The cliff notes, 3 steps to fizzy Kombucha
First, make the unflavored kombucha base. Allow the bucha to breathe by using a cloth cover over the container with a rubber band around the top, stop the fermentation when the liquid is still slightly sweet and the new culture has fully formed. This usually takes about 7 to 14 days at room temperature.
Second, bottle the liquid in an air-tight bottle with 1/4” of empty air space at the top. Cutting off access to air creates an environment where yeasts can multiply and carbonate your beverage! Cutting off access to air, you’re trapping the carbon dioxide (bubbles). If you want the butcha to be a crowd pleaser add something to make it taste awesome such as fruit juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, ginger, honey, frozen fruit, vanilla extract etc.
Third, leave the bottles on the counter for two days up to three weeks until you get fizzes. How fast you get bubbles, will depend depending on the temperature in your house and the juice you use. Check your bottles often, open and re-seal, until you hear a loud pop when you open the bottle. Transfer to the refrigerator and keep cold until consumed. Flavor is stable for about six weeks and will become more tart with time.
INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT
- 1 Kombucha S.C.O.B.Y / Mother Culture. Get one from a friend or you can buy a great one from Kambucha Kamp
- 3 Quarts of water
- 1 Cup of Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
- 2 TBS Loose leaf (or 4 tea bags) of organic black tea (such as Ceylon, Darjeeling, Oolong) available here
- 1/2 Cup of finished Kombucha or 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- Ceramic stoneware led free crock or a 1 or 2 gallon glass jar
- Glass bottles for your finished kombucha. Flip top bottles or small mason jars
- Funnel with a detachable strainer. My favorite is this Norpro Stainless Steel Funnel
- A mini strainer here’s my favorite mini 3-inch strainer by OXO. To use when pouring your glass of finished bucha
- Bring one quart of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar and black tea. Let steep for at least 15 minutes then strain out tea leaves or remove tea bags.
- Pour liquid into a 1 or 2 gallon glass jar, or a ceramic stoneware led free crock, add the remaining 2 quarts of water.
- Add 1/2 Cup of finished Kombucha or 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- Put mother culture on top of the tea. Smooth side up. If you have several S.C.O.B.Y.’s, the lightest in color is the top.
- Cover with a cloth towel and a rubber band around the top to prevent flying pests to lay eggs in there! Fruit flys love bucha.
- Ferment for 5 to 14 days (for fizzy bucha) or for 3 weeks for a strong vinegary tasting bucha.
- For unflavored bucha, bottle using flip top or mason jars (with jars with metal lids, use wax paper under the lid to prevent air escaping and lid corrosion). For extra fizzys and the best tasting bucha EVER, flavor your brew just before bottling. Here are some of our favorites..
Fresh pressed or store bought juice: Concord grapes, orange juice, peaches, apples, lemon with honey, ginger and honey. Whatever floats your boat. Just by adding a about 1 cup of juice to 3 quarts of bucha, you’ll get a fizzy wonder drink!
Whole fruit: Cranberry’s and sugar, blueberry’s ginger and sugar, strawberries and sugar (Let these sit over night in a bit of sugar or honey and then lightly warm on the stove to release the juice, strain out the extract for the flavored butcha).
Other whole fruit options to add directly to the final bottling are, frozen or fresh cherry’s with vanilla, blueberrys, strawberries, raspberries. Be creative, this extra step of flavoring your bucha will be rewarded. It’ll soooo good!
Leave at room temperature for 2 days to three weeks or until you hear a pop when you open the bottle. Once you get a good loud pop, immediately put the bottles in the refrigerator. Your trapping the bubbles, so if you let it ferment too long on the counter, you might burst your bottle 🙂
Enjoy! The flavor is stable for about 6 weeks, but get’s more tart with time.
Several kombucha cultures brewed in a crock. Kombucha really loves a dark environment like this.
A fully formed brand new bucha culture. Notice it’s opaque and cloudy. The color is light because it’s only gone through one brew.
Organic concord grapes make, THE BEST BUCHA EVER! It’s a ton of work, but worth it. I pressed the grapes and then strained through a fine cheese cloth. I froze the finished juice in mason jars.
If you don’t want to press your own juice. This is a great brand, it’s organic and not from concentrate.
My favorite flip top bottles, because they lock in the fizzys, they’re the perfect size 16 oz, and there not as tall as most 16 oz flip tops. These fit in several places in the refrigerator and they fit on the top and bottle shelf of my dishwasher… an important point!
***WARNING***: Sometimes you may get a really good fermentation going and when you open the bottle it’ll “blow your wig off”, it may spray all over the place or just start oozing out. Have your glass ready to pour the liquid into so you don’t loose too much! 🙂 This is just fine, it might make a bit of a mess. Pat yourself on the back, you got great bubbles! To combat mess, just put a dish towel on top when you’re opening it. I’m in the habit of always opening a new bottle with a dish cloth on top… just in case! 🙂
Also, if your glass bottle has any imperfections in it and you have got a really bubbly ferment going… and you’re liquid level isn’t right at the top… pressure builds up and it can explode the jar. This has only happened to me once with one of those Italy made clear flip top bottles… it’s never happened with the dark beer flip tops… well, yet! 🙂