How to make honey fermented ginger and lemon - a common combination for combatting cold/flu symptoms and tasty addition to meals, dressing, and drinks. Best of all, once prepared, this fermented lemon and ginger will last several months and the process couldn't be simpler.
Sterilize the jar you plan to use for the fermented honey recipe. To do so, wash it with hot soapy water and then dry in the oven for 10 minutes at 325ºF/160ºC (remove any rubber/metal bits first). Some dishwashers also come with a "sterilize" setting.
Wash the lemon and peel the ginger.
With a sharp knife or mandoline (even better for even slices), thinly slice the lemon and ginger. I used a peeler for the ginger, but thicker knife/mandoline slices will work too.
Step 2: Fill the jar
To layer the jar, first place some ginger, then a couple of lemon slices, and repeat until all the ingredients are in the jar.
Pour the honey over the ginger and lemon, making sure it fully submerges the ingredients. Use a clean spoon/skewer to gently shake/move the ingredients around, to make sure the honey gets all the way to the bottom of the jar.Alternatively, you can drizzle 2-3 tablespoon of honey at the bottom of the jar and between each layer, so it's easier to make sure the ingredients are fully coated with it.
Seal the jar.
Step 3: Leave it to ferment
Leave the ginger honey lemon mixture to ferment for two weeks. During this time, you'll need to "burp" the jar daily, opening the lid for just a second to allow any built-up gases to release.It's a good idea to slightly shake the jar too or flip it upside down (with a plate/bowl beneath), to make sure the honey is still all over the lemon and ginger- I prefer to shake/flip rather than stir (with a wooden spoon) since an excessive amount of oxygen can impact the fermentation process.
After two weeks, you can stay enjoying the fermented lemon/ginger. However, it will taste even better at the one-month stage!
How to Make Ahead and Store
Once the fermented lemon and ginger tastes as you'd like, I recommend transferring the jar to the fridge. This will slow the fermentation (almost halting it entirely) and is best for those who want to use it slowly over several months (6 months or more). You could also keep the ferment in a cool, dark location like a kitchen cupboard. This way it will continue to ferment at a faster rate and the flavor will develop and change and even become slightly boozy (like mead) – I do this when I plan on using it within a couple of months.Just note that the flavor will become more bitter over time due to the lemon pith.Like most fermented foods, just keep an eye out for bad smells, mold, and other signs of spoilage. This doesn't happen often, but if it does, it’s time to start a new ferment.
Burping the jar: if you don't use the fermented lemon and ginger often, it's a good idea to burp the jar occasionally still. After the first 2-3 weeks, the main "activity" will slow down so daily burpings aren't necessary, but it's a good idea to burp every few weeks.
The honey thickness: it's important to note that the honey will become "thinner" during the ferment as the added liquid from lemon and ginger enters the honey. This is normal!
Don't fully fill the jar: leave some headspace for the mixture to bubble up and expand as the liquid from the ginger and lemon releases into the honey. The ingredients should be fully covered but if you add too much, the liquid content won't reach 20%!
Using other fruits/veg: feel free to try this fermented honey method with other ingredients. Check the FAQs for a list of suggestions.
Check the blog post for more tips and answers to top FAQs.