Active Ginger Bug?

For those of you wondering what an active ginger bug looks like:

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It is creepy to say the least. An active ginger bug should be almost foamy on top and make a soft fizzing noise when stirred. You may need to hold the jar up to your ear to hear it. I have also noticed that when using rapadura, the water starts out a root beer color and when the bug activates, it becomes more caramel colored. So there is something to think about.

If yours isn’t active and you have no idea why, consider these things:
* your culture does not like humidity (it causes mold)
* while heat will speed the culture’s growth, too much heat can also kill it
* cool temperatures will slow down your culture
* over feeding or under feeding your culture can affect the time in which it takes to activate
* be sure your ginger root is organic and not sprayed with pesticides or other damaging treatments
* chlorine in your tap water may affect or damage the culture. Try filtered or de-chlorinated water
* cultures (like sourdough and kefir) interact and can affect each other negatively
* a ginger bug does require sugar. It eats it. You can not substitute honey or stevia or any other sugar substitutes without needing to follow a completely different recipe
* honey is naturally anti-bacterial… a ginger bug is basically bacteria water
* neglect your culture a little and see if –after it has had some time to think about what it has or hasn’t done– it comes around and decides to activate for you

16 thoughts on “Active Ginger Bug?

  1. After about 5 days, I have mold growing on top of my ginger bug. Too humid? Wrong temp? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I really want to make my own soda with this method. I drink too much of the commercial stuff! Thanks!

  2. At how many days would you give up on your bug if it did not produce any bubbles? I’m at day 5 and it bubbled some on day 2 then completely went away after that.

  3. Hi! I started doing my ginger bug a week ago and it was really active the other day. But then all the bubbles disappeared and it started to smell different. First it smelled very gingery and now it smells like yest/sour, and very distinct. Can I still use it if I get the bug active again, or dose the smell indicate it’s made wrong? Thank you for your help! 🙂 / Frida

      • I gave it some more water and waited a couple of days. And today it looked good again (bubbly and cloudy), so I made a batch ginger beer on it. Hopefully it will turn out good. Maybe I was just over reacting on the smell, I guess it maybe are just how a “bug” smells. It didn’t have the alcoholic or vinegar smell, just kind of “sour-gingery… (:

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