Ginger Bug

June 14, 2016

Homemade sodas are a relatively fast way to capture some wild yeast and see them in action. I recommend it as an easy entry point into natural fermentation. Fermented foods like sauerkraut or brined pickles are also easy, but take longer to reach completion.

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Organic Ginger
  • 3/4 cup Sugar 

 

  1. Grate 2 Tbsp. ginger. Leave the skin on it’s crawling with wild yeast!
  2. Measure 1 quart of filtered water into a glass container and stir in ginger and 2 Tbsp. Sugar.
  3. Cover with cheesecloth or nylon mesh and store at room temperature location, out of direct sunlight.
  4. Each day stir in an additional 2 Tbsp. each grated ginger and sugar.
  5. After 3-5 days you should see bubbles in the liquid and yeast sediment forming at the bottom of your container. When the “bug” is very bubbly, use some of the liquid to make a soda and store the rest in the fridge to slow fermentation.

 

Citrus-Ginger Soda Base

Use this recipe as a guide, and experiment with other flavorings like: grapefruit, berries, fresh turmeric, beets, spices, or even roots and bark (root beer!).  

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 lemons or limes (thinly sliced across)
  • 2” Ginger (thinly sliced)

 

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Cool to room temperature, and strain into a resealable bottle*
  4. Add ¼ cup strained Ginger Bug to the bottle and top off with more filtered water, leaving about 1 ½” headspace between the liquid and the top of the bottle.
  5. Seal the bottle and let ferment 5-7 days. Chill before serving.

 

*Glass flip-top bottles work great, but if you use too much sugar or leave too much air (headspace) in your bottle, the yeast could produce too much CO2 and the bottle would break apart from the pressure. I have never seen this actually happen. Plastic bottles are also nice because you can check the carbonation by how firm the bottle feels when you squeeze it.