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Ginger Bug (Turmeric Bug)

How to make a natural starter for fermented sodas using fresh ginger or turmeric.
Prep Time30 mins
Active Time4 d
Total Time5 d
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fermentation, ginger, turmeric
Yield: 1 bug starter
Cost: $5


  • A grater
  • A pint-sized mason jar with a plastic cap


  • 1 tbsp pure cane sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh ginger or turmeric, peeled
  • 2 tbsp unchlorinated water
  • 1/2 cup unchlorinated water


  • Peel the papery skin off a 1-2 inch piece of your ginger or turmeric.
  • Grate 2 tablespoons of either (Do not combine. Make each flavor separately).
  • Place in the mason jar. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 tablespoons water.
  • Stir, cover and store in a cool location out of direct sunlight.
  • Each day for the next 5-7 days add 1 tbs of grated ginger or turmeric, 1 tbs sugar, and 2 tbs water, and stir.
  • At day 5 begin looking for signs of fermentation: a beer-like fragrance, and bubbles at the top of the mixture. When these signs are evident you bug is ready for a soda preparation.