Ginger Bugs

No, there aren’t bugs that are specific to ginger. A ginger bug is a wild starter culture used to ferment drinks. You can make homemade probiotics, naturally bubbly soft drinks, sodas, herbal beers, and tonics! They can be used to make root beer, ginger beer, and much more. Like a sourdough starter, it is rich in wild bacteria and yeast, such as probiotics like lactobacillus. These organisms help to support metabolism, the digestive system, and the immune system. When combined with other powerful herbs, the possible benefits are endless. 

Get to know your bacteria:

Lactobacillus is any group of rod-shaped, gram-positive, non-spore-forming bacteria in the family Lactobacillaceae. These friendly organisms are commonly found in sour milk, cheese, yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, wine, sourdough, and even some sausages. Each probiotic can have different effects on the body. This particular group benefits the digestive system, skin health, immune health, metabolic health, and so much more!


  • Dice the ginger, don’t grate or shred.
  • Use a caloric sweetener- the bacteria and yeast must have food to ferment properly!
  • Use organic to avoid pesticides
  • Use chlorine-free water, not tap
  • Seal the jar tight
  • Always sanitize thoroughly 


To start:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • 1 ounce fresh organic diced ginger

To feed:

  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 2.5 ounces fresh organic diced ginger, unpeeled

To use: 

  • 8 cups fruit juice or sweetened tea


Warm the water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Cool to room temperature. Add ginger to a sanitized pint-size mason jar, and add the water. Seal the jar and let it sit for one day. 

Feeding the bug:

The following day, and each day for five days, stir 1 teaspoon and ½ ounce of ginger into the jar, then close tightly. Between days 3-5, you should see bubbles forming, and it should smell yeasty and gingery. When you see a lot of bubbles, it is ready to use. 

Using the bug:

To use, strain ½ cup of liquid from the jar, mix it with 7 ½ cups of liquid, and ferment for three days, leaving 1 inch of head space. Once done, transfer the bottles to the fridge to stop the fermentation process. 

Ideas for the bug:

  • Root beer
  • Lemonade soda
  • Raspberry soda
  • Berry punch soda
  • Pineapple soda
  • Elderberry soda
  • Ginger Beer


Click here to learn more about The History of Fermentation

Click here to learn about Understanding and Picking Probiotics

Click here to learn about the Gut-Brain Connection

Comments (0)

Leave a comment