At Potato Head, we ferment our leftover ginger, turmeric and galangal skins into lightly carbonated root beers. Here’s how we do it.
If you’re riding the health train at the moment, like many of us are, chances are you’re cooking with roots and rhizomes – the gingers and galangals that bring heat to the body, fight inflammation and help curb illness. With roots come scraps. You could throw them in the compost, or you could do what we do and ferment them into an earthy, zingy, naturally carbonated drink.
“You can use any type of ginger basically,” says our head bartender Hary Wahyudi, “but I recommend using red ginger as it produces a better result in terms of colour. You can also use turmeric or temulawak skins.”
This recipe is as simple as they come – just throw the ingredients in an airtight jar and wait for the magic to happen. “It takes five to seven days to ferment,” says Wahyudi. “But it’s worth every minute of the wait.”
Here are the recipes.
Red Ginger Beer
200 g red ginger skins leftover from cooking or making djamu (3-4 cups)
100 g red ginger, finely sliced (2 cups)
½ cup cane sugar (100g)
1 L filtered water
Wash and clean leftover skins. Cut red ginger into fine slices and wash. Combine all ingredients in an airtight jar or container. Cover the top with a clean cloth and seal. Store for 5 -7 days at room temperature and stir daily – the longer you ferment it, the stronger the flavour.
Open on day 5 to 7, depending on how punchy you want it, and strain the liquid into an airtight bottle. Let it sit for another 6 hours at room temperature until it starts to carbonate, then move it into the fridge. Once chilled, pour it over ice and enjoy.
** For aromatic ginger root beer, just substitute the 200g red ginger skins for 200g aromatic ginger skins and follow the same method.
– Handle with care. The liquid can explode if you don’t place it in the fridge when the fermentation process is complete.
– Aromatic ginger is also known as kencur or lesser galangal.
– Red ginger can be substituted with ordinary ginger.
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