Welcome back to our Kombucha Basics series! Today I will be teaching you all about the second ferment! This part of the process is what makes kombucha fizzy and carbonated!
How to tell if your kombucha is ready to bottle
After at least 4-5 days of fermentation, you can taste your kombucha to see if it is ready. If it is too sweet, you can taste a small amount every day until it tastes ready. I use a ladle to pull out some to taste, but you can also use a straw. It should be lightly sweet with a nice acidity. After 7 days, my kombucha usually tastes perfect. Once the taste is to your liking, you can bottle your kombucha for the second ferment.
It’s important to note that if you like the flavor of your kombucha as is and don’t want to add any carbonation (fizz), you can bottle your kombucha without adding any flavorings and put it straight into the fridge to prevent carbonation.
When bottling kombucha, it’s important to pick the right bottles that properly seal to keep in the carbonation.
In order to trap the carbonation you want to make your kombucha fizzy, you need glass that is high-quality, food-grade, and able to handle high pressure. You want a cap that can be secured tightly enough to make an airtight seal.
If you use square bottles or bottles with thin glass, they have a very high probability of exploding under the pressure and making a big mess.
How to flavor and bottle your kombucha
Collect the bottles you will be using for your second ferment. Transfer your scoby and two cups of starter liquid from your brewing vessel into a clean jar or bowl.
Pour the rest of your kombucha into a clean pitcher or jar. You can strain your kombucha at this point if you want to remove the extra yeast.
Using a funnel, pour your plain kombucha into your bottles, leaving room at the top for flavorings.
If you are flavoring your kombucha with fruit like apples, oranges, or mangoes, be sure to cut or blend your fruit into very small pieces. Do not stuff anything into your bottles, because you will not be able to get it back out.
My current favorite flavors for kombucha are raspberry, mango, apple & cinnamon, watermelon, and lemonade!
Add your flavorings! If using small berries, like huckleberries or blueberries*, just put a handful into your bottles.
Make sure the caps and tops of the bottles are dry, then seal your bottles really tight.
Store your bottled kombucha in a dark cupboard to carbonate. After 2-3 days, put your bottles in the fridge to cool.
*If flavoring with blueberries, it will most likely turn alcoholic within a couple of days, if not one day of bottled fermenting.
Now that you know how to brew Kombucha while keeping it healthy and how to do the second ferment stage that gives its special fizz, you are now ready to make your own tasty and healthy drink!
If you have any other questions regarding Kombucha, feel free to ask us at @5WildeFlowers on Instagram!