How to Make Ginger Beer

How to make homemade ginger beer, including photos! This simply recipe is lower in sugar than store-bought ginger beer, contains vitamins and probiotics, and is a healthier alternative to most carbonated drinks. 

How to Make Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is all the rage right now, and for a very good reason. The sweet and spicy bevvie is tasty by itself, plus adds pep to all sorts of cocktails and mocktails. If you’re anything like me, you could add ginger beer to all of your cocktails from now until doomsday.  Most of us think of ginger beer in the context of the Dark n’ Stormy and other cocktails that involve the brew.  But didyouknow you can make a stellar ginger beer at home, and not only is it easy, but it’s also great for you?

Because we like to do things in the legit-est of ways, we’re going to put on our DIY cap and learn how to make fermented ginger beer at home. And it’s going to be healthier than the store-bought version, because that’s the way we roll.

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer

There are about a zillion ways to make ginger beer. Most people make a simple syrup using ginger, sugar, and water, and then combine the simple syrup with soda water. While this is the least time consuming way of making ginger beer, and definitely comes out tasting great, we can take it a step farther by fermenting ginger beer into a healthful drink.

All it takes is fresh grated ginger, cream of tartar, lemon juice, baker’s yeast, and water.  I like preparing ginger beer in this way because the yeast consumes the sugar as it reproduces, which means that while the finished product tastes sweet, it is actually very low in sugar.

How to Make Ginger Beer

Keep in mind, the recipe I am sharing in this post is the easy version of fermented ginger beer. The authentic version uses a “ginger bug” which is ginger that has fermented in sugar and water to the point that its natural enzymes and probiotics are released. Once a ginger bug is formed, it is then brewed into a batch of ginger brew, which results in a probiotic-rich effervescent drink. This method of making ginger beer takes between 4 and 6 weeks, and is the method I describe in my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks.

But for those of us who want ginger beer like yesterday, this easy version only takes 3 days from start to finish. It still has health benefits from the yeast, but because it is not fermented for as long as the authentic version, it isn’t as probiotic-rich.

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer


Ginger is a root, and has been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach and nausea across many civilizations for hundreds of years. It is an anti-inflammatory, and studies show fresh ginger prevents and fights several types of cancer cells including breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancer. Ginger is also known for cleansing the body of toxic chemicals, as it is full of antioxidants. When fermented, ginger releases enzymes and probiotics, which help maintain healthy gut microflora.

How to Make Ginger Beer:

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer

  1. Peel and grate the fresh ginger using a box grater. You want about 1/4 cup of grated ginger.
  2. Add the cream of tartar (1/2 teaspoon), lemon juice (1/4 cup), and ginger to a large pot.
  3. Add 4 cups of water, and bring the mixture to a full boil.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium, add the sugar and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add the rest of the (cold) water to the pot (5 cups) and allow it to cool to around 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). Add the yeast (1 teaspoon), stir well.
  6. Cover the pot with a kitchen towel and place in a warm, dark part of your house for 3 hours. The mixture should smell gingery and yeasty!
  7. Using a fine strainer, strain the liquid into a large pitcher to remove all the bits of ginger.
  8. Pour the brew into a clean 2-liter plastic bottle (empty soda water bottles work perfectly, and you can also use 2 one-liter bottles) but do not fill up the bottles all the way because the fermentation will yield carbon dioxide.

Place the ginger beer in a dark, warm room for 2 to 3 days. One to three times a day, carefully loosen the caps to relieve some of the pressure (without opening the bottles all the way). The drink becomes very pressurized and fizzy, so skipping this step could result in a ginger beer bottle explosion < – true story. Be very careful in this process and do not point the bottles at anyone’s (or your own face).

After your brew is finished fermenting, you can either add fruit, simple syrup, juice, or liquor to it to create a customized treat, or drink it as is. If you choose to bottle the ginger beer in glass bottles, allow the ginger beer to lose much of its fizz prior to bottling, as it will continue to carbonate in the bottles, which could result in them exploding if there is too much pressure.

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer

Important Notes:

During fermentation, DO NOT use glass bottles, because the glass can explode under pressure (yes, it builds up that much pressure!), be sure to use plastic bottles with screw tops, as noted in the recipe, so that you can relieve pressure during fermentation. After 24 hours, you will notice yeast colonies on top of the liquid and settled at the bottom. This is normal!

Once the ginger beer has finished fermenting, glass bottles may be used for bottling and storing. You must be very careful when opening the bottles because the beverage will still be very carbonated. Always point glass bottles away from your face or anyone else’s face while opening.

The longer you allow the ginger beer to ferment, the more sugar will be metabolized by the yeast, resulting in a less sweet, drier beverage. If you prefer a sweeter beverage, consider fermenting the ginger beer for one to two days only or simply start with more sugar (about 1-1/4 cups instead of 1 cup) than you need.

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer

While I was writing my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, I had a great deal of fun with the ginger beer section – for me the challenge of making authentic ginger beer was even more interesting than brewing the perfect batch of kombucha. Although ginger beer takes the longest to brew out of all the fermented drinks in the book, once it finishes fermenting, it is one of the tastiest and spunkiest probiotic drinks. To try out the super duper authentic version of homemade ginger beer, be sure to get your paws on my book!

Now go forth and ferment you some ginger juice.

