Pickle Me Tuesday: How to Make a Turmeric Bug and Turmeric Soda

Turmeric Bug for Turmeric Soda


When I first started this blog back in 2011, I did a weekly Fermentation Friday. I did it for a full year and then decided to take a break from weekly ferments. Well, I’ve been wanting to start that up again but with a new name. Introducing Pickle Me Tuesdays! I’m going to try my hardest to be good about post a ferment related post every Tuesday. It might be a recipe, it might a how-to, it might just be me rambling about fermentation. Heck, maybe I’ll throw a podcast in here and there. If you have anything you would like learn about fermentation wise, leave a suggestion in the comments!

A friend brought me a present last year. A pound of fresh turmeric root. My first thought when seeing turmeric root was, “Wow, these remind me of ginger. I wonder if I can make a turmeric bug like you would a ginger bug?” Turns out I’m not the only one who thought that. I’ve seen a number of recipes for a Turmeric Bug since then.

I highly recommend searching out fresh turmeric for this. Powdered turmeric may have been heated or old so it may not have enough buggies to get the ferment started.

Side Note: A great way to store fresh turmeric (and fresh ginger) is in the freezer. Just toss in a freezer safe bag or mason jars and freeze. Pull out a knob when you need one. It only needs to thaw for a few minutes before it is sliceable.

Start with a few turds, err I mean, knobs of turmeric. Don’t peel, the peel is rich in buggies and yeast, and chop up finely. Store this chopped turmeric in a sealed container in the fridge, you’ll only use about a tablespoon of it at a time.

Turmeric Bug

Take 2 cups filter water,  2 tbsp turmeric root, and 2 tbsp sugar and place in a jar. I use a regular Fido jar for this. Place in a warm spot, around 72F is ideal.

Every day, add 1 tbsp turmeric and 1 tbsp sugar and mix well. Do this everyday until the Turmeric Bug is nice and bubbly. For me it took about 5 days. Now you are ready to make Turmeric Soda.

Turmeric Soda

To make a soda, combine 1/4 cup Turmeric Bug with 3 and 3/4 cup water plus 1/4 cup sugar. Place in an airtight bottle, like these flip top bottles (affiliate link), and seal. Beer bottles work great as well.

Place bottles in a cardboard box, to contain possible explosions, and place in a warm spot. Check bottles daily for build up fizz. If your house is warm, be sure to check at least once a day to avoid explosions. Once they are fizzy, place in the refrigerator.

You can flavor the Turmeric Soda just like you would flavor water kefir or kombucha. Adding fruit pieces or pureed fruit can help build up fizz faster (and make it taste great). I’ve found strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple are great at building fizz. If you know another fruit that builds up fizz, let me know in the comments!

Optional: You can make a fruity turmeric soda by using diluted juice (1 part juice to 1 part water) in place of the sugar water.

Turmeric Beer: You can also make a slightly alcoholic version by doubling the sugar or using straight juice.

Storing the Bug

Once you bug is fizzy, you can feed less often, every few days or so. You can also place the bug in the refrigerator and feed once a week. Replace the liquid you removed to make your soda (if you used 1/4 cup, add 1/4 cup filtered water). When you are ready to make more Turmeric Soda, take it out of the fridge and feed it for a day or two to “wake up” the buggies and then make your soda.

How Does it Taste???

Turmeric definitely has a distinct flavor. If you make the Turmeric Soda with no flavoring, you’ll taste it. You might like it, you might not. I love it and my kids like it too. If you make it with fruit juice, the turmeric taste is covered up more and is much less noticeable but it is still there. Turmeric is so good for you though that even if you don’t love it, it’s worth making yourself drink it.

**This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps support Pickle Me Too, allowing me to post and store all of my free recipes. Thank you!**

15 comments to Pickle Me Tuesday: How to Make a Turmeric Bug and Turmeric Soda

  • Aliyanna

    I have heard with making gingerbug….this seems very similar, that you can use powdered ginger…can you use the powdered turmeric???


    • I haven’t tried it powdered yet. I’m hesitant to do it that way just because I’m not sure how the powdered turmeric has been processed. I doubt there is much life there to start the ferment.

  • Yeeeeees! I’ve been looking for ways to explore variations on the ginger bug method. I actually really like the flavor of turmeric, and I’ll bet it’s super versatile. I can’t wait to try this.

  • frances

    Instead of Buttermilk, I have my Kefir Milk with live grains. By draining the milk you get Cream Cheese. Would love to hear more about Kefir Milk
    Frances from Sunny South Africa

  • Richard Streit

    You give a very good and simple recipe for fermenting turmeric. I really like it. However, you don’t say if you seal the jar tight or place a coffee filter and rubber band so that it can breathe. I ferment milk kefir on my refrigerator. It holds a nice temperature of around 70 degrees. For that I use a coffee filter and rubber band. This is where the confusion comes to play for me. I know that it is highly unlikely that you would respond directly back to me, but maybe I’ll get lucky. I really want to ferment turmeric but I need to know to seal or not to seal. I don’t want it to explode, because I’m aware that it COULD happen
    Thank you for your time.

  • Vlad

    >You can also make a slightly alcoholic version

    Is it can be alcoholic slightly only ?

  • Nathalie

    Can I add Turmeric slices when doing turmeric soda?

  • Diyanne

    If using powdered turmeric, consider adding a bit of apple peel to encourage the fermentation process. Found this in another recipe for turmeric bug.

  • Diyanne

    They also say cover with cloth and tight rubber band(I say tight as I got ants in my Kombucha when not tight)

  • Emma

    when you add the turmeric bug – is that the strained liquid or is the turmeric grated and liquid as well as well? Thanks

  • Gloria

    Wow, brilliant! Just started a ginger bug yesterday, so i understand the concept. I never thought of making a Tumeric bug but i Love the simplicity in this. I don’t have fresh turmeric, and I’m a firm believer in using what you already have, so i will try with powdered organic turmeric and apple peel I have on hand. Sweet! thanks again!

  • Susie

    Curious as to whether the turmeric powder and apple peel worked?

  • Pomegranate!

    Makes every ferment into a super carbonated fizzy soda!!

    I promise this won’t disappoint

  • Stan

    Typically, how long does it take for the soda to be ready with those ratios?

  • Sharon

    For those asking about using powdered turmeric and apple peel. Yes it will work. However you’re likely to get only yeasts from the Apple. Which is fine. If you don’t want it to be too alcoholic only ferment the sofa a day or two.

    I use powdered turmeric in a ginger bug that I started with fresh organic ginger to get the good bacteria. Then add powdered turmeric to feed the bacteria/yeast colony that has already established.

    When I strain to make soda I discard most of the powdered turmeric and give it a little boost with the fresh ginger. And then continue to feed as normal with the powdered turmeric.

    And when I say “fresh” ginger it is ginger that I have bought fresh and whizzed up in my food processor with some water then poured it into ice cube trays to freeze for the next time my bug wants a fresh ginger boost.

    I would totally use fresh turmeric rather than ginger if I could ever find some in the store.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>