Ginger Beer and Honey Wine

You may remember that on Sunday, I started a 'ginger bug' with the intention of making both mead and ginger ale. I've been feeding the bug every day since; this morning it was bubbly and fizzy and ready for use. So I moved on to step two of both projects. First, I strained the bug. It smelled faintly alcoholic! But also really delicious and gingery.

For the Ginger Beer, I heated 2 quarts of water with 3/4 cup sugar, a cinnamon stick, and a three-inch chunk of ginger, sliced thin. Once the sugar had dissolved, I let the mixture steep for 15 minutes. Then I strained it and added 1/3 cup lemon juice. I waited for the liquid to reach a temperature of less than 100 degrees, then added in 1/4 cup of the bug. Then the mixture went into four 17-ounce bottles, which will sit on the counter until Sunday, hopefully getting very fizzy.

Fermentation will provide the carbonation

For the Honey Wine, I dissolved three cups of honey (about half of my own already-fermented honey, and half store-bought) in 3 quarts of warm filtered water, in a large gallon jar. After it cooled down to under 100 degrees, I added a cup of the bug. That's been covered with a clean dishcloth and it will sit until Sunday as well, but I need to stir it twice a day.

Isn't it a pretty color?
I'll proceed with Step 3 of both of these projects on Sunday, and let you know how it's going! So far everything smells and looks very tasty.

*note: I didn't come up with these recipes. The Ginger Bug and Ale are from Living Homegrown, and the Honey Wine is from A Life Unprocessed.