The Ginger Bug

Cami and I recently discovered a kombucha "soda" company based out of Austin, Texas. They make "healthy" versions of classic soda flavors, and man are they awesome! My favorite is by far the Dr. Better, great name too. 

As with many commercially available products, I am usually eager to make my own version. After doing some research, I discovered the ginger bug, a simple ferment of ginger, water, and sugar. Like whey, the ginger bug works as an inoculate and assists in the fermentation process. 

There is about a week of continual care needed to your ginger bug started, but once it's activated (like a sourdough starter), it's just a matter of feeding it every few days. 

Ginger Bug


  • 1 pound of fresh ginger
  • 1 pound unrefined cane sugar (Rapadura)
  • spring water


  • 1 - 16 oz glass jar (Like This)
  • a wooden spoon


  1. Make sure the jar is cleaned (sanitize with food grade H2O2 or strong alcohol) and wiped dry. Stir the water and sugar together. Let stand until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Peel away the skin, then use a Microplane to grate the ginger. Stir into the sugar water, whip down the sides then close the lid. Keep this in a warm spot. When the wood stove is cranking, I leave my jar on the mantel so it stays nice and warm.
  3. Every day for the next 5 days add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger to 2 tablespoons of sugar that has been dissolved in 3 tablespoons of water.
  4. Within 5-7 days your ginger bug should be bubbly and happy. Give it a taste, just be mindful, it will be spicy!
  5. Once you have an active ginger bug, you can then start using it in various recipes, or keep it refrigerated until ready to use. You can also reduce the amount of ginger/sugar/water you add to once every 3-4 days.
  6. Once you use some of the ginger bug, add back the same quantity of water and sugar. So, if you use 1/4 cup of ginger bug, add back 2 tablespoons each sugar and water.