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Flavoring and Bottling Kombucha Tea
One of the greatest benefits of making your own kombucha at home is the ability to influence the flavor of the finished product and find new blends that you and your family will enjoy. Kombucha flavor can be influenced a number of ways.
Ways to Influence Kombucha Flavor
Choose A Different Tea
The type of tea used to brew kombucha can change the flavor of the finished kombucha, even before flavoring agents are added. From black to white teas, each variety lends a different flavor to the finished beverage.
Adjust Fermentation Time
The longer a batch of kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more acidic the resulting liquid will be. We recommend fermenting the kombucha for at least 7 days, and up to 30 days.
Tip: After 7 days, begin tasting the brewing kombucha. Use a straw or non-metal spoon to remove some liquid from the jar. Once the flavor reaches the desired sweetness or acidity, halt the process by pouring the finished kombucha into bottles or containers for flavoring or drinking plain.
Once the initial fermentation period is complete and the scoby has been removed, consume the kombucha as is or choose to add additional flavoring.
Flavored kombucha can be enjoyed immediately or fermented further, for a more developed taste in the final product. Choose your favorite fruit, juice, herbs or spices to make a variety of flavored drinks.
Other Flavoring Ideas and Combinations
Second Fermentation and Bottling
There are advantages to bottling the finished kombucha and fermenting further. A second fermentation period allows the flavors to meld and achieve a deeper and more complex flavor profile. Additionally, if bottled in an airtight container, the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation will remain, giving the kombucha the fizzy texture it is often known for.
Instructions for a Second Fermentation
Choosing Bottles for Kombucha
While essentially any glass container with a lid can be used to store kombucha, to obtain the best carbonation level, it is important to bottle kombucha in truly airtight bottles. While canning jars make wonderful storage vessels for finished kombucha, they are not truly airtight, and carbon dioxide will leak from them. A better option is a Grolsch-style flip-top bottle, which will adequately contain the fermentation gases and keep the kombucha better carbonated.
Before using, check the bottles carefully for cracks or imperfections, which can weaken the integrity of the bottle and lead to explosions. We also recommend "burping" the bottles occasionally during the second fermentation to release excess pressure.
Use caution when opening the bottle. Creation of carbon dioxide during the secondary fermentation period means the contents of the bottle will be under pressure, and caution should be used when opening the bottle. We recommend covering the bottle with a cloth to catch any spraying liquid and opening the bottle slowly over the sink while applying downward pressure.
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