I'm brewing ginger beer following the Art of Fermentation and am this close to wild success. The only problem is that it won't carbonate right; opening the bottle gets a nice fooomp noise, but no fizz in the drink. So there's obviously carbon dioxide there, but...
I make the ginger bug with 1tbsp each of ginger and sugar. I boil up the ginger/sugar decoction just as the instructions suggest, waiting for it to cool until body temperature or cooler before adding the ginger bug. I wait a few days until it starts to fizz and bottle, letting sit a few days more to carbonate, then refrigerate.
Possible points of failure: I stir the mixture during the days it ferments before bottling. I thought that might knock the floating ginger bits back in and help it ferment, but maybe it's knocking carbon dioxide out? My carboy bottles are hand-me-downs - the seal could be imperfect. For people who've done this before, am I waiting too long to bottle and missing peak fermentation? I thought I did that once and might be bottling too soon.
Weirdly, the first time I did this, it fizzed appropriately (so the bottles probably aren't the problem). I'm on the fourth batch, each time trying to get more fizz, but have gotten none at all. This past batch was an attempt to do everything exactly the way I did it the first, most successful time, and nothing. I took notes and the first time, when things carbonated, the ginger beer only had to sit one day on the counter and was fizzy. This past time, I waited five days and only got the foomp.
My impression is that I need to wait longer until bottling. Does that sound right?