too. I think that might taste really good (but I’m just guessing). So, now you have a few experiments to try: pasteurized honey, raw honey and maple syrup 😉

      1. I tried the lemonade with pasteurized and raw honey and I got zero fermentation :-(. The lemonade tastes delicious with the ginger liquid, but I was really hoping for some bubbles! My ginger bug looked quite bubbly and lively when I put it in and the liquid was definitely at room temperature when I mixed in the ginger bug liquid.
        I’m trying now with the same refined sugar I use to feed it and after 20 hours, there are still no signs of CO2 buildup. Fingers crossed!

      2. I hope it works this time Lorena. If you burp it and you don’t see any bubbling, I’d wait several days before burping it again. It sometimes builds up very slowly. And sometimes it doesn’t build up at all but your ginger bug sounds like it has fermented. It could also be that the seals on the bottles aren’t that tight. Fingers crossed for lots of fizz this time!
        ~ Anne-Marie

  7. There’s no way anyone could get sick from
    This is there? I made some and I’m kind of nervous to drink it😁

    1. Fermentation is very safe. Fermented foods are full of good bacteria that crowd out any bad guys. It should be fine. The thing to watch out for is mold growing on top of the surface (not under as mold needs air to grow) and that is rare in my experience. So if you don’t see that, you should be okay.

  8. I Will try this for sure !
    Do you think I can add a bit of my levain to ferment this ? ?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Isabela,

      It’s really good if I don’t say so myself. Have you had bread kvass? That has sourdough starter in it. I’ve made it only a couple of times and it didn’t turn out that well (although it was WAY MORE alcoholic than anything else I’ve made, so if that’s a bonus for some). I need to try again I think…

      ~ Anne Marie

  9. I just made my first attempt at the ginger bug and ginger beer. The beer after sitting for 5 days popped when I opened the bottle, but wasn’t carbonated… any ideas on what might have happened?!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Tam. Hmmm, that’s strange that the bottle popped but you have no fizz 🙁 Is there any carbonation at all? How does it taste? There are so many variables that could affect your ginger beer. How bubbly was your ginger bug when you added it to the ginger beer concoction? Was the liquid cool when you added the ginger bug? What kind of sugar did you use? What is the seal on the bottle like? If it is loose, the carbon could have escaped but since it popped, it sounds like there was some in there. ~ Anne Marie

    2. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Oooh, I just thought of something else. How often did you burp the bottles? I have one bottle that has such a tight seal that the carbon dioxide builds up in there like crazy. I can bottle the exact same drink in that bottle and a few others, and the one with the super tight seal produces more carbonation. If I don’t burp that bottle often, it will probably spew all over the place when I finally do open it. But if I open it too often, then I will release all the carbon dioxide. So opening frequently can be a factor too.

      1. That seems really tricky. If i were to do this i would just use a regular 12 oz or 20oz jar and screw it very tight. It confuses me now because i didn’t know that if you burped it too frequently it would lose the bubblyness. Would it still keep its alcohol content?

  10. I am new to this and excited to try it out. Do yall have any idea for how long it stays safe/good opened and unopened once in the fridge? Thank you!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      It will continue to ferment in the fridge. It will be fine to drink but will have little sugar left in it, so how long you let it sit in there is a matter of taste. If you leave it for weeks, be sure to burp the bottle occasionally (say once a week). I found a forgotten bottle of it in a friend’s fridge and was, well, a bit afraid to open it. It made a huge pop when I did. I covered it with a cloth and put it in the sink to avoid ginger beer spewing all over the ceiling. The carbon dioxide had really built up inside. So look out for that.

  11. After you make the ginger beer do you replace the liquid in the ginger bug and continue to feed it o do you compost the leftover ginger bug and start a new batch?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Yes, I replace the liquid and add a tablespoon of fresh ginger and a tablespoon of fresh sugar. If the ginger is really old and past its prime, I’ll compost half of it before adding the fresh ingredients. Occasionally I’ll have to do this when the ginger bug has become too alcoholic. It doesn’t seem to matter how much fresh ginger and sugar I add, I can’t bring it back. I hope that helps.

