This fermented turmeric bug is simple to make and the perfect thing for making naturally fermented sodas. A turmeric bug is similar to a ginger bug but made with fresh turmeric root instead. With a gentle warming and subtly spicy flavor making for a lovely ferment, a turmeric bug is easy to make and perfect for beginner fermenters and homebrewers!
Turmeric is a tropical rhizome that is in the same family as ginger. It is popular these days because of its health benefits as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Fresh turmeric has a gentle warming and mildly spicy flavor that I have come to love.
One of my favorite things to ferment is to make a ginger bug. It’s always worked well for me, and I love the ginger sodas I can make from it, like my apple ginger beer.
The same thing can be done with fresh turmeric root, which can then be used to make a fermented turmeric soda!
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and fermenting it can make some of its compounds even more bioavailable.
For a different recipe, try this fermented turmeric paste.
Turmeric Bug Recipe
I follow the same process for making this turmeric bug as I do for my ginger bug.
The biggest obstacle that you may have is actually getting the fresh turmeric root to begin with. Try natural food stores and local food co-op’s first, or you can order it here or here on Etsy.
If you can find organic, that is even better, as it is more likely to have the bacteria and yeasts on its surface that will promote fermentation.
Grate the Turmeric
Grate about 1 tablespoon of fresh turmeric root, a mircoplane works awesome for this.
Do not peel the turmeric, as that is where all of the good bacteria and yeasts are. Put one tablespoon of grated turmeric in a mason jar with one teaspoon of sugar.
Stir Together the Turmeric Bug
Add three tablespoons non-chlorinated (filtered) water to the jar and stir it all together to dissolve the sugar.
Then cover the jar with a clean towel or cheesecloth attached with a rubber band.
Put it in a dark corner somewhere and come back to it the next day.
Feed the Bug Daily
The next day, add the same ingredients to the turmeric bug again: one tablespoon grated turmeric root, one teaspoon sugar, three tablespoons of water, and stir well.
Cover again and set aside. Keep doing that every day, and in three or four days you should see it start to bubble!
This photo was taken on the fourth day, you can see all the bubbles on the surface of the turmeric bug.
I stirred it up well and all those bubbles rose to the surface.
Use the Turmeric Bug Starter
When you see this, then your turmeric bug is ready to use as a “starter” to make fermented turmeric sodas!
Here is my Naturally Fermented Turmeric Soda recipe, which is so good.
It will also give a turmeric bite to any other natural soda combinations that you can think of. A ginger turmeric blend would be nice, or with other fruit like citrus, mango, or berries.
More Naturally Fermented Soda Recipes
Here are more of my homemade naturally fermented sodas that can be made with a ginger bug or turmeric bug:
- 4 tbsp unpeeled grated turmeric root divided
- 4 tsp sugar divided
- 12 tbsp non-chlorinated filtered water divided
- Combine 1 tablespoon grated turmeric and 1 teaspoon sugar in a mason jar. Add 3 tablespoons water and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Cover the jar with a clean towel or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar into a dark corner.
- The next day, add another tablespoon of turmeric, another teaspoon sugar, and 3 tablespoons water to the jar and stir well. Re-cover the jar and place back into the dark corner.
- Repeat step 3 for an additional 2 days, or until the turmeric bug starts to bubble. It may take up to a week or more to start fermenting. Once it is bubbling it is ready to use as a starter for homemade sodas.