By Freya Twigden, Head Fermentalist @ Fix8
So, your kombucha is ready.
Firstly, give yourself a pat on the back for successfully brewing kombucha! A new skill you can add to your CV.
Next, you might want to add some fizz and flavour to your kombucha to enhance the kombucha character, add medicinal benefits and sophistication to your craft brew.
So what is second fermentation?
In the first fermentation, sweet tea is transformed into kombucha. In a second fermentation, we add flavour and fizz to your kombucha brew. And a personal creative touch, if you like.
Second fermenting kombucha is akin to ‘bottle conditioning’ in the beer world.
What can I use in a second ferment?
You can use whatever you like to flavour your kombucha with! There are no rules. Once the SCOBY / starter liquid has been removed and set aside for your next batch, you can add anything from dried or fresh fruits, spices, herbs, barks, flowers - it’s a chance to be creative!
How to flavour:
Guide to quantities:
I usually add about 5-10% flavouring. For example, if I was bottling a 1L brew then I would add approximately 100ml fruit juice or 50g fresh fruit. There is not ‘precise’ guide here.
If I am using something stronger, like ginger root, I'd use 2-3% (20ml for a 1L bottle of kombucha). If you are adding in spices, remember, a little goes a long way. I add about ¼ teaspoon per litre of spice (for example, I recently added ¼ tsp chai spice mix to 1L freshly brewed kombucha).
Again, these are just rough ideas, you might prefer more or less flavour in your kombucha so I encourage you to experiment with quantities here!
Some flavour combinations I am loving recently…
Rhubarb & Vanilla
Grapefruit & Juniper
Cardamom & Honey
Chai Spiced Kombucha
Mostly, have fun with adding flavouring, be creative... and don’t forget to burp your booch!
KOMBUCHA GEEK OUT
A DEEPER dive + what to consider with your second fermentation:
For a more deeper dive into the second fermentation of kombucha, here are a few thoughts to consider when second fermenting your freshly brewed booch:
It’s fun to think about what you already have in your cupboards, fruit bowl or on the spice rack. There’s no need to go and buy lots of ‘exotic’ ingredients, being creative with what you have is one of my favourite challenges.
I often go straight to my spice cupboard and see what’s looking interesting. I recently made a delicious white tea, honey and cardamom kombucha - simply because cardamom was the first spice I saw when I opened the cupboard to choose my flavour!
Freya Twigden is the Founder and Head Fermentalist at Fix8. When she isn't brewing Kombucha she spends her time practising yoga, riding her bike and finding out what you can (and can't) ferment.
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