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Real Ginger Beer Plant

Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:28 pm
by Mark B
I have been reading through a good few of the posts here and cannot so far see any posts about "real ginger beer plant". I have been brewing ginger beer for some seven months now with a "real ginger beer plant"

Some info - What is The Real Ginger Beer Plant?

The Real Ginger Beer Plant is a collection of watery granules; it is an old fashioned novelty that people used to use to ferment ginger and sugar making ginger beer. It also goes by the name of ‘Palestinian, Californian Bees Wine’ or just simply Bees Wine or even Balm of Gilead. Actually the ‘bees’ are merely a certain type of yeast (or rather a mixture of yeasts and bacteria) which has clumping properties – hence its name – Saccharomyces pyriformis.

As I wrote earlier I was just reading through the posts here and see quite a few new recipe possibilities such as nettle champagne :lol:

I also have lots and lots of plant to offer to anyone who lives in the UK, by way of £1. postage stamp and a bubble envelope. Now this stuff would normally cost up to £15 search out the Kefir shop UK, but I have this stuff stored at home in 2 litre bottles and don't want to throw it away. What a waste.

One of the beauties of brewing with GBP is that you don't need to sterilise anything just visual cleanliness, so its great for the kids to experiment with.

Brewing with the GBP is easy and if like me you live in a hard water area the plant double each time you brew. The only snag is you run out of folk to give it to, hence this post.

If you want any more info on the GBP please do ask.

Thanks Mark

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:33 am
by the.fee.fairy
Umm...from everything i've read, Bees Wine is not Ginger Beer.

A Ginger Beer Plant is Ginger, yeast, sugar and water (i think, from memory). Bees Wine is made from a specific yeast, only available from somewhere that i also can't remember, like a bank of yeasts, because its quite rare.

Last time i made ginger beer it all went disastrously wrong anyway...

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:48 am
by Mark B
Yes and what I have if you want to put it that way is the rare bank of yeast, "the Real Ginger Beer Plant" a jelly like crystal that is used to ferment the brew. The name "Beeswine" came from seeing the real ginger beer plant jelly crystals floating up and down in the fermenting bottle as they shed gas. With each brew the plant multiplies and you give a portion to a friend.

What is called one thing by one person is really another thing, so what I am talking about is "a real ginger beer plant".

One of the beauties with brewing with the real ginger beer plant is its hard to get things wrong, you can make a brew that doesn't taste very good, not sweet enough or not strong enough flavour. You perfect your preferred recipe over a few brews or pick one up from someone who's done it already :wink:

The plant is quite hard to kill, it grows well in hard water areas feeding of the minerals in the water.

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:48 am
by witch way?
Having been given a commercial starter, I made ginger beer all last summer just by adding more ginger and sugar, :bom: and then kept dividing it and giving away to friends etc. In the autumn when we stopped drinking it I just put the remaining culture away in the freezer to see if it will re-start this spring. If not, I had intended to just start again with ginger, yeast and sugar. Is it just that easy or am I missing something? w.

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:15 am
by Sky
Mark if I didn't live in NZ I would be asking you for some

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:33 pm
by Mark B
Yes witch way?, its just as easy as you describe and very similar to brewing ginger beer with the sludge type plant your using. I have been keeping my surplus plant in a pop bottle, its really tough stuff. I think people tend to over complicate things and this is ideal because its very easy.

The jelly crystals are the yeast so you just add sugar ginger powder and water.

I've made Elderflower Champagne, Lemonade and Limeade, of course Ginger Beer and Soda water, now considering going out at the weekend to see if the nettle tops have started growing yet Nettle Champagne sounds tasty.

Sky, I posted one lot to a lady in Australia and when it arrived it had turned to water. The customs allowed it through but it was damaged. The second time I posted to Australia I dried it out, that batch arrived safely and rehydrated well. I understand NZ customs are a bit more strict than Australia but in the summer I plan to dry a larger quantity so may be in a position to send some abroad again.

Posted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:15 am
by Sky
Cool well if you do just send me a pm please.

Posted: Sun May 18, 2008 11:04 am
by nemain

I know this is a bit of an old thread to bump, but are the ginger beer plants still on offer?

I bought a 'ginger beer plant' from the Kefir Shop, but I think it's the sludge one: I can't see any evidence of jelly crystals!

Posted: Sun May 18, 2008 3:35 pm
by Mark B
Hi, I sent you a pm.

I still have plenty as the culture grows with every brew.

I've sent some to a few people from the forum now.

Mark :mrgreen:

Posted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:03 pm
by ina
How come I've missed this before? :?

If you still have spare - I'd love to give this a try! I immediately thought of kefir - it must be a similar yeast. (Never really liked kefir, though.)

Could you please pm me with address etc?

Posted: Sun May 18, 2008 6:44 pm
by Mark B
Hi, I think I pm'd you too - but if I didnt pm me and I'll send details.

Its very similar culture to Kefir but without analysis its not possible to tell the difference to what they are selling in the kefir shop. That is apart from mine being a whole lot cheaper and larger quantity :lol:

Anyway cool that a few bods are taking it up.


Ginger Beer

Posted: Sun May 25, 2008 10:17 pm
by broncobob
Had a culture from Mark and brewing ginger beer for first time , going well having bottled first batch , looks good ... Bob.

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:42 am
by nemain
*Is ridiculously excited that hers will be with her soon*

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 8:59 am
by Shirley
Looking forward to hearing all about your first taste Broncobob (Welcome to Ish!!) and Nemain!

I keep meaning to try making my own ginger beer but haven't got even an inch of space at the moment - big declutter in progress though so hopefully will manage at some stage. I love ginger beer!

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:12 am
by Mark B
Hi nemain, I'm off work this week enjoying the rest but will post the GBP Tuesday as soon as the bank holiday is over, didn't want it delayed in the post too long.

Bob, really pleased you're enjoying brewing

This week I am going to pick nettle heads. I will dry them to a crisp then pour boiling water over them to get the flavour out. Then make up a Demijohn with the liquor add sugar and by the end of the week I should have nettle champagne.