Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer


In the summer this is a good non-alcoholic thirst quencher for young and old. It may stir a few memories for those of us who grew up in New Zealand with home-brewed ginger beer in the garden shed and got their kicks out of the excitement and danger of opening a bottle left a little too times have changed! It will get fizzier with age, so take care opening it.

homemade ginger beer
Prep Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
14 days
Total Time:
14 days 40 mins
16 servings



  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 2 ½ tablespoons water

  • 9 teaspoons white sugar, divided

  • 9 teaspoons ground ginger, divided

  • 1 ¾ teaspoons brewers' yeast

  • teaspoon brewers' yeast

Ginger Beer:

  • 3 quarts cold water

  • 2 lemons, juiced

  • 3 ¼ cups white sugar

  • 2 ¼ tablespoons white sugar

  • 1 quart boiling water

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger


  1. Combine 1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1 3/4 plus 1/8 teaspoons yeast in a container. Mix together to make the bug. Cover loosely and let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.

  2. "Feed" the bug daily for 7 days by adding 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.

  3. Strain the bug through muslin cloth, pouring the liquid into a separate large container.

  4. Mix the strained liquid with 3 quarts cold water. Add lemon juice to the brew.

  5. Dissolve 3 1/4 cups plus 2 1/4 tablespoons sugar in boiling water; add to the brew. Mix in grated ginger. Bottle the ginger beer. Let stand until fizzy, at least 1 week. Refrigerate before drinking.

Cooks' Notes:

Brewer's yeast is available from home brewing stores. Don't use bread yeast with added dough enhancers.

If you want to keep the bug going for further brews, halve the solid, add 1 1/2 cups plus 2 1/2 tablespoons (400 ml) water and start again. Keep the bug loosely covered in a warm place.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

181 Calories
0g Fat
47g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 181
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 9mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 19mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 45mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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