Additional Recipes

Ginger Beer (Using Ginger Beer Plant)

posted Nov 21, 2010, 9:14 PM by Scott Mansfield   [ updated Sep 29, 2016, 10:21 AM ]

Although we normally think of ginger beer or ale as a soft drink, it was originally an alcoholic beverage consumed as both a refreshment and tonic. Ginger is an extremely healthful herb. It causes the heart to beat more strongly and slowly and can help reduce migraines. It helps remove cholesterol, it’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic and helps alleviate nausea. 
This recipe uses ginger beer plant (GBP), which has nothing biologically to do with ginger beer and is not a plant. Real GBP is a gelatinous goo that’s a Bachanelian love child of yeast and a lacto bateria which was commonly used from the 18th to the early 20th centuries to make ginger beer, meaning we humans had a symbiotic relationship with it as well. Unfortunately, we’ve been lax in our responsibility to this boozy ménage à trois for nearly a century and one of the few remaining places where we can score real GBP is from a UK lab: The site for this lab includes instructions for the care and feeding of GBP, but after a batch or two of the prescribed white sugar soda, you may want to feed your beast something more meaty, like malt.
This recipe makes an amazing and complex ale: Smooth malt up front, followed by a crisp blast of ginger and a mild acidic finish reminiscent of a Belgian lambic.


1 gallon water

6 ounces ginger root, peeled and diced

1 pound malt syrup, unhopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 packet ginger beer plant

7 teaspoons corn sugar

  1. Put the diced ginger in a nylon straining bag, and simmer it in a quart of water for half an hour.
  2. Remove the bag from the water, turn the heat off, and slowly stir in the malt syrup.
  3. When the syrup has dissolved, add the lemon juice to the hot liquid.
  4. Pour the liquid into the primary fermenter, add three quarts of water, and let it cool to room temperature.
  5. Put the ginger beet plant in a nylon hop bag, tie it closed, drop it in the fermenter, snap the fermenter lid on, and attach an airlock.
  6. After a week the beer will finish fermenting. Remove the bag of ginger beer plant, rinse it off and store in in a sealed container in your refrigerator.
  7. Add 7 teaspoons of corn sugar to the beer, and bottle in Champagne-style bottles, beer bottles, or soda bottles.
  8. Wait a minimum of two weeks before sticking in the refrigerator to allow enough time for the beer to be conditioned.


Serving Suggestion: Ginger ale, served cold in a pint glass, makes a refreshing summer drink and pairs well with Asian food.

Chinese Herbal Beer

posted Jun 23, 2010, 11:48 AM by Scott Mansfield   [ updated Sep 27, 2016, 12:19 PM ]

Traditional eastern medicine advises us to regularly ingest natural products to optimize our health; western medicine works to treat our problems once they manifest. A great way to keep on top of your healthful herbal dosing is to put your meds in beer.


What follows are a couple of beer recipes that include Chinese herbal tinctures to optimize health. You can buy the tinctures online.


Er Chen or "Two Aged" Beer - The formula usually has the following herbs which regulate chi and harmonize digestion. Just the thing to have with lunch or dinner:

  • fu ling porio a tree growth
  • zhi gan cao or honey-fried licorice
  • Ban Xia or pinellia
  • Chen Pi or tangerine peel

Xiao Yao San or "Free and Easy Wanderer" Beer - This is a harmonizing formulation soothes the liver and alleviates stress making it fine to drink anytime you want to move that liver chi!

  • Chai Hu or buplureum
  • Dang Gui or angelica
  • Bai Shao Yao or peony
  • Bai Zhu or atractylodis
  • Fu Ling or poria
  • Zhi Gan Cao or licorice
  • Sheng Jiang or ginger
  • Bo He or mint

1 gallon water

1¼ cups (1 pound) lightly hopped malt syrup, pilsner or a brown ale is good

1 packet yeast: ale

7 teaspoons corn sugar

½ cup of Er Chen


¼ cup of Xiao Yao San

1.      Heat the water till it simmers, then slowly stir in the malt syrup.

2.      Pour the hot liquid into the primary fermenter and let it cool to room temperature.

3.      Add the yeast, snap on the fermenter lid, and attach the airlock.

4.      After 1 week, the beer will finish fermenting. Add 7 teaspoons of corn sugar and one of the herbal tinctures.

5.      Bottle in Champagne-style bottles, beer bottles, or soda bottles.

6.      Wait a minimum of 4 weeks to allow the corn sugar to carbonate the beer, the yeast to settle to the bottom, and the flavors to mix.

