I love making fermented vegetables and fruits. I like to have a variety in my fridge to choose from. Foods like sauerkraut, dilly carrots, fermented berries and more!
We also like to have fermented beverages on hand as well. And, I am not talking about beer and wine (well, we like those too!). I am talking about beverages like kombucha tea, fermented grapefruit juice, fermented apple juice and ginger bug soda.
Adding fermented foods and drinks to your daily diet is a great way of taking care of your gut and digestive health.
Fermented soda is crazy easy to make, and it tastes delicious. I find I usually get a good fizz too, which is always fun.
What is a Ginger Bug?
A ginger bug is the bacterial starter you need to make the soda. Essentially it is a fermented mixture of ginger root and sugar with water. You take this fermented ginger liquid and add it to sweetened tea or juice to make your fermented soda.
Adding the ginger bug to fruit juice or sweetened tea adds bacteria to the drink. The beneficial bacteria in the ginger bug eats the sugar in the tea or juice, creating lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The end result is a deliciously probiotic drink, with an undertone of ginger flavor and a lot of fizz!
Making the Ginger Bug
This fermented soda is so easy to make. Once you get it going, you can keep feeding it sugar and ginger and keep it indefinitely! All you need is ginger, sugar and water. Read the recipe below for directions.
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- Ginger root
- Organic cane sugar
- Filtered water
- Quart size mason jar
- 1/4 cup ginger bug
- 1 quart juice or sweetened tea
- Add 2 tbsp of grated or finely chopped ginger, 2 tbsp sugar to 2 cups of water in a quart size mason jar. Put lid on jar. Leave at room temperature overnight.
- Each day add 1 tbsp grated ginger and 1 tbsp of sugar to the mixture.
- After 5-7 days, the ginger bug should be bubbling away. You will see bubbles and feel pressure on the lid. It will also smell somewhat yeasty.
- Mix 1/4 cup ginger bug liquid with 1 quart of fruit juice or sweetened tea.
- Transfer to bottles.
- Let ferment at room temperature 2-3 days.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and enjoy!
- Be careful opening! Ginger bug soda can build a lot of fizz!!!
- Some recipes call for making your ginger bug in a mason jar covered with a cheesecloth. I prefer to use a lid.
- You can place your ginger bug in the refrigerator and continue to feed your ginger bug 2 tbsp grated ginger, 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water every week.
- To reactivate the bug, simply bring back to room temperature.
Question: do you stir it every day when you are adding the ginger and sugar?
No. I just give it a little shake.
So its left out overnight the first day, but what about the 5-7 days, does it stay out like the first day?
And to reactivate then keep out overnight to make a new batch of soda or tea?
I’m new to making these, need all the help I can get. TIA , Norma
Yes you leave it at room temperature during the entire time. If you take a break from making ginger bug soda, you put the bug in the fridge. When you are ready to make more, leave it out overnight to reactivate.
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Alright, I have a couple questions.
1) When using the bug in the soda are you supposed to use the ginger slivers as well or do you leave it behind?
2) Do you replace the 1/4 cup used from the bug with more water?
The recipe says to use the ginger bug liquid.
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I agree with the comment policy
Hi, I have tried making this. I have a few questions: My ginger bug is fizzy at the top, I have been feeding it daily, then I made my soda and it wasn’t fizzy. What went wrong? Can I still drink it if it isn’t fizzy? Any tips? I did put it in a swing top bottle, I left it out on the counter for 3 days, the other one 5…still no fizz? Hmmm
This is what happened to me. Did you figure out what to do? I’m afraid to drink it because it didn’t get fizzy.
When should you remove the ginger from the jar to make room for new ginger root?
Not fizzy it could be one of these reasons
Water to hot when adding the bug, kills the yeast — dead no fizzy
Not enough bug added to mix
To much water. (in this case it will eventually brew but may be very weak tasting)
Leave to brew longer
Not enough sugar
do you wash ginger?
I’ve always wonder if there’s a ginger flavor to ginger bug sodas. It seems like, well, duh, yes – but hey, kombucha doesn’t taste like tea, so…?
you need warm water and yeast with sugar to make the ginger bug. keep adding sugar to activate the yeast and small amounts of ginger. After a week of doing this it will ferment and smell as it should,like fizzy ginger beer. Be careful as the alcoholic content will also increase as the bug gets fed its sugar. ps. adding small amount of yeast and warm water with sugar will give it a kick after a week or so, enjoy.