Popular Pagan Holidays
Autumn: The Croning Time
Daily Goddess Awareness
Well, You Don’t Celebrate Christmas...
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri... Yuletide!
Samhain: A Time for Introspection---and Activism
The Dark Half of the Year
Anti-Witch Bigotry: Still As Popular and Deadly As Ever
The Halloween Witch: Sense of Humor or Sense of Ire
Ah...To Be A Witch...
Winter Solstice By Any Other Name
Spiritual Aspects of Yule
Autumn Equinox: A Point of Balance on the Wheel of the Year
The Beltaine Storm
Winter Holiday Intentions and Food Magik
Imbolc: Traditional Celebrations for a Modern Time
The Tale of the Holly King and the Oak King
Alicia Meets Grandmother Autumn: A Children’s Story
A Meditation on Samhain: How Lucky You Are.
The Solstice Flame: A Yule Story
Traditional Yule: Make your Own Homebrewed Mead
A Celtic View of Samhain
Ostara: Enter the Light!
Supermoms’ and Superdads’ Defense Against “Holiday Kryptonite”
A Story For Autumn
A Summer Solstice Primer
Witches Lost in Halloween
The Best Thing About Death
Winter: A Joyous Holiday Season
Lughnasa: Festival of the Harvest (A Druid's Perspective)
The Babylonian Ghost Festival
The Ostara Transformation
The Celtic Origins of Samhain
Dealing with the Darkness, Post-Samhain
The Theme of Mabon
The Samhain Experience
First Thanksgiving... in China
Solstice of the Soul
A White Christmas in Fuyang
Love Lives On: A Samhain Reflection on Death, Rebirth, and the Afterlife
Thanksgiving Memories of a Native American Witch
A Samhain Dance
Yule and the New Year
Imbolg - A Lesson of Positive Change
The Story of Ostara
A Yule Story for Children ~ The Tiniest Fairy ~
The First Yule
Unity During Samhain
Bealtine: Blessing the Summer In
Yuletide Thoughts, Life and Death
Ghosts, Omens, and Fact-Finding: Wandering In Today's Eco-Interface
The Blood is in the Land
The Summer Solstice: A Time for Awakening
Sandy Was The Name Of the Dark Goddess This Samhain
Brighid's Healing Sword: Imbolc
When The Crone Pays A Visit, You'd Better Pay Attention
The Promise of the Harvest
Samhain is Ablaze with Reflections of My Father
At Samhain, Meet Bilé, God of the Dead of Ireland and the Danu, the All -Mother
Mabon - The Flash of the Setting Sun
"The Horn of Plenty": A Pathworking for Lammas
Parting the Veils and Opening to Ancestral Wisdom
The Call of the Crone
Lammas: The Sacrificial Harvest
Opening to the Anima Mundi – The Gift of the Equinox
The Light Within the Shadow of the Winter Solstice
Lascivious Lupercalia: Why Valentine's is a Vital Pagan Holy Day for the Modern World
Symbology of Altar Decorations
The Serpent's Kiss: Beltane's Fire
A Heathen's Approach to the Holidays
Anthesteria, the Hellenic "Samhain"
Ode to Ostara
From Samhain to Yule: Light in the Darkness
Sonoran Desert Wheel of the Year (Square Peg, Round Hole)
Samhain: the Sunbeam in the Twilight
Gaia's Mantle:The Greening of the Earth
Like Bread for Lughnasa: A Letter
Beltane and Samhain: Reflections of Life and Death
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Flashbrewing: Traditional Yule Ginger Beer/Ale
Article ID: 15579
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 308
Times Read: 1,529
RSS Views: 12,224
Author: Treasach [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 22nd. 2013
Times Viewed: 1,529
We didn't have quite enough handmade goodies last year for Yule, so I felt it was necessary to whip something up. I had a bunch of fresh, organic ginger that I couldn't use all of before it dried out, which inspired me to toss together a quick batch of ginger beer for the season. I'm familiar with the theory, but I had never given it a try before.
