Love kombucha? You can brew your own. In our latest video, Tricia brews up some ‘buch and shows you the basic steps using this handy kombucha kit. Your home brewed kombucha is most likely not like what is adorning the cold case of your local health food store.
Most of the kombucha you buy has undergone a secondary fermentation and flavoring. You may have checked out as soon as I wrote “secondary fermentation.” If anything, this step is easier than the primary fermentation. It’s what makes your kombucha fizzy. You don’t have to do a secondary fermentation to flavor, but it can help.
To do a secondary fermentation you’ll need air tight, glass jars that can handle being pressurized. Canning jars and beer bottles with flip tops will do nicely.
1. Clean and sterilize your jars.
2. Pour your SCOBY-less brew into the jars
3. Add flavorings
4. Add a couple of raisins for extra fizz (optional)
5. Seal the jars
6. Leave the jars at room temperature for 1 to 3 days.
When it’s finished, strain out any yeast strands, immature floating SCOBYs, and flavorings. Bottle and refrigerate your brew. Fermentation will continue in the refrigerator, but at a slower pace. You may have to strain again before you drink your kombucha depending how long it spends in the fridge. The immature SCOBYs and yeast strands aren’t harmful to eat, they just have an unpleasant texture.
On to the fun part; flavoring your kombucha! A secondary fermentation period gives the best flavoring results. If you want to flavor as you go; add the flavoring and let it set a day or so in the fridge so it has a chance to infuse. The three main categories of flavorings are: fruit, herbs and spices, and extracts.
Juiced, fresh, and dried fruit are all suitable to use as flavoring. If you’re using fresh fruit, mash it up a bit to unlock the flavor. Juice has the most flavoring impact so start off with ten percent juice to ninety percent kombucha. Use whole fruit at as high as a 30-70 ratio, but keep in mind that fresh fruit has a stronger flavor than dried.
A little goes a long way, especially if the herbs are dried instead of fresh. Try small amounts at first, like half a cinnamon stick or 1 Tbs of rose petals until you get a feel for how strong the herb or spice is.
These are the strongest of all use 1 tsp of extract or 1-2 tsp of infused waters per quart of kombucha. Use extracts by themselves or in combination with the above categories. Almond Pear is quite a tasty blend.
Try mixing them together for some unique flavors!
Pina Colada - Pineapple juice and coconut extract
Blueberry Muffin - Blueberries, vanilla, and cinnamon
Pear Almond - Pears and almond extract
Strawberry Rose - Strawberries, vanilla and rose petals
Gingerale - Fresh ginger
Lavender Lemon - Lavender buds and lemon zest
Apple Pie - Apple juice and cinnamon
Pumpkin Pie - Cinnamon, ginger, all spice, clove, and nutmeg
Super Fruit - Goji berries, blueberries, currants and pomegranate juice
Summer Refresher - Strawberries, lemon juice, and mint
What are your favorite blends? Share in the comments!
Jill Madigan Says:
Mar 22nd, 2014 at 7:52 pm
Cardamom, misspelled above, is noted for its anti-microbial/bacterial qualities, so although it tastes wonderful, it could significantly decrease the activity of the microbes in the kombucha. Sad.
Robyn Tialavea in Oceanside CA, zone 9. Says:
Mar 22nd, 2014 at 8:32 pm
I’ve been brewing Bucha for a while, tried plenty
May 6th, 2014 at 12:31 pm
My favorite is kombucha brewed with green tea, flavored with juices of cranberry, pomegranate, and apple