Well I'm not much of a beer guy but I rather dig ginger drinks. A couple days ago, I got the idea into my head that I should make some, so now I'm having a go at my own ginger beer.
Today, I popped some ginger on the stove along with lemon juice, a bit of star anise and cloves, and just about every type of sweetener known to man because I didn't happen to have multiple pounds of any one handy, and I liked the combination.
So after boiling all this jazz, I let it sit. When the outside of the pot is cool enough to allow my face to touch it without burning, I throw in some (proofed) baker's yeast. Again, I don't drink beer and I definitely don't brew any, so baker's yeast is what was handy.
The wort now gets funnelled into my carboy, which I have for whatever reason. I rinsed the leftover ginger solids with the remaining water and then funnel that in there too.
Now I've got this big (6.5? gal?) carboy sitting around with 4 gallons of ginger beer in it and a dumb balloon on top that says 'Happy Birthday' to no one in particular.
I've come up with a few questions, but my biggest one is this: How do I achieve a combination of sweetness and carbonation? My plan is to allow fermentation to occur for about a week, or whenever it is that my Grolsch/EZ cap bottles arrive. I'll bottle right before alcohol and sweetness levels are ideal and then ferment a couple days more in bottle for carbonation. Can I just pasteurize the bottles and be all done? Any suggestions in general on brewing? Anyone see any flaws in my methods? And does anyone want some of this damn ginger beer? Because four gallons is a hefty pour. Thanks, guys.