This fermented turmeric soda is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of turmeric and is easy to brew at home. It’s naturally carbonated, delicious, and loaded with immune-boosting properties!
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, skin savior, and brain booster. It’s often talked about as one of the key herbs to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
This bright-yellow herbaceous perennial plant is originally from South India. It’s grown and harvested mainly for its rhizomes, or roots, and is closely related to ginger, another powerful medicinal root.
The best way to enjoy the long-term benefits of this medicinal herb is to consume it daily in food or beverages. This fermented soda makes it easy to enjoy!
You will need fresh turmeric to make soda with, which can be found at the farmer’s market or in the produce section of most health food stores. I’ve heard you can even grow turmeric at home, but I haven’t tried that yet.
What Are The Medicinal Benefits of Turmeric?
In Ayurveda, the qualities of turmeric are hot, light, and dry. It has a bitter taste. Turmeric is a powerful medicinal herb, with numerous health benefits. Some of its benefits include:
- A blood tonic
- An emmenagogue (stimulates blood flow)
- A Carminative (relieves gas)
- May promote ovulation in women
- It’s great for the skin
- Antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial
- A blood thinner and blood detoxifier
- Pain killer that speeds up wound healing
- Turmeric has also been shown to help in recovery from chemotherapy
- May help prevent specific types of cancer
- May help ease the effects of psoriasis and arthritis
Ingredients In Fermented Turmeric Soda
In addition to turmeric, this fermented soda includes ginger, cayenne pepper, lemons, and black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine, which greatly improves the bioavailability of turmeric so it can be better absorbed by our bodies.
You only need a tiny amount of black pepper, or about 1/20 teaspoon, for this effect to happen. So, with such a small amount, you won’t taste any pepper in the soda.
The first step for making fermented turmeric soda is you will need to start a turmeric bug. This is very easy to do and takes about 3-7 days to make. If you have made a ginger bug before, a turmeric bug is made following the same process.
See my post for detailed instructions on how to make a turmeric bug here.
Note: if you have a ginger bug in the fridge, you use it instead of the turmeric bug. This will not greatly alter the flavor profile of the soda.
Can You Use Dried Turmeric Powder to Make Fermented Soda?
Sadly, the answer is no, you can’t use dried turmeric powder to make this soda. Turmeric powder just doesn’t contain the beneficial microbes on its surface that you need for fermenation.
So, once you have gathered all your ingredients and have an active, bubbly tumeric bug, it’s time to start the turmeric soda. The next step is to make fresh turmeric juice.
Make Fresh Turmeric & Ginger Juice
You may notice some recipes for fermented turmeric soda call for making a turmeric tea and fermenting this tea. I have tried both ways of fermenting tea vs. fresh turmeric juice, and I greatly prefer the flavor of the soda made with freshly juiced turmeric.
You can try both ways, it’s simply a matter of preference. To make turmeric juice, simply add the turmeric, ginger, and lemon juice, cayenne, and black pepper to a high-speed blender.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients and blend on high for 1 min or so until the completely smooth. Strain with a nut milk bag to remove the pulp.
Note: if you have a juicer, you can use it to make the juice instead which would be an easier process.
Add Juice & Turmeric Bug to Fermentation Jar
After straining out the pulp from the juice, pour the fresh juice into the jar you will use to ferment. Add more water to the jar, leaving about 3 to 4 inches of space at the top.
Next, add the sugar and mix well until dissolved.
The final step is to add your tumeric bug to get the fermentation started. Strain out 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid from your turmeric bug, and pour it into the gallon. Mix well to incorporate it.
Cover the jar with an airlock and let ferment at room temperature. If you don’t have an airlock, simply cover the jar with a tightly woven cloth to keep out critters.
Ferment At Room Temperature
Ferment the turmeric soda for 3 to 4 days, depending on the temperature in your home. Warmer temps will result in a faster fermentation. You should start to see bubbles rising to the surface within 1 to 2 days.
Mix the soda with a clean spoon once a day or so. It’s also a good idea to begin tasting the soda on day 3 or 4. This is a good way to monitor the progress and see if it needs more sugar.
Turmeric soda typically results in a very active, vigorous, bubbly fermentation for me. Once it stops actively bubbling, it’s time to pour the soda from the gallon into smaller bottles.
Bottle and Carbonate
Transfer the fermented soda into flip-top bottles or recycled soda bottles. This can be done two ways. The first method is to simply use a funnel, and carefully pour the soda into each bottle.
The second method is a bit easier but requires an auto-siphon and bottling wand. This method requires two people but results in clearer soda, since the yeast and sediment is left at the bottom of the gallon jar.
Let the soda sit at room temperature, burping every day. This allows carbonation to build naturally and is what makes the soda fizzy.
It usually only takes 1-2 days until it’s really fizzy.
Once it’s sufficiently carbonated, transfer the soda to the fridge. The soda will clear as the sediment settles to the bottom, and the flavors will mellow.
Fermented turmeric soda tastes best to me after sitting in the fridge for about two weeks. Though it’s perfectly fine to enjoy immediately after bottling.
- 4 ounces fresh organic turmeric root
- 2 onces fresh organic ginger
- 2 lemons
- 1/2-1 cup turmeric bug as yeast source
- 10 ounces organic white or cane sugar
- 1-2 dried cayenne peppers, ground into poweder
- 5-10 peppercorns, freshly ground
- Approximately 1 gallon (3.78 L) water, non-chlorinated
1. Slice the turmeric and ginger and place in a high speed blender. Juice the lemons and add the juice to the blender. Add the pepper and cayenne pepper. Add water to generously cover the ingredients. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
2. Use a nut milk bag to filter the pulp from the juice.
3. Add the sugar to the bottom of the fermentation jar. Pour the juice over the sugar, and close the jar. Mix thouroughly until all the sugar is dissolved.
4. Add more water as needed until the liquid is 3 to 4 inches from the top of the jar.
5. Add the turmeric bug and mix well. Cover the jar with a fermenation lid, such as an airlock, and let sit at room temperature. Ferment the soda for 3 to 4 days, until it's active and bubbling. Once the bubbling stops, then bottle to soda.
6. Bottle into 16-ounce flip-top bottles or recycled soda bottles. Leave out for an additional 8 to 12 hours to allow the carbonation to build. Release the pressure by burping the bottles every day. Once the soda is carbonated, refrigerate. The soda will taste best if allowed to rest in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks to allow the yeast to settle and flavors to mellow.