Serving Suggestion: Serve cold in a pint glass, makes a refreshing summer drink and pairs well with Asian food.


posted Mar 10, 2010, 8:09 PM by Scott Mansfield   [ updated Sep 27, 2016, 12:51 PM ]

Chicha is a Latin American corn beer and has many methods of preparation. Often fruit or fruit juice is added and sometimes the fermenting brew is left exposed to the air so that it develops a sour flavor.
Yeast can’t consume the starch in grains like corn so the starch needs to be broken down into sugars. The traditional way this is done is by chewing the corn until it tastes sweet, the enzymes in the saliva convert the starch to sugar, then taking the masticated glop out of your mouth, forming it into little balls and drying them to be used to brew the beer later. A less spit-intensive method is to sprout (or malt) the grain then cook it (mash) using low heat to convert the sugars. The recipe that follows includes a simple process for this. You can buy the corn in a grocery produce section, particularly in Mexican or Latin American stores. 
1 pound dried maize morrado (purple corn)
1 gallon water
1 pound sugar, piloncillo is best if you can find it
1 pound strawberries
1 packet yeast: ale
7 teaspoons corn sugar
  1. Put the corn in a large bowl and cover it with water. Let it soak for two days.
  2. Rinse the corn, then pour the corn out on a clean towel so the kernels are one layer deep. Roll up the towel.
  3. Put the towel in a large pot and add enough water to soak the towel, but not so much that water is standing in the bottom of the pot.
  4. After four days, unroll the towel. Most of the kernels should have sprouted (see bottom photo) which means some of the starch has been converted to sugar. Rinse the kernels, put them in a blender, two cups at a time, and chop them until they are coarsely ground. Add a cup of water if your blender bogs down. You don’t want corn meal mush; as long as most kernels are split into quarters, that’s fine. Keep track of how much water you use in the blender.
  5. Put the corn in a hop bag and put the bag, along with any water you used in the blender to chop the corn, into a pot. 
  6. Add enough water to the pot so that the total liquid is a gallon.
  7. Stir in the sugar and pour into a slow-cooker that has a warm setting. Mine keeps food at 150 degrees which is perfect. You can also do this in a cooking pot, but use a thermometer to keep the temp consistently at 150 degrees for an hour.
  8. Put the strawberries in another hop bag and place it in the primary fermenter. Pour the hot corn liquid onto the fruit. Put the bag of cooked corn in the fermenter as well.
  9. When the contents of the primary fermenter have cooled to room temperature, add the yeast, and snap the lid on the fermenter.
  10. After a week, remove the bags of corn and strawberries. Snap the lid back on.
  11. After two more days, the chicha should be finished fermenting and much of the sediment will have settled. Add 7 teaspoons of corn sugar and bottle in Champagne-style bottles, beer bottles, or soda bottles.
  12. Wait at least two weeks before drinking this beer. It will still be cloudy at this point, which is fine. 
After a week, the corn kernels will have sprouted.

Limoncello Crema

posted Oct 15, 2009, 8:02 AM by   [ updated Sep 22, 2016, 10:41 AM by Scott Mansfield ]

Limoncello is a wonderful liquid contradiction after an Italian meal: Cold but heady, crisp but sweet. This recipe pushes limoncello into additional dimensions by pairing the tartness of lemon with the richness of milk.  
  • 2 cups vodka
  • zest of 6 lemons
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups milk or half and half   

  • 1. Peel the lemons and scrape the white pith from the peels so that only the zest remains.
    2. Put the zest in a 1-quart canning jar and add the vodka. Screw on the lid and store in a dark place.
    3. After two weeks, strain the beverage through cheesecloth to remove the zest.
    4. Heat the milk and whisk in the sugar.
    5. Refrigerate the milk and sugar mixture. When the milk solution is cold, add it to the limoncello. Leave the jar out for a couple of hours to make sure that the ingredients have mixed. Store in the freezer. Don't worry about how long this will keep; you will drink it long before it could go bad.

    Note: Be careful not to get any lemon juice into the limoncello since it could cause the milk to curdle. 
    Serving Suggestion: Serve very cold in a small glass after an Italian dinner. A desert in itself.

    posted Oct 15, 2009, 7:59 AM by   [ updated Feb 9, 2010, 9:09 PM by Scott Mansfield ]


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