How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer – a naturally fermented probiotic drink that is packed with health benefits.

This article includes a photo tutorial, information on secondary fermentation, flavoring your ginger beer, and troubleshooting when the process goes awry.

How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer - a naturally fermented probiotic-rich beverage that you can brew at home using minimal equipment! | TheRoastedRoot.net

Disclaimer: brewing probiotic beverages at home can be risky. When fermenting probiotc foods and beverages, use caution. Always use sanitized tools and when in doubt, throw it out! If you notice any strange smells or mold, be sure to discard the whole batch.

Many moons ago, I wrote a cookbook called Delicious Probiotic Drinks. This cookbook is focused entirely on making probiotic-rich beverages such as kombucha, kefir, ginger beer, fermented vegetable juice, and more, at home.

My favorite of all the fermented beverages to make is ginger beer. First and foremost, it is magnificent tasting.

Secondly, it is CHALLENGING.

Perhaps the most challenging and unforgiving of all the fermented drinks.

And for that reason, the most rewarding.

For those of you who have been around this site for a long time, you may remember my easy tutorial on How to Make Ginger Beer.

This is the goof-proof method that works each and every time and does not require much time or attention.

This version of probiotic ginger beer is different. It involves preparing a “ginger bug” (or ginger starter) from scratch.

How does that work?

Probiotics and yeast are naturally occurring everywhere. They are in our fruit and vegetables and are also present in the air. Giving these probiotics and yeast optimal conditions to grow and reproduce results in fermentation.

You’re already familiar with this concept, as it is the same process for creating yogurt, cheese, beer, wine, pickles, prosciutto (and other fermented meats), etc.

Applying this idea to fresh ginger is how we create a ginger starter, which is then used to make ginger beer.

Don’t worry…I’ll go over how to make a ginger starter in excruciating detail later on in this post. First, let’s cover some basics.

Close up on open bottle of ginger beer with two bottles of ginger beer in the background

WHAT IS GINGER BEER?

Ginger beer is a naturally fizzy beverage with a sweet and spicy bite. Grated ginger is fermented in sugar water and lemon juice, allowing the natural yeasts in ginger to feed and multiply, creating a probiotic beverage.

While ginger beer is a sweet, spicy, delicious beverage all on its own, it is famous for its role in cocktails, particularly the Dark & Stormy cocktail, a mixture of ginger beer and rum, garnished with a slice of lime.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GINGER BEER AND GINGER ALE?

The phrases, “ginger beer” and “ginger ale” are typically used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two beverages. Ginger beer is fermented for up to 2 or 3 weeks using a “ginger bug,” where ginger ale is more of a ginger flavored soda.

While there are ginger ale beverages made with real ginger, most ginger ales are simply carbonated water with ginger flavor and sugar. In this sense, ginger ale does not go through the same fermentation process that ginger beer does.

METHODS FOR MAKING GINGER BEER

There are multiple ways to make ginger beer. Here are three of the most common methods:

  • Non-probiotic ginger soda/ale: For those who aren’t concerned about the probiotic benefit of fermented ginger beer, you can simply combine ginger simple syrup (made with ginger and sugar) with soda water and achieve a great-tasting homemade beverage. This version contains no probiotics and is basically fancy soda.
  • Quick and Easy Ginger Beer with some probiotic benefits: This fast method uses bread yeast for fermentation and requires only two days to complete. For this version, read my blog post on How to Make Ginger Beer. This version is not as probiotic rich, but is still lower in sugar than regular soda.
  • Authentic Probiotic Ginger Beer – a health elixir: The authentic method for making fermented ginger beer is outlined in this post. It uses a probiotic-rich “ginger bug” (or ginger starter) which you make yourself at home. Like most things in life, the authentic version takes much longer than the easy version, but also yields great results. This version can take between 2 and 3 weeks to complete.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER BEER

Fermented ginger beer has a great deal of health benefits and is commonly used to ease upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which can help with migraines, and studies show fresh ginger prevents and fights several types of cancer cells including breast, colon, ovarian, prostate, and lung cancer.

Ginger is also known for cleansing the body of toxic chemicals, easing menstrual cramps, and much more!

The probiotics and yeast that grow during the fermentation process help colonize your gut with good bacteria, which helps boost immunity, fight disease, and promotes overall health.

A bottle and a glass of grapefruit rosemary ginger beer sitting on a table with half a grapefruit and sprigs of rosemary

HOW TO MAKE FERMENTED PROBIOTIC GINGER BEER

Fermented probiotic ginger beer requires a three-step process.

Step 1: Make a “ginger bug” or starter using fresh ginger, water, sugar and lemon juice. This starter is used to brew a batch of ginger beer (Step 2). This can take 1 to 2 weeks to complete (depending on the temperature of your home and how active your culture decides to be).

Step 2: Brew a large batch of ginger beer using the “ginger bug” – you could compare this process to making a batch of sourdough bread dough using sourdough starter. This process takes about 1 to 3 weeks, depending on how active your ginger bug is and how warm your home is.

Step 3: Bottle the ginger beer and allow it to ferment further – Once the beverage becomes effervescent (fizzy/probiotic-rich) we bottle it and allow it to sit for “secondary fermentation” (more on this below). This process takes about 2 to 5 days.

You Will Need:

  1. 1-quart glass jar or jug 
  2. Cheesecloth 
  3. Stretchy rubber band
  4. 1-gallon glass jug 
  5. Flip-Cap Bottles 
  6. Fresh ginger
  7. Organic Cane Sugar
  8. 2 to 4 Lemons

Ingredients for the “Ginger Bug:”

  • 1-inch nub fresh ginger, peeled and grated, plus more for feeding the starter
  • 1 tablespoon raw organic sugar, plus more for growing the starter
  • 2 cups water

Instructions for the Ginger Bug / Ginger Starter:

Peel and grate a 1-inch nub of fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon).

Box grater on a plate with fresh ginger grated on it

Add the grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and two cups of filtered water or spring water (non-chlorinated) to the jar and stir (a 1-quart jar works great).

Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or towel. Secure the cloth around the jar with a rubber band. This keeps insects away from the starter.

Allow jar to sit in a warm, dark place for 24 hours. The optimal temperature for preparing the ginger starter and brewing ginger beer is between 70 and 85 degrees.

If your house stays cool, find the warmest spot in your home to place the ginger starter. This process activates the probiotics and yeast that are in the ginger and allows them to begin reproducing.

jar of ginger starter with a towel on top, secured by a rubber band

Feed the colony – Once a day for one week, add one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to the jar and stir well.

This ensures your ginger starter stays fed and grows, similar to sourdough starter. Stir a couple of times per day.

During this process, natural yeasts are released and create a white substance at the bottom of the jar. This is where the probiotics come from.

After about 3 to 5 days (perhaps longer if your house is very cold), the liquid will begin bubbling when you stir it. Once you can see and hear bubbles without touching the jar, your ginger bug is ready to be used. This will usually take 7 to 10 days in a warm (70 to 80 degrees F) house, but longer in a cool house.

To expedite the process, wrap the ginger starter jar in a heat blanket or an insulated blanket to keep it warm. If after 7 days, your ginger bug is still not bubbling, continue adding a teaspoon of sugar and ginger until it does. Have patience, friend!

In some cases, folks have gotten bubbles within only a few days of beginning their starter. While this is unusual, it is a sign the starter is ready! As soon as you see the bubbles rushing from the bottom to the top, you’re ready to go.

Use the liquid from ginger starter to make ginger beer (instructions below).

You can continue adding water, ginger, and sugar to the starter and to use it for multiple batches of ginger beer. In this sense, you can treat your ginger starter the same way one would treat sourdough starter and keep it alive.

small jar and big jug of ginger beer on a shelf, covered with towels

Note: If you ever see mold floating on top of the starter liquid, discard the starter and make a new one.

Ingredients for the Ginger Beer:

  • 1 cup ginger starter (see above)
  • 1 scant gallon of filtered spring or well water
  • 1 1/4 cups organic cane sugar 
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger, grated

Instructions for 1 Gallon of Probiotic Ginger Beer:

Fill a gallon-sized jug most of the way up with spring or well water (do not use water from the tap unless your house runs on a well). This water should be room temperature or slightly warmer (aim for 70 to 80 degrees).

Add one cup the the ginger starter, along with 1 1/4 cups of sugar, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of grated ginger. Stir very well.

How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer - a naturally fermented probiotic-rich beverage that you can make at home | TheRoastedRoot.net

Cover the jug with a cheesecloth or towel bound by a rubber band and put it in a warm, dark place at room temperature for 8 to 10 days. Mine takes 8 days, even in a very warm (80⁰F +) house.

How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer - a naturally fermented probiotic-rich beverage | TheRoastedRoot.net

Taste-test the mixture periodically to see if more sugar needs to be added (the natural probiotics will eat the sugar so if the beverage ever loses all of its sweetness, add a little more sugar (no more than 2 tablespoons at a time), but be careful to not overload the probiotics, as they can die when given too much sugar.

Stir the mixture once or twice a day. You will notice a white substance forming around the ginger at the bottom of the jug.

This is the natural yeasts coming out of the ginger – it’s a good sign! There will also be large bubbles that form on the surface of the liquid.

The ginger beer is ready when the substance becomes bubbly when stirred (similar to when you’re making the ginger starter).

Once the ginger beer is ready, give it a taste test. If it doesn’t taste sweet, add additional sugar and ginger because once you bottle the brew, it goes through secondary fermentation and the probiotics continue to need to eat sugar. 

At this point, your options are to either bottle the ginger beer as-is or flavor it prior to bottling it. See information on Secondary Fermentation and flavoring options below.

Pour the liquid (including the ginger pulp) into sealable bottles and set them in a dark room for 2 to 4 days. This process makes the ginger beer very fizzy.

