Workshop – Various Ginger Beers at HSS 16/5/2012

During this workshop we have been tasting a non alcoholic ginger beer, water kefir drink and kefir yogurt. We have prepared a batch of non alcoholic ginger beer based on kefir whey culture, alcoholic ginger beer based on baker’s yeast and continued with the fermentation of our kefir culture.
Kefir batch harvesting and preparation

We have harvested a batch of kefir which was started on 13/52012 (more info here). The liquid whey was distinctly separated from the firm “kefir yogurt” part. It’s flavour was nice 7/10, acidic with a yellow mold on the top of more creamy top layer.

We removed the kefir grains and washed them with milk to keep their structure clean giving 2 grains to the participants (Peter and Stephanie) and transferred the rest (three biggest ones) to the 1.5 l glass container adding 1 l of fresh whole pasteurized cow milk and let it ferment at room temperature opening once per day or so to allow influx of fresh air.


The visible separation of the whey from the kefir curds/kefir yogurt was first observed
on 19/5/2012 around 9:00 so after approximately 50 hours, showing sharp slowdown in the intensity of the fermentation compared to previous 24-32 hours (or even less) needed for separation which can be also partly due to the fact that we used slightly cold milk in this case.

The batch was harvested on 20/5/2012 around 15:00 (after 60 hours from the beginning of the fermentation) and new batch was prepared (kefir 20/5/2012) from approximately 500 ml of fresh whole pasteurized cow milk. The kefir yogurt was used for preparation of pancakes and boiled rice dish and the whey was kept at room temperature, transferred to cold on 21/5 around 13:00

Non Alcoholic Ginger Beer (kefir whey culture) – started at 22:00

This ginger beer was brewed based on the recipe posted here. We have used the same ingredients and technique for it’s preparation:

name – ginger beer I. (GB – I. 16/5/2012); culture volume (Vc) = 5 l


kefir whey (+- 2% (v/v); 100 ml)
dark rich brown sugar +- (6% (w/v); 300 g)
ginger (+-4%(w/v) cut to a small pieces (around 3 mm thick slices)
tap water +- 5 l – mixed and shaken to aerate

– the ferment started to show the signs of more intensive fermentation on Friday 19/5/2012 so after more or less 48 hours, fermenting more intensively on 20/5/2012.

– the batch was harvested on 22/5/2012

– the brew was strained through strainer, bottled and left to secondary ferment at room temperature for another two days (around 30 hours)

– after approximately 30 hours the batch was transferred in to the fridge and kept to mature

– the final flavour of the brew was very nice, with a prominent ginger flavour and “compact” molasses flavour originating from the dark rich brown sugar

Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Bakers’ yeast)

This was our first experimental batch of alcoholic ginger beer. We have these ingredients:

name – ginger beer II. (GB – II. 16/5/2012); culture volume (Vc) = 5 l

baker yeast  (- +-0.5% (w/v); 25 g) (species of Saccharomyces cerevisiae)
dark rich brown sugar (12-14% (w/v); 600-700 g)
cut  ginger (+-4% (w/v);  200 g)
distilled water which we aerated for 1-2 minutes by shaking vigorously


– prime the yeast in lukewarm water with approximately 4% (w/v) of dissolved sugar (ask Barrel if correct) for 30 minutes or so
– in the meanwhile prepare the fermentation vessel and equipment trying to keep it as clean/sanitized as possible (in this particular experiment issues could arise because of the previous usage/contact with strong probiotic cultures like kombucha and kefir)
– dissolve the dark rich brown sugar in the hot distilled water (1-1.5 l)
– add some cold distilled water to cool down the mix
– add the ginger and transfer to the fermentation vessel
– fill up to 80% of the final volume (4 l of 5 l), close and shake vigorously for 2-3 min to aerate the brew (so there is enough oxygen for the yeast to be able to use aerobic respiration allowing for division process known as budding
– add the rest of the water, keeping at least 300 ml of air in the container in order to avoid overflowing due to the rise of the pieces of the ginger buoying by accumulated carbon dioxide during the fermentation (keep in mind that the fermentation can be very intensive in it’s first stage!)
– close the container and install air lock
– let to ferment at room temperature and check every day till the fermentation (bubbling) cease
– further steps will be described when we start to harvest


– the culture started to ferment intensively within first 10 hours from the inoculation
– it is still intensive on 24/5/2012 at 11:30

– around 26/5/2012 the fermentation is starting to slow down

– 28/5/2012 the culture is most likely ready to be bottled, left to do so at the fermentation meeting


~ by algoldor on May 21, 2012.

One Response to “Workshop – Various Ginger Beers at HSS 16/5/2012”

  1. […] The procedure is identical with the previous Ginger Beer preparation on 16/5/2012 and you can learn more about that here. […]

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