After watching a Julia Dreads video on YouTube, I knew next on my evolving list of things to try was home brewed ginger ale! But first, I needed to make a ginger bug.
A ginger bug is a culture of good bacteria created from wild yeast found on the peel of ginger root. It is similar to a SCOBY, or a sourdough starter. We used ginger bug to beverages to create naturally fermented sodas that are rich in good bacteria and probiotics.
Health Benefits of Ginger!
Ginger has many health benefits when it isn't even fermented! It can reduce nausea, gas and inflammation, fight bad breath bacteria, aids in weight loss, clears skin, improves circulation, fights infections, and can relax muscle cramps! And, when ginger is fermented into a probiotic ginger bug, the health benefits just get better!
How do I make a Ginger Bug?
Making your own ginger bug is really easy. Simply place 2 tablespoons of grated, minced or shredded ginger root, peel included, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 cups of de-chlorinated cool water into a quart sized jar. Add a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter secured with a rubber band to keep unwanted dust from entering.
Feed your ginger bug everyday with a spoonful of fresh ginger and sugar, occasionally swirling it throughout the day to ensure mold doesn't grow on the surface. Be sure to never use a metal spoon to stir your ginger bug!
In about a week, you will begin to see lots of bubbles and carbonation in your ginger bug. This means you've successfully captured and cultured the wild yeast on the ginger and you are ready to use your ginger bug to make ginger ale, root beer or other fermented sodas!