The warmer the room, the faster the beverage gets fizzy, so open a bottle every day or so to check the fizz and level of sweetness.

Both the fizz and sweetness is up to your taste but be very careful to not allow the bottles to sit for too long because they most definitely will explode.

Place bottles in the refrigerator to calm the fermentation process. Note that the ginger beer will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, so try to consume the beverage within a few days after secondary fermentation is complete for best results.

Leaving it in the refrigerator for longer than a week will result in a “drier”, less sweet ginger beer.

You can now brew another batch of ginger beer using the ginger starter you have been feeding. Because your ginger starter is now more mature, it will take a little less time to brew your second batch.

Naturally Fermented Probiotic Grapefruit Rosemary Ginger Beer

SECONDARY FERMENTATION

Once ginger beer is finished with its primary fermentation, you may add additional sugar and/or ingredients (see “Flavoring Ginger Beer” section below) to flavor it and allow it to go through a secondary fermentation.

The purpose of secondary fermentation is threefold: To achieve a fizzy beverage (it will get just as fizzy, if not fizzier than soda!), to make the drink even more probiotic-rich, and to give it delicious flavor.

FLAVORING GINGER BEER

Ginger beer is perhaps the easiest probiotic drinks to flavor because just about any type of fruit and/or herb goes wonderfully with ginger.

The fact that there is already a great deal of sweet and spicy flavor in ginger beer provides a wonderful canvas for incorporating other sweet, sour, tart or creamy flavors.

In this way, the added ingredients are typically what one tastes first when drinking the ginger beer, with the spicy ginger coming through at the finish.

You have a few options for adding ingredients for secondary fermentation. You can add fresh fruit juice, a homemade simple syrup infused with any flavor you like, or a fruit/herb sauce (similar concept to simple syrup).

If you’re adding fruit juice, simply add 1/4 cup to each glass bottle before filling them the rest of the way up with ginger beer. Secure the lids tightly and allow them to sit for 2 days. Immediately transfer to the refrigerator to slow the fermentation process.

Getting creative with fruit and herb combinations is brilliant when it comes to this drink and you are virtually guaranteed to end up with a delicious probiotic drink!

To make flavor ginger beer, choose your fresh fruit and/or fresh herbs. Combine 2 cups of fresh fruit with ½ cup cane sugar and 1/3 cup water in a saucepan (Note: if you’re adding fresh herbs, do so here as well). Bring to a full boil and cook until the fruit has softened. Allow mixture to cool completely. Once cool, divide it between the bottles you are using to bottle the ginger beer.

Fill the bottles the rest of the way up with ginger beer, seal tightly, and allow bottles to sit at room temperature for 2 days to undergo secondary fermentation. Transfer the bottles of ginger beer to the refrigerator and chill.

closeup glass of coconut basil ginger beer with a glass and bottle in the background

Here are some of my favorite flavor combinations for ginger beer:

  • Blackberry Sage (2 cups blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup fresh sage, packed)
  • Grapefruit Rosemary (1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 sprigs rosemary)
  • Coconut Basil (1 can full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup fresh basil, packed)
  • Blood Orange (1 cup fresh blood orange juice, 1/2 cup sugar)
  • Raspberry Mint (2 cups fresh raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup fresh mint)

SHELF LIFE OF GINGER BEER

When properly sealed in bottles, plain ginger beer can last for up to one month in the refrigerator. For best results, drink within 2 weeks of brewing.

When ingredients such as fruit, are added to ginger beer, consume within 1 week for best results and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. While ginger beer can last even longer than this, it is best to err on the safe side when it comes to probiotics.

A NOTE OF CAUTION

As is always the case with probiotic beverage, be cautious when opening a bottle after secondary fermentation as pressure builds and the drink will be fizzy. Never point a bottle at your face (or at any other person) while opening, and never hand a bottle to a child to open.

Blackberry Sage Ginger Beer - a recipe for probiotic ginger beer

TROUBLESHOOTING

If it seems like either your ginger starter or ginger beer is taking a long time to come to life (get bubbly), don’t worry. This is likely the result of the temperature of your home, and it may just take some extra time.

As mentioned previously, if you want to expedite the process, wrap the jar in a heating pad and set it to a low temperature to keep the starter warm.

On the flipside, in rare cases, a ginger starter may be ready after only a few days. As long as bubbles are flowing from the bottom to the top, that is a sign the starter is rich in probiotics and is ready to be put to use.

Like many probiotic beverages, ginger beer is one of those that seems to be doing nothing for quite some time and then all of a sudden, it’s working.

At the end of secondary fermentation, if your ginger beer too dry (not sweet and very fizzy), this is because the yeast consumed all of the sugar that was in the bottle, leaving very little sweetness for you.

Some people prefer drier ginger beer, but if you prefer it to be on the sweet side, simply make sure you add additional sugar (either cane sugar, fruit, or juice) prior to bottling your next batch.

Did you pop open a bottle of ginger beer after 3 days of secondary fermentation and it wasn’t fizzy and it still tasted sweet?  If this is the case, your ginger beer still contains residual sugar that needs to get eaten up by the probiotics. This is okay!

Simply leave the remaining bottles (if any) at room temperature to continue secondary fermentation. Because there was plenty of sugar in the beverage prior to bottling, it will simply take an additional day or two for the probiotics to consume the sugar and for the beverage to become fizzy.

How to Prevent Flat Ginger Beer:

To prevent flat ginger beer, be sure there are small bubbles that rise from the bottom to the top of the liquid prior to bottling it for secondary fermentation, as this is a sign of probiotic activity.  Keep in mind that even if your ginger beer does not get fizzy, it is still full of probiotics and is great for you!

Wondering if Your Batch is Bad?

If at any point you find mold on the surface of your ginger beer while it is brewing, throw the whole batch out, even if it is only a tiny bit of mold. Ginger beer is easy to re-make (especially since you already have your ginger starter ready to go), and it is not worth sacrificing quality and health even if it is frustrating to have a failed batch.

Any Questions??

I hope this post will inspire you to make your own naturally fermented healthy ginger beer at home! 

Be sure to check out my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks for more recipes for fermented beverages!

Delicious Probiotic Drinks by Julia Mueller

Check out my latest cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls for nutrient-dense meal recipes.

If you make ginger beer, feel free to share a photo on Instagram and tag @The.Roasted.Root!

Wooden serving tray with eight bottles of ginger beer inside on a wood table

Probiotic Ginger Beer

4.62 from 83 votes
How to make naturally fermented ginger beer at home
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Fermentation Time 12 days
Total Time 12 days 20 minutes
Servings: 1 gallon

Ingredients

Ginger Starter:

  • 1 1-inch nub fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 2 cups filtered water

Ginger Beer:

  • 1 cup ginger starter instructions below
  • 1 scant gallon filtered water or well water
  • 1 1/4 cups organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger peeled and grated

Instructions

Prepare the Ginger Starter:

  • Peel and grate a 1-inch nub of fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon).
  • Add the grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and two cups of filtered water or spring water(non-chlorinated) to a jar and stir. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or towel and secure it with a rubber band. Allow jar to sit in a dark place for 24 hours.
  • Once a day for 4 to 10 days, add one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to the jar and stir well. This ensures your ginger starter stays fed and grows, similar to sourdough starter. Stir a couple of times per day. During this process, natural yeasts are released and create a white substance at the bottom of the jar. This is where the probiotics come from.
  • After 3 to 5 days (longer if your house is very cold), the liquid will begin bubbling when you stir it. Once you can see and hear bubbles without touching the jar, your ginger bug is ready to be used. If after 7 days, your ginger bug is still not bubbling, continue adding a teaspoon of sugar and ginger until it does. Note that amount of time it takes to get a ginger bug active varies widely depending on the temperature of your home and the activity of the bacteria and yeast.
  • Use the liquid from ginger starter to make ginger beer (instructions below).

Make the Ginger Beer:

  • Fill a gallon-sized jug most of the way up with spring or well water (do not use water from the tap unless your house runs on a well). This water should be room temperature or slightly warmer (aim for 70 to 78 degrees).
  • Stir the ginger starter well. Add 1 cup of the ginger starter, sugar, lemon juice, grated ginger, and the ginger starter. Stir very well. Cover the jug with a cheesecloth or towel bound by a rubber band and put it in a dark place at room temperature for 8 to 10 days.
  • Taste-test the mixture periodically to see if more sugar needs to be added (the natural probiotics will eat the sugar so if the beverage ever loses all of its sweetness, add a little more sugar (no more than 2 tablespoons at a time).
  • Stir the mixture once or twice a day. You will notice a white substance forming around the ginger at the bottom of the jug. The ginger beer is ready when the substance becomes bubbly when stirred (similar to when you’re making the ginger starter).
  • Once the ginger beer is ready, give it a taste test. If it doesn’t taste sweet, add additional sugar and ginger – once you bottle the brew, it goes through secondary fermentation and the probiotics will need more sugar to survive.
  • At this point, your options are to either bottle the ginger beer as-is or flavor it prior to bottling it. If you choose to leave the ginger beer as-is, simply transfer the ginger beer toglass bottles, secure the lids, and place bottles in the refrigerator.
  • If you choose to flavor the ginger beer, add your flavoring ingredients to the flip cap bottles (see blog post for flavor ideas and instructions for secondary fermentation) prior to filling the bottles up with ginger beer. Secure the lids on the bottles and leave at room temperature for another 2 days.
  • Place bottles in the refrigerator to calm the fermentation process. Note that the ginger beer will continue to ferment in the refrigerator, so try to consume the beverage within a few days after secondary fermentation is complete for best results. Leaving it in the refrigerator for longer than a week will result in a “drier”, less sweet ginger beer.
  • You can now brew another batch of ginger beer using the ginger starter you have been feeding. Because your ginger starter is now more mature, it will take a little less time to brew your second batch.

