Contrary to what you might think, making your own Kombucha is NOT that hard. It’s actually QUITE easy. You simply brew some tea, add organic sugar, let it cool to room temperature and then pour into a jug with your SCOBY and let it chill for a week or two. Viola, homemade Kombucha! I’ve been making my own kombucha for almost two years now and decided that it was time to start experimenting with some flavoring. Regular brewed kombucha is completely drinkable, but it’s just that… drinkable. Not super exciting. So, it was time to add some excitement to my kombucha making routine! Watch out kids, magic is about to happen!
Remembering back to when I first started drinking kombucha I LOVED the Gingerberry flavor from Synergy Organic. Off to the inter-webs I flew and found some great tips from a website called Cultures for health. Their Kombucha FAQ listed some delicious recipes, pointers on second fermentation and flavoring, and many other kombucha resources as well as a place to purchase your SCOBY. Well, I blueberry juice and gingered up and have been trying my hand at a few batches of homemade gingerberry kombucha. The second fermentation process is a great way to add some flavor to your brewed kombucha. “A byproduct of fermentation is that the sugar is turned into carbon dioxide giving the kombucha the fizzy texture it is often known for.” ( Quote from the Kombucha FAQ ). I have two glass bottles that I use for my second fermentation. There is no rhyme or reason to these bottles, or pro/con of using one over the other can I can tell so far. One is the KORKEN bottle from Ikea. It’s $3.99 and is a nice round shape that should fit in the door of most refrigerators. The other is the square glass bottle from Cost Plus which is $5.99 and is a bit taller yet equally as useful. Bottle shape and size is really up to your personal preference. Just make sure it’s a glass bottle and that it has the sling top, which allows the bottle to burp (lovely description, I know!) and release the carbon dioxide as it ferments. If you don’t have a bottle that burps, you’ll have a bottle that bursts. I for one don’t need to come home to glass and kombucha scented kitchen. You can find some GREAT tips on second fermentation from Cultures for Health: Flavoring and Bottling Kombucha. They’re a GREAT resource that I’ve used many times along my Kombucha journeys. I am also lucky enough to have my very own kombucha guru on speed dial who can answer my “am I going to die if I drink this” and “should it look like that” questions. That is one of the MAJOR benefits of having friends that are also obsessed with making their own kombucha and I highly recommend having a few on retainer! The “if flavoring with…use…” below is from the Cultures for Health website and remember, the flavor will develop during the second fermentation period so go easy on flavoring the first time you make it and adjust on the second batch. If flavoring with…use…
- Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit…start with 10% to 30% fruit and 70% to 90% Kombucha. Fresh fruit yields the best flavor.
- Juice… start with 10-20% juice and 80-90% Kombucha.
- Herbs… the variety and strength of herbs varies so greatly, experiment and come up with the best ratios and combinations for your taste preferences.
- Flavor extracts such as almond extract or vanilla extract… start with 1/4 teaspoon extract per cup of kombucha and adjust to taste.
I’ve only used fruit juice and various types of ginger so far, so please comment and let me know what flavors you try!!! Blueberry Ginger Kombucha 1/2 c 100% blueberry juice 1 tsp chopped ginger 7 c Homemade Kombucha 2 sling top glass bottles Mix half the blueberry juice and ginger in each of the glass bottles and shake to mix. Add 3 1/2 cups of the homemade kombucha to each bottle, making sure that you leave room in the bottle between the kombucha and the opening. Leave on the counter for 2-14 days. Once you achieve the desired flavor and carbonation, re-bottle and keep in refrigerator to consume at your leisure.