Ginger Bug Natural Soda Starter :: bottling your soda

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 within a week or so.

After three days of fermenting, I decided the ginger beer soda looked fizzy enough to bottle. What is fizzy enough? I am not too sure since this is my first batch, but I let the ginger beer soda ferment until there were bubbles on the surface and it made a fizzy noise when I stirred it. I like to use real technical terms here like “fizzy”.

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Safety First!
Clean Your Bottles and Equipment: Wash all your equipment and bottles with soap and hot water, and thoroughly rinse.
Use Bottles Meant For Carbonation: Only make fermented sodas in bottles intended for carbonation. Soda bottles and glass swing-top bottles are specifically designed to withstand the pressure of carbonation. Other bottles, even the original container the cider came in, can break or shatter under the pressure.
Refrigerate When Carbonated: Test for desired carbonation and sweetness every day and refrigerate the soda as soon as it gets to where you like it. Refrigeration puts the yeast on hold and prevents the soda from over-carbonating. There is some margin for error here, but left un-refrigerated, the pressure will continue to build and the bottles will eventually break.

All that safety stuff aside, I didn’t follow one of these steps… The cleaning part is pretty important though. I did that. Not all of the bottles I used were meant for carbonation. I used four carbonated keifer drink bottles (which is similar to what I’m putting back in it), one thick mason jar, and one pasta sauce jar. I hope the pasta sauce jar makes it, but I wouldn’t be incredibly surprised if it ends up breaking.

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Hopefully by my next batch, I will have ordered my super professional “brewing” bottles with those reusable ceramic flip-caps. They are about $30-50 for a dozen 16 ounce glass bottles on Amazon, so I want to be sure I like this type of lacto-fermented soda before I spend good money on supplies. In the mean time, I will be setting these potential hazards in an enclosed cooler in the living room to keep any explosions/spills/messes contained. They will sit out at room temperature for anywhere from 1-10 days and then they will be carbonated and ready for refrigeration or consumption!

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How to Bottle Your Lacto-Fermented Soda:
1. Thoroughly clean bottles.
2. Pour or funnel activated soda into bottles leaving 1-2 inches of head space.
3. Seal with the cap.
4. Test daily until your preferred carbonation level and sweetness level has been reached.
5. Refrigerate for up to two weeks or consume immediately!

10 thoughts on “Ginger Bug Natural Soda Starter :: bottling your soda

  1. I have enjoyed this project a lot. It is my first time to try this too. Would you consider making this into a printable with all the sidenotes and tips? I have notes scattered here and there and forget some of the finer points along the way. Thanks very much!

  2. Sarah, look for a brew supply store near you. You will be able to buy the flip top bottles for a lot less than Amazon or eBay. I found out the hard way. When I mentioned earlier about potassium sorbate it will stop the fermentation process. You can also freeze the wort in plastic bottles for two days and that will stop fermentation also. I have been making hard cider, hard lemonade, mead (honey wine) and melomel (honey wine with fruit added). If you let the ginger ferment out you will get an alcoholic beverage. Water + yeast + sugar = alcohol if you let it ferment completely out. I have made over 5 gallons of ginger beer, after 3 days, I stop the fermentation process. I want the benefits of the ginger and lemon without the alcohol.
    I have enjoyed your videos. Do you have one for root beer?
    Take Care,
    Michael

  3. In regards to honey, if it is pasteurized, it is okay to use. If is raw honey you need to mix it with some water, cook, not boil the mixture to 150 – 160 degrees for at least 15 minutes, then strain/skim off any floating debris. Raw honey means just that. With you living in CA you should try some Orange Blossom honey.
    Take care,
    Michael

  4. Clarifying, Knox gelatin, bentonite, isinglass and sparkaloid are items that can be used to stabilize and clarify. The sediment can only be filtered out of the wort. (wort being) your bottle (carboy) of your beverage. Siphon off is best, keeping O2 to a minimum. Using a clarifier, once added you need to wait a few days to and check the out come.
    There are sanitizing products that can be used. I use Star San, it does not affect the end product at all. The reason for sanitizing is to kill any wild yeast that may on your equipment, bottles, ect.
    Need to go,
    Take Care,
    Michael

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