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces · Calories: 50kcal
Author: Julia
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fermented drinks, fermented food, ginger beer, probiotics
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

Naturally Fermented Probiotic Ginger Beer using native yeast (naturally occurring yeast) - delicious refreshing low-sugar low-calorie probiotic rich drink!
Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. Amazing post! You make it easy by breaking this process down step by step. You also make it look so pretty!

    1. I’m so glad you like it! It definitely requires a time commitment and attention to detail, but it is so fun and rewarding!

        1. Is there alcohol content? Would this be safe for a pregnant woman to drink to help with morning sickness for example? Thanks!!

          1. Hi there!

            There is a very small amount of resultant alchohol, yes. There’s no way to know how much alcohol without owning equipment to test it. That said, I wouldn’t recommend drinking it if you’re pregnant unless your doctor has cleared you to drink other probiotic containing drinks and food, like kombucha or kimchi…better safe than sorry! To help ease morning sickness, I would stick with ginger tea using fresh ginger, and/or peppermint tea. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. Hi there! I haven’t tried it using coconut sugar, but my guess is it would work. If your ginger bug takes too long to bubble, I would abort mission and stick with cane sugar. Hope it works! xo

  2. To keep my ginger bug alive how often do I feed it and how much? If I refrigerate it will it come back to life after a few feedings similar to sourdough starter?

    1. Hi Velda! Feed the ginger bug once a day for one week. Add one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to the jar and stir well. I have never tried refrigerating it and bringing it back to life, but my guess is it would be difficult to get it going again. After you make a few batches, you could certainly try to refrigerate the bug and see if it works!

      1. Thank you! I will keep it at room temp for sure! I just made my first batch 1st ferment yesterday! Got a nice active ginger bug so hoping for a great result! Your directions really helped!!!

        1. Hi there, my partner and I attempted making ginger beer about 4 weeks ago, just 2 litres worth for a quick experiment using lemon, ginger, sugar, water and brewers yeast (inactivated) believing the brewers yeast was for brewing. As we found out later the yeast used was a protein supplement from health food store, as opposed to the common mis-conception based in the title ‘brewers yeast’
          After realizing we may have used the wrong yeast we have actually noticed carbonization in our bottles. The first 2 weeks we could not see any change, I added a pinch more sugar to each bottle and during the last week I now relieve the pressure in the bottles daily. It’s not like an intense fizz but there is definitely canonization now.
          Would this carbonization be due to fermentation of the ingredients alone without the yeast which is in fact de-activated?
          Would it be okay to consume anyway although the yeast we added at the start is not the right one for brewing?
          Would this be a suitable ginger bug as is?
          Thank you for your time =)
          Regards Richie.

          1. Hi Richie!

            It could be fermentation from the other ingredients, absolutely. As long as the ginger beer doesn’t have a funky smell to it (i.e. smell rancid or like vomit), it should be fine for consumption. I would just try it in a small amount (say 4 to 6 ounces) to start out. Happy brewing! xoxo

      2. Hi Velda, Julia,

        Yes you can refrigerate your bug like a sourdough starter. I try to have about twice the bug I need for the beer batch and put the rest back in the fridge with a big tablespoon of fresh ginger and sugar as well as some extra (dechlorinated) water. I then feed it once a week or even once every two weeks with again a tbs of grated ginger and a tbs of sugar. Regularly de-gas if in a closed container as it will continue to ferment. If you leave it for too long, it will die as at some point it will run out of sugar. But as long a sit is bubbly and smells yeasty, you are good!

        The cooling does not actually kill the bug, it just slows the fermentation. This way you only have to go through the process of making the bug once and after that you can just pull it from the fridge and start using it straight away. I use about 100ml of the liquid bug per 5 liters. I’ve done it about 4 times over about as many months and works like a charm.

        I’ll soon try one of the recipes in this blog, sounds awesome!!

  3. Hi, thanks for the excellent instructions. I used to drink a beer or two when I arrived home, now the ginger beer give me much more pleasure and great feeling only after drinking one or two glasses.

    I have one question, my fresh ginger beer is nice and fizzy. However when I put it into the refrigerator, it becomes clear, with a white yeast layer on the bottom of the bottle. If you drink the white part your stomach gets very bubbly during the night.

    Is there a minimum temp range that it still keep fermenting. I think my fridge might be too cold, at about 4-7 degrees? It seems the fermentation totally stops. My ginger main production vessel is fermenting great and I have nice ginger beer after about 24 hours. at 30 degrees Celsius almost constant. But after refrigeration the freshness is gone.

    1. Hi Rogier!

      The ginger beer needs to stay between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in order to continue fermenting. At a certain point, the bacteria and yeast will run out of food (sugar) to eat and will die, which is why refrigeration is necessary. Hope that helps!

  4. Hello, Everything went as described until I bottled the ginger beer, within a day or so everything thickened to a snotty mess! Do you know why this would happen or if it’s fixable?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      I’ve never had that experience or anything close to it…what does the ginger beer smell like? It should smell lemony and ginger-y, but not putrid. If your ginger beer smells at all rancid (like rotten milk or vommit), then definitely pitch it. But if it smells “normal,” it could just be that you ended up with a lot of probiotics and yeast. With kombucha, the culture is made using a SCOBY, which is a mass of probiotics and yeast, which is potentially what you grew. If that’s the case it is totally fine…you can just remove any snotty mass and either pitch it or save it to make your next batch of ginger beer. Also feel free to email me photos if you want me to take a look – roastedrootfood@gmail.com

      xoxo

  5. I’m excited to try this! My partner needs to be low-glycemic, and I’m wondering if most of the sugar content gets eaten by the bug (similar to kombucha)?

    1. If you’re worried about the sugar content of the finished product, there are two ways to go about it.

      The gist is: the longer it ferments, the less sugar will be left, so you’ll probably need to let it ferment longer in primary, letting it get fairly dry then adding a small amount of sugar before bottling. (My gut says teaspoon – when making beer we only add a tablespoon to a 5-gallon batch for carbonating in the bottles)

      Here’s where your options come in:
      Way #1: just taste it – if it’s sweet there’s still sugar.
      Way #2: I’d strongly suggest that you invest in a hydrometer so you can actually measure the amount of sugar in the brew; these are fairly inexpensive, you can get them at any home brewing supply store, and the clerks will be happy to teach you how to use it. The main advantage here is that you can **know** how much sugar there is for sure, so you can better do portion control and that sort of thing.

      I should also note: You do need to use proper sugar, no stevia or anything like that, but I’ve heard of people having luck with lower glycemic index sugars, like coconut sugar.

      Happy experimenting!

  6. How do you look after the ginger bug after the first week and after the first brew so that you can make more? Do you have to feed it 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ginger everyday to keep it alive?

    Thanks.
    Cam

    1. That’s correct – feed the ginger bug 1 tsp fresh ginger and 1 tsp sugar every day until bubbles begin to rise to the top from the bottom of the jar. I wouldn’t grate the ginger in advance just to be certain it stays fresh 😀 Hope you enjoy!

  7. So to use the ginger bug again do I add another cup of water to it and keep feeding it indefinitely?
    I.e. replacing the cup of liquid I took out

    1. Hi Cameron! You nailed it. You’ll replace what you removed and continue feeding it 😀 Hope you enjoy! xoxo

  8. Hi there. I am going to start a batch of your ginger beer this coming week. I have just made a simple kind like we did as wee kids, using normal sugar, yeast, and ground ginger. Now I have successfully done that, I want to step it up to the “real deal”

    Just wondering as I cant find a simple answer online – how much in grams would the 1Tbsp ginger, and 1/3c grated weigh?

    Is it okay to grate a whole ginger, then use to feed and store until the final 1/3c cup ? If so, how would I store it?

    When stirring, do you disrupt the bottom as well to mix that in, or do you just stir the top water layer?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Dayna!

      I’m so happy to hear you’re interested in trying this method! I’m showing 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger weighs .26 ounces (or 7.37 grams) when grated. 1/3 cup will be about 39 grams.

      I recommend grating the ginger fresh off of the root daily, but if you want to grate it all in one go, feel free to do so. I would store it in a tupperware container in the refrigerator if you grate it all at once 😀

      Let me know if you have any other questions, and happy brewing!

  9. Hello,

    This is my first try with any sort of fermentation and my bug has started bubbling (very proud) but I have a few questions.

    1. In my bug most of the grated ginger is floating, is that ok?
    2. When I get onto the actual beer part, does it need to be lemon juice for any chemical reasons? Like for the acid content? Or is that for sugar/flavor? Just curious about future batches.

    Thank you very much! It is so cool that you have stayed so active answering questions.

    1. Hi Alex,

      It’s fine that the ginger is floating, although I would stir it up quite a bit just to be sure it’s well incorporated into the water/sugar. The lemon juice is for flavor and also to help keep the bad bugs out. Hope you enjoy! xo

  10. My ginger bug was active, I combined the ingredients fir mixing the ginger beer, and the mixture was fizzy and bubbly after a day and into the second day with a white layer of probiotics at the bottom. On the third day, the mixture went flat and much of the probiotics were gone. I added about 2 tbsp more of grated ginger and 2 tbsp more of sugar and a little more ginger bug to try to kickstart the probiotics in case they had died. Is there anything else I should do to try to regain the carbonation and build up the probiotics before I bottle? Also, when I do bottle, do I strain out all of the ginger? Leave it in? Or strain and put fresh ginger in? Thank you.

    1. Hi Ian,

      Ah bummer! It is definitely a finicky beverage to make…I would say as soon as the bubbles are visible in the starter, you’ll want to put it to use by making a full batch of ginger beer. Also try to keep it warm, as bacteria likes to be comfortable 😉 No straining necessary when making a full batch of ginger beer – you’ll want to keep all the pulp. Hope all of that makes sense!
      xoxo

  11. Hi,

    Why don’t we need to seal the vessels? Like with those 1 way gas valves? I thought that stuff was needed for the fermentation.

