I started making my first ginger bug a week ago and it finally produced a bubble on the 7 th day!

I’m planning to brew a big batch of ginger beer in a 5 gallon carboy and I’m need 7 cups ginger bug in the recipe.

My question is, can I speed up increasing my ginger bug quantity by giving it a big feed?

I usually feed once a day with 2 tbsp water 2 tbsp ginger and 1 tbsp cane sugar. Thank you very much.

  • If you can add a pic it always helps us understand what the situation is more easily.
    – Mr_road
    Commented Jul 29, 2019 at 9:56

3 Answers 3


What it sounds like you need is a called a stepped starter approach. Apparently, this is less stressful for the yeast. Though a ginger bug is technically a SCOBY.

  1. Make a new (bigger) batch of the solution that you feed your ginger bug. Anecdotally, I have seen 10X to 20X the existing volume. If you wanted to be more conservative, you could just double the volume.
  2. Combine the existing ginger bug with the new "food."
  3. Let the bug sit for the amount of time you regularly do.
  4. Repeat till you get the volume you need to pitch your beer and maintain your pre-existing ginger bug.
  • By what I can read online, a ginger bug is not a SCOBY. A Ginger Beer Plant is a SCOBY.
    – LudvigH
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 8:03

Bubbles happens when your yeast is eating the sugar, and that creates the co2 (the bubbles).

Feeding bigger quantities = more food for yeast. But yeast can only work so much, you can't make it work faster, but you can make it work all the time.

Feeding daily, I would assume would be the same as feeding all at once. All you're doing is making sure your yeast has food all the time to continue to work. If you do this in a big hit, it just means it will have a lot more food to work on.

You can't speed up yeast working, but you can make it work all the time, and not rest. When you feed it all at once, you're just making yeast work 24/7, instead of doing it daily.


You are correctly staggering your feeds as adding too much sugar at once can stress the yeast and bacteria in your SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) or bug.

I don't know the size of your current bug, but I would suggest you could increase the feeding rate, ie do what you are doing now but daily rather than every 2 days. BUT, I would wait till it is happily bubbling before ramping up the feeding, as if the bug is not chewing up the sugars you provide then it will stress it out and slow down the growth you are looking for.

Also, adding a little lemon/orange juice can help as it lowers the pH slightly which the bacteria will prefer, and provides easily accessible nutrients which can help in the initial rapid growth phase for yeast and bacteria. Also, if you are taking the lid of for feeding every day, after feeding, give it a good shake to get some oxygen dissolved into the solution, as both yeast and bacteria need oxygen in their growth pahses to allow them to make sterols in the cellular membranes.

As your bug grows and its capacity for metabolism increases you can provide more nutrients with each feed.

  • By what I can read online, a ginger bug is not a SCOBY. A Ginger Beer Plant is a SCOBY.
    – LudvigH
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 11:55
  • 1
    I had previously not understood the difference between plant and bug; and many sources on the internet don't either. Thanks for the heads up. From what I can see Plant more commonly refers to the ganular SCOBY whereas Bug is the naturally occuring yeast and bacteria off the root ginger itself, which over a few generations will form into a balanced yeast bacteria colony, but not a SCOBY in strictly the same manner.
    – Mr_road
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 14:33
  • I totally agree. Both with your characterization of the plant/bug, but also that many sources online seems to get it wrong. Thanks for the addendum!
    – LudvigH
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 14:46

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