Ginger Bug Natural Soda Starter :: day six

Follow our series on how to make your very own soda starter, known as a “ginger bug”, from scratch! Join in on the fun and let’s see if we can have our own custom flavored sodas in the next week or so.

I think we’re just about ready. I didn’t hear the ginger bug bubbling before I stirred it, but it is really fizzy looking and smells a little different today. It doesn’t smell bad. Quite the opposite. Instead of giving off a ginger aroma like previous days, the ginger bug now smells faintly like sugar. I has a very light sweet smell. Not sure what that really means in the grand scheme of things, but usually different is good.

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This is an awful photo, but hopefully it gives you an idea of how cloudy the ginger bug is right now. You can barely see through it even when holding it up to the light. This photo also gives you a good idea of what our living room ceiling looks like. Knotty pine folks.

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Today:
* add 2 teaspoons of rapadura and 2 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger root
* gently stir
* this evening, give the ginger bug a second gentle stir

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Tomorrow get ready to make soda!

Tomorrow you will need: a gallon glass jug or jar, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, ginger root, rapadura or white sugar, and 1 gallon of de-chlorinated water.

Need a gallon glass jar? When making sourdough starter, a reader mentioned using a large gallon-sized glass pickle jar from Costco. Think big. You can also ask local bakeries or restaurants… the worst that can happen is they will look at you like you’re crazy.

9 thoughts on “Ginger Bug Natural Soda Starter :: day six

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  2. I started my ginger bug starter 7 days ago now and my bubbles look like your day 3 or 4 bubbles. Should I just start over, leave it sit without feeding it or keep feeding it? Thanks!

    • It might just be going slow if your house is cooler than 65 degrees at any given point (during the night). Keep going until you see lots of bubbles on the surface. Maybe feed every other day instead of every day now and see how it likes that. Remember that we’re working with a live culture here so it can be different for everyone depending on temperatures, humidity, sugars, and other conditions. The only reason to throw it out is if you see some obvious mold. Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions!

  3. Quick question: once you’ve used some of your ginger bug, how do you replenish it? Do you just add more water and feed it again? Just once, or for a few days? Just curious…

    • You replenish the water (however much will fit) and feed it with more sugar and ginger. Feed it every couple days until it has lots of bubbles again, and then use. If it is becoming a tight fit to add more chopped ginger root, just scoop some of the old stuff out. I know it seems counterintuitive to leave ginger sitting in water for a long period of time, but the ginger bug is a continuous culture.

  4. My ginger is bug is very active. It has been going seven days and I am just getting ready to make my soda…I decided to taste the bug and it tastes like alcohol. Is this normal?

    • Ha! Yes. Sometimes the ginger tastes like alcohol to me even though it isn’t necessarily. Only a hydrometer will tell you for sure, but a taste test of the finished product will give you a pretty good idea (unless you’re like me and get drunk before you can taste the alcohol). Another thing to keep in mind is that finished ginger bug sodas are full of probiotics and can sometimes give you a brief light-headed feeling if you aren’t used to them. Congrats on the successful ginger bug!

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