Turmeric Ferment Recipe

There are a myriad of health benefits associated with the curcumin component of  turmeric, including inhibition of colon, gastric and breast cancers. Unfortunately, turmeric in its raw form is not easily assimilated into the body, making it a challenge to increase the bio-availability of this superfood. One of my favourite ways to ferment turmeric is to make a “turmeric bug” similar to the ginger bug used to make ginger beer.  



  • 1 tablespoon coarsely grated turmeric root and/or ginger root (powdered ginger or turmeric may be used, but the fermentation process is a bit slower and may require added "food" - see below)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar - refined or unrefined
  • 3/4 cup filtered water


  1. Place the freshly grated turmeric and/or ginger in bottom of wide mouth quart jar.
  2. Add sugar. (If using powdered turmeric, consider adding a bit of apple peel to encourage the fermentation process.)
  3. Add water and stir.
  4. Cover with cloth and rubber band.
  5. Place on shelf out of direct sunlight.
  6. After 24 hours add 1 tablespoon grated turmeric, 1 tablespoon powdered turmeric, and/or 1 tablespoon grated ginger.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir well.
  8. Replace cloth cover and leave on shelf.
  9. Every 24 hours add 1 tablespoon turmeric or ginger, and 1 tablespoon sugar until you see bubbles on the surface of the water. This generally takes several days.
  10. You may add additional water if desired. I have done it both ways with success in each case.
  11. Strain and use in recipes or store in refrigerator. You may keep this ongoing and not refrigerate it. (This is a perpetual bug where some of the liquid is used for a recipe and the remainder is fed with root/powder, sugar and water.)


Once you have you bug ready you can use it to make this yummy soda. 


  1. Fill 2 Litre Mason jar with water allowing 5cm of head room.
  2. Add 1/2 cup turmeric bug, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 3/4 cup sugar.
  3. Stir.
  4. Place on shelf away from direct sunlight.
  5. Cover with cloth and rubber band. This fermented beverage involves yeast as well as bacteria which means that oxygen is required. 
  6. Allow to ferment for approximately 3 days. Some remaining sweetness is desired as the second fermentation will decrease the sugar further.
  7. Strain and pour into flip top bottles or air tight container. (A Fido jar or airlock is optimal.) This step increases the carbonation which makes the drink fizzy!
  8. Allow to ferment another day or two until desired taste is achieved. 

*Ginger bug may be used along with the turmeric bug to add flavour. Lemon juice may be substituted for lime juice