How to Second Ferment or Flavor Kombucha {Plus, More Than 24 Flavor Ideas}

by lydia on February 11, 2012

Kombucha tea is not only delicious, but super simple to make at home, making it very affordable. Additionally, one can experiment with lots of flavors to make the kombucha even more delicious. Flavoring my kombucha was how I was able to get my kids hooked on it. They now drink it plain too, but it was the blueberry and raspberry flavors that first won their taste buds over to this probiotic enzyme rich beverage. So, if you are trying to convince someone of the joys of the booch, you may want to start them off with a delightfully flavored glass instead of the plain. Plain kombucha is a hard sell at times, as many of you may know, especially for those new to kombucha. (I still love it though!)

How to Properly Bottle and Flavor Kombucha Tea

Let the tea fully ferment with the kombucha culture in it for 7 to 10 days minimum, optimally 10 days to 2 1269943_10151783950192310_432767770_oweeks and if you want to be sure the sugar is as minimized as possible go a full 30 days.

Then remove the culture and place in a glass jar with a small amount of the fermented tea, transfer the rest of your fermented tea into an airtight vessel, such as a Fido jar, or individual wire stopper bottles. (You can find such bottles, here).  I buy mine at a local brewing supply company, or you can purchase a case of Grolsch for a party and ask everyone to recycle the bottles and collect them all. Make sure to sterilize well, especially if you are gluten free.

Once the tea is bottled add your flavor. It could be some juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, or an herbal tea tincture. Make sure that these additional ingredients never come in contact with the kombucha culture. Keep in mind with each fresh fruit flavor you want enough fruit to basically cover the bottom of the bottle. Make sure you leave very little headroom. However, if I know my kombucha is very fizzy already I do leave about an inch of headroom to avoid exploding.

Allow the flavor to second ferment for 1-2 days. If the weather is hot, check it before a full day is up. Consider second fermenting in a bin in a cupboard during the summer months, just in case you have an explosion. *Note: I had my very first bottle explode on the 4th of July this year after 4 years of home brewing and bottling kombucha.

Flavor Options

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(per bottle add:)

Once you have flavored your tea how you prefer place the bottles in a cupboard to sit for at least 2 more days until drinking. Then place in the fridge. Are you new to water kefir or kombucha and need a scoby or water kefir grains? Kombucha Kamp is a great resource for you for all things kombucha and water kefir. You can order water kefir grains or a kombucha scoby and get started brewing at home quite easily!

That’s it! Super simple! What are your favorite flavors for kombucha?

This post contributed to Traditional Tuesdays.

 

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

julie February 12, 2012 at 6:51 am

my favorites are ginger, raspberry, pineapple, and lemon lime. Although, I like just about any flavor!

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Erin D. February 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Great stuff! I’ve had trouble using chunks of dried or fresh fruit, as it tends to clog my Grolsch bottles when pouring, so I’m thinking of trying juices and/or extracts.

Thanks for a great article!

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Laura Black February 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I was delighted to find this post under “New at Whole New Mom”. My husband and I just did our very first batch of Kombucha. Well, actually, we got so excited that we have four varieties going now. We added some berries in one and did ginger in another, but your flavor suggestions are awesome. Thank you. We also did our very first batch of coconut kefir. Very good!!

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lydia February 22, 2012 at 5:56 am

Laura – glad you are having so much fun! I can remember my over exuberance when I first started making flavored booch!

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Corey February 8, 2013 at 6:03 pm

A flavor I love that is not mentioned is clove. Sometimes I add just a little to give a hint of a taste of clove in addition to the main flavor.

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Karon March 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I use frozen raspberries, lemon juice and grated ginger…we love love this combo!!
Has anyone tried using raisins and cinnamon?? Thinking about doing this next time.

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Sue February 17, 2015 at 2:11 pm

How full do you fill your bottles – to very top or leave how much space?

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Anonymous February 17, 2015 at 7:06 pm

I leave about a half of an inch or so

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lydia February 19, 2015 at 6:39 am

I leave a little space usually – depending on how much I brew it doesn’t always make enough to fill bottles to the top with a touch of room so I fill them as full as I can – you don’t want too much room for oxygen to be in there. If you plan on drinking it quickly an inch or two of space is okay.

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Meredith N. August 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm

My first batch of kombucha is going through second fernantation right now but I don’t think it’s going to be very fuzzy, if at all. Any tips for my next batch?

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lydia August 30, 2015 at 9:01 am

Since I have no idea how you made it this time around -all I can say is temperature matters. With this batch you can likely get some effervescence if you do a second ferment with some fresh ginger. That always seems to help get it fizzy.

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