Congratulations on starting your kombucha making journey. If you are reading this article, then you have possibly made your first fermentation of this delicious and healthy drink. You would have brewed your SCOBY in a solution of sugar, black tea and water.
What is second fermentation?
Second fermentation is when you add flavours to your drink and bottle it for a few days. It becomes a fizzy, carbonated drink that can be flavoured in a way that suits your taste.
What flavours can I add to my second fermentation?
It’s time to get creative with your brewing, as you can add a range of fruit, botanical herbs, spices, extracts, juices, berries and more.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
- Apples, grapes or pomegranates.
- Apple juice.
- Rosemary, mint or lavender.
The flavour combinations are entirely up to you. Have fun and enjoy your experimental brewing.
How to second ferment kombucha
- 500ml of liquid from your first fermentation.
- 1/3-1/4 cup of flavoured juice, berries or fruit pieces.
- Herbs, extracts, spices or other botanicals.
Remove the kombucha SCOBY from your brew. Keep the liquid tea for 2nd fermentation. Stir well.
Pour 500ml of tea liquid into a 500ml glass jar. Add your desired combination of flavours including juice, berries, fruit and botanical extracts. This step is highly personalised as it depends on your own taste preferences. Don’t be scared to get it wrong, as you learn by experimentation. Think of yourself as a small batch brewer who enjoys honing their craft.
Pour your brew into second fermentation bottles, leaving approximately 5cm headspace.
- It is important that you use good quality flip top, grolsch style bottles or other bottles that are designed to withstand the pressure build-up of second fermentation.
- To increase the fizz factor in your bottle, add dried fruit, fruit juice or fresh fruit. This will add extra sugar to your brew.
- It is recommended that you ‘burp’ your bottles daily to reduce the pressure inside the bottle.
- Be careful when opening your bottle, as excessive carbonation may cause a glass explosion. You can put your bottle in your kitchen sink and cover it with a tea towel while opening it. Release the gas build up slowly and point the bottle away from your body.
Leave your bottles at room temperature between 2-7 days. In warm weather, the fermentation process will be quicker, while cool weather will slow down this process. Taste your brew daily, and remember to ‘burp’ your bottles from excess carbonation.
Serve your drink chilled. Enjoy!
You’ve just discovered the fascinating world of kombucha brewing. Not only is it a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks, but it is an affordable and fun way of making your own refreshing, carbonated drinks.