In the time my journeywoman took to finish one of her tasks, I had completed the entire initial setup. I cleaned and sanitized the reused one-gallon cider jug for my experiment, cut up enough ginger into slices that could fit easily into the jug's mouth, and I added the lemon juice, sugar and water. I know it's common to boil the water and sugar to help reduce wild yeast, but all I had available was bread yeast anyway, so it didn't really matter if I got a few weirdo flavours in, too. By leaving out the step of boiling and cooling the syrup, it completely reduces the prep time and makes this a snap! An investment in beer or ale yeast of course yields a more specific, controlled, and professional result, and you may want to boil the syrup for that...
With the ginger slices, lemon juice, sugar, and enough water to fill it mostly to the top, (but still leave some room for bubbling) , I put the bung on. It releases the gasses as the mixture ferments. If you don't have a bung, a cloth with a rubber band around it will do. It's largely to help it bubble without getting foreign material in the mixture.
Four days later, I filtered out the ginger and left the grouts on the bottom. A funnel with cheesecloth in the spout recovers the most liquid, but takes longer for the gravity to drain everything in. Or you can use the cheesecloth filter over a sieve, which is much quicker, if a bit messier... There were surprisingly fewer grouts than is usual with beer, but the result is still really cloudy. It stands to reason, because bread yeast doesn't flocculate as much as beer or ale yeast, so there are fewer byproducts that fall out, and more therefore stay in suspension.
I poured the result into a large plastic pop bottle since it can handle pressure. I only did one, and left the rest in the jug, just in case this part didn't work out as well as I hoped. I wanted it quickly, so the bottle can be the secondary fermenter almost immediately. I should have waited, though. It was carbonated almost the next day, and I had to keep releasing the pressure to keep it from exploding. (Fortunately, the pop bottles have a lot of give.)
By the time Solstice and my guests arrived, we were able to drink fresh ginger beer 8 days after it was first brewed. It had slightly too many sugary notes and not quite enough ginger zing, but that of course improved with age. After 11 days, all the sugar notes were gone, with a fine zip of ginger. There is a slight yeast note, but only in the nose, which my husband prefers in a beer anyway. The colour was lovely, and very homemade, but it never clarified any further.
All in all, it was a glorious experiment, rated highly successful by all who imbibed. It was largely gone by Solstice, but I saved enough of it to continue to ferment and carbonize in the bottle. In the first week or so, that seems more than long enough for a good fizzle. I served it without chilling.
I have naturally done this since, of course, and it is still just as easy as described. I have used almost any kind of flavouring and nutriment I found in my fridge: apples, grapes, spices.... For ingredients that don't easily fit into a cider jug, or can't be retrieved afterwards, I use a 1-gallon glass jar, the kind restaurants use to get their condiments and pickles in. Wide mouth, enough for at least two full bottles of brew, but small enough so that you won't cry too much if it doesn't work out. Mistakes seem to come from not including enough flavouring, or leaving the batch sit too long or it gets contaminated, or not allowing enough time to ferment in the bottle. These are fairly simple to counter, especially if you keep some notes and dates on each batch in your lab book. Always recommended for the home brewer!
Here's the recipe I used:
1/4 cup fresh organic ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon organic lemon concentrate (juice of one lemon will do)
2 cups organic sugar
1 tablespoon quick rising bread yeast
Enough filtered water to mostly fill to top
Let sit between 1-7 days. Filter. Serve in 1-2 weeks. Bottle a day or two before serving if carbonation is desired.
The lemon is partly for flavour, and partly for nutrient for the yeast. Though there was almost no bubbling over, like there is in beer and ale making, I still left some air in the top for it when I poured in the water. When everything is in, put on the cap of the jug and shake by inversion a few times, just to get the sugar all dissolved. I did that a few times every day or so for the first few days, just to be on the safe side, but then I left it alone so it could grout up. Bung it or cheesecloth the top, and let it sit. I put it by the register to keep it warm, but not too toasty. I filtered it after 4 days, but I could have left it a bit longer. It seemed to be perfect by 2 weeks, and I had no desire to add more sugar to ferment after it had used up all the yeast, since I let it do so in pop bottle instead. No extra sugar!
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Author's Profile: To learn more about Treasach - Click HERE
Other Articles: Treasach has posted 20 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Treasach... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).