The Second ferment is what causes your Kombucha to have the fun, Fizzy effect! You do not need to do a second ferment-it’s optional. You can drink your Kombucha as it is after the first 7-14 days of fermenting. However, flavoring and making kombucha fizzy is fun! To do this you will need enough pressure safe grolsch flip top bottles to hold all of the kombucha that you made. (except for 1/2 cup that you will save to put in your new batch.)
Dip all of your kombucha out of the fermenting vessel using a glass measuring cup, and pour it into your clean grolsch bottles using a funnel.
I fill my 750 ml bottles to the shoulder, and then add organic store bought juice or fresh squeezed juice to the bottles, leaving 1 inch of headspace, and then cap the bottles. You should have 3 parts kombucha, 1 part juice. The sugar in the juice helps fuel the reaction for the fizziness in the 2nd ferment. So be sure to use a high sugar content juice. Berry juices such as strawberry, blueberry, cranberry etc, are low glycemic-meaning low in sugar. You can use these juices or fruits, but you will need to add 1-2 tsp extra sugar in your second ferment. You can also use actual fruit, and herbs, just be sure that you chop them into small enough pieces that you can get them back out of the grolsch bottle!
Set your bottles in a room where the temperature is 68-80 degrees for 2-3 days. Three days if it’s on the cooler end of that, and 2 days if on the warmer end.
After 2-3 days place your bottles of Kombucha in the fridge for 6 ish hours and then open. You should hear a slight pop, and pour over ice, and ENJOY!! You can pour your kombucha through a metal strainer into your glass of ice…otherwise you may get what seems like an oyster shooter…it’s actually part of your culture-and it is totally normal, but it grosses some people out to swallow these-including me-even though I know it’s a probiotic and vitamin b powerhouse!
One thing to be aware of…depending on how much wild yeast is in your kombucha will also determine the fizziness of it. I’ve had to CAREFULLY open bottles of my kombucha because They will spray onto my kitchen ceiling sometimes. While my kids think this is great fun, it is a huge mess to clean up! I also generally set my bottles of kombucha in a bowl while I open them to catch any that fizzes over during the opening process. This is why it’s very important to have pressure safe bottles! You don’t want exploding bottles!!
Here are some second ferment flavor ideas you can try. I really like combining an herb and a fruit for more of a nutritional boost! One of my favorites is fresh farmer’s market peaches and stinging nettle. Stinging nettle has a plethora of nutrients in it, and is an all around good tonic herb. And, well…peaches in the summertime are just a no-brainer!
FLAVORS YOU CAN USE, BUT WILL NEED TO ADD 1/8-1/4 TSP EXTRA WHITE SUGAR IN THE SECOND FERMENT
HERBS YOU CAN PLAY AROUND WITH!
German Chamomile-will impart a nice apple flavor
Red Raspberry Leaf
You can play around with saspirilla, star anise, sassafras, and licorice root for a root beer flavor.
I like to use elderberries, hibiscus, and clove in my wintertime kombucha for an immune boost for my family!
The second ferment process of kombucha making is what makes it so fun! I love creating new flavor combos for my family and I to try! I hope you have fun with this process as well!