How to make Homemade Naturally Fermented Ginger Ale....

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

It has been quiet on the blogging front around here for a couple of reasons, it was the first week back to work after a week's vacation and working on a somewhat long term project.

Easy homemade Naturally Fermented Ginger Ale
Naturally Fermented Ginger Ale

Who else feels that certain "returned to work fatigue" upon the end of a relaxing staycation? The creative juices are present, but so is time away from home and being tapped out at the end of the day.

The original Ginger Bug from this post molded. I was disappointed and bewildered. Having been around fermented foods since childhood, this caught me by surprise.

Although I have found some of the simplest things, can still be trying to one's sense of knowledge.......When the mold was discovered we were having a hot spell, but holy cow, mold?

So once again, it was back to the drawing board or in the case of kitchen work, the cutting board..........first make a Ginger Bug.

Hot to make Homemade Ginger Ale.

Directions for making a Ginger Bug
adapted from: a life unprocessed

Ginger - unpeeled for the bug process
de-chlorinated water

Day one:
Into 2-3 c water, add 2-3 T finely chopped ginger and 2 T sugar.
Stir well, cover loosely with a towel.
Stir again, later in the day.

Day two: repeat ginger and sugar, stir well, recover with the towel. Stir a second time.

Day three: repeat ginger and sugar, stir well, recover with the towel. Stir a second time.

You should see little bubbles forming around the edge of the jar where the ginger is floating on the water, when you stir, at this point, you have an active bug. If so continue on for Ginger Ale.

I could not tell being new to fermenting, so I continued on.......

Day four: repeat ginger and sugar, stir well, recover with a towel. Stir a second time.

Day five:  repeat ginger and sugar, stir well, recover with a towel. Stir a second time.

By this point, when I stirred the second time, there was effervescence action that made a nice ring of foamy bubbles, so I knew I was ready to make ginger ale!

Ginger Ale
adapted from:  a life unprocessed

2 quarts de-chlorinated water*
1/3 c sliced peeled ginger

1 1/2 c sugar  - we thought this produced a very sweet Ginger Ale, I will reduce for future batches.

additional de-chlorinated water

1 empty gallon jar

Boil the sliced ginger in the 2 quarts of water for 20 minutes. Let cool until warm. Strain out the ginger slices, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Transfer to the gallon jar, add additional water until the fluid level is 2 inches below the shoulder of the jar. When contents are cooled to room temperature, stir in 1 c of the strained ginger bug.

Cover loosely with toweling. The second stop is a 3-day process, but first process the bug for future use.

Much like a sourdough starter, the Ginger Bug must be fed and stored for future use.

Photo of a Ginger Bug and a batch of Ginger Ale.
Ginger Bug to the left, Ginger Ale to the right.

Re-feed the Bug:  add 1 cup de-chlorinated water, 2 T chopped ginger and 2 T sugar. Stir well, recover with a towel to rest overnight and reestablish fermentation. The next day, stir to see that it is active if so refrigerate until needed. If sluggish, feed again, stirring twice. Then refrigerate.

The truth is, there is no absolute with naturally fermented foods, you must learn as you go, and go forward with what has been learned. This can be difficult to translate in a media where exact measurements are the preferred standard.

And now, back to the Ginger Ale:

day one: stir in the morning and again in the evening.

day two: stir in the morning and again in the evening.

day three: stir in the morning and again in the evening.

Ginger Ale ready to bottle and store to increase the carbonation.
Ginger Ale, ready to bottle. 

On day four, you will want to bottle up the ale, using a top hasp closure bottle.

The final stir before bottling shows some bubbles (carbonation). 

It is easier to decant into a small pitcher and then pour from there into the funnel/strainer combination, rather than using a ladle.

Sit the fine mesh strainer into the funnel, then rest the handle on something about the same height, to keep everything steady.

After bottling, secure the hasp and let sit out one more day, for carbonation to build up. Then refrigerate. Do not let sit out once bottled more than the one day, too much pressure may build up.

Caution Warning!: 

Because this is a naturally fermented product the Ginger Ale may act like a poorly opened bottle of Champagne and while that is charming in a movie, you don't want ginger ale all over your home. So I suggest opening the bottle slowly while standing at the kitchen sink with the bottle over the sink to catch any escaping fluid. I think the trick here is to be careful and patient at the same time. I only point this out, because commercially prepared drinks do not require such behavior.......

When ready to drink, open carefully and pour gently into a glass.


* to de-chlorinate water, simply fill a large pitcher (or two)  with water and let sit overnight to allow the chlorine to dissipate.

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  1. Well thats just crazy interesting! Thanks for sharing!

  2. my family made this the very same way, what memories, lots of work !! I just did my new blog post about my mums wine she made, its a silly post but there ya go, lol

  3. You did it! I bet that is delicious. In ginger love, Rocquie

  4. I just love Ginger Ale, this looks like such a fun project! Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. What a fun project! Thank you for sharing both the highs and lows, Melynda. I think it would be wonderful to taste real, old fashioned homemade ginger ale! Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.


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