Flavouring your Kombucha!

Flavouring your Kombucha!

Flavoring Kombucha is a lot of fun and is something that gives you the ability to be super creative. The Possibilities are limitless, you can add good quality fruit, veggies, herbs/ spices, roots, dried fruit or even jam and syrup/cordial to your kombucha. The best thing about flavouring your kombucha is that the beneficial elements present in the flavouring such as nutrients, antioxidants and minerals will be absorbed into the kombucha and broken down into forms that are easier for the body to absorb. How good is that 😊 ! By the way, you can experiment with varying amounts of different flavourings to find the balance you prefer and that great tasting flavoured homemade kombucha 🙌🏼.

 

Lets get started!

Here I will describe two general ways of flavouring Kombucha.

Method #1:

Suitable for flavouring agents that can be dissolved like juice, cordial, powders… . Not suitable for fruits and chunky bits.

  1. Place your SCOBY and enough kombucha starter liquid for your next batch of kombucha in a separate Jar or jug (preferably a jar or jug suitable for kombucha preferably not steel). Remove the kombucha starter liquid from the top of your vessel, as you want to use the strongest bacteria for your next kombucha batch and cover your jar/jug with your kombucha starter liquid with a cloth like you did with your kombucha brewing Jar.
  2. Add your flavouring agents to your kombucha and give it a gentle stir.
  3. Bottle your kombucha from the tap or using a funnel if you want to remove any unwanted yeast which floats in your kombucha.
  4. Close the bottles with the kombucha inside leaving as little air as possible and then leave them for few days at room temperature (around 20 degrees) before moving them to the fridge. This is to allow for the second ferment and natural carbonation of the kombucha.
  5. Now you can clean your kombucha brewing jar and make a fresh batch of kombucha.

Method#2:

Suitable for all flavouring agents.

  1. Add your flavouring agents to your bottles where you want to bottle your kombucha.
  2. Fill the bottles with Kombucha. Make sure you leave enough Kombucha for the next batch in your jar, preferably 10-20%. You can use the tap to place the kombucha liquid into the bottles with ease, if the tap is restricted then there maybe a kombucha SCOBY inside the tap and the SCOBY will need to be removed and the tap cleaned.
  3. When filling the bottles with make sure that there is as little air as possible to ensure a better natural carbonation of the kombucha.
  4. Close the bottles with the kombucha and leave them for few days at room temperature (around 20 degrees) before moving them to the fridge. This is to allow for the second ferment and natural carbonation of the kombucha.
  5. Now you can clean your kombucha brewing jar and make a fresh batch of kombucha.

 

Time guide for second fermentation:

  • If you have used sugary additions a good reference point would be two to four days at room temperature before you move your bottled kombucha to the fridge
  • For non sugary additions its about 7 to 14 days. But always check the pressure to avoid explosions as you don't want to be cleaning up glass and kombucha you have spent time making. 

 

Tips:

  • With Method#2 you can choose to add different amounts of flavouring agents into each bottle with the kombucha to experiment with the fermentation process.
  • If you want to monitor the pressure of the kombucha in your bottles, bottle all your kombucha in glass except for one, which you would bottle in plastic. That way you can squeeze the plastic bottle and check how much carbonation you have in there. This will give you a good idea of how carbonated the kombucha is. 

I hope this little flavouring guide will help you make the perfect brew for you and give you great tasting flavoured kombucha.

 


7 comments


  • Karl Herber

    Hi Nelli
    If it looks and smells ok? Its probable still good, the best way to find out is to simply make a new batch of Kombucha.
    If it builds a new SCOBY, looks and smells, as usual, its still good to consume.
    If you go away for a prolonged period of time its best to ensure that your SCOBY has enough kombucha in the jar so it does not dry out.
    Here is a link to our QA page and the more detailed description on what to do when going on vacation.

    https://karlkombucha.com.au/pages/q-a

    We recommend keeping it on your counter in a glass jar (the 4 and 8 litre brewing jars work well), with 1 to 2 cups of starter liquid (your previously brewed kombucha) and a cloth and rubber band covering it. You can keep it for up to 4 weeks in this state, after which it will most likely need to be fed.
    When feeding a SCOBY you need to make one cup of hot caffeinated tea and dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in the hot tea solution. Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature before adding it to the jar containing your SCOBY and starter tea. To keep your SCOBY healthy, repeat this process every four weeks.

    Going away for less than two weeks – just leave your kombucha jar with about 15% full and make a new kombucha brew on return and be ready to bottle in a few days.

    Going away for two to four weeks – ensure you have about a third of your jar full with kombucha, leave it like that and make a new brew on return, be ready to bottle in few days.

    Going away for four to 6 weeks – do the above or place your SCOBY in a SCOBY hotel. A SCOBY hotel is an extra jar that you keep full of SCOBY’s and kombucha. Leave your SCOBY hotel in a dark, cool place. You can leave your SCOBY hotel for 6 weeks.


  • Nelli Beck

    How can you tell your Kombucha is still alive, mine is the size of a dinner plate and a little bit hard on the outside. I am also not sure how to look after it long term: eg, when do l feed it and with what?


  • Karl

    Hi
    to Jan:
    as long as the tea is made from the Camellia sinensis it should be ok. If it includes other herbs then I would first try it with a spare SCOBY fro few brews.

    to Sylvia Evans: thats normal, you can avoid it by putting it straight into the fridge after you bottle it.

    to Lauren Langley:
    Q: What to do with the scoby if you going away on holiday or taking a break from brewing?
    A: Going away for less than two weeks – just leaf your kombucha jar with about 15% full and make a new brew on return and be ready to bottle in a few days.

    Going away for two to four weeks – ensure you have about a third of your jar full with kombucha, leave it like that and make a new brew on return, be ready to bottle in few days.

    Going away for four to 6 weeks – do the above or place your scoby in a scoby hotel. A scoby hotel is an extra jar that you keep full with scoby/s and kombucha. Leave your scoby hotel in a dark, cool place. You can leave your scoby hotel for 6 weeks.

    Hope that helps to everyone.
    Cheers
    Karl


  • jan

    have you tried the twinnings cold brew tea to flavor the kombucha


  • Sylvia Evans

    I am finding mini scobies in every bottle I make. Is this normal?
    It’s a bit offputting for my family when I pour a glass and there’s this little floaty. Doesn’t really bother me. I just grab them out and add them to my compost


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