We've finally entered into the world of home brewing! We decided to start with fermented probiotic sodas for three reasons - delicious, healthy, and a chance of exploding if we messed it up! The first major step was the ginger bug - the necessary base for making several varieties of traditional probiotic sodas. It's like a sourdough starter for sodas and once you have a healthy ginger bug, you're ready to make soda! We read through several blogs and websites, did some trial and error, and here's what we came up with. We are beginners, not experts, but we're happy to share what worked for us.
1 large Ginger Root
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 cups filtered or well water (don't use water that might be chlorinated such as municipal tap water)
- Peel a portion of the ginger root and chop into small pieces until you have 2 Tablespoons.
- Put chopped ginger in a 1-quart mason jar and add 2 Tablespoons sugar.
- Add 2 cups water and stir with a plastic or wooden spoon slowly to help sugar dissolve.
- Cover the jar with a paper towel and rubber band, and let sit on a counter at room temperature
- Once a day, stir the ginger bug (no metal) and add 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Do this for 5-8 days.
- After 2 days or so, the ginger bug will be bubbling and fizzing when you stir it, and by the time you're finished, the surface will be covered in larger bubbles and white foam. It also turns a bit cloudy. By the second day, we also noticed the sweet, ginger/yeast smell that indicates a healthy ginger bug. In our experience, 6 days was the magic number for the ginger bug. At this point, we used a half cup of the ginger bug to make a batch of Ginger Ale, and the rest of the ginger bug is currently stored in the refrigerator. We feed it 1 Teaspoon of fresh ginger and 1 Teaspoon of sugar each week as it waits for a new batch of soda-making!