A few months back, I shared instructions on how to make your own Kombucha Tea. I've been experimenting with different flavors by doing what is called the 'second ferment'; the picture featured is a glass of delicious Raspberry Kombucha that I brewed two weeks ago. It's easy to and a lot less expensive than buying it. And, the sky is the limit on flavors you can add - lemon-ginger, orange-cinnamon, raspberry-lemon are just a few I have tried.
Here's the original instructions, for your convenience, along with an additional section at the bottom on the steps for a second ferment.
Before you get started, I want to emphasize the importance of using clean and sterile equipment; anyone who has done any home canning or freezing knows the importance of this. Otherwise, you run the possibility of contamination which you don’t want!
After initially washing your glass jar in a dishwasher, *rinse it with white vinegar and water only – as continued use of soap could harm your mixture. Also, always wash your hands in vinegar and water before handling the equipment and/or the SCOBY. Another key factor is the SCOBY must not ever come in contact with metals (pots, spoons etc.); brewing the tea on the stove is fine obviously, but once it’s cooled it is always transferred to a glass jar.
In a large pot on the stove, bring the water, tea bags and sugar to a boil. Turn off immediately and let the tea bags steep for 15 minutes before removing them. Set the pot aside and allow it to cool to room temperature. It’s very important that the mixture is not too warm otherwise it might kill off the SCOBY you will be adding later. The cooling process usually takes anywhere from 1-3 hours.
Once the mixture has reached room temperature, add 2 cups of Kombucha starter. Again, if your starter is chilled, you will need to let the combined mixture reach room temperature before you can proceed.
After you are satisfied with the temperature, pour the entire mixture into a clean wide-mouth gallon jar. Gently place your SCOBY disk on the top of the mixture and seal by placing the towel on top and seal with an elastic bad around it. This allows the mixture to breathe (since it is alive) and yet prevents any little bugs or dust to get into the mixture. Set it aside on your counter (away from direct heat or cold) and let it do its magic – ideally anywhere between 7-10 days works best for me and my critters.
After the time is up, guess what – you have a delicious tangy drink that you can enjoy now or you can do a second ferment. Regardless, you must always first remember to set aside two cups of the existing mixture and place it in the fridge in a clean jar to serve as your starter SCOBY for your next batch.
In order to do a second ferment, all you need to do is have ready your clean, empty **Grolsch beer bottles (clean the same as the glass jar instructions above). Place 1-3 raspberries in each bottle, along with about 1/4 tsp. of organic cane sugar (this is optional but adds to the extra carbonation factor). Top up each bottle with the Kombucha, filling the bottles up but allowing about 1/4 inch space at the top.
Wipe the top of each rim with a clean cloth before capping and place in a dark space in your house. Just as a precaution, I place the bottles in a box or cooler (no ice or anything), covered by a towel and sealed off. There it sits in the corner of my kitchen on the floor for 4-6 days before I transfer them to the fridge. Be careful opening when them because they have been known to fizz, wanting to imitate their very distant cousin 'champagne'!
This recipe makes 4 bottles. With spring here and summer soon on its tails, this will be a delicious cold drink to sit while savoring the sunshine and smelling the flowers!