  12. […] home Wines, whisky, beers (?) – this is going to be tough, I might start out by just making ginger beer  Chocolate Dried Italian sausage/salami – Haven’t found some without packaging yet, […]

  13. One question, how do you down scale the Alton Brown recipe for the 5/6 inches of ginger that you use for this ginger beer recipe, I really do not want to peel a pound of ginger at a time? I am hoping to do the same as you and use the candied ginger in my kombucha recipe. Thank you!

  14. […] Here is the full recipe for ginger beer. […]

    1. When do you add the ginger bug? I didn’t see this step. It went from making the ginger water and stirring the ginger bug to fermenting.

  15. […] you’ll need to make your ginger beer and the ginger beer itself. Find my ginger beer recipe here: Find my naturally fermented hibiscus soda from the video here: […]

  16. […] you’ll need to make your ginger beer and the ginger beer itself. Find my ginger beer recipe here: Find my naturally fermented hibiscus soda from the video here: […]

  17. Is it normal to have thick sludgy stuff at the bottom after a few days in gasket bottles?

  18. Dear Zero Waste Chef 🙂

    I am very new to this (fermentation in general). I love ginger beer and I cannot waite to make it on my own. The only tiny problem I have, is that I do not have the space for more than one (two at best) 1L bottle in my fridge at the time. I have read through your recepie a few times now, and i cannot figure how much it makes. Could you please specify or maybe help me out, how to reduce to amount a make, so I do not end up with way more than I have storage space for.

    Kind Regards

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Ellen,
      The recipe makes a little over 2 litres so I would cut the amounts in half. And you may want to make half anyway, since you’re just starting out. I hope that helps.
      Anne Marie

  19. I’m going to guess you don’t watch much television! I don’t, and people always ask what I do instead. Kitchen projects, of course! And sewing, tidying, reading, but mostly kitchen projects!

  20. hi. is the ginger necessary for it to turn fizzy? or can i sub a fruit of some kind? im not big on ginger but id love to have homemade soda

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Dawn,
      This is a great question. I make hibiscus soda and fermented lemonade with my ginger bug. Those still have some gingery flavor but it’s not as intense as ginger beer. Here is the hibiscus soda: and here is the lemonade: You can also use a ginger bug to ferment sweetened tea or juice, or tea flavored with juice. There are many possibilities. You can also make a bug out of turmeric. I can no longer easily find organic turmeric so I haven’t tried that yet and don’t know how it would taste. I’m really curious! I hope this helps. ~ Anne Marie

  21. Jennifer Scheffel says: Reply

    Hi there, just made my first batch and it’s been fermenting five days in bottles; I’ve burped twice and it’s now in fridge…not sure how many times to burp before putting in the fridge. A thin layer of what looks like yeast has developed at the top (I have a photo and could send if there’s some way to do so). In your experience, does this happen? Is it safe to drink? Thanks for the recipes!

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Jennifer. You could send me a pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter if you are on any of those (@zerowastechef). As you make this more often, you’ll get an idea of how often to burp it. Mine is very carbonated so I burp it every two days (or even daily). If you burp it and it doesn’t pop much, you can wait longer. I often get a thin layer on the top of ginger and probably yeast and also bubbles. If the layer is mold, it will look like mold. I hope that helps! ~ Anne Marie

  22. Hello, I used brown sugar in my recipe, so the liquid is very brown and I can see all the white yeast has settled to the bottom after bottling – is that Ok or should I shake them up?

  23. What can I do with the leftover ginger that was cooked. I was thinking of using it for gingerbread or cookies. Some people make candy. I am concerned about it being stringy. I thought maybe I could make something good to eat with it, instead of throwing it into the compost. Thanks-

  24. Anne Marie; Many thanks for this, and the ‘bug’ post. I’ve got 3 bugs on the go. Yours, a modified version with cream of tartar and champagne yeast and, — one which is what my questions is about — using ginger juice from a masticating juicer which normally extracts things like the white pulp while extracting out the fibres. But, I was curious if one could simply cold press the ginger for the ginger beer rather than boiling it. My hypothesis is the less heat the more benefits you would experience. I’d love your thoughts!


    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Yes, more beneficial! Do you have one with cream of tartar and one with champagne yeast or are those both in one of the bugs? What does the cream of tartar do?

