VVP: Matt’s Authentic Ginger Brew

10 May
Matt's Authentic Ginger Brew It's definitely got some bite and tingle!

Matt’s Authentic Ginger Brew
It’s definitely got some bite and tingle!

My grandma Aggie first introduced me to home sodamaking.  With my help (but moreso my youthful curiosity), she prepared Root Beer for our midsummer family reunions.  I vividly remember the sight and smell of Ramblin’ root beer extract running down a pile of sugar at the bottom of the 5-gallon bucket where she mixed the brew. She bottled in green glass with old-school press-on steel caps (non-twist-off).  I helped haul the bottles out to the lawn to warm in the sun.  After a few days we’d sample one and then move them down to the fridge in the basement to wait for reunion day.

Grandma Aggie with our #1 in 2007, a week before losing her battle with cancer.

Grandma Aggie with our #1 in 2007, a week before losing her battle with cancer.

So, this recipe is a simpler ginger variant of that concept. Not too difficult but I hope you’ll find the results as refreshing and delightful as I do.

Matt’s Authentic Ginger Brew

Ingredients (per 2L bottle)

3 oz of Fresh ginger

1 to 1.5  Lemons (5-6 oz juice)

1 Cup Sugar (experience will help you tweak the sweetness, the yeast consumes a lot of it in the carbonation process)

Water – Approx. 2 liters, lukewarm (80-100 F)

¼ tsp Red Star Yeast (or equal – but not instant or rapid-rise yeast)


Lemon Juicer (any type should do)

Electric Juicer

Large funnel that fits into a 2L bottle

Measuring cups/spoons.

2L Plastic Bottle(s) (sanitized with Hydrogen Peroxide (or bleach) then triple-rinsed with hot water)

Gentle heat source (Hot water heater, Dehydrator)



  1. Juice the Ginger in the electric Juicer.  (Passing it through multiple times helps maximize the squeeze).
  2. Squeeze the lemons.
  3. Add ginger and lemon juices to 2 L Bottle.
  4. Insert funnel and add sugar, shaking if necessary.
  5. Fill the bottle with water (leaving about 1” of headspace).
  6. Add Yeast.
  7. Cap and Shake until all sugar is dissolved.
  8. Lay bottles down in a warm location (I put mine on the Hot Water Heater) but you can use a dehydrator set to about 95F.
  9. Check bottles at least daily (squeeze to test firmness) – usually it’s ready in 24-48 hours.
  10. Refrigerate until consumption when bottles are pressurized (firm to the squeeze). If left out, bottles will continue to pressurize and that’s not good. See Caution below.

NOTE: The heat helps the yeast get started and work faster.  I’ve achieved decent carbonation in as little as 18 hours.  Store in a cooler place if you don’t want the pressure to build too fast.

CAUTION: Beware of overpressurization & bursting bottles! Based on my previous Rocket Launch testing, these bottles can handle over 150 PSI. But if left for too long, the trapped carbon dioxide will exceed this.  The plastic can stretch slowly and possibly burst.  If the bottle gets taller or stretch marks appear in the plastic at the neck, be very careful in handling the bottles.  Pressure can be relieved by slowly opening the cap…but beware of the foam.

NOTE: When I mixed the lemon and ginger juice, the solution became slightly pink.  I am not sure if this affected the flavor but taste may be slightly different if the juices are added to the water separately.

Thanks for coming!!

VVP Go Back VVP Go Forward VVP Home

Other sources/info:

MAKING GINGER ALE AT HOME  by David B. Fankhauser, Ph.D.



25 Responses to “VVP: Matt’s Authentic Ginger Brew”

  1. The Little Foxes May 11, 2013 at 12:13 am #

    So creative and fresh! I adore ginger soda and could totally see myself gettin’ down with a glass (or a quart) of this. Thanks!

  2. lucylox May 11, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Total refreshment 🙂

  3. alexanderwillowharvey May 11, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    I am a big ginger fan! Will be trying this (if I can)

  4. Sophie33 May 11, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    A lovely & tasty drink creation for the VVP!!! MMMMMMM! I am also participating in the dessert section! 🙂 Greets from a foodie from Belgium!

  5. Poppy May 11, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    Very refreshing!

  6. An Unrefined Vegan May 11, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    I’ve been looking forward to this recipe! Thank you for joining the Potluck, Matt!

  7. Somer May 11, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Yes! I’ve been waiting for ages for this recipe (kept hearing about it OVER and OVER)! Nicely done Matt, can’t wait to brew it up!

  8. annesturetucker May 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    A must try recipe – it looks and sounds SO fresh and delicious!

  9. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) May 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Nice! I love this. I just made homemade ginger ale recently, but only by making my own ginger lime syrup + adding soda water; I wasn’t ambitious enough to try out this method with yeast… I’d love to someday, though. Thanks for all of your tips! 🙂

  10. Brittany May 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I have been dying to make a ginger brew!! This sounds amazing.

  11. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} May 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    My dad used to make homemade soda when I was growing up! This looks like a perfect drink for VVP (and summer!) Thanks for sharing.

  12. sugarcoatedvegan May 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    This sounds so good and yummy! I love ginger! Happy VVP~

    – alexis

  13. Maggie Muggins May 12, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I’ve always wanted to try this! I’ve only ever tried homemade ginger brew once but it was waaaaay better then any storebought soda I ever had.

  14. spinachrevolution May 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

    Very nice. I may have to try this brew with a shot of brandy ;D Thank you for the recipe.

  15. sweetveg May 12, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Yum! Thank you for sharing this recipe and the photo and story about your grandmother. It was lovely to hear about your connection with her.

  16. vixbakes May 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Hmm this has definitely captured my imagination! I must give your recipe a try. Thanks!
    x Vix
    vixbakes.com :: vegan baking + raw desserts

  17. Keely @ Gormandize May 20, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    This looks so delicious! I used to make my own ginger beer. But I found it very off putting because I knew exactly how much sugar I was pouring into it – so I never felt like drinking it because I knew how much sugar was in it. I think I might give it another go though 🙂

  18. conniefletch June 1, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Does it matter what kind of sugar you use? I usually use only sucanat. Will that work?

    • Amanda June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      I don’t think so. I would probably avoid honey (for it’s anti-bacterial properties) and any non-sugar substitute. Mostly you just need something for the yeast to eat. I think sucanat would give it a richer and maybe deeper flavor, so that sounds great. Let me know how it goes.

  19. Susmitha - Veganosaurus June 4, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Wow this looks delicious! I can almost taste the gingery bubbles. 🙂 Congrats on winning the beverages category.

    • Amanda June 5, 2013 at 10:32 am #



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