Kitchen Tools

I used the following kitchen tools to prepare this recipe:

How to Make Ginger Beer

How to Make Ginger Beer

Course: Drinks
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 liters of ginger beer
Author: Julia


  • 9 cups spring or well water
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar*
  • ¼ cup fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice**
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast***

You Also Need:

  • 1 2- liter plastic bottle with screw top . soda water bottle that has been carefully cleaned work great
  • A medium to large sized pot for heating water


  1. Add the cream of tartar, lemon juice and fresh ginger to a large pot along with 4 cups of the water. Bring it to a full boil.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, add the sugar and stir until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the rest of the (cold) water to the pot and allow it to cool to around 75 degrees F (23 degrees C).
  4. Add the yeast, stir and cover the pot with a kitchen towel.
  5. Place pot in a dark place for 3 hours.
  6. Using a fine strainer, strain the liquid into a pitcher to remove all the bits of ginger.
  7. Pour the brew into one clean 2-liter plastic bottle ( or 2 1-liter bottles) but do not fill up the bottle all the way because the fermentation will yield carbon dioxide, causing gases to build in the bottle.
  8. Place the bottles in a dark, warm room for 2 to 3 days (two days if you want a sweeter ginger beer, and 3 days if you prefer a drier ginger beer).
  9. One to three times a day, carefully loosen the caps to relieve some of the pressure (without opening the bottles all the way). Be very careful in this process and do not point the bottles at anyone’s (or your own face).
  10. Once the ginger beer has finished brewing, store it in the refrigerator to chill. This will also slow the fermentation process.
  11. Pour in a glass and enjoy as is, or add a splash of rum and lime juice for a Dark n' Stormy.

Recipe Notes

*You can replace the cream of tarter with 1 teaspoon of baking powder. **I used a meyer lemon - it only took one for 1/4 cup of juice. ***Yup, this is the same yeast you use for baking bread. After your brew is finished fermenting, you can either add fruit, simple syrup, juice, or liquor to it to create a customized treat, or drink it as is. If you choose to bottle the ginger beer in glass bottles, allow the ginger beer to lose much of its fizz prior to bottling, as it will continue to carbonate in the bottles, which could result in them exploding if there is too much pressure.

How to Make Homemade Ginger Beer

Never Miss a Post!


  1. DessertForTwo

    This is awesome! Ginger is my favorite flavor ever. I go through several hands a week, because I juice about 2″ of it a day. I know, I’m going to live forever (not unless I cut out the sugar omg!)


  2. Julie

    Well, hell. Now you tell me that it helps prevent colon cancer. I’m not quite up to making any today, so if you could bring me some tonight, that would be much appreciated. K. Thanks.

  3. Kelsey M

    This is perfect- for me nothing is better than some seriously ginger-filled…well anything, really. I typically find that most ginger beers are too sweet and not ginger-y enough for my taste so I’d love to make my own and really be able to adjust it to my preferences.


  4. Katie @ Produce on Parade

    Oh. My. Goodness, I cannot wait to make this!! I tried to make the ginger bug thing a long time ago and I just flat out failed. I’m a failure-fermenter! I have a question that is probably so absurd but I know nothing so bear with me. I can use a big glass mason jar with an s-lock thingy attached (I got one as a gift but not really sure how to use it) as opposed to the plastic bottles? Is that the purpose of the s lock, to let out the pressure? I’m so excited!!! I love me some ginger beer.

  5. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I have yet to try ginger beer but it sounds like my kind of drink! And now that you’ve shown me a shortcut, there’s pretty much no excuse. And thanks for the warning on the explosion problem. I have a tendency to point things in people’s faces so that’s always good to know. 😉

  6. Isadora

    I’ve always been kind of scared to make fermented things at home, but this ginger beers sounds too good not to make! I’ve been trying to add more ginger into my diet so my stomach will be happier, so I think this will be the perfect way 🙂

  7. Joanne

    Any drink with ginger beer in it and I am SO there. Though…I don’t think I’ve ever had ginger beer all on it’s own. Which just feels wrong now that I know it’s so easy to make!

  8. Rod Schwartz

    Your initial disclaimer (“about a zillion ways…”) allows wiggle room for experimentation, which is good! Just discovered your recipe when searching on “how long to ferment ginger beer,” curious primarily to learn at what point fermentation results in an alcoholic beverage. The recipe I’ve been using for a couple of years now is similar to yours in terms of the ingredients (minus cream of tartar; what the heck’s *that* for?), but does not require boiling anything. I just use regular drinking water, added to the ginger juice (which I’ve squeezed from the pulp and run through a cheesecloth), lemon juice, sugar and yeast (about half the amount your recipe calls for), and the result has been quite tasty. Still, I love experimentation and will try your recipe on my next batch. Love homemade ginger beer! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Emily, the alcohol content is lower in this recipe than if you were to brew a legit batch of ginger beer. Let me know if you have any more questions! xoxo

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Joyce, I think rapid-rise yeast would work! I’ve never tried it, so I can’t be sure, but I assume it would work just fine. Let me know how it turns out!

  9. laurw

    Do you add lemon juice to the pot in the first or second step? Also, do you tighten the tops after letting out some fizz each time?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi there! You add the lemon juice in step one. You do tighten the lids after letting the air out each time. 😀 Let me know if you have any other questions.

    1. Rod Schwartz

      My last batch, made in a one-gallon glass jug, lasted several weeks in the refrigerator; I’d also made a half-gallon at the same time, which we finished first. But after opening the gallon jug and enjoying a glass every day or two, it stayed nice for at least two weeks. (Yes, homemade ginger beer must be kept refrigerated.)

  10. Bob Carpenter

    You are “The Great and Powerful Oz” You have “instilled” in me the courage, and knowledge to enable me to distill a fine batch of ginger beer, and for that I give you my “heart”felt thanks. Bob

    1. Julia Post author

      Bob, I’m so happy to hear you love the ginger beer!! I think it’s such a fun project, and I love the way it tastes! I’ve been thinking about brewing another batch, myself, and using some of it in cocktails – YUM!! Happy New Year, and thanks for the kind note!

  11. zac

    Have you ever tried using wine yeast? I make a lot of wine and while you could use bakers yeast it would make your wine taste funky. I’m guessing that if you used wine yeast in your ginger recipe it would come out even better. That being said, you have explained the process and recipe very well. I now understand the difference in using a “ginger bug” too! I will be making this, thank you!

