Kombucha: How to add flavor to homemade kombucha tea

Freshly poured kombucha tea from a dispenser with a SCOBY is fizzy. It loses its carbonation once bottled, especially in a fridge. Would you like your kombucha more fizzy?

See Also: How To Make Kombucha Tea

How to Make Kombucha Fizzy

Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

Isn’t “she” a beauty?! You can create all these bubbles all by yourself.

  1. Brew: Make your own kombucha.
  2. Bottle: Pour it into tight seal cap bottles (you can buy them at Ikea or on Amazon), leaving only an index finger length room at the top (see photo below).Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

    How To Flavour Kombucha

    Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

    Doesn’t this kombucha look like Shirley Temple?! Just so much better for you!

  3. Flavour: Add approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup pureed fresh or frozen fruit/berries of choice. To puree fruit, add it to a blender with some kombucha from the bottle, puree and pour back into the bottle.Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com
  4. Ferment: Close bottles tightly and let sit overnight or if you do it in the morning watch it throughout the day. Second fermentation (build up of CO2) begins as soon as you add fruit – bacteria in kombucha will start “eating” natural sugars in fruit (berries) and your kombucha will start getting some colour. It looks so beautiful, like the most vibrant artificial coloured drink yet it’s completely natural and healthy. Mother nature is amazing!!

    See alos: How to Make Your Own Kombucha Scoby

    Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

  5. Let Gas Out: “Burp” the bottles 12 hours later and after that once a day, if it’s too hot – twice a day. This is very important step as CO2 builds up and if you don’t burp the bottles for a few days, they might explode. Again, this is very rare and is yet to happen to me. It almost did when I added too much mango to one particular bottle and it was over 86 F in the kitchen at night, so during those hot summer days basically. To “burp” kombucha, simply place bottle in the sink, cover with a dish cloth and start opening the cap slowly and letting CO2 out. It is OK if it leaks, you can just rinse it off. Just do it slowly and you will be fine.
  6. Store and Enjoy: Store kombucha on a counter if you plan on consuming it within 1-2 days after it’s ready. After that, refrigerate and consume within maximum 2 days. It is important to understand the following: fermentation process keeps going after kombucha is ready (tasty). Its speed depends on type of fruit used (low vs. high sugar content) and temperature (outside, time of the year, fridge or counter). Eventually, more and more alcohol develops and kombucha tastes accordingly, more sour and boozy. I’m looking into making moonshine kombucha now, don’t worry, but for now please keep an eye on the taste and time, and store accordingly. I have to say that for us on hot summer days I do not need to place kombucha in the fridge, cooler days – we drink it slower. Another option is to flavour as you need – drain plain kombucha into bottles, refrigerate, then flavor the night before the day you want to drink it – checking weather forecast helps.

Now let’s get to flavoring kombucha combinations and ideas.

 

Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

To see some of the ways that adding kombucha tea to your daily routine read: What are the Benefits of Drinking Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Flavours

When it comes to kombucha flavors, it is a matter of personal preference, your geographical location and endless-endless combinations. Here are some that I have tried and we loved. Just to clarify – you add fruit (flavor) right after bottling to make kombucha fizzy – that is what makes kombucha fizzy.

  1. Ginger KombuchaPeel and slice a few inches of fresh ginger and add to a bottle. Believe it or not, you do not need to add fruit to make ginger kombucha fizzy – ginger is enough. I usually buy organic fresh ginger, peel, cut into chunks and freeze in a sandwich bag. This way pricey ginger not from China doesn’t go bad and I always have it on hand.

    Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.comFlavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.comFlavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

  2. Mango Kombucha: Puree 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango (see which one I buy on my Costco shopping list) along with some kombucha in a blender and pour back into the bottle.
  3. Pineapple Kombucha (A Kids’ Favourite): Puree 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple along with some kombucha in a blender and pour back into the bottle.
  4. Raspberry Kombucha (A Kids’ Favourite): Drop 1/3 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries into the bottle. To serve, add a few slices of lime and you are in heaven.
  5. Orange (Mandarin) Kombucha: Add small pieces of peel and a few chopped segments (all of mandarin) to the bottle.
  6. Rhubarb Kombucha: Dice 1/3 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb and add to the bottle.
  7. Cherry Chia Kombucha: This one is the bomb dot com. In a jug, combine 4 cups kombucha tea, 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cherries and 3 tbsp chia seeds. Stir with a long wooden spoon every 15 minutes a few times. Cover and let sit on a counter for 5-6 hours. I haven’t tried making it in a bottle for the fear of never being able to wash it properly and kombucha still turned out fizzy. Just stir before serving.

    Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com

  8. Lime Kombucha: Squeeze a few generous size lime slices into a glass with black tea kombucha and ice. This simple combo will blow your mind on a hot summer day, forget iced tea!

