1 – 2″ piece of fresh ginger root, minced, adjust this to taste.
1/2 c organic sugar or rapadura sugar (if using plain sugar add 1 T molasses for flavor and minerals)
1/2 c fresh lemon or lime juice
1/2 t sea salt or himalayan salt
8 c filtered (chlorine free) water
1/2 c homemade ginger bug (or can use 1/4 c whey for a faster recipe though the flavor won’t be quite as good)
Make a “wort” for your ginger ale by placing 3 c water, minced ginger root, sugar (and molasses if needed) and salt in a saucepan and bringing to a boil. Simmer the mix for about 5 min until sugar is dissolved and mix starts to smell like ginger. Remove from heat and add additional water. This should cool it but if not, allow to cool to room temp before moving to the next step. Add fresh lemon or lime juice and ginger bug (or whey). Transfer to a 2 qt glass mason jar with a tight fitting (air-tight) lid. Stir well and put lid on. Leave on the counter for 2 – 3 days until carbonated and transfer to the fridge where it will last indefinitely. Watch this step carefully. Using whey will cause it to ferment more quickly and it will take less time. It should be bubbling and should “hiss” like a soda when the lid is removed. This is very temp dependent and the mix may need to be burped or stirred during this fermentation time on the counter. As with any traditional fermented drink, it is more of an art than a science as it depends on the strength of your culture, the temp of your house and the sugar used. The final mix should smell of ginger and slightly of yeast/fermentation and should be fizzy. Watch carefully that it doesn’t become too carbonated as this will cause too much pressure and may result in an exploding jar! The mix can be strained and transferred to Grolsch style bottles before putting in the fridge. Strain before drinking. Enjoy!