How to Make a Ginger Bug
By Monica Ford -
I love introducing skeptics to the wonderful world of fermented food with naturally fermented sodas. They are probiotically rich, effervescent, delicious and beautiful to behold. I recently taught a class of skeptical teens how to make fun fermented foods like traditional sodas. We made Real Root Beer Floats and they were blown away by the taste and sweet effervescence. Food should be fun, health promoting and a time-slowing joy. That’s what naturally fermented sodas are…joy in a bottle!

So, what makes a naturally fermented soda bubble in the bottle? That would be the starter of your choice. Should you choose whey, water kefir, kombucha, ginger bug or something else, it’s all about creating a tingle on the tongue and a strong bio-diverse gut ecology!

Start maturing your own ginger bug today. Post about your experience and any questions in the comments section. We’ll all help each other. Sometimes it takes a cyber village, y’all! Meet me back here in a few when your ginger bug will be ready to work for you.

Then, I’ll teach you how to make a lovely light soda.
Starting your Ginger Bug
Ginger Bug Ingredients

• 1 ¾ cups water
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 2 heaping teaspoons diced ginger, unpeeled

Ginger Bug Method

• In a Pint size mason style jar, add the ginger and sugar*
• Add the water up to the shoulder of the jar
• Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a swirl and allow it to sit in a warm or room temperature spot (72-80F).
• For very consistent results and particularly if your home tends to be cool at night, consider getting a seedling mat . Place the jar on top of the mat and out of direct sun light. This will also come in handy when we make sodas together!
Feeding your Ginger Bug
• Every day for the next week add 1 more teaspoon each of sugar and diced ginger.
• The liquid will begin to get bubbly towards the end of the week
• If you’re using the classic Mason jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure or even a distended lid. Give that baby a little burp to relieve the pressure
• Once bubbly, it’s ready to use as a starter for sodas
• When you are not making sodas and do not want to feed your ginger bug everyday, simple store your ginger bug in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use again, just giver a day or two of feedings following the instructions above, feel for pressure and look for bubbles before making your soda.

Active Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 pint

Chef’s Note:

• Feel free to double this recipe in a quart size jar. Especially if you're planning to make sodas for a big family!
Once your made your ginger bug, use it to make this awesome Probiotic Grape Soda