Part I: What is Kombucha and Why Do I Drink It?

Part II: Making a Scoby

Part III: Brewing Methods (Continuos and Batch Brew)

Now that you have your kombucha ready, you can drink it plain or flavor it any way you like!

How to Flavor Kombucha:

Add fresh or frozen fruit, juices, extracts, and herbs to a kombucha bottle to flavor any way you wish. Store in the fridge for at least a day so that the flavors can mingle.

Flavoring Ideas:

  • Gingerale: sliced, grated, or juiced ginger
  • Blueberry Muffin: add fresh or frozen blueberries and a dash of cinnamon with a few vanilla beans
  • Strawberry Smoothie: Add a bit of strawberry puree
  • Lemonade: fresh lemon juice
  • Power Bucha: add your favorite flavoring with some chia seeds
  • Almond Raspberry: a small drop of almond extract and fresh or frozen  raspberries
  • Mint-Berry: Your favorite berry or berry juice and a few fresh mint leaves
  • Lemon-Ginger: Lemon juice and ginger (sliced, minced, or juice)
  • Goji: add some!
  • Apple Pie: add apple juice and a dash of cinnamon
  • Pina Colada: coconut water, pineapple juice, and a small drop of coconut extract
  • Key Lime Coconut: Lime juice, coconut extract
  • Pomegranate ginger berry: Pomegranate seeds, ginger, berry juice
  • Vanilla Cake: Add a few vanilla bean pods and let sit
  • Pumpkin Pie: Add pumpkin pie spice
  • Thanksgiving Cranberry: orange juice and fresh, frozen, or dried cranberries
  • Blueberry rose: fresh or frozen blueberries and rose petals
  • Grapefruit: add juice
  • Lavender: use petals or lavender extract
  • Lemon Thyme: Steep the thyme leaves into kombucha and add lemon juice

How to Increase Carbonation:

Most store-bought kombucha is very effervescent. A common complaint from home-brewers is the lack of carbonation. You can increase carbonation in your brew by something called “Secondary Fermentation.”

  1. Bottle your kombucha in an air-tight jar. The lid on the jar should be very tight. Using recycled bottles works very well.
  2. Fill the bottles completely with kombucha, leaving just a centimeter or two at the top. The lesson oxygen there is at the top, the easier it is for the kombucha to create carbon dioxide bubbles.
  3. Add flavorings, if desired. If you want to make a flavored kombucha, add the flavorings now. The extra sugar from fruit juice will actually help the carbonation process, but it is not necessary.
  4. Leave the bottles in a warm, dark place (like a closet) for 2-3 days. This is when the bubbles form!
Notes:
  • Secondary fermentation does increase the alcoholic content a bit. While it isn’t a very big amount, it is still there.
  • Use kombucha that is slightly sweeter than you might normally drink, because the secondary fermentation will make i more acidic.
  • Store the bottles in the fridge after secondary fermentation.

I always drink my kombucha cold, with ice. It tastes a whole lot better that way!

This is the last post of my kombucha series. I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed reading!

Thought-provoking, mind-prodding question of the day:

What is your favorite kombucha flavor?

Let’s expand this list! List as many ideas as you can, no matter how crazy, and I will add them to the list above.

P.S. Sign up for the June Sugar-Free Challenge!

 

 

 

17 Responses to Kombucha Part IV: Flavors and Carbonation

  1. Yesss thank you for sharing flavors I’ve been wanting to get more creative. I did raspberries once but found it much too sweet and almost made me sick after it sat for a while. I’m going to start with more simple flavors, maybe fresh mint and lime!

  2. Mark says:

    Thank you – it’s been very enjoyable reading as well!

  3. Lou says:

    LOVE your flavour ideas, Alex – awesome!

  4. Tracy says:

    Very creative flavor combinations, I don’t think I ever would have thought about most of those! Gingerale is the best. I am thinking that watermelon would taste great too.

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      tracy,

      watermelon sounds tasty! I’ll have to try.

      • Mike says:

        Did you ever make the watermelon Kombucha? If so was it good and how did you add the watermelon in chunks or pureed

        • Sugar Free Alex says:

          Mike,

          I haven’t personally tried watermelon, but others have told me they enjoyed it. I would probably puree it, and then strain the chunks out if you don’t like them.

  5. love those flavor combos! delicious! thanks for sharing!