    1. Rod

      The yeasts are pretty much interchangeable in my experience. I use both wine and champagne yeasts mainly, because they sound cooler. 🙂

    2. Julia Post author

      Hi Zac!Thanks so much for your interest – and I’d agree with Rod – I bet wine yeast would work excellently, and would award you some extra bonus points for taking a unique and awesome approach 😉 Let us all know how it turns out!

  12. Tim

    I just noticed your recipe indicates you should add the lemon juice on both the first and second step. Which is the correct time to add it?


    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks for catching that, Tim, and sorry about the confusion! Actually, adding the lemon juice in either step one or two will work, but I changed the recipe so that it says to add it in step 1 🙂 Many thanks!

      1. Tim

        Thanks for the quick reply!

        I made a batch and added in the second step. It turned out well, but I’m making another batch today to try and up the ginger. I’m going to use double the ginger and I’ll add the lemon juice in the first step!

        I’ll check back to let you know how it goes.


  13. Camille

    I recently discovered Moscow mules and the ginger beer. I made this recipe and it was wonderful! I used rapid rise yeast and it was very successful. Ready to add vodka now!

    1. Julia Post author

      That sounds awesome, Camille! I love using ginger beer in cocktails, too 😀 So happy you made and enjoyed the recipe!

  14. Paul

    Hey! I’ve just finally got my brew down to 75degrees and have added the yeast and it’s now sitting in a dark spot for three hours before I bottle it! How would one turn it into an alcoholic version by natural fermentation rather than adding Vodka ect?


    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Paul, That’s a great question! To be honest, I’m not sure. I don’t think you can get much alcohol out of using this method…I think you’d have to distill/brew using brewer’s yeast or champagne yeast. I believe doing so requires a few weeks of fermentation and some different equipment…so essentially, I assume it’s an entirely different process. Sorry I can’t be more help – let me know if you figure out how to make a naturally alcoholic ginger beer, because that sounds delicious! 😀

      1. Paul

        Hi Julia,
        Thanks for the super quick reply! After doing a little research it does require a fair bit of work to make an alcoholic version so I’ll just stick to this one for now!
        I vented my bottles this morning after their first 12 hour rest and boy’o’boy am I glad I used really sturdy plastic bottles as one of them was so full of gas it took a good minute to vent! The other unfortunately didn’t have the rubber seal in its lid so it was venting all night but I have since swapped it into a normal soda bottle and will be venting them quite regularly I think.
        Thanks again! I’ll keep you posted on my progress!!!

        1. Julia Post author

          No problem, Paul! I’m so glad you’re enthusiastic about making ginger beer and appreciate you sharing your feedback! Always feel free to reach out with questions and I can’t wait to hear how it all turns out!

  15. Zac

    This recipie will get about 2% alcohol. If you want more you could add more sugar and let it sit a day or two longer. Yeast is a simple thing, however all are not the same. The basic thing yeast does is turn sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The flip side is that taste is going to be compromised if you go for more alcohol. Without going into a long disrotstion on yeast, I’ve had a pleasant results with Lavlin 1118, but I’m trying a few other varieties for fun.
    I’m also syphoning off the mix into my bottles at the end, verses pouring it into the bottles. You leave behind the yeast residue this way.
    I’ve made few batches and it keeps getting better!

  16. Paul

    Hi guys, I had a quick sip today and it’s tasting very sharp with quite a liquor style kick to it, should it be like that? I added more sugar to sweeten it up slightly also. It’s been sitting for two days and I plan on only sitting it another 24 hours. I’ve never tasted home brewed Ginger Beer so is this what it’s like?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Paul, I’ve never found my ginger beer to have a liquor flavor, but it definitely has a spicy kick because of the ginger. To me, it tastes spicy, sweet, and yeasty. I’d say add some sugar (maybe some extra water, too). You probably don’t need to let it sit for another day because it sounds like the yeast has already eaten the sugar in your batch. It’s probably ready to chill and drink. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any other questions!

  17. Richard

    I followed your directions but after 2 days of fermentation my ginger beer had too much yeast taste. My senses tell me that I should use less yeast. I added it around 90 deg F but this should not be significant to give us that effect. I shall continue fermentation for another day. Thank you for your reply.

  18. Lesli

    Is there any way to make a ginger bug with the leftover yeast/pulp? Just wondering…and thanks for the great recipe!!! I’m about 12 hours into it now and can’t wait for my finished product!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Lesli, I imagine you could use some of the leftover yeast and pulp to start a new batch, although I think you would still need to add more ginger, yeast, sugar and lemon juice. Let me know if you try it, and hope you enjoy!

  19. Lesli

    Julia, just finished and tasted this ginger beer and it’s phenomenal!!!! Can’t begin to thank you enough! I started the “leftover culture” and keep feeding it so we’ll
    see how it goes. Now back to my ginger beer… 🙂

  20. Doug

    Has anyone experimented with different sugars? I like to use lower glycemic sugars like coconut sugar, I’m just wondering if other sugars will still ferment properly?

      1. Doug

        Hmm. OK, I’m going to try it with blonde coconut sugar. Probably this weekend, so if I do I’ll post results.

          1. Doug

            Well, I’m back with an update. I haven’t found the time to do an actual brew, but had been considering trying a quick brew version where I create a simple syrup, flavor it, and mix it with club soda or tonic water. Here is my initial results. I used 1 cup blonde coconut sugar (it’s low glycemic) to one cup filtered water. Boil for 5 minutes or so, all sugar must be completely dissolved. I would tip the pot to see the bottom to make sure there are no sediments or granules remaining. Once boiled, add a 1/4 cup of lemon juice (I boiled it some more just to be sure). In a separate pot I boiled about a cup’s worth of shredded ginger for 15 minutes (note, future batches I’m going to use my masticating juicer to extract the ginger juice instead of boiling the gratings, much more efficient and you get ALL of the juice highly concentrated). This I strained into the simple syrup mixture, and let it cool for about 10 minutes. This is your base ginger syrup. I combine about 2 – 3 oz with about 6 – 8 oz of club soda. I couldn’t wait for it to get cold, so I had some in my freezer cup, and shared it with the family, and it was a hit! The ratio of syrup to club soda might vary, just vary to taste. This version comes across with a high ginger bite, and a slight molasses flavor from the blonde coconut sugar. It is brown, but tastes really great! Will be experimenting further!

