TURMERIC BUG AND METAL:
You will often hear that you should not use metal utensils while making turmeric bug. Although this holds some truth, it has been greatly exaggerated! Turmeric bug gets very acidic, if left in contact with metals for long periods of time, in theory it could degrade and rust the metal. That metal would then end up in the turmeric bug and eventually in you. However, using a stainless steel strainer/sieve or spoon while making turmeric bug will not cause any problems. The contact time between the metal utensils and turmeric bug will always be very short. Never leave anything metal in contact with turmeric bug for long periods of time.
You need something to keep your turmeric bug in. We recommend using something glass. Glass is much easier to clean and keep sterile. Plastic tends to degrade over time and is prone to scratches which can harbour unwanted bacteria. Plastic also carries a risk of chemical contamination from the materials contained inside of it such as BPA. A glass kilner style jam jar is perfect to use.
You will also need a fine strainer (the type used with tea) and a stirring spoon. For a sludge free turmeric bug, we recommend that you strain the mixture through a paper filter, the type used for coffee is perfect.
You also need something to cover your jar with. We recommend paper kitchen towels as they are easy to discard and replace. You can also use a muslin cloth or similar if you wish. Rubber bands also come in handy to secure the cover to the jar.
A LARGE PAN (MUST HOLD 5 LITRES)
A large stock pot works well.
A LEMON SQUEEZER:
To get the most juice of out fresh lemons, warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds and kneed them gently on a worktop. Then cut in half and squeeze the juice out.
You also need some bottles to store your turmeric bug in. We recommend using plastic bottles. Turmeric bug gets very fizzy. Make sure you use BPA free plastic.
It is useful to get a plastic funnel to help pour the liquid into the bottles.
GLASS/PLASTIC MEASURING JUG:
It is also useful to have something to decant your strained mixture into. Glass or plastic measuring jugs are perfect.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED?
You only need 4 ingredients to make turmeric bug, turmeric, water, fresh lemons and sugar. Dried turmeric powder works best.
Boil 300ml of water. Allow it to cool and add to your jar. Add four teaspoons of sugar (20g) and one teaspoon (5g) of turmeric powder and stir well. Place your turmeric bug into the jar, stir gently and cover the jar. Leave it for 24 hours at room temperature (21 degrees celsius). You should notice the mixture will start to bubble and show signs of life within a few days.
Each day, for the next 7 days, you will need to feed the turmeric bug two teaspoons of sugar (10g) and one teaspoon (5g) of turmeric powder. Stir the mixture well each time you add the sugar and turmeric.
THE FIRST BREW:
You will need:
• 200 Grams of sugar (you may need to increase/ decrease this based on your tastes)
• 3 Litres of boiling water
• Juice of 2 lemons (to lower the ph of the liquid and stop mould growing)
• 1 Tablespoon of black peppercorns (optional, but increases bioavailability further)
1. Strain the turmeric bug liquid into a separate container. Retain the sediment of turmeric bug to make your next batch with.
2. Add 3 litres of water to the large pot and bring to the boil. Add the sugar and stir so that it dissolves.
3. Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons and add to the pan of boiled water.
4. Add the peppercorns.
5. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
6. Add the turmeric bug liquid you strained off earlier. Always make sure the water has cooled. Hot water will kill the turmeric bug!
BOTTLING THE TURMERIC BUG:
It is now time to bottle your brew. If you want to increase the alcohol content, you can also add more sugar at this stage.
Using your plastic funnel, pour the mixture into your bottles, and seal them. Place the bottles at room temperature for 2-4 days. Check the bottles each day.
Once they become firm, they are ready. It is important if using glass bottles to check and burp (release some of the gas build up) daily to minimise the risk of explosions.
The turmeric bug is now ready to drink. Place your bottles in the fridge to cool. Be very careful when opening the bottles. Turmeric bug produces an extremely fizzy beverage that is prone to exploding out the bottle.
THE NEXT BATCH:
Take the turmeric bug sediment that was strained out previously and divide it in half. Take one half and place it back into the original jar you used to ferment the turmeric bug in. Add 4 teaspoons of sugar (20g) and one teaspoon of powdered turmeric (5g). Boil 300 ml of water and allow it to cool back to room temperature. (21 degrees celsius). Once cooled, add it to the jar and stir well. Repeat the process again feeding your turmeric bug for 7 days.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THE EXTRA TURMERIC BUG SEDIMENT?
Traditionally, turmeric bug was always split and shared with friends. If you do not wish to do this, you can dry it out by pasting a thin layer onto tin foil of filter paper and leaving it to dry fully (around 4 days). Store the dried turmeric bug is a sealed container for up to 6 months.
MY TURMERIC BUG SHOWS NO SIGNS OF LIFE:
Sometimes it can take a little longer for your turmeric bug to start fermenting. Factors such as cooler temperatures can often come into play in this scenario. We advise that you put your turmeric bug in the warmest place you can find. Continue to see the daily feeding regime through for the full 7 days and continue this for up to 10 days if required. If at this stage, you still see no sign of life (bubbles), please get in touch with us!