Science Tank | Homebrewed Ginger Beer

The cheapest, easiest way on earth to make your own alcohol

Equipment needed: 1 30L plastic bucket, an airlock, some sanitiser. All available for under $35 from your local homebrew store.



Get your biggest kitchen pot. That one you use to make soup. Fill it up with water and bring to the boil.

Grate up 500g of ginger root. Fresh ginger works fine, but I like to roast it in the oven for 20 minutes. It mellows out the spicy kick without sacrificing flavour.

Chuck your grated ginger in with your boiling water. For some optional flavour additions, add a sprinkle of cinnamon, some cloves and vanilla essence. Adding the rind and juice of a couple lemons is also a nice touch.

Boil it all up for about 20 minutes and add 2.5kg of sugar. Once it’s all dissolved in, pour it through a sieve into your bucket. Top the bucket up to the 20L mark with cold water. Sprinkle a sachet of brewer’s yeast on top, put the lid and airlock on, and give it a good shake to give the yeast some oxygen to work with.

Leave in a cupboard for two weeks and watch the yeast magically turn all that sugar into alcohol. By the time it’s done it should be much less sweet, but should have an alcohol content of somewhere around 5.5%. 

Pour the ginger beer into a some sanitised soda bottles. If you want a sweeter drink, add some artificial sweetener. Do not use sugar: the leftover yeast will carbonate and make your drink dangerously fizzy.

Leave about a week or so in the bottles, then guzzle it back with some mates.


Approx cost:

$7 Ginger Root
$4 sugar
$4 brewers yeast
$7 artificial sweetener
Total: $22
Approx Standard drinks: 82.5
Dollars Per Standard: $0.26

This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2017.
Posted 2:52pm Sunday 3rd September 2017 by Swilliam Shakesbeer.