            1. Robin

              Doug, THAT is AWESOME!!! I’ve been very much wanting to try this but don’t consume sugar! (I really shouldn’t consume yeast either but this now sounds just too super to pass up!!) THANK YOU for posting a recipe for a coconut sugar version!! (May I ask which brand is considered “blonde” as I wasn’t aware of different types, just that some brands of coconut sugar taste slightly different?) Once again, Yay!!! I found this site for a different recipe and am so thrilllllllled!! Thank you to Julia too!! <3

  21. Sarah

    I was wondering if it’s ok to drink all the yeast sediment that’s in the bottom of the ginger beer and also if there is an easy way to strain it out

    1. Julia Post author

      I drink it. Typically when I open a bottle of ginger beer, the sediment on the bottom bubbles up toward the top and mixes in with the rest of the ginger beer. There’s no texture to it that I’ve detected 🙂 Hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any other questions! xo

  22. Amelia

    I saw a traditional ginger beer recipe that uses all the same ingredients you do, including active dry yeast, but not cream of tartar/ baking powder. What’s the purpose of adding cream of tartar ? Thanks ! (:

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Amelia,

      The cream of tartar reacts with the sugar (creating what is called “inverted sugar”), which in turn allows the yeast to feed on the sugar and ferment. So in essence, it helps with the fermentation process and also gives added depth of flavor. That said, the recipe will work without cream of tartar. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  23. jamie

    i would never make this if i had to sit and grate ginger for that long. luckily it’s WAY easier than that. you pop a good chunk of ginger (about the size of your palm) into the blender with a bit of water and strain that. it takes 30 seconds instead of 15 minutes. also, don’t bother using all these random yeasts and things intended for other beverages, b/c there’s a probiotic culture called “ginger beer plant” that is specifically intended to ferment ginger sugar water for you and is reusable (it grows, in fact!) and allows you to make a new batch of ginger beer every 3 to 7 days and has a bunch of other good probiotic stuff in it other than just yeast (bacterial strains, too). it’s probiotic rich and doesn’t take weeks. ginger beer plant (and the ginger beer it makes) is my new favorite thing!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Jamie, Thanks so much for your input. Yes, you can make naturally fermented ginger beer without using yeast, but it takes quite a bit longer than the method I have described in this post. In my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, I give instructions on how to make a ginger plant and a continuous batch of ginger beer using a ginger pant. The purpose of this post was to show how to make a very simple fail-proof ginger beer in only a few days.

      Thanks for the tip on blending the ginger – this is a brilliant idea and much quicker than grating. 🙂

      1. tehuti

        I don’t think you understand. Ginger Beer Plant is a very old culture that was used to make ginger beer in households all over England for many years. It fell out of favor in the 1940’s, probably because of the lack of sugar during WWII, but it is still available. It is not really a plant, it is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast and it grows, similar to Tibicos (water kefir grains). The Yeast makes the alcohol, and the bacteria eats some of it and makes probiotics. The beer is cloudy and a bit thick, not very sweet, only a little alcoholic, a little probiotic, very carbonated, and really wonderful. Personally, I like it hot!

  24. Mark

    I’ve make the ginger beer recipe here twice. Once, I followed the instructions to a tee, i.e., peeled and grated the ginger and used fresh-squeezed lemon. The second time, I wanted to do less work and see if shortcuts would affect the taste at all, so instead of grating the ginger I just used a “chopper” to basically mince the ginger into fine pieces (and I did not peel it first), and I used bottled pre-squeezed lemon juice. (The two batches were about 3 weeks between each other and used the same ginger root and same envelope of yeast.) In the end, I could not detect a difference between the two batches — they were both tasty. However, in the future I might try doubling the ginger since I like it with lots of bite.

  25. Kayla

    Hi there,
    I’m in the process of making my first batch and things are going well! I have two bottles that are bubbling and building pressure like crazy, but my third bottle doesn’t seem to be air tight for some reason. It bubbles, but it doesn’t require any gas to be released like the other two.

    So, my question is why the need for airtight plastic bottles, and is there any harm to having one plastic bottle not be air tight if the beer still bubbling?

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Julia Post author

      The purpose of sealing the bottles is to allow the gasses (which are a biproduct of the yeast fermenting) to naturally carbonate the beverage. The yeast will still ferment and become “effervescent” if the ginger beer isn’t tightly sealed, although it won’t be as fizzy as the ginger beer that ferments in an air-tight container. So Basically, it’s a matter of preference for how fizzy (and fermented) you like your ginger beer to be. Hope this helps 🙂

  26. Patricia

    Hello Julia,

    Regarding inquiry on May 4, 2015 at 10:56, from a viewer on the Ginger Beer recipe using specific ingredient, “Cream of Tartar”. No reply was noted. Please reply as to this ingredient(s) purpose. Thanks and Regards, {;>)

  27. Martin


    I’ve been looking for a recipe like this… nice and simple! So, thanks for that!

    My questions is, assuming I follow you recipe correctly (which I am planning to do), could I use a demijohn as replacement for the plastic bottles?

    I have a few of these hanging around from a few years back making wine and rather use this method than having to buy plastic bottles and “consume” the sugar liquid in them!

