Ginger Beer Plant

Equipment required to make ginger beer

Bottles from Ikea, Muslin, Container large enough to take 8 pints, Lemon,sugar and ginger powder

‘It’s life Jim but not as we know it.’ You may find it hard to believe that the bubbling broth I’ve been tending for the past few weeks is a plant. It’s even harder to explain this to a nine year old. That’s because it resembles a sample you might find in a doctors surgery but don’t let that put you off.

So what qualifies this to be a plant ?  A quick scan of wikipedia will tell you it’s actually ‘a composite organism consisting of a fungus’. I imagine the guys in marketing thought that the word ‘plant’ would be more widely accepted. Put simply the living part is yeast and the good news is that it can be fed on a mixture of ginger, sugar and water to provide an endless supply of ginger beer. I’ve already made a thirst quenchingly good batch but there’s plans to tweak this with the next batch. By then the plant will have doubled in size so I’ll be able to share half of it with one of our lucky readers. I’ll post the residue 1st class in a plastic bag – when it arrives you’ll have to act quick to get it set up and  don’t mistake it for something you might get through the letter box on halloween. Any takers from the UK please comment and leave your email address below. I’ll only do this once so the first to comment wins !

You’ll find the instructions for looking after the ginger beer plant on the attached pdf – ginger beer. Before commenting I suggest you glance over this. Given the rewards for taking care of the ginger beer plant – it should have a pretty good survival rate.

© Daniel Carruthers

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13 thoughts on “Ginger Beer Plant

  • April 18, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Hopefully the drink will taste better than it currently looks! :)

  • April 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    This is a spooky coincidence – I was only talking to a friend this morning (who is about to give me Herman the friendship cake) about the ginger beer plant I had as a kid. I’d love to have some if I haven’t missed out …

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    It’s all yours Jane. Will email you ref. delivery. Enjoy !

  • April 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I have been looking for a plant to feed my husbands ginger habit. Do you still have some available?

  • April 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Hi Karen, unfortunately not. The ginger plant went to Jane -here’s the link to her lovely blog : Perhaps there’s a chance that she might share it with you when it has established a little.

  • May 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks for the Ginger Beer Plant (GBP) recipe! Got some brewing as we speak, I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • May 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

    OOOOh ! Don’t use glass bottles, they could well explode. They look pretty but it is dangerous to use glass bottles. Always use plastic bottles when making ginger beer …. it carries on fermenting in the bottles and glass isn’t made to withstand the pressure. Plastic pop bottles are always marked with the letters PET and are a lot safer. The bottles can withstand a certain amount of pressure (they go rock hard to the touch) when the drink is at the fizzy stage and then put them in the fridge. The plastic bottles will start to go misshapen when the pressure is too much for the bottle (warning you have a bomb on your hands). They will eventually give way, but only because you haven’t been keeping an eye on them.

  • May 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks for the heads up!! Mine are currently in glass Grolsch style bottles (I bottled them two days ago). I’ve got on plastic bottle so I could see how pressurised they are. If I moved it into plastic bottles, would it ruin the fermentation? (as it looses the pressure)

  • August 4, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    This is not a ginger beer plant. The Ginger Beer Plant is a composite organism consisting of two very specific organisms a yeast (Saccharomyces florentinus) and a bacterium (Brevibacterium vermiforme) living together in a kind of self-made gel. If you want to make ginger beer using yeast that’s great but note it isn’t a GBP.

  • August 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Desperately looking for a ginger beer plant. Any advice or where I can get one would be gratefully appreciated.

  • September 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I want to taste the ginger beer plant. Which country sale it?

  • September 28, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Hi Sokhom, you’re probably best to source champagne yeast – you can get this through amazon.

  • December 16, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Jamie’s quite correct. This recipe does not use ‘ginger beer plant’ which is a gel containing a particular yeast together with a specific bacterium. Basically the yeast ferments and the bacterium feeds on the alcohol. Its sometimes called ‘kefir’. But certainly the Enduring Gardeners recipe works fine, but there’ll be more alcohol and less flavour, relatively.

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