Kombucha Second Fermentation
How long does the second ferment take? There’s no exact amount of time here and no right or wrong way of doing it. We recommend you second ferment your kombucha for anywhere from 2-12 days. The exact amount of time you allow will depend on you personal taste so it’s a good idea to taste the kombucha every day until it reaches the desired taste!
Before you can add with flavours to your kombucha, you have to make the initial batch of plain fermented kombucha (first fermentation). It’s an easy process and full instructions can be found here. Once the initial brew is finished, you have a few options.
- You can drink the kombucha plain as is.
- You can bottle your plain kombucha and go for a second fermentation to get additional fizz.
- You can flavour the plain kombucha, bottle it and go for a second fermentation then enjoy a more interesting and fizzy beverage!
Most will always choose option number three as one of the best things about brewing your own kombucha is the ability to create new flavours and blends that you and your family and friends can enjoy at home.
Bottling the Kombucha.
Bottling the fermented kombucha in airtight bottles will help to increase the carbonation.
We highly recommend simply pouring your komobucha straight into swing top bottles, as it’s super easy.
These are our favourite bottles! They’re readily available, strong, and can be reused for years. Plus, they are less likely to explode because excessive pressure can push the rubber gasket to the side to vent pressure safely.
Note: Your kombucha may have little floaties in it. These are harmless and are simply strands of brown yeast (a natural byproduct of the fermentation process) floating about as the kombucha is a living culture and continues to ferment even when bottled. If this bothers you, strain your kombucha through a non-metal sieve into a glass before drinking.
Leave 1″ – 2″ of headspace at the top of your bottle, then close your bottle.
After your kombucha is bottled you can:
- Enjoy immediately (as is) or refrigerate for consumption later.
- Allow to sit for a few days to to get additional fizz (second ferment).
- Add some flavours, allow it to sit for a few days (second ferment) and enjoy a more interesting and fizzy beverage!
- Click here for kombucha recipes
Easiest method to flavour kombucha (second ferment)
Fresh fruit purees or juices.
This is one of our favourite way to flavour kombucha, and that’s because we like our kombucha well-carbonated and bursting with flavour. One of the key factors to allowing the yeasts access their food source (the sugar) is breaking down the fruit to be as easily digestible as possible for the yeasts. When you make a puree from fresh fruit, you’re actually breaking down the fruit molecules and therefore making it easy for the yeast to feed on the sugar once added to the kombucha.
You will usually find, when you you use fresh fruit purees and juice the kombucha will almost never turn out flat and will produce a lot of fizz. If you want consistent carbonation then we recommend using fresh fruit puree.
If flavouring with purees or juices, start with 10-20% juice and 80-90% kombucha and adjust to your liking. Then transfer the mixture into bottles using a funnel. Seal the bottles and allow to sit at room temperature for a few days. This is what’s known as the second ferment. After 2 days try one out to see how bubbly it is. You can allow them to ferment longer if more carbonation / fizz is required. Once it’s nice and bubbly put the bottles in the fridge and drink later.
Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
Another quick and easy method for a flavourful kombucha as the majority of people will usually have some sort of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables at home. You can use just about anything, depending on your preference. We particularly like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples and lemons. If adding vegetables, cucumber and beet make for nice flavours.
When we use fresh or frozen fruit, we’ll fill a 1l mason jar with plain kombucha (from the first ferment) and leave a few inches space at the top for the fruit. We usually find a handful of fruit is enough but do remember you really can’t go wrong here so just have some fun with it!
How long does the second ferment take?
There’s no exact amount of time here and no right or wrong way of doing it. We recommend you second ferment your kombucha for anywhere from 2-12 days. The exact amount of time you allow will depend on you personal taste so it’s a good idea to taste the kombucha every day until it reaches the desired taste!
Click here for kombucha recipes
When fermenting more than one live culture at home, we suggest a distance of at least 4 feet between the cultures at all times. This is to help stop cross contamination of the different cultures and is of particular importance when culturing dairy products. The only exception to this is when cultures are being stored in the refrigerator with tight-fitting lids.