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Ginger Bug


A ginger bug is the start of many natural fermented beverages. The mixture of sugar, ginger, and water captures wild yeasts and beneficial bacteria, which can then be used to add a probiotic boost (and fizz) herbal sodas like ginger ale or root beer, and fruit sodas like blueberry, raspberry, or rhubarb.

Easy to start and continue growing, this “bug” can be ready to make soda whenever you please.



  • 3 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 3 teaspoons diced ginger
  • Additional sugar and ginger for maintenance


  1. Combine all ingredients in a quart jar.
  2. Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a shake, and allow it to sit in a warm spot (72° to 80°F). If your home tends to be cool at night, consider the ideas listed here for cold weather care.
  3. Every day for the next week add 2 more teaspoons each of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid will begin to get bubbly towards the end of the week. If you’re using the classic cap-and-band jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure. Once there are bubbles forming at the top of the mixture, it’s ready to use for soda making.
  4. Use the ratio of 1/4 cup ginger bug starter per quart of sweetened and flavored liquid, cap the mixture tightly, and let ferment for 2 to 3 days.
  5. Please note: If you want to keep the bug alive and continue growing it, you will need to feed it regularly using the proportions above. Alternatively, you can rest it in the refrigerator and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week. To reactivate it, let it reach room temperature and begin feeding it again.

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ginger ale with lemon

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