I am making ginger beer, the old fashioned way with a plant. The plant is a jamjar which I feed with one teaspoon of sugar and powdered ginger daily.
I'm going on holiday soon, for several weeks. I've been nurturing this plant for a couple of months and it's getting really nice, and I don't want to have to start again from scratch. What can I do to preserve it while I'm away?
I have access to a fridge (about 3ºC) and a freezer (about -10ºC). Given that the plant is a rather complex symbiotic mixture of yeast and bacteria, can I halt both their metabolism simply by putting it in the fridge? Can I freeze it without killing it off completely?
The other thing I'm worried about is that given that the plant lives at room temperature and covered only by a cloth, secondary infections are prevented partly by the sterilising effect of the ginger and ethanol, but mostly by the way that there's a hell of a lot of plant there and it's simply outcompeting any wild yeast or bacteria. If I damage the plant too much it won't be able to do this any more, and I run the risk of poisoning the plant.