I had a brainwave on Tuesday - its the water! As you may recollect, I've been puzzling with getting my ginger beer and plant to bubble; something that is really bugging me as I'd love to have ginger beer over the summer holidays as we did as youngsters, but after the initial excitement it all went downhill terribly fast as the bubbles quickly ceased to show their lovely bubbly selves and completely disappeared upon bottlement. I have pondered and scratched my head, and tried twice more to get a plant going but without success. Then, in a light bulb moment I realised what I'd done differently with the second and third plants, and of course what had caused my bottled ginger beer to cease bubbling - the water.
In preparation for my first ginger beer plant, I had taken my trusty thermos into Petone to Te Puna Wai Ora to acquire some of the best, naturally purified water, in the country. I had used this water to make the initial plant but had used tap water to bottle it and in making the second and third plants. I am presuming that the tap water is the problem because Rhonda Hetzel's blog that has instructions on how to make ginger beer, she recommends that you let tap water sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate which allows the natural yeasts in the air to do their work. You probably can't really see it right now, but thar she blows!
Thinking some more about this water, Grant and I had been talking about how the first loaf of No Knead Bread I had made was the best and we couldn't figure it out. Its the water! I'd made the first ginger beer plant at the same time as the first loaf of bread and had used the left over water to make the bread.
So, using the left over water from the ginger beer plant I made bread and wow! What a difference it makes to the rise and size of the bread. Mystery solved! Now I'll be joining the throngs of people in Petone filling up gallons of water for my ginger beer and bread making pleasure. Xo