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I occasionally use a juicer to make Ginger root juice (which is quite strong) but lately I've also considered lacto-fermenting this juice.

Which leads me to my question:
How fermentable is juiced Ginger really?

I'm aware of how ginger bug is sometimes used to kick start ferments but juiced Ginger is something else entirely. Also, I've read quite a bit about Ginger's antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Wouldn't those same properties render a starter culture useless?

  • What do you generally use the ginger juice for? As far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of sugar in ginger root (2%), but it does seem on par with the amount of sugar in cabbage. – Dave Nov 17 '15 at 22:28
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Ginger juice alone does not have enough sugar to be fermentable. However, ginger beer is a popular, slightly alcoholic beverage made from ginger root, sugar, water and citric acid. Take a look at this question and answer.

  • I was more concerned about the antiseptic/antibacterial properties of Ginger but the amount of sugar available slipped my mind. If I added sugar source (maybe Honey) would I be able to create a Lambic-style drink? – Wilhelm Nov 17 '15 at 19:10
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    In my experience, the anti-bacterial properties of ginger do not impede fermentation. Honey would work as well, but you might be surprised at how little honey flavour will survive the fermentation process. Lambic is made from barley and wheat, so in that sense, no you can't create a lambic style drink from ginger. But you can made a dry, slightly sour, alcoholic beverage. – FishesCycle Nov 17 '15 at 20:20
  • Great answer, thanks Tobias. Once last question: My drink will likely be a lacto-fermented ferment. So, I'm thinking there would only be Lactobacillus bacteria or only Homolactic yeast strains (if I use yeast at all). Do you think the lack of yeast would help keep some of the honey in the ferment. – Wilhelm Nov 18 '15 at 0:49
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I have made ginger beer from regular old yeast before so there is nothing inherent about ginger that makes it unsuitable for yeast fermentation. Yeast technically speaking is a fungus not bacteria so how things that have anti bacterial qualities interact with fungi I'm not sure.

  • "things that have anti bacterial qualities" is a very broad term and very different results on yeast, from nothing at all to even more deadly than to bacteria. So you are right you are not sure. You couldn't be. – Mołot Nov 18 '15 at 14:47
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If you dilute it to wine like levels of flavor, it will ferment, but the pure juice? It may ferment, but probably not with yeasts that produce an expected results. It would probably result in something we'd consider spoiled.

  • Could you expand on "wine like levels of flavor"? What does this mean? What would be considered spoiled, in this case? – Wilhelm Nov 17 '15 at 19:05
  • @Wilhelm have you made wine or beer before? Forgive me for not knowing, but my answers were fairly objective. Spoilage means not fit to drink and may even be a health hazard. – Escoce Nov 17 '15 at 19:26
  • I've made wine but I mostly ferment non-alcoholic and lacto-ferments. Sometimes, when brewers use the word "spoilage," it's used to refer to metabolites, created by bacteria, that would be considered undesirable for brewing but are desirable for other ferments. Your second definition of spoilage makes sense though. – Wilhelm Nov 18 '15 at 0:47

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