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Anyone have a good ginger beer plant that they would share?

I've been asked to make some GB for Mrs C after tasting Mikes from Brewers Coop at the xmas do.

I am putting down an alcohol free one shortly using a kit and Bryans easy carbonating method but I'd be keen to have a go at making them from scratch and having a look at them using a 'bug' or ginger beer plant.  Apparently its better to use one that is mature and tried and tested...  A bit like sourdough by the looks.

Happy to cover cost of postage and your time of course

L.

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I've had a fair amount of success with the recipe below. Its not a proper GBP but tastes pretty damn good. Every time I make it I'm appealed by the amount of sugar but then I will try a Bunderburg or something and those commercial ones are so, so much sweeter. With a stir plate and keg I double the quantity and can compress the schedule into 3 days feeding 2-3 times a day (on stir plate) and 4 days naturally carbonating (in keg at 18 degrees) and be drinking within a week.

Bonus with kegging, other than how easy it is, is it goes in the serving fridge at its prime and doesn't eventually become dried out bottle bombs. I remember making it as a kid and after a while in the bottle, the only way to open a bottle was to put it in a sink and crack the lid just enough to get a slight hiss then come back in 10 and crack it a little more then in another 10 if you were lucky you could open the lid and not have a fountain.

Bug
Warm water
2 tsp active dried yeast
2 tsp raw sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
1. Fill a large glass jar (I used an Agee preserving jar), ¾ full with warm water. Add the yeast, sugar and ginger. Cover loosely with a lid or tea-towel – do not screw tight or it won’t be able to breathe. Sit in a warm place, such as the kitchen table or similar.
2. Feed your bug every day for seven days with 1 tsp raw sugar and 1 tsp ground ginger.
3. After a week, you are ready to make your first batch of beer.

Ginger beer
3 cups raw sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1L boiling water and
5L cold water
Juice of 2 lemons, strained
1. In a large bowl or bucket, put the sugar and cream of tartar, then add the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar before adding the cold water. Get your bug and pour all the liquid, strain solids through a bit of cloth liquids into beer solids to start new bug  into a bucket and add the lemon juice.
2. Stir well and then pour into your clean bottles – it makes six 750ml bottles.
3. Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks before drinking. Make sure you open the bottle in the kitchen sink as it might overflow. Open the cap bit by
bit to allow the air to escape.

RESTORE AND REUSE
Take the jar with the sludge in it and fill with water to the top. Tip out half or give to a friend so that they can make their own bug. Fill back up to ¾ and feed for another week.

I also read some where that a kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is more or less the same combination of bacteria and yeast as a proper GBP. In my experience the SCOBY has too much bacteria which makes the product too sour for what I would consider right for ginger beer but I've been thinking about trying to give a SCOBY and environment that is more favorable to yeast growth and seeing how that goes. With sourdough the environment plays a big part in the balance, the yeast multiply faster and the bacteria like more moisture so a dry frequently split and fed culture is not very sour at all but add a little more water and leave it a few days and it sours up really quick. I haven't quite figured out the SCOBY equivalent of dry and frequently fed sourdough.

hmm, all sounds good, however i would still prefer to start with some real ginger beer plant. so if anyone reads this who would like to share please send me a message. thanks

I got one from a place back in the UK. They were OK to send it, and it survived the postage OK. However, I screwed up the ferment so the output wasn't up to much.

http://gingerbeerplant.net/ was where I got mine from. Looked disturbingly like wallpaper paste. It's a SCOBY of sorts.

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