The Home Lab


At the behest of my illustrious Jamaican barbecue host, I made ginger ale for batches of Dark and Stormy.  Duly skeptical at first, and a little icked-out – yeast is in ginger ale? – I was curious enough to try it.  The link that he had sent me had the overwhelming detail and precision of a science project, down to the kind of grater to use for the ginger.  I could not go astray.  It took me longer to read the instructions than to actually make it.  In short and committed to memory:

-combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4t yeast to an empty, dry 2 liter bottle

-mix 2T grated ginger and the juice of 1 lemon in a measuring cup, add to bottle

-fill bottle with water, leaving an inch at the top

-let sit for 24 to 48 hours


The instructions were emphatic about not using a glass bottle because it could explode due to the buildup of pressure.  In the unfortunate event of a messy explosion, I let it sit in the tub to keep it contained.  The end result was tasty, a far cry from Schwepp’s.  Sweet and spicy, but not quite effervescent, it could have used more than the day that I gave it to ferment.  As quickly as it was made, it was gone shortly thereafter.


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