Making Ginger Beer
great warm or cold
About 4 qts
ginger, peeled and sliced
limes (or lemons)
Start with the task that takes the longest, peeling a pound of ginger. I use a metal spoon to scrap the skin of the ginger. It doesn't have to be completely peeled. Those small corners of ginger can be annoying. Just peel about 85% of the skin. Slice your ginger about medium thickness (1/2").
Once peeled put you cleaned (mostly cleaned) ginger in a pot with the 4 quarts of water. Add you r cloves and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to a medium simmer (not too fast and not too slow) for about 1-1.5 hours. This is where you are the judge. What does the liquid taste like after one hour? Maybe you need the simmer to go a little longer? I like the ginger taste very predominate. Maybe you don't. Also remember when you taste the water you will be adding lime (or lemon or both) and cane syrup. You decide.
While you wait zest and juice your citrus. Zesting your citrus is easier as one whole piece. Once you have the flavor of ginger you like, strain and save the liquid. I want you to know now you will be straining your liquid again so keep the strainer close by.
Now take your saved liquid and add your syrup. If you don't have syrup use honey to taste. You shouldn't need more than 255 grams of honey (3/4 of a cup). Let the liquid cool for 30 mins then add both the citrus zest and juice. Get ready because it is time to strain your liquid again. I usually have clean wine bottles around that I use again. Wine bottles are perfect for storing and refrigerating your ginger beer. You can serve it warm or cold but I always refrigerate it.