It all began with a turmeric ginger bug and the ginger beer fermented from it in May 2015. Seven years later, it's really about time that I share the recipe and a few tips and tricks with you. The ginger turmeric beer on the next photo is actually it: The very first beverage that I fermented completely myself. The taste, but especially the production process, got me so hooked that I've been fermenting and trying out all sorts of things almost daily ever since. If you follow me on instagram, you know what I'm talking about 😉
Grow a ginger beer starter aka ginger bug yourself
When ginger, sugar and water are mixed and left to stand, the wild bacteria and natural yeasts on the ginger and from the environment itself begin to multiply. These wild microorganisms metabolize the sugar, producing carbon dioxide that gives homemade soft drinks their bubbles. A million times better than added carbon dioxide. The comparison is like champagne to carbonated table water. Like champagne, this ferment also has alcohol. That's usually as much or as little as is contained in kombucha or non-alcoholic beer.
To produce a fermented beverage, you first cultivate the starter (in English, by the way, it is called ginger bug). The principle is the same as sourdough. So if you've ever brought flour and water to life, you're sure to succeed with the Ginger Bug. I sometimes feel like Lady Frankenstein with these ferments and shout it’s alive! enthusiastically when the active phase begins.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. fresh organic ginger *
* It is important to use organic ginger because it is processed unpeeled. Valuable microbes sit on the skin, which support the fermentation. Conventionally grown ginger is often contaminated with pollutants and carries mold spores. If you're not using organic ginger and your ginger bug isn't getting active, that could be the problem.
Den Zucker in Wasser auflösen und mit dem gewürfelten oder geraffelten Ingwer in einem grossen Glasgefäss zusammenrühren. Das Gefäss wird mit einem Tuch bedeckt und dieses mit einem Gummiband fixiert. Luft und wilde Hefen sollen den Starter erreichen, Schädlinge müssen jedoch ferngehalten werden. Unbedingt warm aufstellen (20° C – 25° C ist optimal).
Feed every day with
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. organic ginger, diced
and stir vigorously several times a day. This is all about the submixing of oxygen. After 3 - 5 days the first bubbles should form and the ginger bug should smell of yeast and ginger. As soon as the starter has so many bubbles that it starts foaming, it is ready to be used for making hard lemonade.
If your starter doesn't get going at all, make sure it's warm enough and try shaking it vigorously instead of just stirring it. A lid on the container is a good idea for this.
Good luck with your first ginger starter!
How is the remaining Ginger Bug stored?
The maintenance of a ginger bug actually works just like that of a sourdough. You can store it in a glass with a loose lid in the refrigerator. Once a week it is taken out and fed, which means that sugar and chopped ginger are mixed again with strong stirring. I usually keep it warm for 1-2 hours before I chill it again.
But you probably make a drink at least once a week anyway, so that you can feed it right away on the occasion. Enjoy it!