    Thanks!

  12. Thanks for the beautiful post! I’ve tried making my own batch and it should be ready to drink in a couple days. I’m just a little worried about Botulism. Am I way of course here, or is it possible to be present as the drink is not that acidic? Should I add more lemon if it’s a concern? Just getting into making my own fermented foods and have a little fear still. Thanks in advance 🙂

  13. Hi there, what happens with the leftover starter? Do we have to keep feeding daily or can it holiday until needed next? Also I didn’t read properly and had mine on the bench in a warm spot, not dark. Will it still be prebiotic?

    1. Hi Emma,

      Yes, you will need to continue feeding the starter, but you can likely drop it down to every other day and have it still be active. To be safe, I would still feed it every day.

      As long as your starter has bubbles rising from the bottom to the top, that is an indication the probiotics are still alive.

  14. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this recipe it is very detailed. I would like to know the approximate percentage of alcohol i may achieve with this recipe. Will i get up to 5% alcohol?

    1. Hi Jemmy,

      I don’t think you would achieve 5% alcohol with this method. You would need to employ an entirely different brewing method, likely requiring some sort of beer yeast or champagne yeast. Alcoholic ginger beer or cider is a whole other ball of wax 😉 xoxo

    1. hi there, i just finished my secondary fermentation (after 8 days) and the beverage is really sour and i really believe that there is more alcohol in there than it is supposed to be. could it be harmful? is there any way how to find out the alcohol percentage? thank you for your answers 🙏

      1. Hi Paula,

        You would need special equipment that measures alcohol content in order to have an accurate idea of how much alcohol there is. Fermenting ginger beer under a short period of time will not result in very much alcohol, so I wouldn’t say it’s harmful. If it tastes offputting to you, it’s best to start over. xoxo

  15. Hi there. I’ve just started my bug and am wondering about flavouring the ginger beer. Is it doable/advisable to put a few sprigs of fresh herbs (say mint) in with either the initial or secondary ferment? I tend to like my ginger beer on the drier side, so would like to avoid adding simple syrup. Thanks!

    1. Hi Andrew,

      The first fermentation must be just the base recipe – you can add flavors for the secondary fermentation.

      The residual sugar content is dependent upon the amount of time it ferments, so to get a nice flavorful but dry ginger beer, simply allow it to ferment 3 to 5 days for the secondary fermentation. For a mint flavor, I would combine 1 cup water, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup fresh mint leaves in a saucepan. Bring it to a full boil, then remove it from the stove top and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Strain the mint leaves, then add the liquid to the ginger beer for the secondary fermentation.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, and happy brewing! xo

  16. Hi thanks for great post – I finally got a healthy bug – funny had 3 variations and only 1 took off so happy lol bubbling now – my ? is for 2F – I am very interested in trying some of your favorites specifically these 2 –
    how do you make these? – still a simple syrup? if so how much water in each and any other tips?? for 2F with these combos..
    Grapefruit Rosemary (1 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 2/3 cup sugar, 3 sprigs rosemary)
    • Coconut Basil (1 can full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup fresh basil, packed)

    1. Hi Lori,

      I’m so happy your third attempt at a ginger bug worked! It really can be a challenging process, as you’ve experienced!

      No need to add water to either one of those flavors – the ingredients you listed are all you need. Simply heat the ingredients in a saucepan to boiling, then remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to sit for at least 1 hour. Then strain out the herbs (rosemary and basil) and add all of the liquid to your ginger beer (should be just under one gallon of ginger beer). Stir it all together and pour into your glass bottles. Allow the bottles to sit for 3 to 5 days (3 if your house is very warm, 5 if your house stays less than 70 degrees), then refrigerate them. And let me know how it turns out!! Happy brewing! xoxo

  17. Other recipes tend to show that you can use the ginger bug starter mixed with water and other ingredients and immediately bottle it. How come you have the extra 8-9 days of fermenting before bottling?

    1. Hi Annie,

      The 8 – 9 days is your fermentation process. The versions you have seen that bottle right away may work, too, but they will likely result in far less probiotic content and may not become fizzy. If you don’t mind that, the quicker version is just fine! xoxo Happy brewing! 😀

  18. Right at the beginning you mention lemon juice required to make the starter, then all later references don’t include it… please clarify. Thank you for this post… very keen to try it

    1. @Heather Andrews, I’ve been scrolling through looking for clarification on this exact point, myself. I’m 7 days into my starter (without lemon juice) and wondering if this was required to kick off the fermentation of the bug, or not.

  19. Hi, I have followed your recipe but halved the quantities for the beer and I’m 3 days into the fermentation process. I’m wondering how it should taste by now as the amount of ginger you add doesn’t seem like very much compared to the amount of water. I just tasted it and it tastes very yeasty but not very gingery. Will the flavour improve as it ferments or should I add more ginger? Some recipes require boiling ginger and water before adding the bug, is this to create a stronger flavour? I’m new to this and would appreciate some clarification. Thank you

  20. Hi!
    Thanks for sharing such great detailed instructions for brewing ginger beer! I have a few questions I’m hoping you can help with.
    I was wondering if we are able to bottle using mason jars if we don’t have the flip-cap/swing-top bottles? I have 16 oz mason jars I was hoping to use.
    If so, how much flavoring of simple syrup concoction would you fill up vs ginger beer? With honey having anti-bacterial properties, should that not be used as a flavoring agent? (Curious since I love the honey + ginger combination)

    Also, when bottling, do you leave any head space or fill it to the top when capping it off? And if I read another commentor’s question above correctly, we would strain out fruits & herbs from the syrup mix used for flavor, but we do not need to strain out ginger from the ginger beer itself, is that right?

    Thanks a bunch!
    Katie

    1. Hi Katie,

      I wouldn’t recommend bottling the ginger beer in Mason jars, because the pressure builds quite a bit and removing the lids from mason jars could be difficult or even dangerous. I recommend flip cap bottles because you can pop open the lids pointing away from you so if there is any overflow, it isn’t directed toward your face. I don’t mean to scare you, but I would hate for you to go through all the process and then have a difficult time getting the jars to open.

      When flavoring ginger beer, I use about 1 to 1.5 cups of whatever I’m adding per 1 gallon of ginger beer. For instance, if I’m making a blueberry flavor, I do 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup water and 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar on the stove top, boil it, let it cool for an hour, mash up the blueberries and add all of it (blueberry pulp included) to the ginger beer prior to bottling. The pulp actually works wonders for the probiotics (because: fiber) and results in a very fizzy beverage! I just stir everything up really well so that each bottle gets an even distribution of the flavor mixture. As an alternative, you can add the same amount of the flavoring (again, including any pulp) to each bottle prior to adding the ginger beer. Yes, be sure to keep some space at the top of each bottle to allow the pressure to build. I fill mine just below the neck.

      I’m not too sure about the honey question. I personally wouldn’t do it because I wouldn’t want to disrupt the bacteria, but there isn’t a good way of testing the bacteria content at home, so I can’t be too sure how much it would effect the ginger beer. I know that’s not a super helpful answer, but to summarize, I’d pick a different flavor 😉

      Let me know if you have any other questions, and happy brewing!! xoxo

  21. Hi Julia,

    Thanks for making such a comprehensive and interesting post on probiotic ginger beer.
    My question is : if made according to your instructions, is the drink suitable for children or is it deemed an alcoholic drink with more than 0.5 percent of alcohol.
    We used give our children kefir with all its health benefits but we wanted to try something new.

    Many thanks,

    Stuart

    1. Hi Stuart,

      That’s a great question…in short, I don’t know! Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell how much alcohol ends up in the ginger beer since the strength can vary per batch, and I don’t own a hydrometer 🙁 I would definitely err on the side of caution until I buy a hydrometer and can test it myself among several batches. Stay tuned! xo

    2. @Julia, Were you able to ever get that meter and test for alcohol content? My husband is very anti-alcohol but my 10yo has terrible chronic gastritis and I’m looking for a natural solution. That being said, I’m uncomfortable giving my son any alcohol.

      1. Hi Heather! I still haven’t tested homemade ginger beer for alcohol so unfortunately I don’t have a solid answer as to how much it can contain. After a little light googling, I found this forum (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/threads/how-alcoholic-is-my-ginger-beer-going-to-be.674100/), where someone intentionally tried to brew their ginger beer to include alcohol and they were not able to get it above 2.5%. This leads me to believe it would be challenging to get a substantial amount of alcohol using the method in this recipe; however, some alcohol will always result. So if the barometer is zero alcohol, I wouldn’t try it. If the barometer is less than 2% (but more likely, closer to 1%), then I would say you would be safe.

        Those who brew alcoholic ginger beer using different types of yeasts that promote alcohol growth, such as beer yeast or champagne yeast. For this reason, I think using a regular bread yeast and a short fermentation time will result in negligible alcohol. I hope this helps! xo

  22. I have been researching ginger beer recipes as it is one drink I truly enjoy, the criterion being that it is vegan.
    This recipe of yours seems to be a perfect start point, however, I am going to make one change; instead of organic cane sugar I want to use molasses giving it a darker colour, and while I know that this may change the flavour slightly I am willing to give it a try. I will let you know how it turns out.

    1. Oh I love the idea of using molasses! That will give the ginger beer such a unique and rich flavor. Looking forward to hearing how you like it!! xo

  23. Who would have thought of a healthy beer? This is a kind of beer that I would definitely drink. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Does the probiotic Ginger Beer have the alcohol content of a normal beer (3-5%)? Stronger like a microbrew? Or just trace amounts like Kombucha?

        1. Hi Joy,

          I wish I could give you the clear on that, but I can’t be sure. Without measuring the amount of alcohol, it is difficult to know how much is actually in it, and the strength varies per batch. My gut says it would be fine because it is typically less than 1% alcohol, but if there is any concern at all I don’t think it’s worth it 😀 Hope that helps!

