Home Made Natural Ginger Ale
Everyone has had a soda pop before. High sugar and high calorie. Canned, and bottled. Carbonated beverages are everywhere. Its a bit tough sometimes to resist a cold soda on a hot day. Or with your favourite pizza. Or even just when your out and about with kids.
Sadly unhealthy soft drinks have become deeply ingrained in our modern culture and its pretty easy to just give in, especially for kids. If your like me, and can’t help but crave a pop every once in awhile, or your feeling a bit guilty depriving your children of that carbonated pleasure, your in Luck! There is actually an incredibly satisfying and surprisingly healthy solution, That solution is Fermented Ginger Ale, or Ginger Beer. And if done right you will never wish for a mass produced soda pop again.
Store bought soft drinks are created by carbonating syrups and water as opposed to Ginger Beer which is actually brewed. Ginger Beer, despite its name, is not necessarily alcoholic although it does rely on a traditional fermentation process and what is commonly known as a Ginger Bug. This is where the Natural Ginger Ale gets it probiotic qualities.
How to Make a Ginger Bug
- 2 cups of filtered chlorine free water
- 1-2 fresh organic ginger roots
- 1/2 cup organic white sugar (important for starting the culture. Honey, stevia or other sweeteners will not work)
- Quart size mason jar
- Cut a piece of ginger root about 1.5 inches long to make 2-3 tablespoons of grated ginger. You can also finely chop instead of grating.
- Place the ginger in a quart size mason jar and add an equal amount of white sugar.
- Add 2 cups of filtered water to the mason jar. Make sure it does not contain chlorine which can affect the culturing process.
- Stir with a non-metal spoon and loosely cover.
- Each day for the next five to eight days, stir the mixture at least once and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root and 1 tablespoon.
- You can tell if culture is active if there are bubbles forming around the top of the mixture. It should “fizz” when stirred and it takes on a sweet and slightly yeasty smell. It will also become somewhat cloudy and opaque. If it has not started fizzing by the eighth day, start again fresh.
- Once the ginger bug has cultured, it can be used to create fermented sodas and drinks at the ratio of 1/4 cup ginger bug starter per quart.
if you feed the bug regularly with 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar per day you can continue growing it at room temperature. For less maintainance put in the fridge and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week. To restart the fermentation, let it return to room temp and start feeding it again.
I found this recipe online but if you want to learn more about fermentation and pro-biotics and like to have your shelf of cookbooks, you can check out, Delicious Probiotic Drinks: 75 Recipes for Kombucha, Kefir, Ginger Beer, and Other Naturally Fermented Drinks by
Or Fermentation for Beginners: The Step-by-Step Guide to Fermentation and Probiotic Foods by
Both of these books are great resources. If your already fermenting then you might like this Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit