celebrating 130 years 1884-2014

Ginger Beer

By Chelsea Sugar
Ginger Beer
20 servings
  • 18 reviews

  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep time 48 hrs
  • Cooking time
  • Serves

    Warm water
    2 tsp active dried yeast
    2 tsp Chelsea Raw Sugar
    2 tsp ground ginger

    Ginger beer
    3 cups Chelsea Raw Sugar
    2 tsp cream of tartar
    1L boiling water and
    5L cold water
    Juice of 2 lemons, strained


    Fill a large glass jar ¾ full with warm water. Add the yeast, Chelsea Raw Sugar and ginger. Cover loosely with a lid or tea-towel – do not screw tight or it won’t be able to breathe. Sit in a warm place, such as the kitchen table or similar.  
    Feed your bug every day for seven days with 1 tsp Chelsea Raw Sugar and 1 tsp ground ginger.
    After a week, you are ready to make your first batch of beer.

    Ginger Beer:
    In a large bowl or bucket, put the Chelsea Raw Sugar and cream of tartar, then add the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar before adding the cold water. Get your bug and pour all the liquid (not the sludge in the bottom) into a bucket and add the lemon juice.

    Stir well and then pour into your clean bottles – it makes six 750ml bottles.

    Store in a cool, dark place for two weeks before drinking. Make sure you open the bottle in the kitchen sink as it might overflow. Open the cap bit by bit to allow the air to escape.

    Take the jar with the sludge in it and fill with water to the top. Tip out half or give to a friend so that they can make their own bug. Fill back up to ¾ and feed for another week.

    If you are too busy to make a batch of ginger beer one week, don’t just keep feeding and hope for the best, as your bug won’t survive. Pour it out after a week – as you would if you were making some ginger beer – and follow the above instructions for restoring your bug all over again. 

    Recipe republished from

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Average Rating
(18 reviews)

I loved this recipe and my family did too.

This turned out like booze for me.
The real homemade ginger just ginger and sugar.
100gm sugar
100gm thinly sliced ginger
Boil water disolve sugar, add ginger.
Cover with flannel and secure, in warm shaded place for 7 days . Add couple of tb sugar each day. That's the rest as Chelsea has stated.

Just like my childhood

How much sugar and cream of Tatar do you add to ginger beer before bottling.

CHELASE SUGAR: Hi Phil, add the 3 cups of Chelsea Raw Sugar and 2 tsp Cream of Tartar to the ginger beer batch before bottling. Enjoy!

Great recipe. I used a different one recipe for the bug stage but the recipe for making the ginger beer is great. Just a tip, if you don’t know what to do with leftover bug you can add it to a soup

Very easy, found that water as per recipe was too much. Does this recipe require ‘purging’ daily?
CHELSEA SUGAR: Hi there, no it doesn't :-)

Good recipe, but one litre of water is counted twice. If you make it with 1l boiling and 4l cold, it works and the quantity is right.

Thank You

Really easy! Made in the summer. Ginger bug fizzes a little from time to time but if it's cool it will just bubble occasionally. Managed to keep it going 2 weeks so far. As others have said, there's a problem with the maths, but I left some cold water out and made 4.5 litres. I added vanilla paste, aniseed, and heaps of grated fresh ginger. I used some muscovado sugar as some of the sugar. Made it dark and caramelly. I also only fermented it for 2 days because it's summer and the bottles would have exploded otherwise. I let some of the gas out very carefully every few hours because the bottles were rock hard. It tasted very gingery, slightly beery/yeasty, and slightly sweet.

This was a great recipe to make with children. Very successful. So fun making a ginger beer bug too!

Should " into a bucket and add the lemon juice." be " into the bucket and add the lemon juice."
This recipe does not seem to ever combine the bug liquid with the disolved sugar 6L bucket.

So far so good! But 6l of water doesn’t fit in 6 x 750ml bottles so just get some extra bottles

The maths is all wrong. 5L cold plus 1Lhot =6L
Yet recipe claims to make 6x 750ml (4.5L)
Where does the remaining 1.5L magically disappear? It doesn't, it's left over.
Hence why if you follow the recipe you end up with a weak watered down ginger beer. I make it 3.5L plus 1L hot. Then it is correct

thnx it was yummmmmmmmmy

I used this ginger beer and it turned out great!

This made some very yummy ginger beer!

oh dear, it was not good. It had no ginger flavour at all. It was very fizzy though. won't be recommending

I made this recipe and decided to try it after a week of fermenting and it had already become alcoholic ginger beer. I made this for my family and so now they can't have it and I've made two batches. Please change the name of the recipe or the fermentation time

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