How to Make Probiotic Ginger Beer at Home!

Permaculture Cliff’s Notes

Get the free illustrated Permaculture Cliff’s Note Pack & redesign your life

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Greetings! Today I’ve got a biggie for you: how to make your own homemade, delicious, nutritious Ginger Beer! It takes a bit of time but the result is so worth. Check it out!


    We’re making a probiotic Ginger Beer here. “Probiotic” means that it contains living, beneficial microbes. Taking probiotics replenishes the life in your intestines, which aids in digestion and nutrient assimilation. This probiotic Ginger Beer is super healthy, super inexpensive to make, and super delicious!

    It takes about 4 weeks from start to finish, but don’t let this deter you! This recipe will yield 18 liters/5 gallons of Ginger Beer.

    Tools/Ingredients:
    -5 gallon food grade plastic bucket
    -Strainer
    -Large pot
    -Sugar

    -4 lbs panela/rapadura/dehydrated molasses
    -1 lb. ginger
    -6 limes

    Step 1: Make your culture. The first step of the process is to make your “ginger bug,” which will be used to inoculate your brew. In a sealable container, mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon white sugar and 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Important: Do not peel the ginger root! The skin of the ginger introduces the beneficial bacteria which you will cultivate in your ginger bug and which will ultimately bring your Ginger Beer to life.

    Your “bug” must be maintained. Every day for 1 week, add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon grated ginger to the jar and shake well. Within a week it should be bubbly and fizzing–that means that it’s alive! You’re ready for Step 2.

    Step 2: Make Ginger Beer. Chop/grate the remaining ginger root and the 4 lbs of panela/rapadura/dehydrated molasses. Fill and heat a large pot of water and add ginger root and panela. Bring to a boil and remove from heat (make sure that the panela has completely dissolved). While you are waiting for the water to boil, juice the 6 limes. Once water, ginger, and panela have come to a boil and been removed from the heat, strain the mixture into your bucket and fill with cold water to top of bucket. Add the lime juice and strain the liquid from the ginger bug in as well. Stir well, and continue to stir every day for 1 week.

    Step 3: Bottle. After stirring every day for 1 week, it’s time to bottle. We use clean glass bottles. Usually after 1 week or so in the bottle, enough carbonation has built up to make a delicious, fizzy drink (if you don’t allow carbonation to build up, it tastes like a flat soda). If you bottle in glass, a trick to keep track of carbonation levels is to use one plastic bottle. Watching how much the plastic bottle bulges as carbonation builds up inside will let you know when all your glass bottles are ready to be opened. Generally this takes about 1 week, though temperature and other factors can speed up or slow down fermentation.

    Week 4: Drink your Ginger Beer! If you were paying close attention, you’ll notice you used up the who ginger bug back in week 2 when you added it to the hot ginger/panela tea. Whenever you want to make more Ginger Beer, begin at week 1 with a fresh bug. You can vary the recipe by using other sweetened herbal teas in place of ginger, inoculating with the same ginger bug. Enjoy!



    blog photo.jpg

    Studying Permaculture and Natural Building in Guatemala offers amazing opportunities to learn from indigenous cultures, rich natural patterns, and enormous diversity. Permaculture in Central America is representative of the edge effect or Edge Valuing Principle of Design. As one of the world’s centres of biodiversity, Central America attracts people from all over the world interested in learning through nature. Permaculture practices and sustainable building designs can be seen in action via the surviving indigenous traditions that are common in Guatemala. Studying permaculture and natural building in Central America offers designers great opportunities to learn from diverse groups of people in incredibly diverse natural settings. 

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published.

    Sarah Wu

    Sarah is a clinical herbalist of 20 years, studying and practicing planetary eclectic, regenerative herbalism with a foundation in Wise Woman Reclaiming philosophies. Influenced by global traditions, Sarah focuses on local food-based healing and ethnobotanical traditions. She leads trainings and workshops in herbal medicine, Permaculture Design Courses, Therapeutic Deep Ecology, Social Permaculture, field-to-the-plate holistic nutrition, herbal first aid and Tarot. She is a passionate mentor and educator, who believes in the teacher’s role in unlocking the innate wisdom of the student. Sarah is the co-founder of the Village Witches project, and is a Co-Founder and Co-producer of Envision Festival.