  25. Thank you for putting this instruction together. You mention feeding the ginger bug water, ginger and sugar to keep it going. Do you feed this the same volume of water/ginger/sugar as the original bug or a different amount after taking out a cup of the liquid for the ginger beer ?

    1. Hi Patti,

      You can continue feeding it the same amount as the original bug 😀 Once the starter has matured, you can likely drop the feedings to less frequency (similar to a sourdough starter).

  26. Hi Julia. I was wondering if you would be able to use local honey for this? Also, is this able to be bottled such as beer? What process what the entail to kill the yeast? Thank you! Can’t wait to make this.

    1. Hi Cheyenne,

      I’ve never tested ginger beer using honey, so I’m not sure. I know some people have had success using molasses. If you’re okay with experimenting, I think it’s worth the try, but I’d hate for you to go through the whole process and not have it work out.

      You do want to bottle the ginger beer once it has brewed 😀 This is an important step in getting it to be nice and fizzy.

  27. Hi there, my ginger bug is 8 days in and looks good. It also tastes strongly fermented with a good ‘sting’, but I’m. It seeing or hearing bubbles. Is this just a matter of time or am I missing the boat or can I proceed with starting a batch. I’m keen! And thank you for this great recipe and for responding to everyone’s questions.

    1. Hi Annemarie,

      Do you notice any bubbles if you stir it? It is definitely possible the bug is working, but I would hate for you to go through the trouble of making a batch and not have it work out. I would leave it up to you and your intuition…if the bug definitely tastes fermented, similar to kombucha, I personally would go for it. Hope that helps 😀

  28. Sorry, I realise that didn’t write properly. I’m not “seeing or hearing” bubbles! Thank you ?

  29. I am on my second attempt of making my ginger bug. The first one I kept in a dark cupboard and it looked good the first 2-3 days with bubbles, but then suddenly it stopped fizzing and making progress. The second one is currently on a seedling warming mat and again looked good for the first 2 days, and now has stopped producing any bubbles or noise. Both times I have never had a white substance on the bottom that I can see, just a bunch of ginger. The ginger also has a penchant for floating to the top and staying there. Do you have any troubleshooting tips?

    1. Hi LJ,

      It is common for bacteria/yeast to be active a few days in and then go dormant after a couple of days and bounce back around 7 days (this happens with sourdough starter pretty frequently). I wouldn’t be concerned about the lack of presence of white substance since the starter is still young. If it were me, I would just keep at it. As an alternative, if you’re feeling bold, use the starter as soon as you see the bubbles…the culture will not be very mature, but it could still work! Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

  30. Hello Julie,

    Thanks for your informative blog on not only ginger beer but ‘growing’ a ginger bug.

    As a Covid project, started a ginger bug & beer and my first attempt didn’t work too well due to it not getting hot enough.

    However, the 2nd attempt, we tried a ginger with tumeric bug and it really took off well. Upon secondary fermentation, we tried 2 flavours: maple pear ginger tumeric and apple ginger tumeric. Happy to report the maple pear is a great combo!

    Thanks again for the brew recipe and the coconut milk idea. Since our last brew turned out well, we plan to do a cold spin on golden tea next 🙂

    1. I’m so happy to hear round two worked! That’s so cool you used turmeric too…I will definitely be trying this, myself! Thanks so much for the feedback, and enjoy! Happy brewing 😀 xoxoxo

  31. Hi! I’m on week one of the first fermentation and I’ve yet to see any bubbles form, even when stirred. The yeast is building up on the bottom on top of the grated ginger, though. I added a little more ginger (it wasn’t gingery enough for me) in hopes that it would kick start it some, but it’s still very flat and sweet. I make kombucha as well and know you can let it go up to 2 weeks in the first fermentation. Is this ginger beer the same way? I’m going on vacation for a week and just want to be sure I won’t come back to it ruined. Thank you!

    1. Hi Nathan,

      The starter is tricky, for sure. Sometimes they take off almost immediately and sometimes they take a while to activate. It can take anywhere from 2 days to a couple weeks to get the starter going, and even then there is no guarantee that the probiotics will grow enough to culture. The key seems to be the temperature of your home…if it is consistenly between 70 and 80 degrees, the starter will be more likely to work…any cooler than that and it can be hit or miss. It may be worth starting a new ginger bug using different ginger to see how it goes and do a side-by-side comparison. I hope this helps! xoxo

  32. Hello!

    Thank you for such a thorough recipe. I just finished my first successful ginger bug and brew. I didnt have a grater so I finely chopped the ginger which seemed to work. Can I re-use the ginger pulp from the first batch to continue the second batch?

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Great, I’m glad the chopping worked! I’ve never tried re-using the ginger so I can’t be sure whether or not it would work. If it were me, I would go with fresh ginger just to be sure. Happy brewing! xoxo

  33. Hello, what do you recommend we do with the bug if we do not want to make ginger beer regularly? Can I put it in the fridge and then take it out when i need it again?

    1. Hi Mida!

      I haven’t tried keeping a ginger bug alive without continuously using it to brew, so I can’t be too sure, BUT I think you could keep it in the refrigerator the way you would sourdough starter. This will slow down the activity of the probiotics and yeast substantially, so just note that they will not live forever when refrigerated. My guess is this would work for about 2 weeks before they start to die off. Let me know if you try it and are able to successfully revitalize the starter for a new batch! xoxo

  34. Hello there,

    Thank you so much for the very detailed discussion about this process. I have a bug, which took me about 2 weeks to get started (London house in May)., and it was your blog that gave me the confidence to just keep trying with this one (whereas the others I had thrown out too soon.) These days it seems the bug is almost too active, if that’s even a thing. The last batch I made, 2 liters with about 2/3 cup sugar (I wanted to try going light) bubbled up explosively in about 3 days and all the sugar was gone! I put some added sugar in and put it in the fridge to slow it down. I am not sure why this is happening. But my question to you is about your process of keeping the mixture open as a primary ferment before bottling as a second. Many online recipes suggest bottling immediately which is what I had been doing. What is the difference and outcome between leaving it out covered with a towel vs putting it into the bottle to ferment?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Mernie,

      I leave it covered with a towel to allow the probiotics and yeast air to breath. This helps with their reproductive process, where when you bottle a fermented beverage, the fermentation process slows down. It sounds like slowing down the fermentation would be a benefit in your case, so perhaps bottling it right away is a good move for you! Let me know if you have any other questions! xoxo Happy brewing!

    2. @Julia, i was just wandering something along these lines. As long as we keep the mixture uncovered and stirr it daily we provide oxygen, right? This would mean that the yeast is actually not fermenting but using cell repsiration (in this case the bubbles we see would be oxygen and not CO2) which allows the yeast to multiply much faster. Then in the last step which you call the secondary fermentation we create an anearobic environment which pushes the yeasts from respiration to fermentation. Do you agree???
      Thank you for your recepy and the interesting discussions! Thanks to you I have a ginger bug now and hope I will be able to get some tasty fizzy ginger beer out of it in a couple of days!

  35. Thanks SO much for the instructions – I have researched dozens of sites and yours is the ONLY one I can find that doesn’t boil the ginger. I think the ambient-temperature fermentation yields a better probiotic drink since everything ferments at room temperature and without heat. I’ve brewed several batches so far, fermenting naturally without yeast and getting satisfactorily fizzy ginger beer.
    Instead of the secondary ferment in flip-top bottles which have to be burped, I’m doing the current secondary fermentation batch in mason jars with airlocks so I can still observe progress but won’t have to expose it to air as when you burp the flip-top bottles.. Will be interesting to see if it makes a difference. After that, it goes into flip-tops and into the fridge to chill and enjoy : )
    Thanks again and keep the info coming!

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet note and feedback, MaryAnne! Do feel free to keep us updated on your batch! I’m interested to know how it turns out 😀 xoxoxo Enjoy!!

  36. Hello! I am wondering for getting the brew batch going do I use just the liquid from the ginger bug or just take a one cup scoop from all of it, ie: including the bits of ginger? Thanks!

  37. Hi Julia!

    I am wondering if I can a double the recipe and use all of the ginger bug. I did it the first time and it was a hit and I am trying to do a bigger batch.

    Thank you,

    Joaquin

  38. Hi Julia!

    Thinking of doubling the recipe. Do I use two cups of the ginger bug which all of it? Or I should not double it. Would it affect the fermentation process?

    1. Hi Joaquin,

      You can definitely double the recipe by using all of the ginger bug! It won’t affect the fermentation process. Just be sure you use one large jug for the batch, or if you break it between two jugs, make sure the same amount of ginger bug ends up in both jug 😀 Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

  39. Hi! Very excited to try this- my starter is in the pantry and is already starting to bubble! I am wondering if using a plastic gallon jug for the first fermentation will impact the quality of the ginger beer… my roommate goes through milk like crazy and I don’t have glass jars on hand larger than 16oz. Will the plastic give me problems? Is it a better move to use several smaller glass jars? Thanks!

    1. Hi Caraline!

      Yay, exciting!! It’s probably ready to use then! I would recommend using glass for sure. Plastic can interfere with the fermentation process. Hope you love the end result! xoxo

    1. You could leave it at room temperaure for a few days and see if it springs back to life. If it’s still flat after a few days, I would start again.

  40. We’ve just made our first batch and it is delicious! My kids want to drink it but I’m not sure maybe they need to wait to grow a bit older.

    1. LOL, probably a safe idea 😀 There isn’t very much alcohol in it, but you don’t want to risk any issues, that’s for sure 😀 xoxo

  41. Hello Julia, I am trying your version for the first time. I have brewed ginger beer and kombucha off and on for about 3 years. I have typically boiled my ginger and only completed a single fermentation –straight to the bottle. My question is why the two step fermentation –More probiotics? Any way to back this up?

