How To Make Mageu

About Mageu

Mageu is a traditional South African fermented drink made from maize or sorghum. It is a popular and nutritious beverage enjoyed by people of all ages. Mageu has been a part of South African culture for centuries and is often associated with traditional gatherings and celebrations. This article will guide you through the process of making mageu at home, using simple ingredients and traditional methods.


To make mageu, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of maize or sorghum
  • 2 liters of water
  • ½ cup of sugar (optional, for added sweetness)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast

Step 1: Soaking the Maize or Sorghum

Start by soaking the maize or sorghum in water for about 24 hours. This will soften the grains and make them easier to ferment. Make sure the maize or sorghum is fully submerged in water.

Step 2: Grinding the Maize or Sorghum

After soaking, drain the water and grind the maize or sorghum into a fine paste. You can use a food processor or a traditional grinding stone for this step. The paste should be smooth and free of any lumps.

Step 3: Cooking the Paste

Transfer the ground maize or sorghum paste into a large pot and add the 2 liters of water. Stir well to combine. Place the pot on medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will cook the grains and release their natural sugars.

How To Make Mageu

Step 4: Cooling the Mixture

Once the mixture has cooked, remove it from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. It should be lukewarm to the touch.

Step 5: Adding Yeast

Dissolve the teaspoon of active dry yeast in a small amount of warm water. Pour the yeast mixture into the cooled maize or sorghum mixture. Stir well to incorporate the yeast.

Step 6: Fermentation

Transfer the mixture into a clean, airtight container. Place the container in a warm spot, away from direct sunlight, and let it ferment for about 24 to 48 hours. During this time, the yeast will convert the sugars in the mixture into alcohol, resulting in a slightly fizzy and tangy taste.

Step 7: Straining and Sweetening

After the fermentation period, strain the mageu through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids. If desired, you can sweeten the mageu by adding half a cup of sugar or adjust the sweetness according to your taste preference. Stir well to dissolve the sugar completely.

Step 8: Refrigeration and Serving

Transfer the strained and sweetened mageu into clean bottles or containers. Seal them tightly and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Mageu is typically consumed chilled and can be enjoyed on its own or with a meal.


Making mageu at home is a rewarding and traditional process. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a refreshing and nutritious beverage that is deeply rooted in South African culture. Whether you’re attending a celebration or simply looking for a taste of tradition, mageu is sure to satisfy your thirst and provide a glimpse into the vibrant heritage of South Africa.