Kombucha Tea Second Ferment Adding Flavours
I’ve been drinking so much Kombucha tea lately! It’s lucky I have a continuous brewing system set up to keep up demand or I would have run out by now. I’ve already shared an article on how to mak your own Kombucha. If you want to know the basics of getting your brew to the first ferment stage then take a look at the article.
Today we’re talking about doing a second ferment with our Kombucha. Sometimes the fermentation stages are referred to F1 and F2 for first ferment and second ferment. The first ferment refers to brewing the Kombucha with the SCOBY until it reaches the desired level of fermentation.
The second ferment adds flavour and more bubbles to the Kombucha tea. How does it create bubbles? Well, carbonation occurs with the build up of Co2. Co2 builds up in the primary ferment but because air can escape your booch won’t have a lot of fizz.
In the second ferment, we add additional ingredients which have natural sugars and then we seal the bottles. As the fermentation process continues in the bottle more Co2 builds up. I should mention that it’s important to “burp” your bottles of kombucha each day until it’s refrigerated. Burping Kombucha is just a matter of opening and shutting the bottle allowing any excess carbonation to escape. Hopefully, this process will lessen the chance of a bottle exploding. So far I haven’t had any incidents.
Adding flavours to your Kombucha is the fun part. Here you can be as creative as your imagination will allow. My favourite flavours at the moment are ginger and lemon. I also love the visual appeal of pomegranate seeds in the bottles. The pomegranate juice turns the bottled booch a pretty pink colour, although it doesn’t give a lot of extra flavour.
Flavouring the Kombucha Tea with a Second Ferment
Start with your regular Kombucha black tea and sugar recipe. Allow the primary ferment (F1) to brew for between 7-14 days depending on your taste.
Once the Kombucha tea has completed the first fermentation decant the Kombucha into your glass bottles. Leave the SCOBY and 2 cups of starter in the brewing vessel for the next tea.
Add your flavourings to the bottled Kombucha. You can choose one or two flavourings per bottle. In a 500ml bottle, I will use the following quantities;
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon grated turmeric
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pomegranate seeds
After you’ve added the flavourings seal the bottle and put the Kombucha back in a warm dark place.
Leave the Kombucha tea for 1-2 days and then taste the booch. If the tea has achieved the flavour profile you like it’s time to refrigerate it.
If you like a more tart Kombucha you may wish to leave the second ferment a few more days in a warm environment to develop.
Once you’re happy with the flavour refrigerate your Kombucha tea.
If you are not planning to drink the Kombucha for a month or so it’s best to strain off any pieces of fruit. The fruit in the bottles will deteriorate over time. I haven’t needed to do this as yet.
One more important note, both the primary and secondary fermentation process can take a lot longer in winter. Kombucha performs best between the temperature range of 22-28 degrees Celsius. If your household temperature fluctuates and regularly falls below this range the brewing process can take considerably longer.
I would love to know what your favourite flavourings are at the moment. Please leave your recipe in the comments so I can give them a try.
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