Oh man, fermentation. It’s so fun. It feels like a science project, fizzes on the tongue, and is actually good for you. It also has recipes that call for cooling things to “blood temperature” in case you needed to feel more badass than you already do.
This week, I made myself a ginger bug. Which, once you get used to remembering to feed it, (at least every other day, but better daily) feels like you have a little pet on your counter! You can even put it to sleep by sticking it in the fridge. Goodnight, ginger bug!
I love me some Sally Fallon / Nourishing Traditions, and she has a recipe for ginger bug in her beverage chapter (slipped into the ginger beer recipe) as well as some other weird stuff like Sweet Potato Soda and Oat Water.
The general idea of ginger bug is to take a quart sized mason jar and add 3 teaspoons of sugar (white is fine, you won’t be eating this– the BUG will!) and 3 teaspoons of chopped or grated ginger (with skin) to 3 cups of water. Your bug needs to live in a warmish place (I like the top of the fridge for this – but put it somewhere you won’t forget about it.). At least every other day add 2 tsp of sugar and 2 more tsp of grated ginger. You should see bubbles forming within 3 days, which will increase the longer you feed your little bugger. It’s ready to use as soon as it becomes active, but most sources recommend waiting at least a week. If you don’t see bubbles (or hear gas escaping when you open it) after 7 days, chuck it out and start again.
If you have grown a ginger bug, but have run out of uses for it – stick it in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it again, sit it on the counter for three days to reactivate (and feed it while it’s out!)
If you’re out of bug liquid and want to restart it – compost half of the sediment in the bottom, refill the water, and start with the feeding plan again!
I’m making three batches of lacto-fermented sodas to share with you- root beer (my favorite), ginger beer (might want to go out and get some dark rum immediately), and sparkling apple cider. I’ll be posting the recipes to these every day for the next three. By the time your bug is ready to use, you’ll have a few recipes at hand to try out!
Enjoy bugging out!
Soda waiting to be ready and a new round of ginger bug growing stronger by the day!