It’s the Great Ginger Beer, Charlie Brown!
Actually, it’s more a case of what would happen if Charlie Brown made this recent batch of ginger beer. I got a rock.
Here’s what I did this time. I made two batches, one using raw ginger (in Tbsp quantities) and one using ground ginger (in tsp quantities) so’s I could do a good taste test comparison. In addition, I tried splitting the starter as described at the end of the recipe (again: here) and making a second batch. I’ve now finished that, bottled it, and left it in the basement.
The first time I made ginger beer, I lost two bottle due to exploding caps, so this time I made a point of going down to the basement every 2 days or so and slowly releasing the pressure (read: gas) inside. Releasing the gas makes the ginger beer angry and it looks like this.
One success: to date there has been no explosions and all the bottles are in my refrigerator where, presumably, the chill in the air will keep the yeast from procreating in an ongoing way. One observation: the powdered batch (see the letter P on the lid?) was much more effervescent than the raw one (or fresh, but labelled with R).
I tasted the two and found that the raw batch was harsher than the last time I made it. The powdered batch was harsher than the current raw batch. After some consideration, I decided that what I meant by “harsh” was “more alcoholic.” Which, incidentally, also answered my lingering question – it’s ginger beer, so is it really alcoholic? Yup, pretty sure. Yeast + sugar, after all…
So what did I do differently? Honestly, I was a bit more lackadaisical about quantities of sugar. I poured slight amounts in starting on day four or so instead of measuring out a teaspoon. I’m inclined to go lighter than heavier on the sugar in the future, just to see. After all, I’m not making ginger beer for booziness.
Hmph. This is what happens when impatient people get bored.
Incidentally, here are side-by-side bottles of ginger beer – plastic distended – and recently purchased club soda (bottle a future ginger beer receptacle). Leave more than 2-3 inches at the top. More like 3-4. Or 5.