Ginger Bug ~ How to make, keep and use one

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Good day to you all, I hope you’re having a great day wherever you are!

As a person with a few autoimmune diseases, I am always looking for ways to alleviate the pain, itching, and general discomfort that they can cause. Through tons of research, I learned that none of these can be cured topically. No matter how much or how many creams I try my psoriasis is not going to be healed this way! I believe all autoimmune diseases begin from an unhealthy gut. Not to say that’s what triggered it but I feel as though a great deal of relief can come from healing your gut. Replenishing the good bacteria in your body is a big step in the right direction. This is what I believe and what helps me, it’s ok if you don’t feel the same ๐Ÿ™‚

The biggest way to heal your gut is with probiotics, good bacteria. Your gut needs this to be healthy and it needs it on a regular basis! This probably isn’t news to you, probiotics are all over. You can get them in pill form (which can get extremely expensive) and there are all kinds of probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks (these can also be extremely expensive)

~ What is a ginger bug? ~

A ginger bug is just that a fermented probiotic drink made with ginger, water, and sugar. It’s actually really fun to make and to experiment with. You can make all sorts of homemade sodas. You start it the first day and simply feed it every day for 7 days and when it’s frothy, it’s ready to use!

~ Supplies ~

You’ll need a glass jar. Any kind will work I use the flip-top style mostly because that’s what I’ve always used for fermenting.

Plastic or silicone spatula

Grater. It doesn’t really matter what kind, I use the micro style.

Plastic measuring spoons

Those are the only supplies you’ll need. Plastic is important with whatever comes in contact with whatever is fermenting. Metals can react with good bacteria and it could all be wasted effort.

~ Day 1 ~

Grate 2 tablespoons of organic ginger with the peel and put it in your jar with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 cups of filtered or distilled water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

If you’re not using the flip-top jars then place a coffee filter or paper towel over the top and secure with an elastic band.

Let it sit in a warm spot to do its magic.

~ Day 2 ~

Feed it with 1 tablespoon of ginger and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Put it back in its warm spot.

It’s not going to have changed much and it likely won’t until about day 6 or 7. This also depends on how warm your home is and what time of year it is.

Repeat this step for 7 days.

~ Day 7 ~

By now it should be nice a frothy. If that’s the case congratulations! You did it! It’s ready to be used in all sorts of healthy sodas!

If it’s not frothy on the top just give it a bit of a stir and you should be able to see and hear the bubbles.

~ Tips and troubleshooting ~

Some say it’s best to use organic sugar, cane sugar, or regular white sugar. So I don’t know what’s best. I suppose if you really want to know you could start a few and find out. Personally, I use raw Turbinado sugar because that’s what I have in the cupboard. If I don’t have that I’ll feed it with plain white sugar and all is well, so my opinion is it doesn’t matter too much. The bug needs sugar though because that’s what the bacteria feed on so it’s certainly not something that can be skipped.

Room temperature bottled or distilled water is best. All those healthy good bacteria don’t like chlorinated water. You could set some water on the counter for an hour or two to let the chlorine dissipate.

Fermenting always goes faster when it’s warmer. In fact, it’s possible you’ll need to feed it more during the summer months. That just means feeding it in the morning and again at night.

If you want to slow the process down, if your home is too warm or you just can’t keep up with drinking it or making it, then place it in the fridge and feed it once a week. To do this take it out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature, feed it the same as day 2 and let it sit for a few hours and either use it or put it back in the fridge. This is perfect if you want to go on holidays

~ Making soda from your ginger bug ~

There are a few different ideas and recipes for ginger bug soda. All you have to do is look on Pinterest and there’s plenty.

One mango and one grape soda.

I simply used 3 cups of fruit juice and 1/2 cup of ginger bug.

Just strain the bug, you can strain all of it and set aside 1/4 cup to keep your bug going.

Add the juice and the bug together into a flip-top bottle with a funnel. Seal the top and gently shake to mix. Set it in a warm spot for a second ferment.

In 24 hours open the top, if you hear a fizz then it’s ready and you can close it and put it in the fridge for a few hours so you can serve it cold. If you don’t hear the fizz then close it and leave it where it is for another few hours.

To keep your bug going after you have used it, simply take that 1/4 cup of stained bug you set aside and add 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, and 1 tablespoon sugar and feed every day the same as before.

The initial process is long but not time-consuming. It takes minutes a day to feed your ginger bug and about 1/2 an hour once a week to make the soda. Not too bad for all that wonderful probiotic goodness!

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March 10, 2019 at 7:12 PM

Is this the same as making kombucha? Iโ€™ve wanted to make kombucha for a while because my husband has colitis but he canโ€™t have sugar. Can this be made without sugar? Iโ€™m going to try to make it for myself either way! Thanks!

    March 10, 2019 at 8:00 PM

    It is a bit like kombucha. Sugar is a must, it feeds on the sugar. He may be able to have the homemade versions of these (without added sugar) because the fermentation process eats the sugar and it isn’t a sugary drink. I’m not a doctor or anything so don’t take my word for it but could be worth some research.

March 11, 2019 at 9:25 AM

This sounds like a great alternative to sodas for the spring and summer months, plus I love ginger and the health benefits it offers.

March 11, 2019 at 5:46 PM

Can you use honey instead of sugar? http://www.thecozyme.com

    March 12, 2019 at 7:35 AM

    No, you can’t. Honey has its own enzymes and they don’t mix well with the good bacteria you get when you ferment. The sugar is what the bacteria feed on so you don’t really need to worry about the amount of sugar in it because, in the end, it’s not overly sweet.

Kim Peltz
January 14, 2021 at 9:33 AM

Can this be used for anything else besides soda? I’m not a soda drinker but I would love to give it a try!

    February 22, 2021 at 6:37 PM

    Not to my knowledge…it’s not like the sodas in the store. It’s a very light fizz so maybe that would make a difference for you.

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