Flavoring Kombucha in Your Kitchen
Brew Your Own Kombucha
Love kombucha? You can brew your own. In our 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.
- Clean and sterilize your jars.
- Pour your SCOBY-less brew into the jars.
- Add flavorings.
- Add a couple of raisins for extra fizz (optional).
- Seal the jars.
- 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.
Fruit for KombuchaJuiced, 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. Favorite Kombucha Flavor Fruits: Blueberries Blackberries Raspberries Strawberries Pears Peaches Nectarines Grapes Apples Goji Berries Pineapples Grapefruit Lemon Figs Dates Pomegranate
Adding Herbs and SpicesA 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. Favorite Herbs and Spices: Rose Lavender Hibiscus Mint Cinnamon Cardamom Vanilla Bean Ginger Lemon Zest Rosemary Basil
Extracts and Infused Waters
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. Favorite Extracts: Almond Vanilla Coconut Rose Water Orange 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!