    Thoughts much appreciated! 🙂

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Martin, You could use a demijohn and leave it uncovered, although I don’t think the ginger beer will get as fizzy if you do. Using a sealed container traps the gasses that are emitted through the fermentation process, thereby causing the drink to become naturally carbonated. I wouldn’t recommend using glass and sealing it airtight, as the bottle(s) will likely explode from the pressure. Let me know if you try the ginger beer using a demijohn and whether or not it gets fizzy! Best of luck!

    2. Tracy Mills

      I’m wondering the same thing, as I already have vapor locks and glass bottles I used for making mead. Can I use a vapor lock on my glass bottles or can I use a balloon over the mouth of the bottle to handle the built-up pressure?

  28. Martin

    Made this recipe three times now and I am finally getting good at it. I made one change. I didn’t like the bread flavor from the “baker’s yeast” so I changed to “SafAle US-05”. This takes most of the bread aroma away and leaves a good solid ginger beer. It is not as aggressive during fermentation but works well enough for me.

    ?Question? Does anyone have a good Root Beer recipe?

  29. Mike Cor

    I made a similar recipe without your warning of putting it in a plastic bottle and releasing the pressure. Needless to say, it created glass all over my kitchen.

    If you release the pressure daily for 2-3 days, how long will the ginger beer stay carbonated after that? Is this something that needs to be made a day or two before using it, a week, month, etc.?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Mike, the ginger beer will stay carbonated for upwards of 2 weeks, even after opening the bottles multiple times. Hope you enjoy!

  30. Alex

    Hi! Just found this great recipe! Do you have any information about how much sugar is left in this once done? My wife is quite heavily into calorie counting and wants to know!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Alex, That’s a great question!…But a tough one. The straightforward answer is you’d need a specific tool that measures the residual sugar in order to have a clear answer (I believe it’s called a refractometer or a hydrometer). A more vague answer is theoretically, there should be very little residual sugar, if any. The resulting amount of sugar depends upon how much of it the yeast has metabolised.

      You can allow the ginger beer to ferment for a longer period of time (an additional 1 to 2 days…still being very careful to continually release some of the gas each day) in order to ensure you end up with as little sugar as possible, but you also need to be mindful of the fact that yeast need sugar in order to survive. Allowing the ginger beer to ferment for too long will kill the yeast. Also bear in mind, the longer it ferments, the “drier” the ginger beer, meaning the less sweet it will taste.

      The ratio of sugar necessary for fermentation is a fine balance – on the one hand, you need enough to feed the yeast so that they get the job done and don’t die, but on the other hand, too much sugar can kill the yeast as well, and/or result in a beverage that is high in sugar. If your wife is concerned about the amount of sugar she consumes, you can use coconut sugar for the recipe versus cane sugar. It works just as well, but coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index than cane sugar. I hope this is helpful! Let me know how your batch(es) turns out and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

      1. Mike Cor

        I have no idea how much sugar is left either. I would say though, you could experiment with less sugar and then add back sugar after the fermentation. You could also add a no calorie sweetener at the end to taste.

  31. Agate

    I am interested in making this at my bar, for dark and stormy and other cocktails, but i am worried about it’s shelf life. How long can I keep a bottle in the fridge?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi there! So happy to hear you want to make homemade ginger beer for your bar…I’ve actually been looking for a bar that does this and there aren’t any in my area. That said, I’ve stored ginger beer in my refrigerator for 2 weeks and believe it or not, it stayed fizzy. Because you’re serving it in a bar, I wouldn’t recommend taking chances, so I’d say keep it for 1 week. Although hopefully you’ll sell it so quickly that it’ll fly off the shelf 😉 Best of luck!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Lyra,

      Fresh lime juice should work! I can’t confirm for sure until I try it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t 🙂 I wouldn’t use the bottled lime juice…I’d stick with fresh. Let me know how it turns out!

      1. Dorothy

        OMG…this second batch that I made with fresh lime juice tasted like Fever Tree Ginger Beer. DELICIOUS!!! I had a taste this morning and also tasted Fever Tree. Fever Tree was a tad sweeter. I also added extra ginger.

        I also made a 1 and 1/2 times the recipe to almost fill my gallon water bottle. I try to release pressure several times a day. I waited too long yesterday morning and I could not loosen the top (the bottle was bulging). When my husband did it very slowly, the top flew, bottle tipped (he picked up immediately, we lost maybe a cup). Next time I will just make two full batches and store them separately.

        Thank you, Julia, for the best recipe ever!!!

        1. Gregg S

          I know this is an older post but you can easily make a fermlock using the cap from you bottles then you won’t have to worry about excessive pressure or having to loosen the caps daily. Just a suggestion.

    2. Dorothy

      Hi Lyra…just made my second batch using fresh lime juice and I like it more than the lemon juice recipe. Just tasted this morning, DELICIOUS!!!

        1. Dorothy

          Almost the same amount. I needed maybe another 1 – 2 more limes. Next time I will get a lot more limes so that I will have a more citrus flavor. If you’re a tad under, it will be delicious.

  32. Travis

    Do you think there would be any issues with letting it sit with the yeast for more than 3 hours… Say, 5-6 hours? I was going to let that step happen while at work! Hope it doesn’t make anything crazy happen!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Travis,

      I assume it would work, but I’ve never tried it…I think the worst that could happen is the yeast would die and the batch would be a flop, but I can’t be sure. Let us know if you give it a go, and I’ll come back to update you if I try it out too 🙂 Best of luck!

  33. Sherry

    After you ferment in plastic bottles and place them in glass bottles how long will they last? Will they need to be consumed within a few days or will they just continue fermenting further?

