The Weston A. Price Way

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Zesty Probiotic Ginger Ale...By the Gallon!

If you've been around for awhile, you know of my infatuation with tibicos.

Well, I've been experimenting in my kitchen again...and I think that's a good thing for you, especially if you like ginger ale. My husband loves ginger ale. He also has stomach issues from time to time, (much less than in the past!), and ginger ale, especially when made with real ginger, is known for its stomach-quieting qualities. So, I went on a quest.

There are other ways to make ginger ale. There are also ways to make it's cousin, 'ginger beer'...I don't think they're any different as far as alcohol content goes, at least not when not over-fermented. One way calls for creating your own 'ginger-scoby', something I want to try but I'm not ready yet...Still, the instructions in Nourishing Traditions look relatively easy. I found reputable real fooders with other recipes, too.

But I wanted to use things on hand and things I am already comfortable with using, and I wanted to make a ginger-ale with heat, like the ones found in Appalachain Mountain roadside stores and The Fat Canary food specialty shop in nearby Williamsburg, VA. 

Enter my dear friend, Tibicos.

To do:

If you've never made tibicos/water kefir/probiotic soda, you will need to source some grains first, then brew the first brew according to instructions given HERE.


To the second brew, after removing tibicos grains, add:
2 C. finely chopped ginger root
1 C. filtered water
1/2 C. Apple Juice
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/4 C. Lime Juice (Only lemon, only lime, or a combination of both equalling 1/2 C is fine.)
1/2-1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional, for heat)
4 Tbs. Muscavado Sugar*

*Yes, I added more sugar here because usually, I use 4 Cups of Organic Juice, which has sugar in it, (which is still acted upon by the residual tibicos left in the beverage even after removal of the grains.) Lemon and Lime juices have far less sugar in them. Notice I did retain just a little apple juice. I don't think the taste is noticeable in the final product. You do NOT have to add sugar, or you can add less, but I am shooting for a specific taste. Also remember, that the longer the beverage is allowed to ferment, the less sweet it will be because the sugar is converted to beneficial acid. This is the same for both the first AND second ferment.

Once the above ingredients are added to the second ferment, cover the vessel's mouth with plastic wrap, then screw on, snap on, etc, the air-tight seal and set the vessel back in it's fermenting spot for a day.
(I have found a new and wonderful 'warm spot'...the top of my water heater, which is in a closet in my kitchen. It warms my ferments so very nicely!) If you are bottling, you may be able to check in only six or eight hours...Remember, it's according to your individual tastes...If you want to keep more sweet taste, ferment less time. If you want less sugar taste, add less at the beginning of the ferment/ferment longer.

(Not too long, friends...we're keeping it healthy to our bodies and okay for children! If it starts tasting vinegary, you probably will like it less, and your children definitely will. It is NOT bad for you in the vinegary fact, some use it mixed with oil for salads when it reaches this state, which is an optimal way to put it to use!)

Once there is even a little bit of fizz, the beverage can be strained (there may be some residual cayenne pepper in it), bottled and set on the counter until the next day to get optimum fizzies.

I used a half teaspoon crushed cayenne and even though it gave warmness to the back of the throat, I may add a full teaspoon the next time around.

We are really enjoying ours, I hope you enjoy yours, too.

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