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Ginger Beer


Makes about 1 gallon/4.5 litres
2 lemons
1¼lb/550g/3 cups granulated sugar
1oz/25g piece fresh ginger root, peeled and bruised
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 gallon/4.5 litres boiling water
1 tablespoon compressed fresh yeast


Remove the yellow outer rinds of the lemons as thinly as possible. Discard all the white pith. Cut the fruit into thin slices, removing the pops. Put the sliced lemon and rind into a non-metallic bowl with the sugar, ginger and cream of tartar. Pour on the boiling water, and leave until it has cooled to blood heat. Cream the yeast with a little of the liquid, then stir it into the mixture. Cover it with a cloth and leave it in a fairly warm place for 24 hours. Skim the yeast off the top, then strain the liquid off the sediment. Bottle and leave for 4 days in cool place before use. Consume without delay as the beer does not keep long.

From The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black &Deirdre Le Faye, published by Random House ISBN 0771014171

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