    Laura Palmieri

    Laura ‘Lala’ Palmieri is a clinical herbalist, a biologist, plant and fungi lover and grower. She offers health consultations to balance body, mind and soul working with medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Her approach to health integrates the knowledge of many ancient traditions and teachers, fusing spirituality with nature, and science with alchemy through the transformation of the elements.

    Lala has spent her years in dialogue with Nature, which has fueled her passion to integrate scientific knowledge and the connection with all beings to help humanity. She integrates her practice with cooking, gardening, and exploring ecosystems. She teaches and facilitates herbal clinics and programs in permaculture, herbalism, botany, fermentation, and medicinal mushroom cultivation, with a regenerative earth care approach and techniques that are accessible to most. She and Sarah co-created the Envision and Cosmic Converge Herbal First Aid Clinics, other relief Clinics in Guatemala for the volcano eruption. You will find Lala crafting remedies for her diverse communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica, where she is actively creating a world with integrated healthcare.

    Holly Mech

    Holly fell in love with yoga because of the sense of connection she felt every time she came to her mat. She began teaching yoga in Chicago in 2011. Her desire to deepen her teaching and personal practice led her to continue her yoga education in California, Bali, Australia and Guatemala. Holly now travels around the world teaching yoga and facilitating yoga teacher trainings. She enjoys helping new teachers sequence yoga classes and incorporate philosophy into their teachings. Her classes are creative and dynamic with an emphasis on making yoga accessible to everyone.

    Holly studied English at the University of Illinois at Chicago and frequently draws inspiration for her classes from literature and poetry. When she’s not on the yoga mat she enjoys exploring nature, singing, dancing and working with textiles.

    Ashley McDonnell

    Ashley’s work focuses on resurrecting our relationship to the natural world through the development of earth based skills that deepen our connection to place while increasing our sense of sovereignty and resilience. Devoted to the arts of permaculture, natural building, herbalism and birth work as her mediums, Ashley explores with humility the diverse modalities that support us in living in right relationship with the world around us. She views permaculture as a practice that not only creates healthy ecological communities but one that helps to reweave the very fabric of who we are as people. Her work is an offering to the future.

    Zach Loeks

    Hailing from Ottawa, Canada where he and his partner run the 50-acre Kula Permaculture Farm, Zach brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the course. He works as an educator, designer, consultant and farmer, with an emphasis on integrating diversity, conserving soil and maximizing farm ecosystem services while maintaining high productivity.

    Last year Zach published The Permaculture Market Garden, which explores ways that permaculture can be scaled up be a profitable whole-systems enterprise. Zach is a leading figure in permaculture, who brings a new and exciting vision of how it can be integrated into the wider community and marketplace.

    Rony Lec

    Rony is one of the world’s leading experts in permaculture and Mayan ancestral knowledge. Rony has spent the last 20 years teaching and implementing permaculture throughout Central, South and North America focusing on promoting food sovereignty and preserving biodiversity for the survival of Indigenous communities.

    Through his extensive work with Indigenous communities on traditional ecological knowledge, seed saving, native plants, local/global food movements, livelihood security, and the interaction between communities and the environment, he has made a key contribution to the empowerment of Indigenous people around the world. Rony is a co-founder of IMAP.

    Neal Hegarty

    Neal is originally from Ireland. He grew up on a dairy farm and has been around animals all his life. He studied agriculture in Ireland and has worked as a permaculturist for the past 10 years. Neal was the Volunteer Manager at Atitlan Organics for 2 years before co-founding his own Permaculture-based enterprise, Abundant Edge Farm, in Tzununa. He brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm, and energy into each Intro to Permaculture Course and Permaculture Design Certification Course and we’re happy to continue to collaborate with him!

    Shad Qudsi

    Shad Qudsi has over 13 years experience in organic and commercial gardening and farming. He is certified in Permaculture Design and has over 3 years experience in permaculture design consulting. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a double major in Applied Math and Psychology, Shad and his wife, Colleen, moved to Central America with only vague goals of farming at some point in the near future. In January of 2010, Shad and his wife bought and moved onto a very small farm located in the traditional Mayan village of Tzununa, which on the north shore of Lake Atitlan, in Guatemala. The farm developed into Atitlan Organics and now mainly focuses on greens and chickens, a large edible and useful plant nursery, a food forest, and training and education.  Shad is an enthusiastic teacher who truly believes in the work he is doing. Human resiliency cannot be erased from the landscape and now, it is coming back with a loving grace.