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Thinking of Making Ginger Beer

For those who are aware of my new obsession with Ginger Beer, it won't come as a surprise that I'm seriously considering trying to make my own.

I happen to own an autographed copy of John Hull Brown's "Early American Beverages". It's a wonderful peek into the beverage arts of the 17th-19th centuries. So before I do an internet search for Ginger Beer recipes and techniques, I decide to find out how they did it in the 1800's. On pages 42 & 43 I find nine different recipes for Ginger Beer.

I've listed them by name here, along with the original publication where Mr. Brown's research found them.

ENGLISH GINGER BEER - The Young Housekeeper's Friend, 1846
GAS BEER, PATENT - Dr. Chase's Recipes, 1869
GINGER BEER - Family Receipt Book, 1819
GINGER BEER - Kitchen Directory, 1846
GINGER BEER - Dr. Chase's Recipes, 1869
GINGER BEER (QUICKLY MADE) - The Way to Live Well, 1849
GINGER BEER, BOTTLED - Practical Housewife, 1860
GINGER BEER, SIMPLE - Beecher's Receipt Book, 1857
GINGER BEER, SUPERIOR - Beecher's Receipt Book, 1857

They are amusing to read, but the one I may actually try is the fifth on the list, Ginger Beer (Quickly Made) from The Way to Live Well, 1849.

Here is the recipe, word-for-word as printed:

A gallon of boiling water is poured over three quarters of a pound of loaf sugar, one ounce of ginger, and the peel of one lemon; when milk-warm, the juice of the lemon and a spoonful of yeast are added. It should be made in the evening, and bottled next morning, in stone bottles, and the cork tied down with twine.
Good brown sugar will answer, and the lemon may be omitted if cheapness is required.

Does anyone know the body temperature of a milking cow?

Post Script:
OK, I just did my online search for modern recipes that I can understand. Here is the one I'm planning to used... Love the website it's on, by the way.


Comments (1)

I want to hear how it turns out. I've been following a couple blogs that have been making home made soda. They purchased one of those Penguin carbonators. I think one of them made ginger beer or ale and use the Penguin to carbinate. It sounded fun. I was considering this recipe.


Here's the post about Ginger Ale using the carbonator


Deborah responds: Thanks for the links, Marta. I'll check them out!

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