Sunday, April 8, 2012
Zesty Probiotic Ginger Ale...By the Gallon!
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.
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.
I DOUBLED THE AMOUNT BECAUSE I MAKE A GALLON AT A TIME. IF YOU ARE MAKING ONLY 2 QUARTS (1/2 GAL), CUT ALL THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS IN HALF:
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.