  25. Anne Marie, I really enjoyed these posts thank you. I have a hypothesis I’m curious of your opinion on; could one use a masticating juicer instead of boiling the ginger? I’m theorizing that since the mastication process extracts everything but the woody fibres this is more beneficial than heating/boiling. Thanks again for sharing your process!


    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Ryan, I haven’t tried that but it sounds like a great idea! If you try that will you please let me know how it works? You could just make a simple syrup with the water and sugar, let that cool down and then add the ginger juice.
      Anne Marie

  26. Kristina lundbergh says: Reply

    Hi Anna-Marie,
    First of all a Big Thank You for your ‘Down-to-Earth-No-Nonsens’-Blog from Copenhagen, Denmark!

    I believe I have followed your directions – allmost – to the lette… My Ginger Bug is happy (allthough still unnamed).
    But both my first and second atempt on ginger beer has turned out far from great: They were all burbed with love and looked fine. Tasted a small bottle from the first batch on day 3. VERY sweet, but it had the begining of a good fizz. So far so good.
    As a friend of mine suffers from coliac entropathy, I decided to continue the fermentation, believing the extra sucker might do some good in that respect…
    But no beer this time: both batches turned thick/slimy, almost like a thin sirup, but not really interested in mixing with the lower species like water. And no fizz at all!?
    I use the same kind of flip top bottles as you do. I washed them in hot water only after they had been used for my komputcha and poured boiling water over and into them just before I used them again. I did let them cool down first though.
    Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong??!?

    A happy and hopfull reader,

    1. I just discovered the same situation, thick like an aloe drink. I saw on a fermenting site that this can happen in the fermentation process (there is even a scientific name for it) and that it should thin out after a couple of more days. Here’s hoping that’s true!

  27. […] it all the time. Try making anything this week: I’ll still be working on fermenting some apple scrap vinegar, and as soon as that’s done I’m going to get into some natural ginger soda too, but of […]

  28. Do you think that using the ginger bug to ferment (organic, unpasteurized) apple cider would result in a drinkable hard cider? mmmm…..

  29. Do you have a way to make non-alcoholic ginger beer/ale? Sorry if this is a silly question, just looking to replace the store bought stuff and wondered if the ginger bug could be used to do so.

  30. I did it! So exciting! It feels like I personally invented carbonation :-D. I made a sort of lemonade, although it still tastes a bit gingery. Love it :-).

  31. Hi 😊

    So lovely recipe. My ginger beer was nice but with a watery after taste on the third day of fermenting but fantastic on the fourth day. It’s been in the refrigerator for 2 days and it’s turned gooey and not nice to drink at all, and I can’t sieve it out. Is there anything I can do and what could I’ve done wrong?

  32. Hi Anne-Marie,

    Your blog has been the most inspirational one I’ve seen in years, I’ve already made quite a few recipes but most of all i’ve tried to integrate your approach in my daily cooking. Thank you very much for all the work !!
    I wanted to share two observations from my first attempt of ginger beer…

    1. Not fizzy enough, but reading from other comments on top, I might have not used a good screw top bottle (I only had an old Le Parfait wider jars on hand, and the gasket was maybe not tight enough).
    -> I’ll add some ginger and just transferred it to a lemonade type bottle, should do the trick.

    2. Just like Victoria’s comment, the texture of the ginger beer is thick and sirupy. She refers to it as gooey so I guess it’s the same. Did I add to much sugar ? Have you ever encountered this turn out?

    3. Flavor wise, it’s quite light in ginger, and almost has pear notes to it – not what I expected but quite pleasing in fact. 🙂

    xo from Paris

  33. I am wondering if you have had any luck with making subsequent batches? Do you keep your ginger bug culture going? or do you restart it every time you want to make more? I’m hoping there’s an easy way to keep it going.

