Making A Ginger Bug Starter

How to catch a ginger bug starter to make your own soda pop

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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!


  • 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)


  1. Mix 3 1/4 cup of the water with 3 tbsp of sugar in a glass quart jar.
  2. Grate 3 tbsp of ginger into the quart jar. Don’t peel the ginger because the skin helps with fermentation.
  3. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Cover with a cloth (or coffee filter) and secure in place with a rubber band or jarring.
  5. Place the jar somewhere warm and dark to ferment (a kitchen cupboard is ideal.)
  6. Give it a good stir once or twice a day.
  7. 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.
  8. 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