A Little Home Brewing Fun for the Kids

by Chef K.T. Murphy

In any family when one person gets excited about something new, everybody gets in on the act. And that is certainly true of children. They love to be active in whatever hobbies mom and dad love to be part of. So if you bowl, the kids want to go and play the video games. If you love Shakespeare in the park, the kids will go and play on the ground nearby. So if you can find a way to give the kids a part of what you are doing, that keeps the family together. Please teach them the science and how to be responsible with alcohol.

That may seem tough with a hobby like home brewing. After all, the process of brewing is pretty involved and there is boiling water and sterile instruments to think of. That kind of thing really isn’t fun for the kids. So if you can find a way to make a “beer” just for them, then they too can enjoy the excitement and feel part of what the adults are doing.

A way to fill this need is to brew up a delicious batch of ginger beer from for the kids. And the nonalcoholic beverage drinkers in the family will love it too! Of course, ginger beer is not real “beer” in the sense of an alcoholic brew although it can be mixed with beer for delightful and very British toddy. But it’s so easy to make that the kids can get involved and they will love the beverage that results almost as much as mom and dad love their home brewed beer.

It’s a good thing to have the procedures, tools and ingredients for your ginger beer all ready to go on brew day because it’s a great surprise to the kids to let them know that they are going to get to make their own beer too! Because the steps for making ginger beer are fast, easy and harmless, the kiddos can have a ball doing it using a very simple recipe and even if they drink it all gone, it’s easy enough to whip up another batch.

The ingredients for ginger beer are not exotic and they can be found at any grocery store. They include…

. Be ready with 8 plastic bottles that will hold a pint and 4 bottles that will hold a quart and some bowls to mix the ginger beer up with.
. Ginger – you can get it fresh at larger grocery stores. Two ouches is enough.
. Cream of tartar – about one teaspoon will do.
. Two lemons sliced.
. A pound of sugar
. An ounce of yeast
. Boil one gallon of water.

Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together. Cut the lemons in big sized rings and combine them in a big bowl with the other ingredients. The only other preparation you need to do besides boiling the water is to crush the ginger so it mixes with the water and other parts of the beer.

Now just chill the mixture to room temperature and add the yeast. Put it in the larger bottles to let it ferment for a couple of days. Once that is done, skim off the residue on top and your ginger tea is ready to enjoy.

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