Flavoured kombucha: how to add flavours to your second ferment

Flavoured kombucha: how to add flavours to your second ferment

One of my favourite bits about brewing kombucha is being able to flavour it exactly to my liking. Below you’ll find a non-exhaustive list of ideas to flavour your next batch.

How to flavour kombucha

There are three ways you can change the flavour of your kombucha (1) adjust the brewing time (2) change the type of tea used to brew or (3) add fruits, spices, herbs and more when you bottle it. Today I’m focusing on the latter. Once you’ve brewed your kombucha you can drink it straight away, but many kombucha brewers will progress to what is known as the “second fermentation” stage or “2F”. This is where the kombucha is bottled along with fruits, spices, herbs and sometimes a little extra sugar to develop the flavour of the drink and to encourage carbonation. If you buy flavoured kombucha from the store it will have undergone a second ferment.

As a general rule I add about half a tsp of caster sugar to a 500 mililitre bottle of kombucha along with the other flavours I’ve chosen. You can swap caster sugar for brown sugar, granulated, or even honey. I’m not going to suggest exact ratios for how much fruit/spice/herb etc to add as this will depend on the flavour of your original kombucha and your own taste buds. Instead, the list below is here to inspire you when you come to flavour your next batch. If your favourite combination isn’t included in the list, add it in the comments below.

Fruit for flavouring kombucha

Flavour inspiration

Fruit

You can add fruit to your second ferment fresh/dried/frozen, whole/pureed, or even as juice or peel. The possibilities are endless! Kombucha flavoured with fresh fruits in particular should be drunk within 7-10 days.

Apple

Goes well with anise, blackberry, blueberry, cinnamon, mango, orange, pear, pineapple, rose, sage and vanilla

Apricot

Goes well with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, mango, orange, peach, raspberry, rose, rosemary and vanilla

Blackberry

Goes well with apple, cinnamon, peach, raspberry, red currant and vanilla

Blueberry

Goes well with apple, cinnamon, lemon, mint, peach, raspberry and vanilla

Cherry

Goes well with cinnamon, peach and vanilla

Grape

Goes well with anise, peach, pineapple, rosemary and strawberry

Grapefruit

Goes well with juniper, mint, orange and pineapple

Lemon

Goes well with  anise, basil, blueberry, ginger, juniper, lime, mint, orange, rose, rosemary and turmeric

Lime

Goes well with cinnamon, ginger, lemon, mangomint and orange

Mango

Goes well with apple, apricot, cardamom, ginger, lime, mint, orange, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, rhubarb and strawberry

Melon

Goes well with anise, ginger, grape, mint, orange, rose and strawberry

Orange

Goes well with anise, apple, apricot, cinnamon, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, lime, mango, melon, mint, peach, pineapple, rhubarb, rose, rosemary, strawberry and vanilla

Passion fruit

Goes well with mango, mint and raspberry

Peach

Goes well with apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, grape, mango, orange, raspberry, strawberry and vanilla

Pear

Goes well with anise, apple, cardamom and cinnamon

Pineapple

Goes well with anise, apple, cinnamon, grape, grapefruit, mango, orange, raspberry, sage, strawberry and vanilla

Plum

Goes well with anise, apple, cinnamon, peach and vanilla

Raspberry

Goes well with apricot, basil, blackberry, blueberry, mint, passion fruit, peach, pineapple, rosestrawberry and vanilla

Red currant

Goes well with anise, blackberry and cinnamon

Rhubarb

Goes well with anise, ginger, juniper, mango, rosemary, strawberry and vanilla

Strawberry

Goes well with anise, basil, cinnamon, grape, mint, orange, peach, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and vanilla

Spices for flavouring kombucha

Spices

Pair spices fruit fruit, herbs or just other spices for a more complex flavour in your second ferment. Kombucha flavoured with spices can be kept in the fridge for up to one month.

Anise

Goes well with apple, cinnamon, grape, lemon, melon, mint, orange, pear, pineapple, red currants, rhubarb and strawberry

Cardamom

Goes well with apricot, ginger, mangopear and rose

Cinnamon

Goes well with anise, apple, apricot, blackberry, cherry, lime, orange, pear, pineapple, red currant and strawberry

Ginger

Goes well with apricot, cardamom, cinnamon, lemon, lime, mango, melon, mint, orange, rhubarb and vanilla

Rose

Goes well with apple, apricot, cardamom, lemon, melon, orange and raspberry

Turmeric

Goes well with lemon and ginger

Vanilla

Goes well with anise, apple, apricotblackberry, blueberry, cardamom, cherry, ginger, orange, peach, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and strawberry

Herbs for flavouring kombucha

Herbs

Fresh works best when adding herbs to your second ferment but don’t worry if dried is all you’ve got. The stronger the herb the more sparing you will want to be. Kombucha flavoured with fresh herbs should be drunk within 7-10 days.

Basil

Goes well with lemon, lime, mint and raspberry

Juniper

Goes well with grapefruit, lemon, orange, rhubarb and sage

Mint

Goes well with anise, lemon, lime, mango, orange, raspberry and strawberry

Rosemary

Goes well with apricot, grape, lemon, orange and rhubarb

Sage

Goes well with apple, juniper and pineapple

How long does it take?

Once you’ve added your combination of fruits, herbs and spices to your kombucha, leave it to ferment for another 2 – 14 days at room temperature. Once you’ve got the desired level of flavour and fizz you can store it in the fridge.

Top tips for flavouring and bottling

  1. Invest in air-tight bottles that are designed to store carbonated drinks, these are usually swing top bottles with no corners.
  2. Burp your kombucha regularly to ensure there is no explosive build up of gas!
  3. If you’re worried about a particularly lively batch, open it over the sink or with a tea towel close to hand.
  4. Don’t be alarmed if a new baby SCOBY forms in the bottle this isn’t unexpected.
  5. Think carefully about how you’re going to get the residue of your flavourings out. (A chopstick often comes in handy!)
  6. Invest in a good bottle brush to help wash away any sediment left on the bottom or sides of the bottles.

If you’ve got any of your own tips, let me know in the comments below!



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