    1. Hi Claire,
      I keep it going. After I remove the liquid from the bug, I add back the equivalent amount of water and keep feeding the bug ginger and sugar daily. The bug lasts many months this way.
      ~ Anne Marie

  34. Hi Anne Marie,

    Is it okay to use just a plain old mason jars (I’ve made a little too much extra ginger beer and I don’t want any to go to waste)



    1. Hi Melina,
      I think that would be fine. Ginger bar can be VERY carbonated in a flip-top bottle and so even if it’s less carbonated in a mason jar, it should be quite fizzy.
      ~ Anne Marie

  35. […] drink is created through fermenting sugar, water, and ginger.  It’ll take about 5 days following this recipe, so why not start on Monday and enjoy on Saturday? If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic […]

  36. […] drink is created through fermenting sugar, water, and ginger.  It’ll take about 5 days following this recipe, so why not start on Monday and enjoy on Saturday? If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic version […]

  37. Hi! Do you absolutely need to use a flip top bottle for this recipe? I only have one small one and am afraid it will not fit all the liquid and am looking for other options. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sophia,
      You can use a jar. It won’t be as carbonated but it will ferment. Ginger beer is often very carbonated so you may not miss the extra fizz that a flip-top bottle renders.
      ~ Anne Marie

  38. Dan Teoli jr says: Reply

    Has anyone tried powdered ginger for ginger beer?

  39. Hello, thank you so much for this recipe! I just bottled my first attempt three days ago, but there has been no sign of fizz of at all. I have occasionally burped some of the bottles but there was no sound. Is there a way to tell how a ferment is going without opening the bottles? I have flip-top bottles and a warm kitchen, so I’m wondering if maybe my ginger bug wasn’t active enough when I put it in. Is it possible to re-add a (fizzier) ginger bug to my brew after the bottles have already been out for a few days? Or is it best to start over.

  40. Hi! I’m making this for the first time and love your insta! Once it’s combined in the bottle do you wait for it to fizz a few days or can you start drinking it right away??

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Thank you! It will be awfully sweet if you drink it now and it won’t be very carbonated so I would wait. But if you like the flavor after you combine it, then drink some now.
      Anne Marie

  41. Hello!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I am so very excited to jump in and give it a-go.

    Question before I start though, should the ginger I purchase from the store be washed with water first? It is organic. I didn’t know if the washing would somehow rinse off all the beneficial bacteria that makes all the bubbly goodness.

    Thank you!

  42. Hi Anne Marie, I love your blog and this recipe which I have used many times for my husband who just LOVES ginger beer. This time however, my ginger beer is quite syrupy, its not particularly sweet, I only used 3/4 of a cup of sugar to 7 cups of water and A LOT of ginger but the texture is viscosy and weird – any clue what this might be?? Do you think its bad to drink??

  43. My first batch of ginger beer was really good but since then my last 2 batches have not turned out well. The first became weirdly super foamy and didn’t taste gingery or even sweet at all (I used the same ginger bug from the first batch but had fed it in between batches; i had also left it uncovered so I wonder if there was too much air circulation?). The 3 batch ended up being syrupy….not sure what I did wrong (i made a whole new ginger bug because of the weirdness of the last one; I covered it this time….i wonder if it was to do with the simmering/boiling process? too high heat maybe?). Are you able to help me work out what happened?

    1. Hi Michaella,
      I’m sorry to hear about your ginger beer. That first foamy batch sounds like it may have fermented quickly and that’s why it wasn’t sweet. But it also wasn’t gingery, so it could also be that it wasn’t concentrated. Next time, I’d use less water and stop the fermentation sooner. Give it a taste and if it’s TOO sweet, let it sit out for longer and taste it again in a day or two (the flavor can change quickly).

      The syrupy thing has happened to me. It’s really disappointing. I believe some bacteria gets in there and makes it thick. I’ve had it happen to sauerkraut. Eventually, the right bacteria take over and the gloppy texture fixes itself in the sauerkraut but I haven’t had that same luck with ginger beer. The taste is good but the consistency makes it undrinkable. I always clean everything well before I bottle but it still happened. I wish I had a better answer for you 🙁 The good news is I’ve had it happen only once.

      I hope your next batch turns out better.
      ~ Anne-Marie

  44. Thanks for the instructions! I have also read where you let the simmered ginger/sugar/bug brew ferment in a large jar for a few days before bottling. Is it best to skip that step and go straight to bottling as you do?

    1. Hi Tam. Either way works! If you wait, you can take a break in between brewing and bottling, which is nice 🙂

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