Ginger Ale has an enjoyable flavor that is almost recognizable to any tastebuds. The tart fiery flavor of ginger, paired with the citrusy lemon flavor creates the perfect flavor profile for any drink.
We’ve found that letting the citrus rinds sit in any liquid for longer than a couple of hours adds a very bitter taste to your drink. Since our water kefir will go through a secondary fermentation process for about 1-3 days, it’s best to use citrus juice rather than slices to avoid the bitter taste altogether. When serving this drink, add a fresh slice of lemon or ginger root to each glass and get the full effect.
PRIMARY VS SECONDARY FERMENTATION
It’s important to note that brewing homemade water kefir is almost always a two-step fermentation process. Brewing water kefir is only a one-step process for those who prefer unflavored and mostly flat water kefir. Otherwise, the steps consist of a primary fermentation and secondary fermentation.
- Primary Fermentation: The primary fermentation is the first step of the water kefir brewing process. This is where your water kefir grains transform regular sugar water into the tart and slightly sweet water kefir we love. At the end of this stage, you will have finished water kefir, but it will be flat and, depending on the source of sugar used, unflavored.
- Secondary Fermentation: The secondary fermentation is the step where you bottle, carbonate, and flavor your water kefir by the addition of sugar and flavors. This step is essentially adding a bit of sugar/flavor to each airtight bottle and letting it ferment a little longer, allowing the yeast to carbonate the beverage in an airtight environment naturally.
Since this recipe is for the secondary fermentation, to make this recipe, you will need to have water kefir that has finished the primary fermentation and is ready to bottle.
- Water Kefir: You need water kefir that has completed primary fermentation and is ready to bottle and flavor.
- Ginger: You can use fresh or candied ginger. Using candied ginger will result in a fizzy and flavorful kefir.
- Lemon Juice: We’ve found that letting the citrus rinds sit in any liquid for longer than a couple of hours adds a very bitter taste to your drink. It’s best to use citrus juice rather than slices to avoid the bitter taste altogether.
- Honey: The more honey you add the sweeter your drink will turn out.
SECONDARY FERMENTATION PREPARATION
This recipe makes one 16 fluid ounce bottle. Before beginning this recipe, you will want to:
- Reserve your grains from your completed primary fermentation and set them aside. You will use these grains as your starter for your next batch of water kefir.
- With your water kefir grains placed aside, you will have all the finished water kefir separated and ready to bottle. These bottles are the most popular as they are considered the best bottles for water kefir secondary fermentation, but any other airtight bottles made for carbonation will work.