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How to Make a Ginger Bug | FarmSteady

How to Make a Ginger Bug

A ginger bug is a starter culture that can be used to make delicious ginger beer and naturally fermented sodas. Wild yeast from the environment and the skin of the ginger is cultivated to kickstart the fermentation process. Creating your own ginger bug starter is really easy, you only need three ingredients and five days to grow your ginger bug.

The main ingredient is the ginger, preferably grated with the skin on, added to water and sugar. The sugar is used to feed the naturally occurring yeast that will soon start to release carbon dioxide, giving the starter a natural fizz. And much like a sourdough starter, once you have your ginger bug going you can use it for making batch after batch of ginger beer and naturally fermented soda.

Ginger ale is one of those retro drinks. It reminds us of cassette tapes, box televisions, and carefree childhoods spent outside climbing trees. It also reminds us of a time where we were blissfully unaware of how bad soda was for us.

This is the reason why you should welcome the ginger bug and fermentation into your life. By naturally fermenting soda you are using real ingredients (fresh ginger or fruit), real sugar (we opt for raw sugar) and by fermenting it the wild yeast is consuming some of that sugar (although not all, so we still consider ginger beer and naturally fermented sodas a treat and not a health beverage).

Using real, fresh ginger also has health benefits. Ginger, officially named Zingiber Officinale, has been used as a medicinal plant and delicious spicy addition to food for centuries. It contains active therapeutic substances like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone that gives it potent antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus we love the taste.

Making your own ginger bug starter and using it to make naturally fermented sodas, is a healthy alternative to buying commercial carbonated beverages. Once you get used to the flavorsome health kick you get from a naturally fermented soda, you will never go back to store-bought again.

So, what’s the next step? Making your own ginger beer, of course. Once you have your ginger bug going check out our easy step-by-step guide to making homemade ginger beer.

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