So here's how we make alcoholic ginger beer on board.
You need a 5 or 6 gallon clean plastic bucket with snap-on lid, a length of clean thin plastic hose, a strainer, and a bit of clean muslin/cotton, and a bit more than 5 gallons worth of empty plastic bottles. We save our soft drink/soda bottles; anything that's previously held fizzy drinks is good. Brown or colored bottles work best. Never use detergent to wash bottles or bucket; bicarb of soda and water is fine.
For a 5 gallon brew you'll need:
1.5 lbs fresh ginger
5 lbs sugar
1 sachet/teaspoon brewers yeast. I used our baking yeast, it worked fine if occasionally unpredictable.
6 lemons/limes/mix of same
Fill brew bucket with good fresh water about ¾ full.
Peel, then cube or grate ginger into a big saucepan, add zest of 2 lemons and juice of six, and some fresh water. Bring to boil and simmer 20/30 minutes. Strain the juice into brew bucket.
Dissolve the 5 lb sugar into couple of quarts of warm fresh water, add to brew bucket. You should have about 5 gallons of kava-colored liquid in your brew bucket by now; if it looks a bit low-tide, top up with fresh water till a few inches off the brim.Add the yeast and stir to dissolve.
Snap the lid on and keep the brew somewhere safe and warm.
I should note here that all our home brew adventures took place in Simi tropical climes where ambient temperature probably rarely dropped much below 68 degrees F. Cold climate home brewers may have to devise strategies to keep their brew warm because you don't want the yeast to die. Your fermentation period may also be longer. FYI: Yeast like 98.7 degrees F (human body temp) to work. About 5 - 6 degrees either way and the yeast die off. These are what make the alcohol. Add a thermometer like for a fish tank. These are an adhesive strip that sticks to the side of the bucket.
I now use one those S bend bubbly fermentation lock things. I started out with just a 5 gallon bucket with a snap lid. I would "burp" the brew once or twice a day. The bucket lid would start to rise so I knew the brew was bubbling and I'd ease the lid slightly, let a whiff of gas out and take an appreciative sniff. After 5-7 days the yeast will have finished off the sugar and bubbling will stop. The lid will no longer be swelling; take it off, look lovingly at your creation and confirm that no more bubbles are rising to the surface. Time to bottle it.
The bottles should be clean. To a 20 oz bottle add half a teaspoon sugar, to a quart or liter bottle add a teaspoon, before filling. This sugar promotes secondary fermentation which gives fizz and increases alcohol content. Resist the temptation to add too much sugar for greater alcohol content; your bottles will start exploding.
After adding sugar to bottles the next step is filtering. I found that it works best to strain off all the big stuff first. Then line the strainer with muslin or coffee filters and strain the brew through. You may have to do this a few times. The cleaner it is now the better the finished product is. FYI: 5 US gallons = 32 20oz soda bottles.
To fill the bottles you can siphon it from the bucket with the plastic hose, or use the fill tap if you have a brewing bucket. Leave an inch or so air gap in the bottles; don't fill them to the top. Cap tightly and shake to dissolve the sugar.
Be careful not to disturb any sediment left in the bucket during this process and don't dip the siphon hose too deep. If you have to move the bucket before bottling, leave it a while for sediment to settle again.
Lovingly stow your bottled brew somewhere out of the sun and try to be patient. Think about what happens if a bottle explodes and stow accordingly. We only ever lost a couple and this was my fault for adding too much sugar when bottling.
Try and wait at least ten days before cracking one. Serve chilled. The longer you wait the better it tastes, as more sugar gets eaten and the yeast dies. If you do drink it green, I suggest you try and get the first bottle down quick and get a glow on, as this makes the next one taste much better.
Basically any fruit can be used to make alcohol. You can take this recipe and adjust it according to what's available. You need to consider how sweet the fruit you're using is and adjust the added sugar. Some friends used this recipe but substituted pineapples and didn't reduce the sugar; it blew the lid right off their brew bucket as the yeast went totally berserk with a sugar overdose.Enjoy
PS: You can buy cheap home brewing kits thru Coopers http://www.coopers.com.au/the-brewers-g ... s/diy-beer
or more cheaply off ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Deluxe-Brewers- ... 2323c15a7a
(this one is just a sample)