I made a ginger simple syrup. I took a large amount of ginger, simmered it in water to cover for an hour, drained it (reserving the water), and repeated the process with fresh water. I did this three times. I took the reserved ginger water added a bit of sugar and reduced to maybe 1/3rd. Let it cool and stuck it in the fridge. It was cloudy and clearly had some fine ginger particulate floating around in it. It was very strong and tasted great.

I used it for a couple of weeks to make ginger based drinks, and then it got stuck behind something in the fridge to be rediscovered this morning. I made it 43 days ago, and it's probably been untouched in the fridge for 28 days. I checked to see if it was still good and it smelled ok, however, it had the consistency of mucus. It was really, really disgusting. I did not taste it. My wife tried to throw it out but started gagging as it oozed out of the jar. Naturally, I got a camera (unfortunately it's acting up and I can't upload the photos, hopefully they'll follow).

What on earth caused this to happen?

  • Hopefully you'll be able to get the pictures. I have had something similar (based on description) happen with a syrup, would be great to compare to the pic. I would be interested in the answer to this as well.
    – jeffwllms
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


My guess is that:

 1) The syrup wasn't acdic enough 


 2) The sugar concentration wasn't high enough.

If the sugar concentration is high enough, the sugar so-to-speak draws the water out of bacteria by osmosis thus killing them. If you don't like the syrup to be too sweet, try adding lemon juice.

  • So you're saying that bacteria grew because the solution wasn't acidic or sweet enough and that caused the change in texture?
    – yossarian
    Commented Sep 25, 2011 at 15:26
  • Yes. (@yossarian : I had to wait for my reputation to exceed 200 before I could make this comment :-) )
    – soegaard
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 7:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.