Saturday, 16 June 2012

How not to make Ginger Beer - Bodrum style.

I've arrived back in Bodrum, as befits the title of this blog, but I seem to have left my brain in the U.K. It may be the sudden onslaught of temperatures in the high 30s or the shock to my system of employment after being gainfully unemployed for 5 months, but I have mislaid my usually super organised self. An example of this scattiness follows: I decided while I was in GB, that I would develop some brewing skills on my return to Turkey, so I bought some cider yeast, camden tablets, a couple of bubble airlocks and a hydrometer and added them to the bacon in my case.  As I passed through Bodrum on my way back to the village, I picked up some lemons and fresh ginger and popped in to say hello to my daughter.  What's better than home-made ginger beer on a hot day? (Lots of things, but I have always had a not so secret desire to be one of the Famous Five and I want an excuse to use the word "lashings"). Back in my village kitchen I had my preserving pan at the ready, the bubble locks fitted into 5 litre water bottles, the sugar weighed out and..... no ginger - I'd left it in Bodrum. - duh! Determined to brew something, I substituted dry ginger powder and carried on.

2 tblsp dry ginger
400g sugar
Juice and rind of 2 lemons
I added 4 litres of water to the above and boiled it together for 5 minutes.

I then read the instructions on the yeast which said I had to wait until the liquid was 21 degrees before I added 1 teaspoon full to the pan.  When the outside temperature is 37 degrees and the kitchen is 28 C, how do I get my ginger mixture down to 21 degrees?  I'll tell you how not to do it. Don't put it in on the top step of your swimming pool.  In my defense, I've never been very good a physics and assumed that a heavy pan, full of 4 litres of water would sink down to the step.  It doesn't, it floats.  Luckily it didn't tip over.  In the end, I gave up and put the yeast in at 30 degrees.  

After 24 hours fermenting, the beer is in plastic cola bottles and you and I will have to wait until the next post to find out if it's drinkable. 


  1. "Lashings?" So if you didn't have the fresh ginger, can you still use the word? We're waiting anxiously for a report.

  2. Pity we can't help you with the experimental taste test.

    1. Yes it is a pity - I bet it will be good with gin or vodka.

  3. I'm incredibly impressed at the inventiveness of the method...hope it works out. J

  4. The bottles are now in the fridge . Ready to be opened at lunch time. Fingers crossed.