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I’m making a batch of ginger beer from a bug. 5l water, 400g white sugar. Within just over a day, the fermentation started foaming heavily. The foam has a consistency and taste of egg whites beaten for a merengue. The rest of the liquid is turning thick and viscous.

What’s happening?

2 Answers 2

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Sounds like an undesirable bacteria / yeast combo. Try again with a new or known good ginger bug.

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This is an infection from pediococci. They produce long carbohydrate chains that tangle together, which results in this viscous consistency. It's not harmful, it just feels gross. Reportedly, after a few weeks/months, a fermented product will return to normal consistency as the carbs making up the goop get broken down but I've never personally tested this claim. Whenever I get a pediococcus infection, I toss away whatever product happens to be infected and start a new batch.

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  • Thanks! The viscosity did decrease a few days later - but somehow this batch ended up with very low carbonation. All perfectly drinkable, still.
    – Marko
    Sep 19, 2023 at 16:49

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