Flavoring Kombucha with fresh or frozen fruit so kids will drink it, and How to Make Kombucha Fizzy overnight aka second fermentation recipes. | ifoodreal.com
You might like: What are the Benefits of Drinkning Kombucha Tea

Tips on Flavoring and Making Kombucha Fizzy

  1. Length of fermentation will depend on the temperature in your kitchen (usually time of the year). Burp bottles and taste kombucha every day. On hot days, fermentation takes 1 day, in cooler weather – 2 days. As soon as you like the taste, place kombucha in the fridge, otherwise fruit will keep fermenting kombucha further and make it sour.
  2. Adjust taste with more fruit or plain kombucha, play it by ear and don’t be scared to experiment. If you are a home cook, you can flavour kombucha.
  3. To wash the bottles, fill them up with warm water right away and wash as following when ready – add a bit of baking soda, a bit of hot water and shake-shake-shake. That’s it.
  4. I have tried making kombucha fizzy with juice and raisins, and very minimal fizz has developed.
  5. You can serve kombucha with ice and garnishes of your choice.
  6. You can add vodka!:)

But still you will find it mind blowing that even kids will love to drink fizzy kombucha and call it healthy pop (it does taste like one). Plain kombucha will not be too inviting to kids so flavoring kombucha is the only way to make your kid drink load of probiotics.

Why are probiotics so good for us?

In short, probiotics are good bacteria essential to our gut’s health. And I’m sure you have heard it many times – health starts in our gut. Overall to be healthy, we need to keep immune system strong and probiotics are a huge part of it. I think it is pretty easy to understand.

Kombucha Recipe FAQs

Can I use plastic or metal container for making kombucha?

No, it has to be glass. However if you buy a glass dispenser container like mine, the spout is made out of plastic. That’s OK.

What is best tea for making kombucha?

Any caffeinated tea works: white, black or green tea. Flavoured or not.

Can I use decaf tea for brewing kombucha?

No.

What is ideal room temperature for brewing kombucha?

About 68 – 70 F or 20-21 C for bacteria to grow and kombucha ferment. Warmer temperature means faster fermentation.

What is that thin white film on top of my SCOBY?

That is a new SCOBY growing – “a baby”.

What do I do with SCOBY babies? They keep reproducing.

Always leave the top (newer) SCOBY to keep brewing kombucha. Peel off the older one and you have 2 options.

  1. Option #1: Give it to friends or start another kombucha batch.
  2. Option #2: Compost it. It sucks, it’s a waste but at least it gets composted.

Can I cut the SCOBY?

Yes, SCOBY is easy to cut with a pair of clean kitchen scissors. In fact, you always should keep only one SCOBY in your kombucha brewing batch because too many and your kombucha will be sour. Think of it as a bigger hungry “baby” that will eat sugar faster. However, you should also keep in mind that for best carbonation results the shape of a SCOBY should be the shape of the jar creating a tight seal.

Can I eat the SCOBY?

Yes, technically. I have seen “candy” recipes and have heard some folks feeding SCOBY to their dog.

What should be the shape and size of my SCOBY?

SCOBY will take the shape of the mouth of the jar and then grow in thickness, and produce “babies” on top.

Should I wash SCOBY and the jug?

No and yes. I don’t rinse SCOBY but if you want to – go for it. Every few batches I wash the jug with biodegradable dish soap (check out the non-toxic cleaners I use). I have read that you should wash jar with vinegar but because I don’t use conventional harsh dish soap, I am not too scared of the chemicals making my SCOBY “sick”.

Should I brew kombucha in a dark place?

I keep mine on a counter, away from direct sunlight.

How can I increase carbonation without second fermentation?

To maintain a bit of a fizz, store kombucha at room temperature (not refrigerated) in an airtight bottle. Carbonation won’t be as strong but still some is better than none.

How long does kombucha last?

Kombucha doesn’t go bad. It just becomes more sour. Refrigeration slows down that process.

Can I take a break from brewing kombucha?

Yes. When we went on vacation to Mexico for a month, I placed the jug with SCOBY and about few cups of kombucha in the fridge for 4 weeks. This way the fermentation process slows down. If I want to take a break for a shorter period of time while at home, let’s say 7-10 days, I just let the jar sit on a counter in the same way.

Kombucha Recipe Troubleshooting

How do I know my kombucha is brewing?

Kombucha will lighten in colour and develop fermented smell. You will also see small bubbles forming.

My kombucha tastes like vinegar.

You let it ferment too long. Happens to the best for us. I usually make a few cups of strong sweet tea, let cool and add to the jug with kombucha. Let sit for another 1-2 days, taste and bottle. Do not add sugar directly to the jug with kombucha as it will not dissolve or help with the acidity.

What to do if I see mold in my batch of kombucha?

I honestly never had this issue. Neither any reader reported it. So it is very rare. But if it happens, you have to discard entire batch of kombucha and start over again.

Once I poured freshly brewed tea my SCOBY sunk to the bottom or is hanging sideways. Is that OK?

Yes, it will float to the top after a few days of fermentation.

Sources: https://ifoodreal.com/flavoring-kombucha-how-to-make-kombucha-fizzy/
image credit: ifoodreal.com

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