I once talked about this drink on the blog back in 2008.
That scoby died, the jar is now a terrarium graveyard:
and the project in that post still isn’t finished. In fact, I don’t know where that project even is. But that’s not even what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about kombucha.
That jar was massive and made more kombucha than I could really drink myself unless I stopped drinking all other beverages. I still make it in a similar way using cane sugar and Assam tea that I got from the Bar Harbor Tea Company. I just make it in a much smaller jar. Once the kombucha has fermented properly you can call it quits and drink it right there. New batches take more time than seasoned batches and the temperature makes a difference. Mine sits in the kitchen against an outside wall. In the winter it takes 10 days to 2 weeks to get done it’s first ferment and less time as the temperature warms up. In the hottest part of summer if it’s going faster than I can drink, I move it to the cooler root cellar. Once it’s fermented you can call it done. Bottle it and put it in the fridge. It will continue to ferment a little no matter where you put it. Slower in a colder temp and you may not even notice it changing at all if you drink it within a week or so.
In my other post, I didn’t even talk about second fermentations. You don’t have to do one. Second fermentations will give it more fizz, more oomph or a burst of flavor. Basically, you pour into bottles, put in more sugar syrup or just flavoring, cap it tightly and leave it on the counter for another 2-3 days. Then put it in the fridge to slow down more fermenting. That’s it. Kombucha is really easy. It can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make it.
My second fermentings usually are with some fresh ginger but sometimes I just add fruit juice. My friend Lisa uses limes from her own tree for her second fermentation. The little scoby I have is a gift from her and it came with a lime which did indeed work well for the second fermentation. Mercedes has mentioned and pinned about using simple flavored syrups in her second ferments. It was specifically the Blueberry Lavender that got me itching to try new flavors.
I admit, I just poured off a new batch on Monday and because I’ve been too busy to make syrups, I haven’t tried any other syrups. I made some simple syrup with honey not too long ago and I have used that. It has that lovely flavor that honey imparts and is sugary enough to work great for a second fermentation. Lately everything has been honey and ginger. I ran through the last of the honey syrup on Monday so you know this means I’ll try out something new soon. It will most likely be the vanilla bean but I do really want to try the root beer. Or maybe I’ll get some limes and do that again… So many flavors to try.
If you have any other things you’ve tried in your Kombucha, please comment.
I also wanted to note that while Kombucha is good for you it may have some drawbacks. Many fermented things carry healthy bacteria that help your digestive system work happy. They’re also tasty. The thing you should know is that this brew has some alcohol content. It’s really slight and changes depending on your fermentation. I still thought that I should mention it. If you don’t drink alcohol or you’re an alcoholic, please look into it further before just giving it a go.