Did you know that you can make homemade fermented sodas with only ginger and sugar? It’s true! The ginger bug starter is made from a free-range culture that probably is already floating around your home. It’s easy to catch and maintain so that you can make your own probiotic sodas.
Taking care of your ginger bug
Start by using the recipe at the bottom of the post to create your own ginger bug.
Once it’s happy and bubbling, you have officially caught the ginger bug! Here’s some basic information on how to feed your starter and make ginger bug sodas.
- Once you’ve caught your starter, store it in the fridge until you are ready to make soda.
- An active ginger bug will remain vigorous for at least 1 month in the fridge without feeding.
- When you use the ginger bug to make sodas, you will need to replenish your starter. Keep the starter going by feeding it 1 tbsp of ginger, 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/4 cup of water whenever you remove 1/4 cup of the starter to brew soda.
- Ginger bug is used to make a traditional ginger ale (ginger beer). This spicy, sweet probiotic drink is delicious in cocktails. It’s also a traditional remedy for nausea and digestive issues.
- Not into ginger ale? Flavour your ginger bug with juice and spices to create other flavours of homemade soda pop.
Making A Ginger Bug Starter
The ginger bug starter is easy to make in your own home. It’s the simplest way to make a probiotic sparkling beverage. Unlike kombucha, all you need to get started is sugar and ginger root!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3 1/4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: British
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 large piece of fresh organic ginger (enough to make 5 tbsp grated ginger)
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 3 1/4 cups of water (chlorine free)
- Mix 3 1/4 cup of the water with 3 tbsp of sugar in a glass quart jar.
- Grate 3 tbsp of ginger into the quart jar. Don’t peel the ginger because the skin helps with fermentation.
- Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Cover with a cloth (or coffee filter) and secure in place with a rubber band or jarring.
- Place the jar somewhere warm and dark to ferment (a kitchen cupboard is ideal.)
- Give it a good stir once or twice a day.
- After 3 days it should start to bubble. Then feed it 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of grated ginger each of the next two days, so that by day 5 you’ve added 5 tbsp of sugar and 5 tbsp of ginger.
- Once it is really bubbly you are ready to make ginger ale or ginger bug sodas. See the section above for links to my recipes for ginger ale and ginger bug sodas.
- Fresh turmeric can be used instead of ginger or in combination with ginger. Perfect for making a bright yellow turmeric soda.
- The ginger bug needs to feed on sucrose, so avoid using alternative sweeteners. Coconut sugar is fine, but honey and maple syrup are not. I like to use panela sugar, which is unrefined and makes a deep brown soda. If you use white sugar then you’ll have a pale soda.
- Expect a bit of scum to form on the top. These will be strands of yeast which are eating the sugar and ginger. Watch out for mold or a bad smell, which means it’s gone off.
Keywords: ginger ale, ginger beer, probiotic, turmeric, natural, soda, pop, summer, spring, vegan, gluten free, nausea, stomach flu, pregnancy