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Sherry,

      The ginger beer will last for 1 to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. It will continue to ferment, although at a much slower rate, since temperature effects the activity of bacteria and yeast. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  34. Kevin Waterson

    What is the alcohol content with this brew. There seems to be quite a bit of yeast in this compared to the amount of sugar.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Kevin, one of the other readers found you end up with about 2% alcohol. I, myself, do not have the proper equipment to measure the alcohol, but I’d say 1% to 2% seems right 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. Julia Post author

      Great advice, Mike, thanks! I believe a few people have tried that and had success. I’m still in the market for a glass fermenter – I definitely think it would be a useful tool! 🙂

  35. John M

    This is great. Twenty, twenty-five years ago I lived in NYC and used to buy sugar-free ginger beer (Olde Tyme brand). This seems to have vanished and no local stores carry sugar-free GB– in fact precious few carry any kind at all. Most of the recipes I have found call for a good amount of sugar (indeed, the “ginger bug” itself does). Yours is said to be low sugar. Is there a way to make the entire amount of sugar get fermented, leaving it essentially with zero sugar? Or is there perhaps a ratio of amounts of sugar to yeast which would result in a totally “dry” ginger beer (which I dould then sweeten with xylitol, stevia, or monkfruit)?
    THANKS A LOT!! namaste

  36. Jon F

    Blechh. Way too yeasty for my taste. Tastes like yeast water more than ginger beer. I’m going to have to dump the whole thing down the drain. I’m surprised there are so many positive comments. Either people don’t know what ginger beer is supposed to taste like, or something went seriously wrong with my batch. As far as I can tell I followed the recipe exactly. Are there factors which might cause some batches to turn out vastly different than others?

    1. E. Martin

      I agree. My first batch was more like bread than ginger beer. I switched my yeast to SafaleUS-05. This is closer to what I get in the UK. I am still adjusting the recipe for my specific desired taste. Keep trying, the recipe works.

        1. E. Martin

          I used the same amount (i think it is 1 tsp, don’t trust my memory). This is a “dry” ale yeast, if you don’t prefer dry you could experiment with a “mild” ale yeast, I plan to try mild soon. Let me know what you think.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Dylan, I’ve never tried making ginger beer with champagne yeast, but my guess is it would work just fine! I’m curious to know how it would turn out – I bet the flavor would be awesome. Let us all know if you give it a whirl!

  37. GingerBugger

    it does not take 4-6 weeks to make a ginger bug. It takes 3-7 days. Please stop spreading Ginger Bug Hate speech. Also you should never bottle in glass containers that is a glass bomb ready to go off even in the refrigerator. Very dangerous, google it to see. You should protect your blog readers more carefully from the glass danger.


    1. Scott

      She wasn’t saying it takes that long to make the bug. She was saying that doing it that way takes 4-6 weeks in total from the point you begin the bug to the point your ginger beer is ready for consumption. Julia gives the method using a ginger bug in her book. I don’t see any reason to think she doesn’t love ginger bugs too!

  38. Scott

    I’ve begun making ginger beer the authentic way (I have your book!) And I had a question about using the ginger bug. I got mine going and used some for my first batch of ginger beer, and have since kept the ginger bug going with ginger and sugar, but I didn’t know whether I should add more water as well, or if continually adding ginger and sugar will make up the volume. Thanks!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hey Scott! Yeeeeeeees! I’m so glad you’re diving into the art of super real and authentic ginger beer brewing! Sounds like it’s going well so far!

      I’d definitely add water to the ginger bug, as the bacteria and yeast will need it in order to continue to reproduce. Honestly, I go by the color of the bug…it should stay a pale yellow, almost like lemonade. If it gets darker than that (or overly cloudy), you need to add water and you run the risk of killing the culture. If you’re keeping the bug in a 1-qt mason jar (or something similar), I’d start by adding a cup of water and see what the bug looks like…although, I wouldn’t worry much about an exact measurement of the water you add. As they say, follow your gut (buhdumching). Enjoy your badass ginger beer, and let me know if you have any other questions!

  39. Allyson

    I started a batch of your homemade ginger beer from the book only to find ants taste testing it 24 hours later. I’ll be sure to keep my brew off the floor next time. But anyway, my questions are about the bug itself. If you only use the liquid for the beer, wouldn’t the solids in your bug keep building? I understand you can add more water once the liquid is used, but should you throw out some of the solids from time to time to keep that from building up too much? Also, is there a way to store the bug without feeding it every day? Like you can put a sourdough starter in the fridge and only feed it once a week. Can something similar be done with the ginger bug? Thanks a bunch!

    1. Julia Post author

      Oh no, sorry to hear about the ant invasion, Allyson! Insects are super attracted to the gasses that bacteria and yeast release into the air, so I’d say it’s a good idea to keep the bug on a shelf – I keep mine in a cupboard.

      You don’t need to throw out any of the solids in your ginger bug to keep it going, but you can use some of the solids in your batches of ginger beer. The idea is to continually use the bug as starter for batches of ginger beer, but with that said, most people can’t drink enough ginger beer to brew it fast enough to keep up with the bug. Most people I know who brew ginger beer using a ginger bug will only do 2 to 3 batches using the same starter and then will start over with a new ginger bug when their supply of ginger beer runs out. In this sense, you wouldn’t necessarily be growing the same ginger bug for months/years, although I’m sure you could if you continually used it.

      As for keeping a ginger bug alive in the refrigerator similar to sourdough starter – this is a GREAT question…I honestly don’t know, as I’ve never tried. My guess would be the bacteria and yeast would die if they stayed cold for too long, but it’s possible they’d liven back up when brought to 75-ish degrees. Please do let me know if you end up trying this out, and I’ll let you know if I do the same 🙂

  40. Scott

    Thanks for your help, Julia! I’ve made a few batches now and I’m very much enjoying the process. But perhaps you can help me with my fine tuning.

    My first batch was tasty, but a but more lemony than I wanted, but when I backed off the the lemon, the resulting drink seemed almost water, without that juicy fullness. I’m planning to experiment with limes and maybe pineapple juice (it’s listed on many brands of ginger beer I saw in the store), but I wondered whether you had further wisdom.