    1. Hi Dale,

      Fermenting the ginger beer a second time allows more probiotics to grow and also creates a deeper flavor. Those who like a sweeter ginger beer have the opportunity to achieve both the sweetness they want through secondary fermentation and also ensure they aren’t missing out on a decent concentration of probiotics. Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

  42. Hello Julia
    I have made my first batch of ginger beer more than 6 months ago and had stored my ginger bug in the fridge and wanted to make another batch of beer. I took the bottle out of the fridge and and let it dome to room temp and just added about a half teaspoon of sugar and it began to fizz right away, just wandering if it alright to use after length of time in the fridge?
    Thank you for attention to these many question from everyone. I enjoy your recipes also.
    Thank you
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura!

      As long as it was tightly sealed in the bottle and still smells good, it’s probably good to go! If there’s anything funky about the smell, I would pitch it, but it sounds like it’s probably just fine 🙂

  43. Hi! I am very intrigued by the probiotic ginger beer and have been trying to make a starter “bug” for several months. I recently purchased a kombucha warmer that has 3 settings because my house typically is on the cooler side, but still no luck. Do you sell, or know someone who sells, the starter? Is that even feasible?
    Thanks!
    Vickie

    1. Hi Vickie!

      Agh, I’m sorry to hear that! I don’t sell a starter and I don’t know anyone who does, but you may want to try CulturesForHealth.com. They don’t have a ginger beer starter, but you could use one of their other starters just to get it going (for instance, you could make ginger flavored water kefir, and it would be fairly close to ginger beer, but not as fizzy). Aside from that, I would recommend waiting until summer…this is when I find my cultures are the most active. xoxo

  44. Hi Julia,
    I absolutely love the spice in commercial ginger beers and have been wanting to try this out for a while… but as an alcoholic in recovery I worry about what the alcohol content of this drink may be. Any chance you’ve tested it?

    1. Hi Niq,

      Thank you for sharing that…I completely get the need to be cautious! Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment to test alcohol percentage. I do know it is very low as long as you don’t put it through a secondary fermentation (and even then, it should still be much less than 5%), but I have no way of knowing the actual percentage at this time. Sorry this isn’t super helpful!! xoxoxo

  45. Hi Julia,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve used it many a times already and have got 9L brewing away at the moment.

    My ginger bug is really active and so is my first and second fermentation. My last batch I tried out the raspberry mint flavor. It’s delicious but one issue I’m having is that I need to burp the ginger beer many times(6+) and wait for the foam to reside. This way it takes a few minutes before I can drink it, but the bigger problem is that I believe I’m losing carbonation this way. IT seems the sugar from the flavoring is reacting with my ginger beer and making it release the carbon. Have you had any issues like this? ANy tips?

    Should I perhaps let teh secondary ferment go shorter or longer? Maybe blend my fresh fruits before adding them? I’m leaving plenty of head space in the bottle btw.

    Cheers,
    Robin

    1. Hi Robin,

      In my experience, the excess carbonation is from the fruit fiber, not from adding more sugar. To avoid the extra foam, you can make a simple syrup using the raspberries and mint and strain the solids from it before adding the syrup only (without pulp) to the ginger beer. This will feed the bacteria and yeast more sugar to continue reproducing without generating a whole lot of extra carbonation. Hope this makes sense! Let me know if you try it! xoxo

    2. @Julia, hi Julia, I tried straining it but still have excess carbonation. I could have possible got rid of more pulp, but that would make this variety quite laborous. I’m thinking of just going back to plain ginger beer or trying some fruit juices from the store without any pulp.

      One issue with this batch as well is that it tastes a lot more bitter than my previous tries. I’ve let it ferment for approximately the same amount of time, however there were a few variables I changed. What do you think caused this bitterness?

      This time I cut, rather than grated my ginger. I again used my ginger bug, but it was now a lot older than before and quite active – does this mean that the sugars were eaten a lot faster and my gingerbeer would have been ready a lot earlier? It may also be that the temperature in the room I keep the ginger beer fluctuated to higher and lower temps – would this have any effect?

      I’m loving this experimenting :).

      Thanks again,
      Robin

      1. Hi Robin,

        I would venture to guess your suspicions are accurate. The happier the probiotics and yeast are, the more they will feed, and the less sweet the ginger beer will be. It sounds like you have a super active culture! Which is a good thing, except I get that you want your ginger beer to taste sweet rather than bitter and less fizzy. I would dial back the fermentation time by a day or two and see if that helps. The reason the ginger beer tastes bitter is because (as you mentioned), there is very little excess sugar due to the probiotics reproducing. So the goal would be to prevent them from reproducing as much by limiting the fermentation time 🙂 This should help with the fizziness too! Let me know how it goes! xoxo

  46. Hi. Is there a reason not to flavor it in the first fermentation? I want to add cayenne and limes.

    1. Hi DJ,

      Yes, if the bug dies, I would recommend starting from the beginning. If you want, you can try to revive the original bug but it would be the same process as starting fresh anyway, so to me it makes sense to make a new bug and that way you know you’re creating a new, healthy culture 😀 xoxox

  47. My Son 8years old has just learnt how to make probiotic ginger beer from his nana and is loving it! sharing it and explaining it to anyone who will drink and listen! its great to have this post to see the process and explained well and have some trouble shoot solutions. we may even make a little booklet using ur post (with your name of course!) to give to those interested in doing it themselves. well done and thanks for sharing ur knowledge. God bless

    1. This is so heart warming, Ariel!!! I’m so thrilled to hear the ginger beer has been a pleasant addition to the household. I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me your story. Much love to you and your family! xoxox

  48. When transferring into bottles, is it necessary to leave ginger pulp in? I didn’t grind all my pulp down very well and don’t want to add it in, but not sure if it’s needed for the fermenting. Thanks!

  49. Great post’ I’m really getting into making ginger beer. I have a question though. I’ve started this process twice so far, I’m in the middle of the second try. My starters started to get bubbly around day 3, but then it seems to go flat. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Should it be constantly fizzy? Should I just keep feeding it as along as no mold appears? My home is admittedly not the warmest in the winter months. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  50. Thank you for a very detailed and clear step-by-step process, I feel like I can easily take the challenge ! Merci! Merci! Merci!

    1. Hi Alan,

      There will be a small amount of alcohol, but there is no way of knowing the exact amount without having the equipment to test for alcohol.

  51. My ginger bug had mold on it by day 4. Why does the mold grow? Just want to make sure I do the right thing next try! I fed it 1 tsp of ginger and sugar everyday and it was about 74 degrees when I temped it everyday.

    1. Hi Emily,

      Great question – it could be your ginger bug was contaminated by mold spores somehow such that mold was able to grow before probiotics. I would be sure the jar your use it sanitized, that your ginger is fresh, and put it in an area where there isn’t exposure to other food (a cabinet works great). If you live in a humid area, that could be the culprit as well.

    2. @Julia, thank you! My second attempt with the bug worked and I mixed together my ginger beer today! I want to make sure I understand, when i bottle the ginger beer I add in the pulp too? Can I strain that out before I put it in my glass bottles or is there a reason the ginger pulp needs to be there?

  52. I’ve been drinking a cup of the secondary fermentation and adding more ginger and sugar while leaving it out on the counter… How many months of this will my bug be healthy and can I leave it at room temperature indefinitely? It seems very healthy and is always very bubbly.

    1. Hi Ana,

      You can leave the bug as long as it’s healthy (this is the same with any probiotic culture). Really what matters is the health of the bug, and as long as it isn’t moldy or smells funky, it’s fine! That said, I’ve never had a ginger bug for longer than two weeks, but it was because I intentionally used it or got rid of it, so I’ve never tested to see how long one will last. With kombucha, you can let SCOBYs sit for months on end, so I’m assuming you could take a similar approach with a ginger bug as long as it looks good 🙂 Hope this helps!

  53. Can the ginger used in the second fermentation be reused for the new batch? I wonder how long the ginger can be in the immersed in water before it grows mold?
    How about sealing the containers rather than keep it covered with the cheese cloth, would it enhance the fermentation?

    1. Hi Danny,

      Unfortunately I’m not sure about re-using ginger from a previous batch. My guess is the second batch would have less strong of a ginger flavor, but there may be some probiotics still present in the ginger, so it may be worth starting another ginger bug with it. I’ve never kept a ginger bug for longer than 2 to 3 weeks, so I’m also not sure how long it will last without growing mold – I think that’s dependent upon the humidity of your home, the health of the ginger, and the area you’re storing it in.

      In my experience, ginger beer needs air in order for the probiotics to ferment properly in the primary fermentation. If you do a second fermentation, you’ll bottle the ginger beer and the probiotics will continue to grow. Hope this helps! xox

  54. Nice work I just got the bug to make the bug!! Curious if you have tried strawberries or cherries in any of your batches.

    1. Hi Dan!

      I’ve done a secondary fermentation using strawberries and it turned out amazing! I haven’t tried cherries yet, but I bet they would be amazing xoxxoo Happy brewing!

    2. @Julia, Thanks, Im just getting started, did the bug ten days ago and the first batch lastnight, I play with sourdough and sauerkraut too.

  55. for your flavour quantities, are these per bottle or is=f you were to make 5 gallons worth of ginger beer?
    great post!

  56. I started my probiotic journey three months ago. I’m on my 3rd batch. Ginger bug is crisp and growing strong. I am now ready to add fruit and herbs… Thank you for sharing as it helps my confidence that I’m on the right track. It’s like an ongoing experiment everytime.

  57. Hi there! Successfully made my ginger bug and now on to the first ferment. After I use the 1 cup ginger bug in my first batch, do I refresh the ginger bug by replacing the cup of water (in addition to feeding it ginger and sugar)? Thanks!

