Brewing (chilli) ginger beer

When I first stumbled upon Plants From Seed I was browsing for gifts for Secret Santa. These unique, do-it-yourself gifts seemed to fit the bill pretty well, so I ordered the ‘Make your own ginger beer (with chilli) kit’. I had no idea whether the person I was buying for was into chilli or even ginger beer but I though it would stand out amongst the usual array of Secret Santa presents.

Unfortunately the order didn’t go to plan. At first I received a chilli plant (great for me but not what I ordered) and then the order didn’t arrive in time. A quick trip to the shop for regular beer saved me but was viewed as a bit of a cop out by the rest of the office.

I think the Christmas rush may have led to these issues so I don’t hold a grudge. Eventually it did arrive and I decided to try it myself instead.

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The kits themselves are small, organised with well labelled bags and come with a useful booklet of steps to follow. Step 1 was to make the ginger beer syrup. This required the sterilising of a large jam jar and a week long period of adding sugar and ginger to the mix.

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The recognisable ginger beer smell soon began to rise through the muslin. I must have been doing something right.

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On day eight it was time to mix the syrup with two litres of water and add chilli if you like! The important thing to remember with this kit is the chilli part is optional so if you do give it as a gift the person can decide if they want it or not.

I needed a large container for it to brew in and unfortunately I didn’t have anything big enough so I had to use a very large saucepan which was hard to cover. Four days later it was ready to bottle.

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The hardest part about this is making sure it’s covered properly. I think I made this mistake as it wasn’t too fizzy by the end. But it did taste like ginger beer which was the end game!

Worried about chilli?

If you’re not sure about the chilli, I used all of the sachet – obviously – and yes, there is definitely a kick but it is subtle and complements the flavour of the ginger beer – a refreshing spicy kick. You can add as much of the sachet as you like but I don’t think it is too hot for anyone.

You can buy this kit and more (including chilli plants, a Christmas tree plant, a coffee plant and even a Venus fly trap!) from http://www.plantsfromseed.co.uk/ for £6.99.

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