A Homemade Ginger Bug Recipe
Ginger bug is an excellent starter culture for naturally fermented sodas. This is how most sodas were traditionally made by our great, great, grandmothers, except they were often referred to as tonics and/or fizzy drinks, and they were consumed due to their replenishing and restorative health benefits (such as for drinking as an electrolyte replacement after a long hot day working the farm, or for before or after a meal as a digestive) . The mixture of sugar, ginger, and water proliferates wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used as a starter culture in your natural homemade sodas (such as in ginger ale, root beer, lemon, cream and other fruit sodas).
This starter culture is easy to store, and very easy to continue growing in order to have it readily available for use.
Ginger Bug Ingredients:
1-2 fresh organic fresh ginger roots (sliced into about 1 1/2 inch pieces, or about 2-3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger)
2 cups filtered unchlorinated water
1/2 cup whole unrefined organic cane sugar (the only type of caloric sweetener that will be effective in making this recipe is sugar. The sugar, bacteria and yeast need it to proliferate. Most of the sugar is consumed by the beneficial microorganisms in the culture).
1 quart Mason jar (please be certain to use a true Mason jar or a fermenting grade jar)
Place the ginger in your Mason jar and add an equal amount of white sugar (about 2-3 tablespoons).
Pour 2 cups of filtered water into the Mason jar. Please do not use water that contains chlorine and other chemicals which will be harmful to the fermenting process and your health.
Stir well with a non-metal spoon, and cover jar with a cheese cloth, or with an unbleached coffee filter, and secure with a rubber band.
Place in a warm spot to ferment (72-80°F) for 24 hours.
Every day for the next week add 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of diced or grated ginger. After about 4-5 days the liquid will begin to bubble towards and around the top of the jar. Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the mixture (usually after about 7-8 days) the ginger bug ready for use!
A Note about Mold:
During the fermenting process, if mold appears on the top, it can be removed by gently scraping it off with a non-metal spoon. It this happens more than once, it is time to start over. Also, if the mixture hasn’t fermented and taken on the above characteristics by the 7-8th day, please discard it and try again.
For those fermenting other cultures concurrently in the same area as their ginger big, please be sure to keep the culture away from other cultures (such as kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut) to avoid cross culturing.
READY FOR USE!
Once the ginger bug has cultured, it can be used to create fermented sodas and drinks at the ratio of 1/4 cup ginger bug starter per quart of sweetened natural mixtures.
To keep starter culture alive and to continue growing it, it will need to be fed 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar per day if kept at room temperature. You can also store (or rest) the culture in the refrigerator and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week. To reactivate, just remove and allow it reach room temperature and begin feeding it again.
A High Vibe Pro-Tip:
Cultures are alive! I like to infuse the areas where I store my cultures and ferment batches with lots of clear and loving energy in order to infuse the “mother” cultures and ferments with the highest vibrational energies possible. Often I will do this by placing crystals I am drawn to (such as my favorite piece of rose quartz which embodies motherly love) around the cultures, and by saying a loving mantra over them daily. Feel free to be intuitive and creative with this part of the process and to make it your own!
Yours in bliss,
Joy Jackson is a psychic/medium and intuitive guide and a high vibe living coach in the Pacific Northwest.