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In last week's post, Homebrewing Kombucha Part 1, we learned all about the health benefits of drinking kombucha and how to homebrew it for ourselves using the GetKombucha.com Continuous Brewing System. This week, we are going to learn about bottling and flavoring our kombucha!
It's not terribly difficult to turn your bottles of fizzy goodness, into something EVEN tastier. I was blown away by the many MANY options I had just with flavoring alone. What's a girl to pick when she already has all of the herbs and fruit at her fingertips? ALL of them of course! I figured for the sake of research, I would try one bottle of each one that I found appealing!
Bottling Your Kombucha is simple
When your kombucha is done brewing in its vessel, it'll be time to bottle it for you to drink later. Technically, if you have the GetKombucha Continuous Brewing system, you don't HAVE to bottle your kombucha. With the Continuous Brewing system, you just pour into your glass what you want to drink and then replace that much sweet tea into the certified lead-free porcelain brewer. If you would like to make your kombucha even fizzier, like soda, bottling is going to be the way to go for you! Though some people jar theirs in mason jars, the best container to bottle for secondary fermentation (flavoring) are actual glass bottles made to hold pressure. Since my Dad loves to homebrew beer, I had his brown flip top bottles lying around, but I wanted something cuter for my purposes, so I found these clear glass
There are TWO different stages for flavoring kombucha
Flavoring kombucha can be easily done in two different stages depending on the type of flavor that you are looking for. A different flavor can be given just by the stage that you choose. When you flavor during the first stage, you are flavoring during the brewing process. The type of tea and herbs that you use during this step, will set the stage for your kombucha's base flavors. You can use black tea, green tea, a combination of both, or even add in dried herbs to steep with the teas to boost specific healing properties. My first batch of kombucha, I made it exactly to the recipe so that I could taste the difference when I started getting creative. Now, after several batches, I have been adding yerba mate on top of the tasty whole leaf tea blend that I use.
Flavoring your kombucha during secondary fermentation
The fun flavoring happens during secondary fermentation. This is the period of time after bottling before you put your final kombucha into the fridge to drink. After you have bottled your kombucha, you can either choose to put it into the fridge right away (the cold helps stop the fermentation process) or you can allow it to sit out for 24-48 hours after bottling, for secondary fermentation (this is how you make it fizzier). To add specific flavor to your kombucha, you can add all kinds of flavoring options, such as fresh fruit, juice, or dried herbs.
- If adding juice to your kombucha, fill up to 20% of the bottle with your chosen fruit/vegetable juice and top off with kombucha; cap, and let sit for 24-48 hours before putting in the fridge.
- If you would like to add fresh fruit or herbs to your kombucha, add it to the bottles and fill with kombucha. Strain before drinking.
Fruit Flavoring Ideas
Herbal Flavoring Ideas
- chamomile flowers
- raspberry leaf
- peppermint leaf
- ginger root
- cinnamon chips or cinnamon sticks
- hibiscus flowers
- lavender buds
- dried citrus peel (lemon, orange, or grapefruit peel would all be tasty options)
- dried elderberries
- echinacea root
- lemon balm
- a combination of chamomile flowers, lemon balm, hops flowers, passionflower, or valerian root would all make for a great sleepytime kombucha blend.