I've made a new ginger bug from some pretty old ginger.

The ginger has been sitting on my counter long enough for some of it to actually sprout new shoots, but it smells fine and doesn't show any signs of having gone bad.

I got great fermenation, plenty of bubbles, etc. However, I'm told that a ginger bug should smell like "fresh ginger" which this one decidedly doesn't.

It smells slightly medicinal and very alcoholic. Not sure if it is actually alcoholic, as I haven't tasted it.

The ginger smell in it is pretty strong, but doesn't smell like "fresh" ginger - more like ginger tea. The ginger and sugar used were both organic.

Is this how it's supposed to smell?

  • Can I ask what a Ginger Bug is? – paj Aug 5 '15 at 15:37
  • 1
    @paj google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ginger+bug – Eli Aug 14 '15 at 0:23
  • cool, never heard of it before <- British – paj Aug 14 '15 at 7:38
  • dump the home grown "ginger bug" and go buy the real thing. Ginger beer SCOBY (aka the real ginger beer plant) is formed of white jelly like granules that are composed of a particular yeast and lactobacillius. It is a stable thing and not at all like a mixture of wild yeast and bacteria that most "ginger bugs" are actually composed of. Real ginger bug forms the granules whereas other combinations of yeast and bacteria do not. – barking.pete Dec 6 '17 at 10:29

When the bug is ready to use, it should NOT smell like fresh ginger.

The ginger bug should smell like ginger at first, and then as the days go by and you add more ginger and sugar it starts to develop a yeasty/alcoholic smell. The bug is made to get the yeast culture going, so it makes sense that it smells like that.

I can still smell the ginger in mine, but the alcoholic smell is much more pervasive. I just finished making some ginger beer with my bug and it turned out pretty good.

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Mine always smells fresh, tho I start a new one every week or two, Ive noticed that letting it go to long can somtimes cause a "sulfury" smell in the final beverage.

Ps. A ginger beer "scoby" is made of Wild ginger... its not bakers yeast or kombucha (Which I'm pretty sure is made from the wild yeast on tea leaves), make your own culture, its a lot more impressive and satisfying.

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I have not made a Ginger Bug myself but given this is a natural fermentation of bacteria and airborne yeasts I would expect it to smell nothing like fresh ginger and very much alcoholic. The medicinal thing I would be slightly dubious about though.

I am pretty certain it should not smell like fresh ginger, as there is fermentation processes occurring.

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