Good day mates, Just had my very first batch of GB. I have basically followed the stove-top recipe at (http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Ginger-Ale). I forgot botton-upping it to mix it all before drinking for the first time. Saw and hear some bubbles (even the bottle was hard of gases) So fermentation process went well. The point is I found it a bit weak, just sweet, and kinda flavored water. Any tips fellas?
The recipe you followed is for a (mostly) non-alcoholic ginger beer (a soda/soft drink). The fermentation here is really just for carbonation. Not sure if you get Fentiman's where you live, but it's like that. It should be sweet with little alcohol, so you did it right.
Adding more ginger flavor is easy - just add more ginger. I use this recipe for a soft drink: http://www.jeffreymorgenthaler.com/2008/how-to-make-your-own-ginger-beer/ ferment 24-48 hrs but I often backsweeten - I add pineapple juice or simple syrup to serve because it's hard to get the sweetness right with the yeast eating it. An ounce of ginger per liter should be enough. I recommend using a microplane zester or fine grater to grate the ginger (and keep the juice), or put some of the water and ginger in a blender to get it pureed. It's more potent that way than putting in even finely chopped ginger.
If what you're after is an alcoholic ginger beer, you're going to need a different recipe and different equipment. First off, you'll need more sugar and a longer fermentation time. If you want something simple, you can try the famous Skeeter Pee recipe but replace most of the lemon with ginger. Also, skeeter pee is like 10%, I would probably use half that amount of sugar to get in the 5% range. Again, an ounce of ginger per liter should be enough - microplaned or pureed.
If you were inspired by Crabbie's, you will need to add other ingredients - different kinds of sugars along with spices for flavor. If you search for something like 'crabbies clone hombrew recipe' you should find something to get you started. You'll probably get standard 5 gallon batch recipes, so you may need to scale. Desktop and online homebrew recipe calculators can help you scale, or you can do the math by hand.
If you've never brewed beer before, then, in terms of equipment, you will need a fermentor with an airlock, so that CO2 can escape and your fermentor doesn't explode, but no bad microorganism or oxygen can get in. Then you can carbonate after fermentation by bottle conditioning - i.e. bottling with priming sugar. For this step, you will want to consult a homebrewing book or web guide to get the ideas down. You won't be making beer, but fermentation and carbonation are the same in principle.
You can make it a 'malt liquor' by using a mix of light dry malt extract (dme), corn sugar and sugar - this may taste a little more beery.
Also, look into recipes for homebrewed ginger wine - it's a similar beverage but it's brewed around 10% abv. I think it's comes from Scotland but I've never tried it.
Personally I like to add dark rum to good fermented or non-alcoholic ginger beer for a dark 'n stormy :)