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This papaya beer is quite bitter as you would expect. If you can not get fresh papaya leaf then use dried leaf, you will just need to experiment with the quantity. As a guide this recipe calls for two cups of papaya leaves but you may use whatever quantity suits your individual requirements. Drink papaya beer chilled with a splash of kombucha tea or an EM brew to give a bit of an acid zing.

There are four main steps to brewing a lacto fermented beverage.

1. Obtain a suitable primary starter culture that contains the required microbial organisms.
2. Activate the starter by fermenting a starter extension.
3. Ferment the sugars with the bulk of the liquid.
4. Add any additives such as plant material, minerals and salt, and top up the liquid to the final volume.

Please read the procedure for brewing a lacto fermented beverage before attempting these recipes.



Makes 3 litres, 4 x 750ml bottles. Fresh papaya leaf weighs about 60gm (2 oz) per cup. You need a suitable large container made from glass, stainless steel, ceramic or food grade plastic.

  • 1/3 cup barley malt extract.
  • 250 ml starter extension.
  • 1 litre filtered water.
  • 120 gms fresh papaya leaves.
  • 150 gm fresh ginger root.
  • 2 tablespoons licorice root.
  • 3 teaspoons green tea.
  • 6 teaspoons elderflower tea.
  • 1 teaspoon stevia leaf.
  • 2/3 cup lime/lemon juice.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt.
  • Optional minerals.
  • Filtered water up to 3 litres.
  • 2 teaspoons rice syrup.



Step 1. Obtain a suitable primary starter culture that contains the required microbial organisms.

Step 2. Activate the starter by fermenting a starter extension.

Step 3. Ferment the sugars with the bulk of the liquid.
Calibrate the fermentation vessel at the 3 litre mark. Add 1 litre of water and the raw honey to the fermentation vessel, stir until dissolved. Add the starter extension and stir once again. Leave for 12 hours then stir gently. After 24 hours add the rest of the ingredients as follows.

Step 4. Add any additives such as plant material, minerals and salt, and top up the liquid to the final volume.
Tear the papaya leaves into small pieces before adding them to a saucepan. Cover with water, bring to the boil, simmer for an hour, strain through muslin, return the leaves to the pot, cover with water and simmer once again, strain the tea and discard the leaves. Put the papaya tea aside to cool.

Peel and grate the ginger and strain the ginger pulp through a piece of muslin, using tongs to squeeze out the juice into a glass bowl. Add the ginger juice to the fermentation vessel. Then add the ginger pulp to a saucepan with just enough water to cover it then add the licorice root and simmer for about 20 minutes, with the lid on. Turn off the heat, add the green tea, elderflower and stevia leaf, and leave to steep for a few minutes.

Strain the tea through a sieve or colander lined with muslin into bowl. Use a pair of tongs to squeeze out the liquid. (Take care as it will be very hot.) Put the pulp back into the saucepan, add enough water to cover the cover the pulp and simmer for a further 15 minutes, then strain once again. Add the sea salt and optional minerals to the tea, and stir. When the herbal tea is cooled to less than 30C add it to the fermentation vessel. Add the lime/lemon juice to the fermentation vessel.

Make up the volume to 3 litres with water. Stir the brew then cover the container with a cloth held in place with an elastic band to prevent the entry of insects. Gently stir the brew after 12 hours and then after another 12 hours to mix the sediment and scum back into the liquid. If it looks like the scum could be drying out you may wish to gently stir the scum back into the liquid every day, though you should leave the liquid undisturbed as possible to assist the development of an anaerobic state. Ferment for about 5 days at 20-25C.

Bottle the Papaya Ginger Beer
After five days most of the sugars should have been digested but the fermentation may continue for some months. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of rice syrup in one cup of water and stir into the ferment. This small quantity of rice syrup should create enough carbon dioxide to give the papaya ginger beer a light fizz. If you add too much rice syrup you risk creating dangerous gas pressures. Also take note that some sugars (especially honey) may take months to be completely digested and will continue to generate gas.

Divide the beer amongst 4 large beer bottles (750ml), top up with filtered Grander water if necessary, cork then gently invert the bottle to mix the contents, label and leave to ferment for a further 2 days. The levels of antioxidants may continue to increase over a period of 1-3 months. Refrigerate before use and serve with a dash of kombucha tea.


1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32


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