    Secondly, I love my ginger, and I love its spice. So far, adding more ginger hasn’t gotten it nearly as spicy as I’d like, resulting in something between a ginger ale and ginger beer level of spice. I’m playing with using a mortar and pestle to bring out some of the ginger juices, but from other comments out doesn’t sound like others have has as much trouble getting their brew spicy. Could it be because I haven’t been boiling my water with the ginger and everything before adding the bug? That’s been my only other guess so far.

    Anyway, thanks for everything again! It’s been a blast and many of my friends have partaken and become part of the process.

    1. Julia Post author

      Lime and Pineapple juice sound amazing in ginger beer! I’m looking forward to hearing how you like it!

      In terms of the level of ginger spiciness, it could definitely be because you’ve skipped the boiling process. Heating the ginger helps bring out the flavor and infuses the liquid with it. I’d recommend trying this, and also be sure your ginger is super fresh. I’ve found some of the ginger I pick up at the store is just kind of dry and doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor, whereas other times, it will be suuuuper spicy and juicy. Perhaps a combination of these things is what has lead you to a less-than-desired spice level. Thanks for stopping back to share your results and feel free to keep us all posted on your next batches!

      1. Scott

        Will do! I wasn’t sure whether boiling would take away from the authenticity or probiotic goodness since it wasn’t mentioned in the book. I assume I just use the bug in place of the yeast? I boiled some up and am waiting for it to cool now, so hopefully it’ll turn out well!

        1. Julia Post author

          Ah, my apologies – I got confused and thought you were referring to the recipe in this post, then remembered you were following the recipe from DPD. For making an authentic ginger bug (starter), I would recommend keeping the ginger raw, but when you go to brew a full batch using the starter, you can maximize the flavor by boiling the ginger with the sugar and lemon juice first. So basically, it sounds like you’re all set…allow the ginger mixture that you just boiled to cool and then add the ginger bug/starter for the full batch of brew. I hope that makes sense – Let me know if you have any other questions!

  41. Marie

    HI Robin – So excited to have found your site. I made a little mistake. Instead of bottling (in plastic bottles) and sitting in dark place for 2-3 days. I bottled and put in fridge. Only for 12 hours. Then I pulled them out of fridge to sit out and ferment. Will that affect the brew? Thank you.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Marie,

      The good news is, your beverage will still taste great. The bad news is, it likely didn’t ferment much, as the yeast needs to stay at room temperature (or ideally the 70-80 degree range) in order to consume the sugars and properly ferment. That said, ginger beer does ferment in the refrigerator, but the fermentation is slowed quite a bit. My guess is your drink will turn out slightly effervescent, but not as much as you would have gotten had the bottles sat before refrigeration. I think it’ll still be quite tasty, though! Let us know how it turns out 🙂

      1. Marie

        Hi Robin – It turned out great! I doubled the amount of ginger in my batch. It’s been refrigerated now for almost 2 weeks and carbonation is still going strong!! Has a little more carbonation than a typical canned soda. More similar to carbonation from a fountain drink. Thanks again!

  42. Pingback: Recipe: Ginger Beer – Art of Liquid Fermentation

  43. Pingback: A Dive into Fermentation – chefabjt

  44. Chris

    I am making my second batch of ginger beer from a kit put out by Old Hamlet Wine and Spice Co, who don’t seem to answer inquiries, so I am wondering if anyone from here can help. Basically, they have you make up a ginger/ lemon “tea,” and sprinkle yeast on top. They don’t say to stir the yeast in, so I didn’t. You let it sit for three days in a container, then “syphon off the mixture into plastic bottles.”

    I am one day into the first part, and have a nice layer of goo building up on the top of the brew, so the yeast is working. What I am wondering is: when I am ready to bottle it, do I stir the yeast mess into the liquid and put it into the bottle with the liquid, or do I skim it off and discard it? does it make a difference?

    I would be grateful for any advise. The first batch I made wasn’t very active, si this issue didn’t arrive!

  45. Pingback: Homemade Sauerkraut (+ a Product Review and a Discussion on Fermentation) - The Roasted Root

  46. Mahoney Swinburn

    Hi… Thanks for the recipe, I always wanted to make ginger beer.. But mine has no bubbles! It´s been 2 days in mid-summer and it´s still flat. Can I put another spoon of yeast in now to see if it does something? Thanks!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Mahoney,

      I would say let the ginger bug go a few more days – sometimes it takes only a couple of days for the probiotics to activate and for you to see bubbles, and sometimes it can take a week. Unfortunately, it isn’t an exact science. I’d say as long as you’re keeping the ginger bug between 75 and 80 degrees, you should see some activity soon. I wouldn’t add yeast at this point. Hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!

  47. Joanne

    I’m so excited about this recipe, but unfortunately I used 1 tablespoon of yeast instead of 1 teaspoon. I just put it in a 2 liter soda bottle. What should I expect, and is there any way to fix this? I imagine it will have more of a yeasty bread flavor, and I may need to vent it more often. Thanks in advance for your tips.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Joanne, I would imagine the ginger beer will still turn out just fine and I think your assumptions are correct. I think it will taste more yeasty and need to be vented more frequently. I think it will also take less time to ferment since there is more yeast to feed on the sugar. I’d let it go for just 1 or 2 days and see how it tastes. I’d say the only risk you run is letting the ginger beer ferment for a little too long and the yeast dies because it’s out of food (sugar) to consume – other than being aware of a shorter fermentation time, I think it will turn out just great! Let us know how it all works out!

  48. Pingback: Moscow Mule - So Refreshing & Convenient - NIKKI FRANK-HAMILTON

  49. steve woods

    I used a 64oz glass growler with and airlock purchased from the local brewery supply shop, I also used pale ale yeast. after 5 days I split it into 2 one liter bottles with flip caps and let it sit for another 5 days. came up very sweet and full of ginger flavor

    1. Julia Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing, Steve! I know a few people have been interested in making ginger beer with a higher alcohol content, so this info is super useful!

