I was asked for the ginger beer recipe that I use. I decided to post it here so it will be archived (kind of) and I can send on a link to the post.
You need a large, glass jar that will hold all the liquid and has a cover. I like the old sun tea jar as it's not airtight and I don't have to futz-around much with it. Wash and go. The lid is important as this process will attract and drown fruit flies if you have any around.
To get started I add 2 pints of room temp tap water to 2 tablespoons of powdered ginger (any cheap ginger will do so don't think you have to spend a lot of money on frou-frou ginger, find the cheap 1 buck bulks), a small amount of any yeast you have around (bread yeast is fine as it's just a jump start, I only used 10 or so granules), and 1 tablespoon of white sugar.
I usually get this started on Sunday so I can bottle the following Sunday. So, Monday thru Friday add 2 tablespoons of ginger and 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Not to worry, microorganisms will be doing the stirring so you don't have to. On Saturday you do nothing as you want to slow the microorganism growth and settle the solids.
On Sunday you drain or siphon off the clear liquid and add it to 8 pints of slightly warmed tap water (80 to 95 degrees is fine, it's not rocket science :) ) 2 1/2 cups of sugar (I've used white sugar, turbinado, demerara, but white seems best), 16 ounces of lime juice. Stir till the sugar is completely dissolved and bottle.
Almost any bottle with an airtight screw cap will work. Originally when I first did this, lime juice still came in an 8 ounce glass bottle, so I just saved them all as I went. A pop bottle or anything clean will work. Let the bottles sit for a week before opening any (you won't the first time, you'll get antsy about 4 days in, but ...).
Now, back to the leftovers. I'm not sure if this is best labeled a wort or a must or starter or what. All that wet powdered ginger and microorganisms. Take half of it and discard it, keep the other half as the starter for the next week. In your washed jar put that starter, your 2 pints of water, 2 tablespoons of ginger, and 1 tablespoon white sugar. On with the merry cycle for another week.
Originally this recipe was half of what I described, but I found that when I make it, it wasn't enough. But it will work cut in half.
Now for some observations. I've started this from scratch 3 times and the pattern of what happens is pretty predictable. The bottles from the first week taste a bit "bready" as the primary microorganisms were bread yeasts. The carbonation is good but not overwhelming. After that first week, you pick up more "native" microorganisms from your environment (yeasts of all kinds, acetobactieria, and many more) and the carbonation in the bottles gets to be too much and causes it to foam out of the bottles. Be ready with a cup over the sink to pour out. After couple of weeks the microorganisms settle into a different pattern and the bottle carbonation will settle down. A lot depends of what community results in your starter.
There is a chance that you pick up a bacteria in your sour fermentation process that is not what you want. I've just gone with "if it smells good, it must be ok". I've never had the problem of it smelling bad or "skunky". If I did, I'd toss it all and start over.
Another thing is the water. The local tap water is not heavily chlorinated and they don't use chloramines. Hence, I haven't had to do much about using the tap water. If I had to worry about too much chlorine, I'd just let the water sit in a glass container for 24 hours. It would dissipate. Chloramines are a bit different and I'm not sure what I'd do Maybe boiling would break the ammonia bond?
The resulting ginger beer supposed to be considered non-alcoholic, under 1 percent. I've never tested it for content, so I can't vouch for that. But I can say that as a cocktail, it's great. Ginger beer with bourbon and ginger beer with a good, floral tequila are both good combinations. I suspect ginger beer and rye whisky would be good as well.