    1. Hi Amelia! No need to replace the water in the ginger bug…just keep feeding it fresh ginger and sugar 🙂 If you notice the water level is low, you can add more but if not, there’s no need for more water. xo

  58. Hi Julia!! So I have been have a ton of fun with this. So far I tried the raspberry mint, very nice, tried fresh pineapple and banana, woa…very good, cranberry lemon using whole berry cranberry sauce, also very good, did one with frozen cherries another winner next, going to try apple spice next. I seem to be getting a product closer to coolers with about 3-4% alcohol.

    1. Ooh, all of those flavors sound amazing! That’s cool you’re able to get so much alcohol out of it too…sounds like a great evening beverage! xo

  59. Hi Julia, thanks fir this great post! I have a doubt: when you say “Once you can see and hear bubbles without touching the jar” you mean just seeing bubbles resting on the surface and in between the ginger grates or bubbles traveling bottom-to-top like in a champagne glass?

    1. Yes, exactly! That’s what you’re looking for! The bubbles moving from bottom to top is your sign. Let me know if you have any other questions. xoxo

  60. Can you keep the starter going indefinitely similar to kombucha, or is it only good for 2 batches? If so can you feed it a cup of water with sugar and ginger weekly?

    1. Hi Larie,

      I’ve never tried to keep a starter alive myself, so I’m not positive. My suspicion is it will work as long as it works, you know? So in this sense, I think it will stay alive, but in my experience, ginger beer starters are finicky in general, so they may be a bit sensitive and die fairly easily. I don’t think they will last as long as a Kombucha SCOBY, but I could be wrong! xoxoxo

  61. Thank you for the simple and user friendly step by step guide. This is the first recipe I have read on your website and will definitely not be the last!

  62. Hello thanks for info
    Is it ok to add some more bug if bubbling does not start after bottling, even in above 80 fahrenheit room
    Regards

  63. I’m in the process of following this recipe now and have my ginger bug fermenting. Very excited to try the final results!

    I was wondering though, after you use some of the ginger bug for the ginger beer, how do you replenish the liquid? Do you just repeat the base ginger starter recipe and add that to the existing bug? Or do you just add water every so often? Or start a new ginger bug after you use up the first? Something else?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ben! So thrilled to hear you’re on your way to a wonderful batch of probiotic ginger beer! For the starter, you can add the same amount of water you take out and continue feeding it just as you were in order to keep it going 🙂 Let me know if you have any other questions!

  64. My ginger starter is already on day 19 and still isn’t bubbling, although it did bubble a little bit early on, around days 4-6. It is being kept at about 66F° with some fluctuation. Is it normal for it to take this long?

    1. Hi Daniel!

      The amount of time it takes for the bacteria and yeast to activate varies greatly, but when yours was bubbling around days 4 – 6, that’s when you would have wanted to use the starter. It may still have some bacteria in it but I would start over. The good news for you is, it probably won’t take long to get the bug going 😀 xoxo

      1. If it smells and looks good, it’s fine to drink but if there’s anything funky about it (if it smells rancid or has any white or green fuzz) then you’ll want to throw it out.

  65. Question, what is the purpose of adding lemon juice to the probiotic ginger?
    I accidentally put the lemon juice in my starter and not my gallon jar of ginger water. Thinking the lemon juice is too strong for a quart of starter, I put the whole quart of starter into my jug, stirred, and filled my quart jar of starter. Unless you tell me otherwise, I will try to remake my starter by feeding it like normal. So my question is what is the purpose of adding lemon juice? Is it flavoring, increasing the acidity, or something else?

    Also, since my starter has some lemon juice, will I need to re-start the starter and make a new batch?

    Thank you for your comments.

    1. @Dale, Let me rephrase. I put the whole quart of starter into my gallon jug, then took from the jug a quart to use for starter. Hope this clarifies.

      By the way, this is a great recipe! Both my starter and my jug have been excellent. Have been making weekly for three months straight.

    2. Hi Dale!

      So thrilled to hear you’re enjoying the ginger beer! The purpose of the lemon juice is for flavor. I’ve never tried adding it to the starter so I’m not sure what the result would be – it could be too acidic for the probiotics and yeast to grow, but it also may be fine, so honestly without trying it myself I’m not sure. I would say you could try to give it a few days and if the starter looks like it’s starting to bubble up then it’s working. If it seems flat and – well – lifeless then you may want to start over 🙂 Hope this helps!!

      xoxo

  66. I made some raspberry ginger ale about a week ago. I topped off my jar of ginger bug with filtered water and gave a little bigger than maintenance. I’ve been feeding it .5oz ginger and a tsp of raw sugar.
    2 questions
    1. By the middle of the day it smells very strong with a similar smell that my sourdough starter gets when I’ve waited to long to feed. Should I be feeding more sugar or feeding it sugar
    again in the middle of the day?

    2. Ever since I topped the bug off with the water it’s completely dead. Not even a hint of a bubble. Do I just need to continue to be patient or did I somehow kill it?

    Thank you for your time

    1. Hi Emily,

      You shouldn’t need to feed the starter more than once a day. You could always give it a little more if you think it needs it, but you don’t want to run the risk of over-feeding.

      It’s possible that your starter was active and then died if it’s no longer bubbly. It’s tough to say without seeing it myself, but in general if you see bubbles, that means the starter is ready to go and there is no need to wait any longer. If it were me, I would wait another day or two and see if it picks back up. If it doesn’t within a couple of days, I would start over and simply use the starter as soon as it shows signs of life (is bubbly/smells fermented).

  67. Hello,

    I’ve done my first two batches with ginger and turmeric (seperately) and have a bit of experience with fermentation. The bug went well and now they are almost ready to bottle for a second fermentation. When I stirred the turmeric batch there is a thin film on the surface. Could this be mold or is this natural and I should continue on? It might smell a little strange, but I think that might just be in comparison to the ginger.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Will! The white film could be yeast, which could be a sign the bug is doing great! If it smells foul, I would definitely toss it and start over. Turmeric does have an odd scent and flavor, so my guess is as long as it is just odd and not off-putting, it is fine. Still, if you have any doubt at all, it’s best to start fresh. No need to take chances if you think it’s off! xo

  68. After I bottled the brew I placed in fridge right away. The next day I had tried some, and it only had a very small amount of bubbles formed while pouring. I did not add any flavoring; should I have still left the bottled brew at room temp for 2 days before placing in the fridge?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      It sounds like your bacteria and yeast ran out of food (needed some additional sugar). Was the ginger beer fairly sweet and bubbly before you bottled it?

    2. @Julia, Yes, still sweet throughout the fermentation. I took it out of fridge and am letting it sit for a couple days. There’s still a small amount of carbonation but barely any bubbles. Thinking room temp may play a role? It’s been cold. Is there anyway for bubbles to come back?

      1. Room temperature may play a role for sure. You can do a secondary fermentation by adding more sugar and/or fruit to the ginger beer before bottling it, and then it should be very fizzy 🙂

  69. Two curios things. I let my beer ferment 10 days in one big tank, and then 1 day in the bottle with a little more sugar before putting it in the refrigerator. I measured the alcohol content. Not even 2%. But I get drunk just after 2 cups. It seems to a stronger effect than normal alcohol

    Do you also know why I have to hark/sneeze when I try to drink the first sips? It seems to be releasing some strange gas

    1. Hi there! What do you mean by strange gas? Does it smell off? If it smells rancid, the batch could be bad, in which case it would make sense that you have a reaction to it when you drink it. My other thought is you could possibly be reacting to either the ginger (have you noticed sneezing with other ginger-filled foods/drinks in the past?) or the type of bacteria or yeast that’s growing in the ginger beer. Without being there to try it myself, I can’t tell you what’s happening with certainty but I’d say if something seems off, it likely is off and you may want to start over. I hope this helps!

  70. Great post! You provided really nice, detailed instructions and pictures.

    Question—if you don’t flavor the ginger beer before bottling, is there any reason you couldn’t just save some of the bottled ginger beer to start the next batch, instead of continuing to feed and using the ginger bug starter? (Like save a cup of the ginger beer, add more water, ginger and sugar and let it ferment.)

    Because the ginger beer seems to be the same thing as the ginger bug, basically. To me, it would seem easier to do it that way, so you wouldn’t have to keep the ginger bug going.

    Thanks!

  71. When you use your ginger bug for the larger fermentation, do you keep the bug going by adding water to replace what you just took out? If so, how much? And the ratio of water to ginger + sugar?

    1. Hi there! I personally don’t keep the ginger starter going and simply start all over when I want to make a new batch. You definitely can, though! As you suspect, you would replace the liquid you took out. Add 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger and 1 tbsp sugar, then feed it as you normally would on the following days 🙂 xoxo

  72. Hi! I finally bottled my ginger beer and after two days it turned into a gusher! How can I prevent this from happening?

    1. Hi Meghan! What do you mean by gusher? Did you bottle it in glass bottles and they exploded? Just want to be sure I understand what happened. Any details would be helpful! xoxo

  73. My ginger bug is very thick and slimy. I have never done this recipe before but, have done a different one. And have never had it become thick and slimy. I made the next faze thinking it would be ok. I have been burping it for the last couple of days and it has a lot of fizz. So, I poured some. Still thick. Drank some. Barely sweet,and was slimy and thick. What did I do wrong?

    1. Hi Bonnie,

      Without having experienced the same situation, it’s difficult to say what happened. Thick and slimy could mean you grew a SCOBY, similar to kombucha, or it could mean the culture is contaminated. If it smells good, it is likely a SCOBY, but if it smells rancid, the culture is bad and you would need to start over. Nevertheless, I would aim for a starter that has the same consistency as water (isn’t thick/slimy) and use it as soon as bubbles start rushing from the bottom to the top. Hope that helps!! xoxo

  74. My ginger bug fizzed up and bubbled day 2 and 3 but by day 4 and 5 all activity disappeared. There are no bubbles anywhere. I used only organic ginger, white sugar, and filtered water. I don’t know if I should start over or keep feeding it a tsp of sugar and ginger every day until it bubbles. I tasted the mixture and it tastes very sweet and gingery. There is no smell or taste of yeast or fermentation. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Brian! Use the starter as soon as you see the bubbles. For some people, this will be on day 2-3, and for some, it can take up to 7 days.

