Have you ever tried homemade probiotic ginger ale? If not, then you’re in for a treat! This fiery ginger drink is one of our favorites. It tastes absolutely delicious, and with all the health benefits, who could resist? We hope you enjoy!
How to Get Started Making Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale: Ginger Bug
What is a Ginger Bug?
A ginger bug is basically a storage house for all of the good bacteria living on the skin of the ginger and the air inside of your home. It is considered a form of wild fermentation. The good bacteria and yeast stored in the ginger bug help create the probiotic, fizzy goodness of this delicious drink.
Health Benefits of the Ginger Bug (and Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale)
Ginger: Ginger is very high in zinc, which is excellent for mental health and clarity. Without this amazing mineral, you can’t really taste or smell. Ginger is also wonderful for an upset stomach and bringing warmth to the body.
Probiotic Ginger Ale: The wild fermentation created with your ginger bug allows living probiotics to be housed in your gut. These good bacterias help combat bad bacterias in your digestive system. The probiotics also produce enzymes that break down your food, aiding in digestion. In turn, your body can reserve its own enzymes to take care of other metabolic processes in the body.
For more wonderful information on lacto-fermentation, check out Donna Schwenk at Cultured Food Life and the Weston A Price Foundation.
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How to Make a Ginger Bug Starter
The Foundation of Probiotic Ginger Ale
Putting the Ginger Bug to Use!
Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale Recipe
Directions to Make Probiotic Ginger Ale
In the gallon jar, place the grated ginger, sugar, zest and juice of lemons (or limes), 1 Cup of ginger bug, and then fill the remaining space with water (well or spring water). Give the mixture a good stir with a large spoon. Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure it with a large rubber band. Label the jar with the name and date. Place the jar in a warm space, out of direct sunlight. Somewhere on your kitchen countertop should be fine.
The ginger ale should be bubbling within 2 to 3 days. Once it is actively bubbling, it’s ready to be bottled.
Strain the liquid into a large pitcher. With a funnel, pour the strained ginger ale into several swing top bottles. Once the homemade probiotic ginger ale is bottled, wipe the mouths, and secure the bottle tops shut.
Interested in learning more about gut-healthy, probiotic drinks? Check out my favorite fermentation book by Felicity Evans; Fermented Probiotic Drinks!
Love having delicious, gut-healthy drinks around for family and friends? Check out these recipes for more deliciousness! Lacto-Fermented Tepache, Kombucha, & Water Kefir Soda
A Second Fermentation of the Ginger Ale
Depending on the temperature of your home, the homemade probiotic ginger ale should be ready to drink within 3 to 7 days. If your home is a little warmer (like ours), it may be ready even sooner. Place the bottles in the refrigerator to cool, and then you are ready to enjoy a glass of this spicy, lacto-fermented goodness.
Traditionally our homemade probiotic ginger ale has a great shelf life. We have had bottles last in the fridge for up to a year.
The nose knows. When doing homemade lacto-fermentation, use common sense. If something smells foul or off, throw it away. Healthy fermentation should smell pleasant.
Variations: Ginger Bug is Not Just for Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale!
Using Ginger Bug to Make other Sodas
You can use your ginger bug to make an endless array of other homemade probiotic sodas. Some of our favorites include root beer, grape soda, and pineapple soda. Just simply add a cup of ginger bug to your favorite juice and allow it to ferment as outlined above!
Spice up your homemade probiotic ginger ale with other flavors like lavender, black peppercorns, star anise, or hibiscus! The sky’s the limit, friends!
It’s Your Turn!
How do You Plan to Make your own Homemade Probiotic Ginger Ale?
Now that you know the foundations for making your own probiotic drinks, what are your plans? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to know how this recipe turns out for you and what variations you added!
I am going to get on the fermentation train again!! I have had your ginger ale and it is amazing!!! I am going to try my hand at it!!
Alicia, I am so delighted that this inspired you. It tastes so good, and it is so life giving. Ginger contains some of the highest amounts of zinc. So needed in fighting off viruses. You can do this! It is not hard, you just have to get in the rhythm of brewing.
Is it ok to grate your ginger ahead of time for your bug? Or do I need to grate it each day? Also, do I need to remove the peel? Thanks!
Hi Tish! Grating the ginger ahead is fine. You do NOT have to remove the peel!:) Let us know how it turns out! (PS- If your house is really cool and you keep your A/C really low, try to keep the bug in a warmer place in the house.)