Dave’s Ginger Beer

Like Mama Used to Make – Except Alcoholic


  • 5 gallons water
  • 1 – 1 1/2 lbs. ginger root, coarsely chopped
  • 17 cups sugar
  • 4 lemons, sliced
  • 3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 packet champagne yeast


  1. Boil as much of the water as will fit in your largest pot. Squeeze in lemons and add squeezed bits. Add ginger root and cream of tartar. Add as much sugar as you can if there’s room.
  2. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Put remaining sugar, if any, in 5 gallon plastic pail or similar. Pour water mixture over. Add remaining water to 5 gallons and cool to lukewarm.
  4. Taste – this will approximate the taste of the finished product. If necessary add more ginger or ginger powder.
  5. Dissolve yeast in a cup of the mixture, then stir it back in. Cover and ferment for 7 days at 65-70°F.
  6. Siphon into sterilised bottles (I use 2-litre pop bottles). Cap. Age upright for one week at 60-65°F then store in cool place at 60°F or less.
  7. If necessary release pressure in bottles occasionally to prevent explosions! Take care when opening bottles – can be very lively!!
  8. Drink as is (will be 5-7% alc. by volume). Is also very good, but deadly,mixer for gin on a hot summer’s day.
  9. I added 1 tsp. finely chopped Habenero Peppers to one batch – was excellent taste and good for clearing sinuses!!!
  10. I have been making this for years, many of my friends are now making it too.