Ginger bug culture has naturally occurring beneficial probiotics and magically carbonates home-brewed sodas. Once you have a ginger bug, you can use this recipe to make all sorts of flavored sodas. Plus, it can be kept alive indefinitely.
1TBskin on organic ginger, chopped 1/8 inch pieces
1TBorganic raw cane sugar
For Feeding 4-7 days:
1/4 cup each chopped ginger and raw sugar
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Wash whole ginger and dry with a clean paper towel. Leave skin on. Chop into 1/8 inch dice. You can chop all the ginger in advance and keep in refrigerator to use each day as needed.
Start Ginger Bug
Pour filtered water into a one quart jar, add 1 tablespoon each chopped ginger and raw sugar. Stir to mix. Cover jar with a double layer of paper towel or breathable cotton cloth cut to size. Secure with rubber band. Set aside at room temperature out of direct sunlight. A counter-top or table is fine.
Every day, remove cover from jar and add 2 teaspoons each raw sugar and chopped ginger, skin included. Give a quick stir and replace cover. Don't over feed your ginger bug. It needs time to digest and convert sugar.
In a couple days the ginger bug may show bubbles or signs of fizziness. Don't worry if you don't see obvious signs. Your culture is working behind the scenes growing beneficial probiotics. If your culture grows mold or smells bad, toss it out and start over.
After 4-7 days your healthy culture will be ready. If you aren't sure, just give it the full 7 days to ferment. Strain your ginger bug into a clean jar and toss away all the old ginger. Now you can use it to make homemade, naturally carbonated sodas.
Once you have measured out the needed ginger bug to make your first soda, replace the liquid with an equal amount of filtered water and add 2 teaspoons each of finely chopped ginger and raw sugar.
Store your freshly fed ginger bug in the refrigerator.
Tips to grow a good ginger bug:Use a very clean jar to start and select filtered or bottled spring water. Chlorinated city water will interfere with culture. It is important to leave the skin on the ginger because the beneficial bacteria are in the skin. Measure level teaspoons of ginger and sugar when feeding the ginger bug so as not to over feed it.Once your ginger bug is alive and full of beneficial bacteria, you can use it to make soda. To store your ginger bug between home brews, just replace the amount of liquid used to make soda (typically 1/2 cup), with filtered water and 2 teaspoons each ginger and sugar. Then place it in the refrigerator until the next use.If you have a ginger bug that has been in the refrigerator for several weeks, you can "wake" it up. Strain out the old ginger pulp and feed it with 1 tablespoon each ginger and sugar. Place it at room temperature for 12- 24 hours to ferment before making your soda.