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I am attempting to brew homemade ginger beer using this recipe

However, this is my second attempt at a plant/bug and it doesn't seem to be going well. Like the first time, the sediment in the plant just seems to settle in the bottom and I never really see the bubbles. It then starts to have little mould parties on the surface (little white fuzzy spots that develop black in the middle)

It doesn't smell bad but I can't imagine the mould is good. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Should I be feeding the plant from day two and not wait to see those bubbles?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • That is a good "ginger bug" recipe, in case anyone is looking for one. Best not screw the lid on tightly though, the fermentation will pressurise the container. – Kingsley Mar 26 at 2:35
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I would suspect that the suntanas (raisins) used in your starter have been treated with sulphur or sulphites. This is stopping (or killing) the wild yeasts on the surface of the fruit.

So you could try getting sulphur-free sultanas or use a different sulphur-free dried-grape fruit, e.g.: currants, raisins, etc. if it is not possible to find organic sultanans.

If your starters continue to fail, you could proceed with a small amount of another yeast - like bread yeast, instead of the starter. Or purchase a "proper" brewers yeast - although IMHO for a ginger+sugar beer, bread yeast would be good enough.

Also you could use the yeast sediment from a bottle-conditioned beer, e.g.: anything from the Coopers company. Just pour it into the starter in place of the sultanas.

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I have never heard of using ground ginger to make a ginger bug, since its been processed all the wild yeast that ginger has would be dead/gone. I would suggest finding fresh ginger root and grating it with the peel on, as the peel has the highest concentration of wild yeast.

If ginger is hard to get hold of, I have seen people talking about using green pine cones to start their bug. I have done this numerous times with great success.

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