Views: 65 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-01-30 Origin: Site
Flavoring Kombucha Basics
Kombucha can be flavored with fresh or dried fruit, jams and jellies, dried herbs and flowers, barks, spices, syrups or literally just about anything that sparks your imagination! And there are no real rules, because you have removed the SCOBY and starter liquid for the next batch. So as long as you like the end result, any flavoring will work with Kombucha.
You can combine multiple flavors in the bottle, and then pour the Kombucha on top. Seal the bottle and allow carbonation to build during the second fermentation. This process may take 1-3 days, or longer depending on your brewing environment. As long as you leave it at room temperature, the Kombucha will continue to ferment in the bottle.
Flavoring Kombucha In The Bottle
Kombucha Flavoring & Bottling Safety
If not paying attention, small explosions can occur with the bottles. This is more likely if there is too much flavoring used or it is very hot, such as in Summer. To prevent explosions, burp the bottles by opening the caps slightly during the flavoring process (aka “second fermentation”) and allowing carbonation to escape.
How To Flavor Kombucha In Batches – Large Vessel Second Fermentation (& Then Third Fermentation In The Bottle)
For most people, the convenient way to flavor Kombucha is in the bottle. This is because you may only have a few bottles to flavor at a time. Also flavoring in each bottle allows you to create more variety, which many home brewers prefer. But there is another way to flavor Kombucha that might be the right fit for some people, and that’s flavoring in the brewing vessel or another vessel such as a gallon tank.
True Confession: This is our preferred way to flavor and bottle. We like flavor a large vessel, then strain the flavorings and then leave the brew in the bottle for 1-2 weeks until the carbonation has built up and the flavor is dry. So delicious!
However, we NEVER recommend adding flavorings to the brew with the SCOBY. That is not how to flavor Kombucha successfully! Instead, this process is done AFTER the SCOBY and starter liquid have been removed for the next batch. By taking out the SCOBYs and placing them in a Hotel or other vessel, and then taking starter liquid from the top of the brew, we have protected the ingredients for the next batch. Then you can then add whatever you want to the remaining Kombucha in the vessel.
Then either cover with the cloth again or use a hard lid if you have one. Give the brew another 1-3 days in the vessel to extract the flavor and then bottle. After bottling, the brewing vessel will need a cleaning with soap and water to remove any flavoring residue. Rinse very clean!
Note: If you are doing Kombucha Continuous Brew (vs Batch Brew), simply use the spigot to fill up a gallon tank or other vessel. Add the flavors and strain after 1-3 days.
Third Fermentation – Straining Kombucha Flavorings To Extend Shelf Life
Another advantage of this method is that you can strain the flavors from the Kombucha as you bottle. This is not a requirement because the low pH of the Kombucha will not allow any mold or other contamination to occur with the fruit/flower pieces. That said, removing the flavorings will maintain the flavor of the Kombucha in the bottle longer than leaving them in as eventually they will degrade and mix into the bottle, potentially causing off flavors. Normally we strain ours out to extend the life but it is more work.
Then the process of building that carbonation in the bottle, usually for about 1-3 days without flavors, we call Third Fermentation.
Kombucha is fun to brew, fun to drink and fun to flavor. Get creative!