Forget soda pop with it’s artificial colors and flavors and uber amounts of sugar. When ginger bug is added to juices or teas or homemade soda syrups you can have naturally fermented, fizzy drinks with beneficial microorganisms packed with nutrients!
3 tablespoons peeled and grated, fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons white sugar (this is food for the beneficial bacteria and wild yeast)
3 tablespoons purified, chlorine free water
Place the 3 above ingredients in a glass Mason jar. Avoid using metal as much as possible when working with fermented foods. (I realize the knife and grater are metal, but try to reduce metal contact by using glass containers and non metallic spoons etc.) Cover mason jar with a coffee filter secured with an elastic band to allow the ginger bug to breathe and gather wild yeast and beneficial bacteria while keeping out dust and pests.
Leave your new project on the kitchen cupboard in an area that has a constant temperature (I keep mine by my slow cooker). Check on the project daily giving it a little stir.
Every couple days add 1 tablespoon peeled and grated, fresh ginger root, 1 tablespoon white sugar and 1 tablespoon purified, chlorine free water.
I found that between 10 days and 2 weeks bubbles started to form! The smell was sweet and yeasty and the color an opaque soft yellow.
Continue to feed your ginger bug every couple of days as above. I also find that you can sometimes go longer between feedings depending on the ambient temperature of your house. I feed my ginger bug once a week now and it is seemingly happy and bubbly!
Add this mixture as required to recipes for Ginger ale or Ginger beer. Add it to fruit juices or tea. I like it in Shrub and Switchel (both are traditional and delightful fermented beverages).
I add a couple tablespoons of the drained off liquid part of the ginger bug to one swing top bottle and fill the remainder of the bottle with my beverage of choice. After sealing the lid, I let the bottle stand at room temperature for a couple of days. When opened the drink inside is delightfully fizzy and ready to drink!
WORDS OF ADVICE
Once again avoid using metal as much as possible when fermenting foods.
Do not use chlorinated water.
Your ginger bug should start bubbling after two weeks. The smell should be sweet and yeasty. If it smells “off” do not use that batch. Throw it away and start over.
If you find mold on top of your ginger bug, throw it away and start over.
Try not to keep all of your fermentation experiments in the same room as they can cross contaminate.
Enjoy your new “pet”!