  75. Two questions
    1) Can one use honey instead of cane sugar?
    2) Why does the added fruit juice need more sugar, rather than just the fruit juice, which naturally has sugar AND is going into the ginger beer, which also has sugar?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Rae!

      I haven’t tested the ginger beer using honey instead of cane sugar, but I suspect it will work.

      Probiotics are living and need a certain amount of carbohydrate to survive and multiply, which is why more sugar is added in addition to fruit for secondary fermentation. You could do a secondary fermentation using fruit only but in this case I would only let it sit for an additional day so that the probiotics don’t die 🙂 Hope this helps!

  76. Hi there! I’m also busy making this recipe. Now I’m wondering what this could be, there seems to be a thin white layer on top of my ginger beer. Could that be mold?
    And what to do now? Should I cast away the mix and make a new one? I’ve tasted it though and it doesn’t seem to taste moldy or off…

    1. Hi Klara!

      If the substance is milky and white and doesn’t smell foul (like vomit), it’s likely a culture of native yeast or probiotics. This happens with sauerkraut as well (but in a large amount). I you see any fuzz or any discoloration – blue, green, yellow, black, etc – then it’s likely bad. Since you said it tastes fine, my guess is it’s probably just probiotics and yeast you’re seeing 🙂 Of course if you have any doubts along the lines, chuck it and start over. Better safe than fermenting something icky.

  77. Does it matter what kind of glass bottle, like a swingtop that seals all the way? Do you need to vent it? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Hannah! After bottling the ginger beer, you don’t need to vent it 🙂 I use flipcap bottles that create a tight seal. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  78. Hi there,
    thank you so much for sharing your amazing guide and recipe!!
    Only think I am confused by is the amount of lemon for the Ginger Bug.
    I have read through your guide, and you include lemons in the what you will not but not in the ginger bug ingredients, yet mention lemon being in the ginger bug starter!
    Please let me know if I have missed a key note!
    Best

    1. Hi there! My apologies for the confusion! For the ginger bug, it’s just water, fresh ginger, and sugar. You’ll add fresh lemon juice once you brew a full batch of ginger beer using the starter. Let me know if you have any other questions! Happy brewing!

  79. I used the fermented ginger I strained out beer bottling and made ginger banana bread with it. Was yummy!

  80. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve tried twice to get a big and I thought I had one this last time, I could hear the bubbles when I made my first batch but now on day 3 it has have a white film on on top is this mold? Should I pitch it? Thanks for your help!! I’m so excited about making this!!!

    1. The white film is probably indicative of growing probiotics and yeast, which is a great sign! Mold would look similar to bread mold – fuzzy blue/grey clumps. I would also give it the sniff test – if it smells fresh and inviting, your culture is good. If it smells foul and off-putting, I’d pitch it 🙂

  81. I have been so excited to make my own probiotic! My ginger bug reacted just as promised. I have my ginger beer in the gallon jug, sitting on top of my deep freeze, covered in a towel on the sides to keep it dark,because my house is cool. It’s warm there, but not too warm. I’ve been stirring it once or twice a day and a couple times I added a tablespoon of sugar. It has not fizzed yet after 11 days. It smells yeasty and good and tastes good. But no bubbles like the bug had.

    1. Did I do something wrong? Do I have to wait till it bubbles or fizzes to bottle it? Does it take longer than 10 days sometimes?

    My bottles are ready to fill but I’m not sure what to do.

    2. I added a cup of purified water to the starter and have been feeding it daily for 11 days, but it has not yet begun to bubble again. It still smells good, like the beer in the gallon jar. I don’t know if I have done something wrong or not.

    Will appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Joni! Based on what you’ve described, it sounds like a healthy batch and you can bottle it any time 🙂 Some batches will turn out fizzier than others but if it’s tasting good, I’d say you’ve made a solid batch! I noticed some of my batches became fizzy after fermenting in the bottle, so it could be that your batch just needs to be bottled. I would add a little extra sugar or even some fresh fruit before bottling it, as I’ve noticed fruit pulp really helps activate the bacteria and yeast. Hope you enjoy! xo

    1. Hi Crystal! I haven’t used a fermentation lid to cover my starter 🙂 I’ve always used the cheesecloth and rubber band method.

  82. I love adding some chilli powder before second fermentation for the bite but am wary that the chilli may damage the probiotics…

    1. That’s a great question. I don’t think the chili would damage the probiotics but I’ve never tried it myself so I’m not sure. What gives me confidence that it would be fine is there are several big name brands of kombucha that have a cayenne flavor. This leads me to believe the probiotics would survive just fine, but again I’m not too sure since I haven’t tried it 🙂

  83. Help I need some advice:

    I started making a ginger bug slightly over 7 days ago, my bug fizzles a little when I stir in te sugar and the grated ginger, but so far I haven’t noticed any bubbles. I have followed all the instructions precisely and my ginger is floating. I live in the Waikato of New Zealand and it is summer here; during the day outside it is around 27 to over 34 degrees Celsius. I have been leaving it on my kitchen bench, in a shallow plate with water in it to prevent the ants getting into my bug.

    When can I expect to see bubbles?

    1. Hi Lin! I think the fact that the ginger bug fizzles is a great sign of life! I would say it’s probably ready to be used based on the fact that there’s activity when it’s stirred. Happy brewing! xo

  84. Hi! Most of the other ginger beer recipes that I’ve read, used only teas brewed with the ginger, and cooled, and yours uses fresh ingredients for the first fermentation. Is it because of the water? Do you not need to boil it first with spring water or well water? I’ve been making turmeric soda using the boil method (make a turmeric tea, and add ginger bug and sugar) but I want to try this method with turmeric, and I just wanted to make sure there isn’t a reason, that you know of, not to. I made your recipe and it seemed to come out much more fizzy than the other way with ginger. So good!

    1. Hi Kelly! I leave the ginger raw because it contains probiotics and yeast. It could be that the other recipes you’ve seen rely just on native yeast (the yeast found in the air) to ferment the beverage. While this tactic works, I like allowing the natural probiotics within the ginger plant to thrive. The concept is similar to fermenting kimchi or sauerkraut. Hope this helps!

  85. I tried the recipe and find the lemon flavour a little too much for my taste. I am making a second one with just half the amount as I like a very strong ginger flavour. I’m excited to start experimenting with different flavours.

    Once I bottled the ginger after secondary fermentation, do I strain the ginger bits out or leave them in? Personally, I don’t mind the extra texture but when mixing drinks it’s nice to have a smooth drink.

    1. Hi Amy! You’ll get the fizziest result from the secondary fermentation if you leave in any plant fiber/pulp. So I’d keep the ginger bits! Happy fermenting! xo

  86. Hi Paula! I am almost done with F1 on my first batch of ginger beer. My only question is – should it be while like in your photo and in store ginger beer? Mine definitely looks a bit more like a kombucha brew, sort of pale brown. It’s fizzy and lively, just curious about the color or what that might mean. Thanks!

    1. Hi Chloe, did you include the ginger rind? If so, that’s likely where the brown color is coming from. As long as the brew smells inviting, like kombucha or other fermented foods you should be fine. If it smells foul (like vomit), then I’d pitch it 🙂 Hope this helps!

  87. Hello,
    I’ve just discovered this treasure and I’m wondering if I could replace fresh ginger with dried powdered ginger. And if it would still be probiotic.

    1. Hi Barbara! Fresh ginger has good bacteria and yeast living inside of it, so in addition to the native yeast in the air, the fresh ginger is mandatory for creating the culture of bacteria and yeast 🙂 Hope you enjoy!! xo

  88. So awesome. Thank you! I’ve been making weekly and it brings me a lot of joy. I’m flavoring by dumping in dried hibiscus flowers at the beginning of the batch and letting them steep for a day or two before removing. Probably makes its own natural yeast contribution. Also delish. Also lots of health benefits especially for kidneys and urinary tract. I’ve read that Hibiscus tea is actually a bit more effective than cranberry juice for UTIs and such. Going to buy your book now. Hoping to make kefir.

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet note, Robert! I’m happy you’re enjoying the fermentation process – it’s such a fun project! Hibiscus sounds so amazing! I’ll have to do that for my next batch 🙂 Happy brewing!

  89. Hi, just wondering if this is safe to consume during pregnancy because of the fermentation? I know alcohol is a no, so I wanted to check. Would be really helpful with morning sickness nausea. Thanks!

    1. Hi Aislinn! I would ask your doctor. I’m not sure whether or not kombucha or other fermented drinks are okay during pregnancy; I imagine if kombucha is okay, the ginger beer would be okay too but I’d definitely check with a medical professional 🙂

  90. I have an extremely strong ginger bug. I am curious if I can use some of the probiotic and yeast rich liquid to start a sour dough starter? I think It would jump start it with the natural yeast already in the liquid from the Ginger Bug.

    1. Hi Mark! Possibly! I don’t have experience jump starting a sourdough starter using a ginger bug, but I would think it would work. It certainly couldn’t hurt, I wouldn’t think. Let me know if you try it! xo

  91. Hi there, I’m getting close to bottling! I’m just not sure if I should strain the boiled fruit mixtures prior to bottling. I’m hoping you will see this comment and can let me know! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Amber! Leaving any fruit pulp in will result in a fizzier beverage. You can strain it first if you don’t want to drink it, or you can leave it in, but leaving it in makes the drink more effervescent.