How much ginger bug for 3 gallon batch?

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Andreas

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I've been making 1/2 gallong batches of ginger beer using a ginger bug. Does anyone know if I must icrease the amount of "bug" to start a 3 gallong batch, or could I get away with using 1 or 2 cups of ginger bug?
 

KevinM

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I would surmise that none of us know how much you need, or what the bug is. I'm thinking it's like a yeast starter, and if it is, like sourdough bread, it's usually better to do proportions correctly. You could use less, but you have to wait longer and it generally doesn't develop the right flavor anyways.
 

bottlebomber

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He means ginger beer plant, I'm pretty sure. It's not a yeast but a fungus. And as such I'm pretty sure none of the conventional yeast pitching tables are going to be much good. I want to experiment with this stuff. It's on the to do list.
 

Symmetry

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He means ginger beer plant, I'm pretty sure. It's not a yeast but a fungus. And as such I'm pretty sure none of the conventional yeast pitching tables are going to be much good. I want to experiment with this stuff. It's on the to do list.
I've seen a few different definitions for ginger beer bug. The first, and more common from what I've read, is much like yeast water (or original yeast), used in bread baking. You add ginger, sugar, and water to a bowl, then let it sit covered with cheesecloth while you feed it every other day. When it develops white stuff on the bowl/jar and is slightly bubbling, you have a wild ginger beer bug. If you let it go too long, it'll develop a SCOBY and start excreting vinegar, which means your bug is as good as dead (unless you want crappy vinegar beer). To use it, just dump the whole thing in your water/ginger/acid/sugar mixture. It'll give ginger beer slightly more alcohol than using dry or cake yeast, but not nearly as much as GBP.

And FYI, it's not a fungus - it's a bacteria. Yeast is a fungus.

To OP, I'm not sure exactly, but I believe you just scale it up proportionately.
 

bottlebomber

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Symmetry said:
And FYI, it's not a fungus - it's a bacteria. Yeast is a fungus.
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I'm pretty sure it's a bacteria/fungus symbiote..

"His analyses revealed that it was a type of organism new to science. He described it as a 'composite body', consisting of many microorganisms living together. Not all of these microbes helped in making the beer, but two organisms were present in every sample, and seemed vital to the production of ginger beer. One was a fungus he named Saccharomyces pyriformis. The other was a bacterium, which he named Bacterium vermiforme, and is now called Brevibacterium vermiforme. Together, they produce the essential ingredients of traditional ginger beer: carbon dioxide and alcohol."
 

Symmetry

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Yes, that's what a GBP is. However, what I've usually seen referred to as a bug uses wild bacteria and yeast that are floating around in your kitchen, but not necessarily S. pyriformis and B. vermiforme.

I suppose that could also be considered a type of ginger beer plant, but that particular term is, as far as I know, precisely for one SCOBY.

However, I have occasionally seen the term 'bug' used to describe a solely yeast fermentation as well as a true GBP, so who knows? I could certainly be wrong - I'm just giving an anecdote.
 

KevinM

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I was thinking of the symbiotic bacteria/yeast known as ginger beer plant as well. I wasn't sure if it was or was a straight yeast starter since I too have heard the term bug used multiple ways. And although I misspoke, when I mentioned sourdough starter, I was both comparing that to a bacteria/yeast combination as well as a plain yeast starter. Actually, I was doing a direct comparison, since with sourdough or even a yeast starter for bread, you can't just add the amount you'd use for a single batch into a double or triple batch, the flavor profile gets too different, and I believe the same to be true for any bug, so I would consider it a must for scaling with the ginger bug.

Same thing with Kefir grains too.
 
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