I think I mentioned that the ginger beer plant I made wasn't a real ginger beer plant after all. The real deal is a complex symbiotic organism made up of a yeast and a bacillus (and a bunch of other microorganisms) all living together in a culture. You can't make one, any more than you can make a radish from scratch. You have to get a radish seed from someone who grew radishes themselves. And you have to get a ginger beer plant from someone who already has one.
Well mine arrived in the post this morning, sent by a lovely man in Ulster who I contacted via the internet. When it arrived in a ziploc bag inside a jiffy bag, it looked like pale yellow beads of jelly. It smelled fresh and slightly gingery. I made it up according to his instructions, by mixing it with water, sugar and ginger in a loosely-capped coffee jar. Since my yeast culture ginger beer plant is called Ginger, I have named this one Fred.
I will let you know how Fred progresses. I can't wait to make him into ginger beer, and I'm keen to compare ginger beer made this way, with the yeast culture I already have.