Making our own kombucha: Adding flavors (step 4)
Since our kombucha is done brewing we’ve placed it in the fridge for keeping. While kombucha on its own is excellent to drink as is, it’s also fun to have in a variety of flavors. But impart flavor the the kombucha will need a second fermentation. A delightful bonus that comes from that process is an increase in the carbonation. Perfect if you’re like us and hoping to make a bubbly New Year’s drink with your homemade kombucha.
Don’t get worried now, flavouring the kombucha isn’t as complicated as it may sound. You only add fruit juice, fruit or berries containing sugar to your basic brew and then allow the beverage to ferment again.
To flavor your kombucha you’ll need:
– a ready brewed kombucha – follow Soki Choi’s basic recipe here
– freshly squeezed fruit juice, fruit or berries
– a funnel, some bottles and labels
Start by cleaning all the equipment carefully – funnels, bottles and other things you will be using. Hygiene is a base component of any fermentation process, otherwise the wrong bacteria can multiply and the beneficial bacteria die off.
Add the desired flavors to well-cleaned bottles (1 part fruit juice, fruit or berries to 4 parts kombucha). A few flavor combos we can suggest are: apple and mint, pear and ginger or why not some delectable blueberries. Maybe even dare to go wild and experiment!
Then fill the bottle with kombucha and seal the bottles well. Leave them at room temperature for 2-4 days. This phase is called post-fermentation and is where the boost in carbonation comes from, among other things.
After a few days, the flavored kombucha is ready and should be moved to the fridge in order to prevent further fermentation. Shelf-life: at least one month. Watch out for the carbonation the first time you open the bottle (perhaps you want to stand over the sink for safety’s sake?).
Come back to FP tomorrow for a bubbly New Year’s drink recipe, we’ll be posting Soki Choi’s best recipes for non-alcoholic kombucha drinks. Cheers!
Do you want to make more kombucha?
Save about a cup of the basic brew along with a baby SCOBY prior to mixing with flavors. Pour and store in a clean glass jar with a piece of cloth(use rubber band to seal) as a lid. Use this as a starter for the next brew. Easy peasy!
What are the nutritional benefits of kombucha?
Kombucha is especially rich in B vitamins. You’ll find B1, B2, B6, B12 and B9 (folic acid), as well as vitamin C. It is the fermentation process itself that increases the level of vitamins when the yeast in the kombucha breaks down the sugar,. Therefore, there are about 200% more B vitamins in kombucha than in regular tea. The more the drink ferments the more the levels of both B and C vitamins increase.
Soki Choi’s book “Kimchi and Kombucha: The new science of how intestinal bacteria strengthen your brain” is currently only available in Swedish however you could watch her Ted Talk, which is in english, here.
After the New Year we will publish a summary of the entire kombucha guide here on FP. You’ll be able to learn how to make your very own kombucha start to finished drink.