I learned how to make my ginger brew from a Jamaican who worked on my solar install crew when I worked in the Cayman Islands, although I don’t follow his traditional bury it in the backyard brewing method. I grew up living off the grid and didn’t acquire a taste for carbonated beverages. When I buy commercially made and available ginger beer (more of a soda), I tend to open it to let the bubbles dissipate before I drink it.
My ginger-turmeric-honey brew is more of a tonic and less of a beer or carbonated beverage, to be regularly sipped or added to water for joy and health. I have over time added my own local twist of using, instead of sugar, beautiful local honey for a healthy, completely local, honey-ginger-turmeric golden brew that regular drinking of it alleviates my chronic pain and is joyful to drink.
Again I don’t follow the old timey traditional Jamacian aging process that was told to me, which is to get drunk, dig a hole in the backyard, bury an earthen jug with a flat stone to cover the top (but not seal). He said the longer it is brewed, the better and that the idea of burying while drunk is that you might forget where you buried it for longer for a better-aged drink.
While it is percolating don’t seal the jar or container as it is a live culture. Keep it in a fridge or a very cool location. If you seal the container and it gets warmed up it will expand too quickly and the container can explode. Don’t ask me how I know this.
I don’t have a recipe as much as guidelines:
- boil water and let sit out over night with the lid off to allow the chlorine to dissipate
- warm back up but not to a boil if using honey. The less it is heated I feel the more of the natural goodness of honey is saved.
- dissolve 1 pound of sugar or honey per gallon of water
- 1 pound of fresh ginger chopped.
- 1 pound of fresh turmeric chopped
- if organically grown, don’t completely wash ginger and turmeric as bacteria is good.
- with the chlorine-free water emulsify in a blender and put back in the warm water
- add yeast or some of the old batch for the good bacteria
- put in a container with an airlock to keep oxygen out and let out the excess “gases”
- when stops bubbling taste and bottle
I used to make a batch in the fridge using a gallon jar that pickles came in. Well washed and covered with a plastic bag held in place with a rubber band or use a balloon with a pinhole. I like mine super strong and sweet. The small batch I would start drinking immediately however the longer you wait the smoother it gets.
Aur Beck has lived completely off-grid for over 35 years. He has traveled with his family through 24 states and 14,000 recorded miles by horse-drawn wagon. Aur is a presenter at The Climate Reality Project, a fellow addict at Oil Addicts Anonymous International and a talk show co-host at WDBX Community Radio for Southern Illinois 91.1 FM. Find him on the Living Off Grid, Really!?!? Facebook page, and read all of Aur's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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