Naturally Fermented Ginger Ale – Update!

by Meg Cotner on October 19, 2011

ginger ale in a flip top

Today I opened up my fermented ginger ale to see how it turned out. Well… the good: delicious! I love the smooth flavor combination of ginger, lemon, and sweet. It’s really nice.

The (sort of) bad: not very sparkly. But there was a little carbonation, and when I shook the glass and listened to the liquid, I could hear the bubbles effervesce and pop. My thought is that more carbonation can be encouraged by putting it in a more airtight container, a kind of “second fermentation”.

What I ended up doing is transferring the ginger ale from my half gallon container to a smaller glass container with a swing top cap – it’s sitting in a warm place, waiting to sparkle up. Being closed like this should encourage the carbonation. I also have a pint jar full of it, too. I’ll continue to check it each day to see if it develops carbonation. It would be the most amazing ginger ale if it got sparkly!

Like I said, though, it’s delicious right now. I could mix it as is with sparkling water and have something extremely tasty.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

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{ 10 comments }

suzyhomemaker October 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

This sounds great. I love ginger ale. I actually don’t love the fizziness of carbonation, so I would probably really like this recipe.

Meg October 19, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Thanks, Suzy! The key then would be to either use a special fermentation lid that lets the CO2 out but no oxygen in, or perhaps just open it each day to release the carbonation; or maybe even just use a muslin cloth over the opening of the jar the whole time. I’m going to see how this new bottle affects the fizzyness. It’s all a big experiment for me – I love learning about this stuff! Plus I’ll have a delicious beverage no matter what the end result is!

Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen October 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

Glad to see its getting there! I think this will be a wintertime project for me.

Meg October 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I plan to make more fermented things over the winter, too. I also want to do some cheesemaking!

WT October 21, 2011 at 8:30 am

Meg- I am so jealous! We have been talking about making our own ginger ale for months. I think you may have tipped us over the edge! Thanks for a great post!
WT

Meg October 21, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Thanks, WT! It’s been a lot of fun and I am happy to know I have positively influenced you on your road to making ginger ale! Today I tasted the ginger ale I put in the swing top bottle, and it’s definitely starting to fizz up. When I release the bottle top, it makes a little hissing sound, which is very satisfying. I may end up with a lightly carbonated beverage in the end, but that would be ok with me. Next time I’m going to probably ferment in my big jar for a week, and then ferment in the bottle for another week, and see how that goes. I’ll check this current batch again on Wednesday.

It’s so delicious that I highly recommend trying it out. It tastes ridiculously better than conventional ginger ale!

WT October 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

We definitely will. We also found a recipe for root beer made from medicinally beneficial herbs. It turns out you can use roots that are good for you and enjoy an amazing beverage. I love plants!

Maybe we can have a soda off some day.
😉

Suzanne Grey January 27, 2012 at 1:25 am

@Meg

What do you intend to do this coming Spring?

Meg January 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi Suzanne! I plan to sprout some seeds for my garden, and do more sprouting of lentils and beans, to start. I’ll likely continue making cheese. I want to explore more about fermented drinks, so I plan to get my kombucha going, continue my water kefir, and explore whey-based sodas. I’m sure other things will come up, too! I looooove spring veggies, so asparagus can’t come soon enough! :)

Paul August 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Meg, brewers carbonate beer and champagne in a two-stage process. First they do most of the fermenting in a regular fermenter with airlock. Naturally the airlock lets the CO2 escape, just like it’s supposed to do.

Then they transfer the liquid to a second vessel—either a keg or the bottles that it will be stored in. They add a small amount of fermentable stuff to the new vessels (sugar, sometimes, or a small amount of the original liquid that was refrigerated while the rest was fermenting. When they cap the bottle or plug the keg, the gas from the new fermentation is trapped inside and carbonates the liquid.

You have to judge the amount of new fermentables to add, because if you add too much then your bottles will explode from the gas pressure.

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