DIY Ginger Beer

Ginger is one of my favorite flavors. It makes its way into almost all of my cooking and ginger beer makes it into many of the drinks that I enjoy at home. From Moscow Mules to Nor’Easters, ginger beer makes a regular appearance in my drink rotation. I have found several brands that I enjoy, but given the the regularity  with which I use ginger beer and the perpetual presence of ginger in my fridge I wanted to try out a DIY option.

I wanted the ginger to really shine through, so I decided to harvest natural yeast rather than add commercial yeast.

Brewing the ginger beer is a relatively simple process with a much lower ick factor than kombucha, which is the other drink I have fermented.

DIY Ginger Beer

Making this ginger beer is a three step process:

Making the Ginger Bug- DIY Ginger Beer

Ginger bug

1 tbs grated ginger
1 tbs sugar
1 cup filtered water

  1.  Combine all ingredients in a sterilized glass container.
  2. Cover with a strip of a clean t-shirt or cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  3. Place the ginger mixture in a warm, dark place.
  4. Every other day, add another tbs of grated ginger and sugar and return to the warm, dark place.

Grated Ginger- DIY Ginger Beer

Once the ginger mixture begins to bubble, you’re ready for the next step.

6 inch segment of ginger, grated
1 cup of sugar
2 quarts water
Juice of 1.5 lemons
Non-chlorinated or chloraminated water*

1. Bring the water to a rapid boil and add the grated ginger and sugar.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and cool completely.
4. Add lemon juice and the filtered ginger bug.
5. Pour mixture into a sterilized container with a t-shirt or cheese cloth cover and return it to a dark warm place.
6. After 7 days, check the ginger beer every day.

*If your water is chlorinated, you can remove almost all of the chlorine simply by allowing it to sit for 24 hours. Chloramine is a more stable so it requires other chemicals to remove it. MoreBeer! has an excellent article about how to remove chloramine.


1. Once the ginger beer is sufficiently fermented, transfer it into a closed glass container.
2. Allow the ginger beer to accumulate carbonation. Two days was enough for me.

After the ginger beer is to your liking, transfer it to the fridge. It will last about 2 weeks.

My favorite way to use my DIY Ginger Beer is in this Nor’easter.


2 oz. bourbon
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. pure maple syrup
1½ oz. ginger beer

1. Shake all ingredients besides the ginger beer with ice.
2. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Top with ginger beer.