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.
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.
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.
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