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Jul 25 2014

Episode 4 – How to Make Ginger Beer and Lacto-Fermented Soda

How to make ginger beer and other lacto-fermented sodas

Today I wanted to cover how to make ginger beer, how to make lacto-fermented soda, and some of the benefits of drinking ginger beer (or ginger ale). The history behind ginger beer is long and somewhat obscure but there’s no doubt of it’s popularity and it’s great taste.

Also, once you know how to make homemade ginger beer, you should be able to make any kind of lacto-fermented soda and that’s my goal for today’s show. You should have the confidence to go to the store, buy some ginger, go home tonight and make some ginger beer yourself with some easy steps to follow and I tell you my ginger beer recipe.

Once you make a ginger bug, make sure to keep it alive and feed it every once in a while so you can continue this ferment on for a long time. Have people taste test your ginger beer and maybe even throw a party for people to try all of the flavor combinations you can come up with.

If you have any interesting flavors and recipes, make sure to comment below in the show notes and let me know because I’d love to try anything that tastes great!

 

TOPICS INCLUDED IN TODAY’S FERMENTATION PODCAST:

  • What is ginger beer and what does it taste like?
  • What are some of the benefits of ginger beer?
  • The history of ginger beer and ginger ale
  • The difference between a lactic acid & yeast fermentation and a lactic acid only fermentation
  • How do you make a ginger bug and what it is
  • The difference between a lactic acid & yeast and just a lacid acid fermentation using whey
  • Making the syrup for a ginger beer or ginger ale (ginger beer recipe)
  • How to make a lacto-fermented soda
  • What are some flavor possibilities with several ingredients like fruit and herbs

LINKS FOR TODAY’S SHOW:

I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s show so be sure to comment below or if you have an idea for the show, email me at paul at fermentationpodcast.com or just click on the Contact button on top of this page and fill out the form. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. Letha

    Great show. Love your enthusiasm! I’m going to go make me a ginger bug.

    1. Darcy

      How do you make the ginger bug?

  2. Rebekah

    Do you have written instructions for making the ginger bug then the ginger beer itself? Thanks!

    1. Paul Bates

      Hey Rebekah, I don’t have written up instructions at the moment but I’ll make sure to write up both as soon as I get back!

      To get you going, here’s the notes I have on my phone.

      Lacto Fermented Soda

      Ginger Bug:
      1 quart mason jar
      1 T ginger root, finely chopped (include skin)
      2 tsp sugar (no honey, slows ferment)
      3/4 full of filtered water
      Cheesecloth & rubberband helpful covering

      Stir daily also feeding 1 T ginger, 2 tsp sugar in morning, then stir at night, ferment 3 days-1 week. It’s ready when you hear bubbles before you stir.

      Refrigerate when done to keep it. Then to be used for sodas or root beer. Will keep with feeding. 1 tsp ginger / 1 tsp sugar.

      *** 1/4 cup bug starter / 1 quart liquid

      Syrup for Ginger Beer:
      1 gallon mason jar
      1/2 gallon filtered water (cooking)
      1/2 gallon filtered water (to cool faster)
      5 oz (2/3 cup) ginger root, grated
      1 1/2 cups Sugar (just about any sweetener like sucanat, agave, maple syrup?) (for 5% alcohol 2 cups sugar and ferment all the way)(prime bottle with 1/2 tsp sugar if sugar has been brewed out)
      Lemon juice

      Water, ginger in pot, bring to boil, turn down, simmer 10-15 minutes.
      1 1/2 cups sugar dissolved into, heat off. 2 T lemon juice. Taste. Will be strong since not diluted yet. If using fruit, you could blend then strain and not boil.

      Fill sink with cool water and put pot to cool. Add rest of water. Strain into jar when somewhat cool. Cover cheesecloth, cool room temperature.
      Add starter (1/4 cup starter per quart liquid).

      Ferment 3 days (or until fizzy). Fill bottles, cap, ferment 1-2 days then refrigerate so they don’t explode or overflow like champagne. Make one in plastic to test.

      Things to ferment with ginger bug:
      Juices (grape, apple, etc)
      Add fruit to water (any berries, blueberries, lime, lemon, rhubarb, strawberry, cantaloupe, watermelon, pine needles)
      Sweet tea
      Ginger
      Orange zest & juice
      Sweet potato fly (w/Christmas spices)
      Pineapple rinds
      Carrot juice & ginger

      Hope that helps!

      1. Rebekah

        Awesome! Thanks so much!!

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