Fermented Turmeric Tea at Home (Alcoholic) — Healthy, Low Sugar, Probiotic Hard Cider
The anti-inflammatory — superfood powerhouse — benefits of turmeric tea can now be turned into wine! This has to be one of my proudest health hacks to date. If there’s anything I love more than mixing health & pleasure, I can’t think of what it is. When I started making healthy (low carb) alcoholic ciders, I was enamoured by the world of holistic health possibilities I’d coupled with fun fun fun! You too can make a sparkling alcoholic turmeric drink, from fresh turmeric tea, and reap all of the incredible health benefits of turmeric and the gut healthy probiotics of natural wine (with none of the chemicals responsible for hangovers — WIN).
How to Take Turmeric: the Fun Way
When I got the gumption to make homemade turmeric wine from turmeric tea (while home-brewing an alcoholic ginger beer… from ginger tea), the prospects in my mind — of living the good life — skyrocketed! Do you have any idea how GOOD turmeric is for you?? Everywhere I turn I see “turmeric benefits for skin” or “turmeric drink for weight loss”. And now a turmeric tea can be full of healthy flora (a probiotic AND be boozey too)?
Research-Based Health Benefits of Turmeric:
- Powerful anti-inflammatory effects (chronic inflammation is the source of almost every ailment in the body — especially pervasive illnesses native to western society like cancer, heart disease).
- Very strong antioxidant (oxidative damage is the main contributor of the blanket medical term “aging” — which more accurately means “oxidative damage” than anything to do with time).
- Increases brain growth hormone levels (this aids in the multiplication of neurons, increasing brain function, in turn keeping healthy cells turning over and therefore mitigating the side effects of cellular degeneration like depression & alzheimers).
- Fights depression, prevents/treats cancer, heart disease, arthritis, delays aging, and supports healthy metabolism.
Imagine: all of this ^ plus the benefits of a probiotic, in a live, raw-food, preservative-free, stress-relieving alcoholic beverage you can drink to wind down in a calm setting or gear up for a social! The stress management possibilities are endless! You can actually personalize your incredulous turmeric drink, for health benefits specific to your needs, by adding more ingredients to the turmeric tea for whatever purpose you desire! This natural wine goes great with almost everything.
Benefits of Natural Wine: Chemical Free — No Hangover!
People often don’t believe me when I tell them my alcoholic ciders will make them giddier and won’t cause hangovers. They are always pleasantly surprised when this turns out to be the case! The scientific evidence is mounting against chemicals in booze: the negative “hangover” symptoms we often experience after drinking may be due to added chemical substances — not the booze. NaturalLiving reports that “with over 75 chemicals and additives approved by the FDA for use in winemaking, any of them could be the culprit.” And adds the scariest part of store-bought booze: “they’re not required to be listed on the label, so who knows what you’re getting when you buy conventional wine.” After drinking a tonne of different homemade batches (and using conventional yeast all the while), I can vouch for natural wine, cider and beer being easy to assimilate into your body. As long as you stay well hydrated, your system should have far less trouble with a natural fermented alcohol than any other.
This Natural Turmeric Wine is a Probiotic
Wine is a probiotic (WebMD). That’s right. All the homemade wine you will make with this recipe has the added health benefits of being RAW, unpasteurized and teeming with billions of LIVE, beneficial, bacteria. This, of course, supports the healthiest digestive tract (which some doctors believe to be the core of all health in the body — many go as far as to believe that by healing the gut we can heal any malady the body can form). Did you know that probiotics support immunity, weight loss, clear skin — even allergies (FoodMatters)?? (Does that mean you double-down on the turmeric-tea-for-weight-loss-benefits?? Maybe!)
My Homemade Sparkling Turmeric Drink Recipe is both SWEET and LOW CARB!
That’s right, we ferment out all of the sugar and replace it with a natural sweetener. (Watch their eyeballs pop out-of-their-heads when you hand them a glass of your chilled, sparkling-health-heaven of a turmeric drink and tell them it’s also low calorie.) It just keeps getting better & better.
How to Brew Turmeric Tea into Turmeric Wine at Home:
My Recipe (Scale to Taste) :
2 Fistfuls of Fresh Turmeric
(we are in SE Asia where turmeric is abundant, if you are in the West — I’d highly recommend buying some fresh turmeric for the first batch & planting some of it to grow your own — it’s better for you and more economical. The health benefits of gardening are impressive!)
6 ltres Water
(Boiled is best — no bacteria.)
6 ltre Food Safe Jar or Bucket
(At home I use a food grade bucket I had fashioned with a spigot for pouring — the lid fits tightly enough to keep the brew safe but allows enough air to escape so as there is no need to ‘burp’ them. In Asia, I am re-using some water bottles we had to buy — I would now advise against buying plastic, not because it affects the brew but because it’s the hugest bane on our environment — plus glass is just nicer & way easier to sterilize. I would suggest glass jars. You can get second hand wine brewing/clarifying carafes easy-peasy online or in your community. Check out your equivalent to craigslist or wine-making community forums.)
