Lockdown Ginger Ales/Beers

(5L, 7.5% ABV)


About this Recipe

Ginger Ales are very fun and easy to make. Most of us are very familiar with the non alcoholic version “Gemmer”, it is normally brewed by elderly women at weddings and funerals. Is a nostalgic drink. In some townships the alcoholic version is called “Skelm Gemmer”, the naughty cousin of the sweet weddings and funeral attendee. Pair with: Hearty beef stew, Oxtail, Mogodu, Briyani, Samp and beans or any curry dish



  • 300g of fresh ginger ( you may use 150g ground ginger)
  • 1X 500mL bottle of 100% Lemon Juice
  • Zest of 2-4 lemons or limes
  • Three cloves(optional)
  • One cinnamon stick(optional) 750g
  • Brown Sugar (you can use caramel or white sugar) 5.5L of water



  • One packet of Brewer’s yeast


  1. Rinse ginger and citrus fruit (lemon or lime) thoroughly
  2. Peel ginger and make sure it is finely chopped, ideally make a paste using a food processor/blender and adding a little bit of water, you can also add the lemon/lime zest
  3. Add all ingredients apart from the yeast into a large pot and 3L of water
  4. Stir and bring to a boil for 30mins
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature
  6. Boil remaining 2.5 litres while waiting
  7. Strain concentrate into fermentation Bucket
  8. top up with cold, pre-boiled water to make 5L
  9. Add 1 packet of brewer’s yeast
  10. Cover the fermentation bucket but allow carbon dioxide gas being produced during fermentation to escape.
  11. Allow to ferment for 7 days in ambient temperature, ferment for longer until fermentation is done, make use of a hydrometer if you have one but you will know it by tasting the beer after the seven days, it will taste much drier than the initial phase and the “bubble activity’” would have reduced. NB a hydrometer will give you more accurate reading however if kept at ambient temperatures, primary fermentation should be done in seven days.
  12. Siphon or transfer the beer into a second fermentation vessel (bucket) in order to separate beer from yeast, make sure that the second bucket is clean and sanitized.
  13. After two to three days back sweeten for taste and carbonation then bottle and store in fridge
  14. Enjoy responsibly!