Hi, I am in Melbourne, Australia.
I remember fondly the ginger beer that my aunt made when I was a child from sugar, yeast and ground ginger.
I was about to start some and was doing a little research when I found out that this method produces a poor imitation of the rare and original item.
Here is a quote:
The culture is not really a plant, but a group
of tiny grains, like semi-transparent rice granules. This 'plant' was used to
ferment this sugar-water-ginger solution until popularity died out and ease
of using conveniently dried baker's and brewer's yeast replaced it. These
substitutes produce a gingery beer, but are not the same, just as bread and
sourdough bread are not the same. The symbiotic qualities of bacteria and
yeast of GBP, as with all of our cultures, make for a unique live and
self-propagating culture that produces a truly rich flavor.
The comment about sourdough made me wonder if there is anyone in the community in Australia who may be able to supply me with some of these crystals.