Adding Natural Flavours to Kombucha - Secondary Fermentation

For the uninitiated, taking pure kombucha can be a daunting task.  The strong taste coupled with the burning sensation on the throat can be a deterrent to enjoy this wonderful drink.

This is where secondary fermentation comes into the picture. Secondary fermentation allows flavors to be added into kombucha whilst maintaining the full benefits of the brew.

To carry out secondary fermentation, first you will need to get a glass bottle with a strong cap. The most readily available bottle I can think of is the one found in Ikea. If I am not mistaken it is called Korken.

Upon the completion of the initial brew, remove the SCOBY and fill up 60% the first batch of kombucha into the glass bottle.

Now it gets more interesting. Depending on the type of flavor you desire, fill up the remaining 30% of the bottle with fruit juices. You can infuse herbs into the brew at this point of time. My favourite recipe is a mix of pure apple juice with a few leaf of mint. 

Cork the bottle and keep it in a cool and dark place for the secondary fermentation to take place. What will happen next is that the yeast in the kombucha will continue to ferment the sugar in the apple juice. On a day to day basis, you will need to upon remove the cork to release the pressure from the accumulated carbon dioxide in the bottle. This is an important step as built-up pressure in the bottle is pretty dangerous.

By the 3rd day of the secondary fermentation, your brew will be ready for harvest and depending on the juice that you chose you will have a mildly carbonated kombucha with a pleasant fruity taste with hints of sweet smelling herbs.

Without secondary fermentation, it is almost next to impossible to get my nephews to enjoy this wonderful drink. 


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