Kombucha Kontinued: 2nd Fermentation & Whatnot

Colorful 2nd fermentation

So you’ve followed the steps in my previous post titled “How To Make Amazing Kombucha At Home” and are wondering “now what?”. If you enjoy & are content with the unflavored, non-carbonated, singularly fermented Kombucha it is perfectly fine to drink “as is”. Congrats. You’re done. I personally love unflavored Kombucha and usually set aside a cup or two to enjoy when I intend on doing a 2nd fermentation. The fact that you are reading this post most likely means you are ready to delve into flavoring and adding natural carbonation (i.e. 2nd fermentation). The 2nd fermentation process is actually quite simple. Once finished it requires only seconds of daily effort. In 2-14 days, the plain tangy/sweet tea that is Kombucha will transform to a fizzier more flavorful version.

Second Fermentation

  • Unflavored Kombucha
  • Any flavoring desired
  • Large glass/vessel with hinge lid
  • Several smaller hinge top bottles
  • Garbage or large plastic bag

Directions

1.Remove SCOBY from Kombucha and set in clean bowl. I usually start a new batch of Kombucha in the same session as preparing my second fermentation. 2.Add brewed Kombucha to new clean vessel with hinge lid, reserving bottom one to two cups. Add to bowl containing the SCOBY. The bottom is where the good stuff is (yeast and bacteria strands and solids that help amplify the next batch of Kombucha). 3. Add whatever flavoring you decide on. At first, I tried to stick to simple one ingredient recipes such as blueberry or rasberry. I eventually moved on to try already tested recipes that I found online. Only after I truly got the hang of the process, did I begin to experiment with my own recipes. 4. Making sure to leave only an inch or two gap at the top, close the lid. Place entire vessel in garbage bag or similar and store in dark, warm area such as a closet.5. “Burp the booch'”, aka carefully open lever on lid to release any built up pressure/gasses. The 2nd fermentation is combustible. If you do not do this every day you may end up with nothing but broken glass and a big mess (which is why the bag is so important).After a few days, begin tasting the Kombucha when you “burp” it. Taste for tartness, fruitiness, fizziness. I have found the Kombucha to be to my liking around day 5-7. This is entirely up to the brewer (that’s you!). Just don’t let it go past day 14 or you will likely have something quite unpalateable. 6. When the 2nd fermentation is done, pour and strain through a strainer or food safe cheese cloth to remove any solids. Place in refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. Although not neccessary, I purchased relatively inexpensive smaller hinge top bottles for my finished product. These make for easy storing, pouring, and best of all sharing!
Small Hinge Top Bottles

Purchase 4 liter hinge top jar at Amazon or Target

Purchase 1 liter hinge top bottles at Amazon or Target

Above are links to Amazon & Target for convenient ordering. I purchased my large jar from Target and I was lucky enough to find the small ones at a local dollar store. When starting out, the brand name and exact size of the jars is not important. What is important is that the jars are clean/sanitary and that they have a good seal on them.

There are no strict rules when flavoring your Kombucha. I have read several differing opinions on the ratio of flavor to Kombucha. I personally believe it depends on the type of flavoring and your individual palate. 10-30% flavoring to 90-70% Kombucha is a good starting point. So in a large 4 liter container I would add somewhere in the range of 2 cups per or half a cup per liter. For extracts I recommend 1 tablespoon per 4 cups of Kombucha or about 4 per full container. Below are some simple recipes to get you started.

Raspberry Lemonade: 1 cup sliced lemon & 1 cup (frozen or fresh) smashed raspberries

Blueberry Ginger: 1 cup of (fresh or ftozen) smashed blueberries and 1 inch (chopped and peeled) ginger root

Banana Bread: 2 (peeled & smashed) bananas, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 6 cloves, 1 tablespoon brown sugar

I hope you have fun and learn to experiment with new flavor combinations. If you need inspiration, a simple internet search will reveal just how many already perfected recipes there are. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please comment below. If you enjoyed this article and want more please follow me on Instagram.