  50. Chris

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve followed your recipe closely, and used 2 1L bottles which I left to sit for 3 days, regularly letting the gasses out. I’ve now opened them both and they smell and taste quite strongly like yeast, and they’re also quite sour, I don’t really feel the sweetness. I’m wondering what happened and what I did wrong. Now I know the sweetness might be gone because I’ve left them sitting for 3 days (which was my intention, as I was afraid I was going to get a beverage that was too sweet), but I can’t get over the taste and smell of yeast, which frankly makes the whole thing quite difficult to swallow. I used the right amount of sugar, but what exactly happens if the yeast dies ‘too soon’ and it doesn’t have enough sugar left?
    And, last question, is there anything I could do at this point in order to save it? I’ve just left them in the fridge for now, but would adding more sugar and keeping them in a warm room for another day save them? If not, I fear I might just have to dump the whole thing… But I don’t know what to do differently if I start again…
    Many thanks!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Chris,

      For this batch, rather than tossing it, I’d mix it with some homemade lemonade…simply mix fresh lemon juice with water and sugar to taste in order to dilute the ginger beer. Obviously you will end up with a less fizzy beverage, but at least it won’t go to waste. I’d also recommend making cocktails with it, if you like a good Dark & Stormy.

      In the future, I would recommend adding slightly more sugar than my recipe calls for and allow the ginger beer to sit for 1 day. This way, your ginger beer will still be sweet, as you’ll end the fermentation process before the yeast has a chance to consume all of it. In terms of the ginger beer tasting yeasty, my guess is that is a result of the yeast consuming all of the sugar so that you’re left with a super dry beverage. You can also add slightly less yeast on your next go round, but when all’s said and done, if you can’t stand the flavor of yeast, I’d try making ginger beer without it entirely. I know some folks blend or grate ginger and mix it with club soda and sugar for a super quick ginger beer. Of course, this method isn’t fermented so it doesn’t have the natural effervescence, but this is the method I would recommend for folks who find the flavor of yeast off-putting. Hope all of this helps! 🙂

  51. Pingback: Cranberry Dark and Stormy - The Roasted Root

  52. Charlie

    Fantastic!!! I made this and it actually tastes like real ginger beer! And I can make mine extra spicy!

    Might I suggest adding an ingredients section, with amounts in grams instead of cups.

    Awesome work!

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Charlie,

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoy the ginger beer! I’ll fashion up a recipe card with both measurements for both grams and cups – great suggestion!

  53. Pingback: You don’t have to build the next Google to get noticed | Actionable Steps

  54. Micheli

    Hello, I made a recipe 3 days ago.
    Today I opened the bottles to release the pressure, I did open all the way (I used Perrier plastic bottles). I tried opening just a bit (as I read in your instructions) but by opening just a big there was not pressure being released, so I opened all the way and closed it again.
    Do you think I ruined my recipe? Is it safe to drink it after having opened it and closed?
    Thank you for your attention;

  55. Graham

    What a cool recipe! I considered making ginger beer years ago and was turned off by the wait time. I do love the fact that this drink has probiotics in it. I’ve been making a fermented drink called makgeolli for about six months now which is loaded with probiotics and really owes its beneficial properties to an amylase enzyme powder called nuruk. I’m definitely going to try out this recipe. Thank you!

    1. John

      I have a couole of questions: The yeast is still active even after refrigerating the 2ltr btl. How do I totally stop it so that I don’the have this griping, gassy, bloated feeling in my gut?
      Should I filter through coffee filte paperr as I pour the ginger beer into the glass?
      How long can I keep the 2ltr btl in the fridue, or must I consume it all within 2 days as I read somewhere?

      1. Julia Post author

        Hi John,

        The refrigeration process should slow down the activity of the yeast substantially, but you can definitely filter it out before you stick the ginger beer in the refrigerator. As a side note, the ginger beer shouldn’t make you feel un-well, so is it possible that you’re sensitive to yeast? I have to be careful with the amount of ginger beer I drink, because my digestive system isn’t fond of it in too high of volume, either.

        I’ve kept ginger beer in the refrigerator for up to 10 days without having any issues, so I’d say you’re good to keep it longer than 2 days. 🙂 Hope you enjoy, and let me know if you have any other questions?

  56. Pingback: You don’t have to build the next Google to get noticed | Tokyo Web Developer | Charlie Moritz

  57. Steph

    Hi there! Thanks for the recipe! Do you think I could use a veggie culture starter instead of the bakers yeast? Or would that be more along the lines of the recipe you mention in your book? History of candida but LOVE moscow mules so I’m trying to find a way to make a low sugar/naturally sweetened with stevia kind of ginger beer that also has a probiotic boost. The bakers yeast would be a no-no for me.

    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Steph,

      Wow, I never thought of that, but I think it would work!! What kind of starter would you be using? Some of the juice from fermented vegetables? Really, any probiotic starter would work to get the ginger beer going…my only concern would be the flavor, so if you can, try to use a culture that doesn’t already have a ton of flavor. For instance, water kefir, rejuvalac, or some of the juice from sauerkraut would probably work great. My guess is you’d need to let the batch ferment for 3 to 7 days (ideally, keep it around 70-75 degrees), just like you would any fermentation project. Let me know how it goes! I’m super curious…I think it will turn out marvelously! xo

  58. Kim

    Do you think you could use stainless steel bottles for the second stage? I don’t use much plastic. End result I would store in mason jars.

  59. Nathan haslam

    Two things that have not been answered which may be silly. One, what is a more specific way to define don’t fill the 2 liter bottle too high? Two, what if my towel fell in the pot and absorbed a bunch of liquid in the three hour window? Still alright? Why not use a lid for a pot instead of towel?

Comments are closed.