Fermented Things Friday: Ginger Bug for Ginger Ale, with a side note on fruit flies

I wanted to make a new bug. A ginger bug.

As if I didn’t have enough things causing fruit flies to swarm around my kitchen like. well….like fruit flies on a holiday, I guess, which is really what they were. Sourdough, kefir, kombucha, yogurt – yum yum yum! Now, a new one – ginger with sugar! Another treat!

(Ok, and for those of you who ferment stuff in your kitchen, I just learned of the most awesome fruit fly trap that actually works. Shallow dish + 1 tbl.  Apple Cider Vinegar + drop of dish soap. Leave it out. The feast ends when they dip a foot into the soap film, seeking the sweet, sweet ACV, and get stuck. And thus ends the party for them.)

So, I used instructions I found at the blog ‘A Life Unprocessed‘, which were simple and easy to understand. I did look at a few different versions, but this one just got me. Basic process: combine ginger and water and sugar. Feed daily. Stir twice daily. At some point, you ‘ginger bug’ might even be bubbling before you stir it! (Side note: I have experienced, once, with a batch of kombucha, that it started to get bubbly even without me covering it with the intent to carbonate! That was one cool moment. Hub’band and I were talking at the end of the day in the kitchen, and I just heard this popping and fizzing. It was my drink! It was Alive….ALIIIIIIIVE! …. ahem. Anyways….).

After you got yourself a bubbly bug, you can make some ginger ale. Yippeeee!

Things seemed to be going fine – I even had some bubbles in my mixture around day two! Then, all bubbling stopped. Undeterred, I still tried to make some ginger ale with it, and basically, made some ginger juice. (Which we still drank, and which was pretty good. Like a sweet, mild ginger tea.)

What went wrong?

My theories are that it could have been because I didn’t use organic ginger, or that my ginger was old and the enzymes weren’t ‘fresh’ or something. Another thought is that it wasn’t warm enough, or that I should have used de-chlorinated water perhaps. But, most likely, I simply didn’t wait long enough.

After great success with sourdough, kefir, and kombucha, I thought I was unstoppable. The humble ginger bug defeated me – but not for long, I hope.

The only thing now, is to start again. I have the organic ginger. I have the water, the sugar.

I’ll keep you posted. However, if you never hear from me again, and notice that all my posts become related to the liberation of fruit flies, you’ll know they read this post where I give away how to trap them, and they have joined forces and carried me off. 

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3 thoughts on “Fermented Things Friday: Ginger Bug for Ginger Ale, with a side note on fruit flies

  1. Tammy says:

    I love the idea but am not sure we could keep up with the “daily” aspect of this. Kefir and kombucha keep us running.

  2. Did you attempt ginger beer again? I curious to know how it turned out.

    • Laura says:

      I had plans to attempt it within the last week, but time got away from me, and my bug ‘died’. SO, it is square one for me. BUT, on my second try making the bug, it did work! I then stored it in the fridge for a number of weeks, and upon taking it out and feeding it again, it started bubbling, so it was alive. It was the whole not feeding it for 4-5 days that did it in, in the end. Thanks for the comment, Cindy!

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