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Cocktails/Brews Ginger Beer

ginger beer
(from Godey's Ladies Magazine, edited by L.A. Godey, Sarah J. Hale, 1860)


Per gallon of water...​
1-1/2 oz. ginger well bruised​
1 oz. cream of tartar​
1 lb. loaf-sugar​
1 lemon​
1 tsp. yeast​


One ounce and a half of ginger well bruised, one ounce of cream of tartar, one pound of loaf-sugar, and one lemon to every gallon of water. Put these ingredients into an earthen pan, and pour upon them the water boiling; when cold, add a teaspoonful of yeast to each gallon. Let it stand for twenty-four hours, then skim it. Bottle it, and keep it in a cool place before you drink it.​


ginger beer
Southern Federal Union, Jul. 29, 1862 -- page 1.png
(from from Southern Federal Union newspaper, Milledgeville, Georgia, July 29, 1862)


8 gallons of warm water​
1 gallon New Orleans molasses​
1 small handful of hops, boiled in 1-1/2 gallons of water​
2 large tbsp. good ginger​
4 tsp. good cream tartar​
1-1/2 gallons good yeast​


"I will give you my way of making small beer, that is the right kind of beer, in answer to an inquiry by a subscriber.​
Take 8 gallons of warm water, and one gallon of New Orleans molasses, and a small handful of hops, and boil them in a gallon and half of water, and strain them in the other warm water. Then take two large table-spoonfuls of good ginger, and put it and, mix it right well, and then put in four tea-spoonfuls of good cream tartar. Next put in 1-1/2 gallons of good yeast, and mix it well, and let it stand for six or eight hours, or rather till it has worked a good scum over the top. Take a clean cloth, and wash it in warm water, and wring the water out, and lay it in a colander, and drain carefully. Bottle and cork, and tie up, so that the strings will make a cross on the top of the cork. Set the bottles out in the sun for two hours, and then put in a good cold cellar, or spring-house, and let it get one day old, and then you will have good beer.​
Skim before you strain: also before put the ginger, and molasses, and make the cream tartar, and yeast in the water, make it a little cool.. a little more milk warm, but no warmer, or else you will kill your ingredients.​

Beer Photo by Larry Page, CC2.0
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