Bajoran ale (ginger beer)

Time for another round of drinks! This time we’re off to Bajor, making a drink that is bubbly and tasty - but not very potent. I thought about it and decided that this was a good description of ginger beer - and thus Bajoran ale was created. When Odo was a Solid, he enjoyed this ale because of the bubbles, and spent many hours in quiet contemplation while drinking Bajoran ale. (DS9: Apocalypse Rising). Quark wasn’t so enamoured of it, but of course still continued to sell it - so it clearly had a market (DS9: Emissary).

If you have not done any brewing at home before, this is a good place to start. You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients, and the beer is ready in about 4 days. The result is a refreshing, bubbly drink, which can be enjoyed by itself or mixed in with other drinks. It is quite different to the alcoholic ginger beers available to buy, but is very delicious in its own way. I can see why Odo became such a fan when he was turned into a Solid.

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Replicate your own
(Makes 4 litres)
(Based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for ginger beer)

You will need to start 4-5 days in advance.

100g young ginger, grated fine
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey
400g sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried yeast (see notes, below)
4 litres of sealed, bottled water (in plastic bottles - I used 2, 2litre bottles)

You will also need a number of empty, cleaned plastic soda bottles to store the beer in once it’s ready to drink.

Start by decanting about 1/4 of the water out of the bottle. Using a funnel, add the yeast and the sugar.

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and honey, and then add that via the funnel to the bottle.

Put the cap back on and shake well, until all the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with the remaining water, leaving a 5cm gap at the top of the bottle to allow the gas to escape. Put the caps back on and leave somewhere warm.

Every 12 hours or so, release the caps to allow the gas to escape, and then put the caps back on. You can also feel the bottles and release the caps when the bottles get firm.

After 4 days, taste the beer. If you are happy with it, proceed to the next step. If not, you can add more sugar or more ginger, and leave for a few more days before tasting it again.

Strain the mixture through some cheesecloth, coffee filter or similar to remove the pieces of ginger. Decant or pour the mixture into your cleaned plastic soda bottles and refrigerate. Enjoy those bubbles and think of Odo!

Notes:

  • I made this successfully using standard dried bread yeast, but brewers’ yeast (or even champagne yeast) is probably better if you have some
  • I would strongly suggest using plastic bottles to both brew and then store the beer, as glass bottles may explode
  • This makes a very tart/dry beer - if you like it sweeter, add more sugar.
  • Likewise, this beer is very ginger-y. If you don’t want it too sharp, decrease the amount of ginger
  • Young ginger is best, as it is softer and will grate easier.
  • If you don’t want to make 4 litres, you can easily half the recipe and make 2.
  • As always, the process photos will be up on the Facebook page in a few days. If you want to see photos of each step, head over there to take a look!