You may not have even heard of a ginger bug… I hadn’t until about a month ago. A friend and I decided to teach a class on cultured drinks (WAPF style drink- cultured with beneficial bacteria, yeasts, etc…) and one of the things we had a lot of requests for were “sodas”- fizzy, flavored drinks, made with ginger bugs. I found instructions online here and here and dove into it!
Basic recpipe- to start ginger bug
3 cups water (non chlorinated)
3 tablespoons diced ginger (organic, unpeeled)
3 tablespoons natural sweetener (Rapadura, sucanat, evaporated cane juice, etc…)
Mix the 3 items in a quart jar. Shake gently. Put in a warm place (between 70-80*). If you don’t have a warm place or it’s cold in winter I used a heating pad wrapped in a towel for warmth without overheating.
To feed, daily add:
2 teaspoons natural sweetener (see above)
2 teaspoons diced ginger (organic, unpeeled)
Open carefully- contents will start to get more and more bubbly. I recommend using a metal canning lid and ring- it will give you a good gauge for the pressure in the jar when you press on the lid.
In about 7 days (depending on temperature and the liveliness of the organisms on your ginger) you’ll have a steadily fizzing, active ginger bug. It will get busier and busier so plan to use it within the next few days and then keep feeding it.
When you remove some of the ginger bug to use in a recipe, replace a portion of the water and feed the bug again.
To put your bug to sleep, put it in the fridge, you can strain out the ginger or just put the whole jar in. Feed it once a week (2T/2T) and when you want to use it again, pull it out of the fridge and start feeding it daily again. Use it when it builds up carbonation.
Now… How to use it, I have several posts coming soon with more details, but here are some basic ideas:
For all of these you mix the ginger bug with your additions, cover with a lid (these tend to build up pressure so be VERY careful with airtight bottles- possibly refrigerate before opening and I recommend opening in the sink, just in case), let sit for 24-48 hours (depending on temperatures).
When you see consistent bubbles on the sides, but it doesn’t bubble furiously when moved- you’re good to go! If it doesn’t bubble let it sit longer, if it bubbles furiously, move it to the fridge for a cool down before opening. Ask my hubby about the kitchen based geysers we’ve had…
I recommend a ratio of about 1/4 cup ginger bug to 1 quart of other liquid.
Mix with sweetened tea, sit and let culture…
Mix with fruit juices (freshly juiced is especially good), let culture
Mix with herbal teas (herbs simmered in water) for a variety of flavors including root beer.
Get some extra ideas here at Cultures for Health.
Linked up at: Homestead Barn Hop,
Have you tried a ginger bug? What did or would you use it for?
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