March 13, 2017

How to Make Naturally-Carbonated Ginger Ale


How to make naturally-fermented ginger ale

I used to be addicted to a major brand of cola. I've been "clean" for 31 days now. Not that I'm counting or anything.




That might not sound like much unless you too have been addicted to cola. If you are/were, you know how hard it is to give it up.

In the past I'd tried to stop drinking cola at home but thought I could still drink it when we went out to eat. I know now that isn't possible, at least for me. I had to do it cold turkey. And so far I've been successful. But oh, how I miss those carbonated bubbles.

This ginger ale is naturally carbonated with lots of fizz!

I never managed to get much carbonation in my attempts to brew kombucha, but my natural, homemade ginger ale has never failed to have a fair bit of fizz. So this weekend I made a batch of ginger ale that I can sip on when I need "bubbles." (Am I strange to crave those bubbles? Maybe. I don't know of anyone else who says that's the part they miss about soft drinks.)

Soft drinks actually began as medicinal drinks to cure ailments such as indigestion, headaches and psychological disorders. Eventually those non-FDA-approved "medicinal" ingredients had to be removed from the drinks, but flavored, carbonated beverages continued to gain popularity. Nowadays commercial soft drinks are made from a list of chemicals that I can't even pronounce, with nothing good in them at all. I have no desire to pour these chemical brews down my throat any more!

Ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and that it can help digestion, reduce nausea, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, fight the flu and colds, and can boost the immune system.

Ginger ale is simply ginger, filtered water, sugar and lemon juice. Yes, it does contain sugar, but the amount compared to a can of cola is much, much lower. The drink is then fermented and naturally carbonated.

Although I don't use a lot of plastic in the kitchen anymore, this method of making ginger ale uses a 2-liter plastic bottle so you can test the amount of fermentation without worrying about the bottle exploding on your counter.

Ginger Ale

2 inches of fresh ginger
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup filtered water

Grate the ginger and add to the filtered water and sugar.

Grate the ginger as fine as possible. Add ginger and sugar to the water in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for an hour.

Strain the ginger tea and let cool to room temperature

Pour through a fine cloth set over a bowl (I use clothespins to attach a clean handkerchief to my canning funnel), and then squeeze the cloth well to release all the juice. Add the pulp to your compost pile. Let the "tea" cool to room temperature.

Squeeze the ginger to release all the juice
The spent ginger can be added to the compost pile.


Pour the liquid into the plastic bottle, using a funnel. Add:
7 cups filtered water
1/8 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Put the cap on the bottle, shake gently and leave at room temperature for 48 hours. Check the bottle by squeezing; if there isn't any give to the bottle, you might need to refrigerate before 48 hours. Open the bottle to check the amount of carbonation and refrigerate when it has "enough." You can store the bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but open the bottle each day to let out excess carbonation.

Glass of bubbly ginger ale

My bottle was ready a little before the usual 48 hours; the plastic bottle was extremely tight and full with no give when I tried to squeeze it. When I took the top off {carefully} I was rewarded by a huge "whoosh" and lots and lots of bubbles! It went into the refrigerator and I've had a small glass of bubbly ginger ale almost each day at lunch time.

Homemade ginger ale should be consumed within two weeks. Check the bottle daily and "burp" it if the plastic doesn't give at all when you try to squeeze it.

Success once again! If you like bubbles, try making this naturally-fermented ginger ale.




This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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36 comments:

  1. Funny you should post this today! You are not alone craving bubbles. Just today I was wishing I had something carbonated. I don't drink coke very often and don't have it around. I was thinking of getting some sparkling wTer. Maybe I will try this. Thanks!

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    1. Nan, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. This is really good and mine is always very fizzy.

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  2. I like 7up...helps my tummy, this just may be what I need!

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    1. It does settle an upset stomach, and it tastes good. Different from 7Up but still delicious. Hubby says he can taste the lemon but I only taste the ginger. Why not give it a try? It's easy!

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  3. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Thanks for this recipe. We have a Soda Stream which we use for plain carbonated water. I am thinking of using the 'tea' part of your recipe to make ginger ale. I can just add some of it to my water after I carbonate it. yum!!

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    Replies
    1. That sounds delicious - and fast!

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  4. Carlinda11:49 AM

    What type of yeast do you use? Thanks for sharing, looks super fun to try!!

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    Replies
    1. I keep a jar of Red Star yeast in the refrigerator for making bread. I used a pinch of that.

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  5. What kind of yeast do you use?

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    Replies
    1. Red star bread yeast.

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  6. How very interesting. I'm not much of a pop drinker (I tend to love very sweet iced tea) but this sounds like a great alternative.

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    1. This isn't overly sweet but it's very good. :-)

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  7. Replies
    1. It's delicious, Bacheca.

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  8. Anonymous1:51 PM

    Thank you for this. I, too, was a huge coca cola drinker but stopped about 10 years ago because of all of the toxic ingredients in it. I did find a recipe for a similar tasting drink, but it has about 200 ingredients in it to get that cola taste!!! ( all organic, natural ingredients, though). This looks MUCH simpler!!!
    Carol L

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    1. Definitely simpler than that, Carol!

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  9. This looks so yum. What a lovely idea, and I bet it tastes amazing.

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  10. I use lime instead of lemon and it tastes more like ginger ale.

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    1. That really sounds good. I love lime juice. Thank you.

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  11. You may have just helped finish my struggle to kick the soda habit! I have cut back a lot but still haven't quit it completely! I'll be giving this a try! Thanks for sharing on the Homesteader Hop!

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    1. I sincerely hope it helps you too, Staci!

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  12. This sounds WONDERFUL!! I never knew ginger ale was naturally carbonated! It was my Daddy's favorite drink, now that I've learned this I wonder if he loved it cause his mom made it on their homestead when he was a kid!

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    1. What a wonderful thought, Michelle. It could be!

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  13. Looks great! Hubby loves ginger ale and was looking over my shoulder while I was reading so now he wants to make it! lol

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  14. I'm going to make this tomorrow and hide it to surprise my husband! He loves old fashioned ginger ail, but complains that the regular stuff is too sweet. He will love this! Thanks!

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    1. That's so sweet of you, Anne. He'll love it!

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  15. I am DEFINITELY making this! Thank you so much for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see more this Wednesday :-)

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    1. I hope you love it as much as I do, Kelly!

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  16. I love ginger beer/ale and really must make some again ... such an easy way to get fizzy drinks without resorting to buying overly sweet stuff in plastic bottles! #WasteLessWednesday

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    1. It certainly is easy, that's for sure, and it tastes so good.

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  17. There is something so wonderful about bubbles - and I'm so glad you shared this post on how to make them naturally with us at Hearth and Soul, Kathi. Scheduled to share on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page. Your Ginger Ale sounds delicious!

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    1. Bubbles and fizz, that's what it's all about! :-) Thank you so much for sharing, April.

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  18. This looks like a great idea! I definitely want to try it. I'm wondering if it tastes more like "Vernors", which we have in Michigan, or like "Schweppe's" ginger ale, which is a lighter flavor than Vernors? I will be trying it with lime juice, as someone posted, hoping that it is similar to our favorite Vernors flavor. :-)

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    1. I've never tried Vernors and my last taste of Schweppe's was a dozen or so years ago, so I really can't say. Let me know after you taste it!

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