  6. Robert Kirk says:

    I love Kombucha and used to make it with great delight but honestly all my experience leads to the commonly held belief amongst GI practitioners that apple cider vinegar is much more effective. Does it taste as good? No, but that’s not why I take it anyway. For flavor I stick with herbal teas and etc. For peeling the crud off my intestinal wall (Kombucha’s original use by monks in Eastern Europe and Greece) I like the vinegar; it’s more economical, more effective and without the tertiary fermentation that accompanies Kombucha which, when made at home can be a little funky and perhaps dangerous. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reports Kombucha as a potentially dangerous product for people who have pre-existing health concerns which of course is the major group of fools who consume it. These conditions are exponentially increased from home-brewing Kombucha, even under the most stringent of conditions and precautions. Pub Med currently reports over 40 articles on Kombucha many originating from India and China and the majority of these carry precautions regarding the long-term use of even the proprietary brands. I am a health consultant and herbalist so I am not speaking from a position of ignorance or arrogance. I believe because of celebrities use of Kombucha being widely publicized that it has become a designer beverage and far removed from it’s occasional use as a digestive aid (not remedy). I advise my clients to stick with lemon juice in the morning and apple cider vinegar in the evening. If you want beverages try schizandra/agave it’s one of the most beneficial teas for women and mixed with GoJi juice is well known is Asia as the “moisturizer” for skin (and elsewhere). Women in China have traditionally consumed more schizandra as they age contributing (they say) to the “radiant” nature of their skin in old age. Western women are familiar with the loss of moisture as they age, Asian women seldom do because they use the word beverage lightly and the word health with a bit more gravity.

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll research it a bit more, but your concerns seem valid. I, too, believe apple cider vinegar and lemon are very powerful and economical. Personally, I love the taste of kombucha, and crave it. So it will probably stay in my diet in moderation (everything in moderation, right?). Thanks for the comment!

  7. Robert Kirk says:

    Sorry, spell check on your site turned “folks” into “fools”. I did not mean to call people who consume Kombucha fools, heck I used to drink it. Also I wanted to add that Whole Foods has taken many brands of Kombucha off their shelves due to the Mortality and Morbidity Report (put out by the fools at the CDC) referring to levels of alcohol and other by products which are difficult to remove form Kombucha. Be safe when it comes to daily use of things you are not familiar with outside of chatter.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I used to make my own kombucha for about 6 months, then it started to give me this weird “booz” all over my body every time I drank. I decided it was time to quit and threw everything out; haha. I did save some scobys in the freezer – do you think it will work if I tried again?

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Stephanie,

      Hmmm…how strange? Perhaps you were drinking too much of it? I know people can develop allergies if they eat too much of one thing. I honestly don’t know if it will work from the freezer or not. Worth a try, though!

  9. john says:

    I enjoyed your flavors but when i am new at I need a little more details to feel comfortable experimenting. When you add these fruits do you drain them afterwards or leave them in? how many berries do you typically add? how many ounces of puree or drops of extract? Can you put certain fruits or ginger root into tea while brewing or cooling instead of each bottle?

    thanks, i loved the ideas

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      john,

      You can either leave them in and let them soak at the bottom or take them out at the end. Either way is fine. How many really depends on how strong you want the flavor, maybe add 1/4 cup berries per every cup of kombucha and then test from there to see what you like best. Drops of extract is the same way. I would start with just a couple drops and work up from there (since extracts can be strong). I would keep the kombucha culture clear of anything other than the nourishing tea, add the flavorings after brewing. Hope this helps, and good luck!

  10. Leigh Carter says:

    Strawberry and lemon
    Grape juice and ginger (my go to flavoring)
    Strawberry, banana, and kiwi
    Watermelon and grape
    Green apple and cherry

    We take kombucha from the master batch and put into a large bale jar about to the 3/4 mark. Then we add our fruit/flavorings/etc.the remaining 1/4. Let it set 24 to 48 hours and then strain it into air tight bottles. Its ready to drink. Or for carbonation let it set over night then refrigerate.

    We use mostly fruit (organic) we blend it up in a blender and freeze, that way we can buy up fruit when its in season and/or on sale. Also use juices if we catch them on sale too. Banana is used when they are just over ripe mushed and stired in, not frozen. We have found these tips to help us get the most flavor and carbonation. Hope this helps someone. Thanks for sharing everyone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


4 + = six

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.