(Optional, but necessary to get full health benefits (alternatively, you can have black pepper within 2-3 hrs of turmeric consumption to increase absorption similarly to taking the two together.)
Hearty Flavouring: Ginger Lemon/Lime Zest, Cloves, Cinnamon etc.
(Finer flavour like fruit or flowers should be added later. This includes lemon or lime juice in my opinion — others will chuck everything in now, but boiling greatly decreases the acidic taste of lemons/limes and the fermentation process will give fruits etc a subdued/‘browner’ flavour in the batch — it’s totally up to you.)
(Use brown for a richer flavour or honey for a really primo brew — more like a turmeric mead — the better quality the ingredients the finer the taste.)
(You can cultivate your own yeast for the most health benefits, but I’m using packets at present. I’m not sure why, but I prefer champagne yeast after years of cider-making. It’s a lighter flavour in my opinion & perhaps easier to make bubbles with … I could be full of it, but I’ve read it recommended on other pages too, so there may be something to it! Either way. wine yeast works fine.)
Xylitol or other sugar-free sweetener
(I like xylitol because it’s natural, tastes very light and has antibacterial properties — it’s perfect for sparkling wines & ciders.)
Light flavouring: Fruit juices (incl lemon/lime, flowers, whole fruits
(Use whatever is around/on hand — lavender flowers are my favourite when they’re in season, rosemary can be lovely, orange peels can find a new life here, and I can hardly make a batch without citrus juice — I’m a sucker for the fresh flavour)
1. Grate/chop/process the turmeric, zest and smash the dry spices if using.
2. Bring turmeric, hearty flavouring & water to a boil, simmer 15 minutes. If you don’t have a pot big enough, boil as much as you can. The alcohol will draw much favour out after, so boiling the whole batch with the flavouring isn’t necessary.
3. Cool turmeric tea slightly.
4. Add sugar, stir to dissolve.
5. Add half a packet of wine yeast (I make a batch of ginger beer at the same time to use the other half packet — follow the same instructions just with ginger.) You can ferment your own yeast too, it will be even healthier!
6. Let stand in darkish, warm place until fermentation stops. (You will notice ferment-y activity begin within 24hrs. Gasses will form, an aroma will come up, it’s good to stir the mix if there are floaty bits on the top — there should never be mould, but many bubbles should be expected. If your lids are air-tight, you will have to either use a gas-lock or ‘burp’ your brews daily to begin than less so as fermentation slows.)
7. When fermentation of the turmeric drink stops (no gasses forming and the brew tastes sour) you have 2 options: add your light flavouring and leave it for a day or so then strain the turmeric tea or strain and bottle the tea with your light flavouring. (I like to strain then add my flavour to the bottles if it’s something that disappears like juice or can easily be picked out like lavender flowers. When I’m using fruit or orange peels, or when I use something like cloves which can be over-powering, I’ll let them stand a day or two in the whole wine or cider batch then strain them out at the bottling stage).
8. Strain your turmeric drink. Sweeten with xylitol or other sweetener to taste. (This is important — do this before adding more sugar because this is the flavour you will be left with after the yeasts complete the carbonation step by eating the sugar you are about to add.)
9. Add 1-2 tsp of sugar per litre as per your carbonation tastes more sugar = more carbonation) and bottle in sanitized, carbonation-safe bottles. (No, mason jars won’t do. Neither will water bottles! I use glass flip-tops at home — it’s what I recommend — but while travelling we are re-using discarded pop bottles.)
10. Let stand at room temp. Carbonation should start within days — in warmer weather you could be good to drink the brews within 3 days, colder climates may take a week. You can let them stand here indefinitely. Refrigeration will impede the fermentation process, so whenever they are bubbly to your liking — chill them.
YOU DID IT.
500g of sugar per 6 litres, plus a teaspoon per litre, should brew around a 5.5% brew. You can add more or less sugar for a stronger or weaker brew accordingly.
Make it your Own: Enhance the Flavour and Medicinal Properties of Your Turmeric Tea
Try lavender, chamomile or jasmine flowers to calm nerves, add cayenne, ginger & lime to get zesty! The sky is literally the limit for possibilities to personalize your brew — any flavour, including fresh fruit, can be added to the batch before bottling to infuse your unique blend — but I’d heartily recommend using black pepper in the initial fermentation as the piperine increases curcumin (the medicinally active ingredient in turmeric) absorption by 2000% (!)
Play with the recipe.
Make it your own.
Happy health & celebrate!