I’ve let my kombucha tea brew for 10 days, so next is the fun part! Adding flavouring and carbonation is step two in the kombucha fermentation process.
How I know how to do this
So in the first stage of fermentation I followed along to a Brothers Green youtube video which you can watch here. They have a follow up video about carbonating and flavouring your kombucha that is jam packed full of information on how to make the best kombucha possible. I’d recommend watching that video just as I did, as they test and trial a bunch of flavours and describe the process quite thoroughly.
Check your scoby
During the first fermentation, the scoby essentially duplicates itself during this process. After eating away at all the caffeine and sugar, I’m now left with two healthy looking scobys. The tea itself should turn into a lovely, lighter orange colour, which mine has also done. I’m keeping both my scobys in the jar that Lili originally gave me with my first scoby, with a cup or so of my kombucha tea brew.
The next fermentation
Due to the carbonation process that occurs during this next stage of fermentation, it’s important to have the right vessel to put it in to minimise any explosions (yes, that can happen). Large, round bottles with pop tops are ideal according to the internet. I picked up these two 1000ml jars from Kmart for $2 each.
Choosing the flavour
You can literally make any flavour combination you like. I’m a sucker for Amplify’s raspberry lime kombucha, so I’m going to use some frozen raspberries I had stashed in the freezer. Ideally I would use fruits that are in season, but I’ve got the raspberries to get rid of and haven’t seen a huge range of winter fruits available at the markets.
There is no exact amount of fruit or juice to put in the bottle. There is a basic guideline of 1/4 fruit and 3/4 kombucha tea, but it’s really up to you. Obviously don’t fill it to the brim with fruit otherwise it will fuck up the fermentation process. If you do decide to use fruit juice as flavouring, only add a small amount as it’s more concentrated.
The fermenting begins
After adding the raspberries and lime juice to my bottles, I topped up with my kombucha tea, sealed the lid shut and labelled the bottles! You can leave them to ferment in a dark, room temperature place from anywhere between 2-14 days. The basic rule is, the longer you leave it, the more carbonation you should get. It’s also important to note that the longer you leave it, the more health benefits you get! According to Mike from Brothers Green, his sweet spot is around the 8-10 day mark.
So as stated, not only does this second fermentation process add flavour, but it will give it that lovely fizziness that I love about kombucha. So it’s important to note that the more acidity in the flavouring, the more carbonation you’ll get. I’m expecting some big fizz with raspberries and lime juice, but if you used ginger and tumeric you’ll probably not get as much fizz. It’s also important to accept that there may be some explosions on the way, but there are ways to (hopefully) avoid that from happening.
Burping your bottles
If you are like me and terrified of having a bottle explode on you, then you can ‘burp’ your bottles. This is simply just popping the top and releasing some of the pressure, so that hopefully when it’s finished fermenting you don’t have a giant explosion. According to Mike from Brothers Green, you can do this once a day, or every second day during the fermenting process. It really depends on what bottles you have and how carbonated it is. If there isn’t a lot of activity, then there’s not really a need to!
So now comes the week or so wait to try my flavoured and carbonated kombucha. I have family members waiting to try it out so fingers crossed it goes well! The second stage of fermentation process was a lot easier than I had anticipated. I’m so looking forward to continue to make beautiful homemade kombucha forever!
For Brothers Green beginners guide to kombucha making, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3Axb37lMWI
For Brothers Green carbonating and flavouring Kombucha video, head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOPeZWkc1k
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