Schoolmade or Homemade Ginger Ale As part of a lesson on cellular respiration and fermentation or for a tasty treat, making ginger ale is a fun, simple, and rewarding experience!
To make 1 Gallon (3.78L) of ginger ale, you will need:
- Chopped Ginger Root – 190g
- Cinnamon Sticks – 1 or 2 (to taste)
- Star Anise – 3 or 4 (to taste)
- Cloves – 3 or 4 (to taste)
- Water – 1G (3.78L)
- Sugar – 440g (or, if you have a hydrometer, to a specific gravity of ~0.03)
- Lactobacteria Starter (cultivated from ginger root, in advance; post coming soon) OR a previous batch of homemade ginger ale (it will contain lactobacteria).
- Bottles capable of withstanding pressure from carbonation.
Combine all ingredients except the Lactobacteria Starter; bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for ~20 minutes. Let the contents cool to room temperature before adding the Lactobacteria Starter.
Let the Lacto Bacteria establish itself for 24 to 48 hours than syphon into bottles that are capable of taking pressure; the lactobacteria will reproduce and consume sugar, expelling carbon dioxide and lactic acid (anaerobic lactic acid fermentation).
Remember, your ginger ale is a living thing: the longer the ginger ale stays bottled the less sugar there will be and the more lactic acid and carbonation it will have.