Kombucha Second Fermentation Recipe to further flavor your brewed kombucha tea and make it fizzy. Kids will love it!
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I have been successfully brewing kombucha for 5 years now. And our entire family enjoys it plain the way it is! However, once I dropped a few pieces of fresh ginger in a flip top bottle with homemade kombucha and let it ferment overnight – there was no way back. Next day, we were basically drinking a ginger ale without sugar but full of probiotics and antioxidants. Next I added fruit and my kids were mind blown, saying it tastes just like “pop”.
Before we talk about flavoring kombucha and how to make fizzy kombucha, I would like to stress the simplicity of entire “kombucha business” one more time – it is extremely simple and budget friendly process. It costs 30 times cheaper than store-bought! And commercial buch costs as much as wine.
How to Make Kombucha Fizzy
Brew Kombucha – First Fermentation
Make your own kombucha. Only ingredients you need are water, tea, sugar and SCOBY (easy to make at home or buy on Amazon).
Transfer Kombucha into Flip-Top Bottles
Pour it into flip-top glass bottles (you can buy them on Amazon), leaving only an index finger length room at the top.
Add approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh or frozen soft and flavorful berries of choice like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Also herbs like rosemary, lavender, basil; spices like cinnamon and turmeric, add nice flavor and a boost of antioxidants. A handful of chopped fresh ginger is good too, just note it takes a few days longer to ferment.
To use large fruit like mango and pears, add it to a blender with some bottled kombucha, puree and pour back into the bottle using a funnel.
Carbonation – 2nd Fermentation
Close bottles tightly and let kombucha ferment overnight on the countertop. Second fermentation (build up of carbon dioxide) begins as soon as you add fruit – bacteria in kombucha will start “eating” natural sugars in fruit (berries) and your kombucha will start getting some colour.
If you make it in the morning, watch the magic to unfold throughout the day. It looks so beautiful, like the most vibrant artificial coloured drink yet it’s completely natural and healthy. Mother nature is amazing!
Let Gas Out
“Burp” sealed bottles 12 hours later, and after that once a day, if it’s too hot – twice a day. This is very important step as CO2 builds up and if you don’t burp the bottles for a few days, they might explode. To “burp” kombucha, simply place bottle in the sink, cover with a dish cloth and start opening the cap slowly and letting CO2 out. It is OK if it leaks, you can just rinse it off. Just do it slowly and you will be fine.
This is very rare and is yet to happen to me. It almost did when I added too much mango to one particular bottle and it was over 86 F in the kitchen at night, so during those hot summer days basically.
Store and Enjoy
Store kombucha on a counter if you plan on consuming it within 1-2 days after it’s ready. After that, store in the refrigerator and consume within maximum 2 days.
Fermentation process keeps happening after kombucha is ready (tasty). Its speed depends on the type of fruit used (low vs. high sugar content) and room temperature (outside, time of the year, fridge or counter). Eventually, more and more alcohol develops and kombucha tastes accordingly, more sour and boozy.
On hot summer days we do not need to place second ferment kombucha in the fridge, on cooler days we do because we drink it slower.
Another option is to flavour as you need – bottle kombucha, refrigerate, then flavor the night before the day you want to drink it – checking weather forecast helps.
When it comes to kombucha flavors, it is a matter of personal preference, your geographical location and endless-endless combinations. Here are some that I have tried and we loved. Just to clarify – you add fruit (flavor) right after bottling to make kombucha fizzy – that is what makes kombucha fizzy.
- Ginger Kombucha: Peel and slice a few inches of fresh ginger and add to a bottle. Believe it or not, you do not need to add fruit to make ginger kombucha fizzy – ginger is enough. I usually buy organic fresh ginger, peel, cut into chunks and freeze in a sandwich bag.
- Mango Kombucha: Puree 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango along with some kombucha in a blender and pour back into the bottle.
- Pineapple Kombucha (Kids’ Favourite): Puree 1/2 cup fresh or frozen pineapple along with some kombucha in a blender and pour back into the bottle.
- Raspberry Kombucha (Kids’ Favourite): Drop 1/3 cup of frozen or fresh raspberries into the bottle. To serve, add a few slices of lime and you are in heaven.
- Orange (Mandarin) Kombucha: Add small pieces of peel and a few chopped segments (all of mandarin) to the bottle.
- Rhubarb Kombucha: Dice 1/3 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb and add to the bottle.
- Cherry Chia Kombucha: This one is the bomb dot com. In a jug, combine 4 cups kombucha tea, 1/3 cup fresh or frozen cherries and 3 tbsp chia seeds. Stir with a long wooden spoon every 15 minutes a few times. Cover and let sit on a counter for 5-6 hours. I haven’t tried making it in a bottle for the fear of never being able to wash it properly and kombucha still turned out fizzy. Just stir before serving.
- Lime Kombucha: Squeeze a few generous size lime slices into a glass with black tea kombucha and ice. This simple combo will blow your mind on a hot summer day, forget iced tea!
In short, probiotics are good bacteria essential to our gut’s health. And I’m sure you have heard it many times – health starts in our gut. Overall to be healthy, we need to keep immune system strong and probiotics are a huge part of it. I think it is pretty easy to understand.
Length of fermentation will depend on the temperature in your kitchen (usually time of the year). Burp bottles and taste kombucha every day. On hot days, fermentation takes 1 day, in cooler weather – 2 days. As soon as you like the taste, place kombucha in the fridge, otherwise fruit will keep fermenting kombucha further and make it sour.
If you add sweet fruit and berries, there is no need to add extra sugar. Adjust to taste with more fruit or sugar after day one if you wish. Play it by ear and don’t be scared to experiment.
Burp and place in the fridge. Fermentation stops rapidly in cold temperature.
Tips on Flavoring and Making Kombucha Fizzy
- Washing bottles tip: To wash the bottles, fill them up with hot water, a bit of baking soda and a tablespoon of uncooked rice. Shake-shake-shake, let soak for 10 minutes, and shake again.
- Juice and dried fruit doesn’t work well: I have tried making kombucha fizzy with juice and raisins, and very minimal fizz has developed.
- Serving suggestions: You can serve kombucha with ice and garnishes of your choice. You can also add vodka or mix ginger kombucha with vodka and lime to make healthier Moscow mules.
Be healthy! What’s next? Kombucha smoothie?!
More Healthy Drinks Recipes
Kombucha Second Fermentation: How to Flavor and Make It Fizzy
- Previously brewed kombucha
- Fresh or frozen fruit/berries of choice
- Brew Kombucha – First Fermentation: Make your own kombucha. Only ingredients you need are water, tea, sugar and SCOBY (easy to make at home or buy on Amazon).
- Transfer Kombucha into Flip-Top Bottles: Pour it into flip-top glass bottles (you can buy them on Amazon), leaving only an index finger length room at the top.
- Flavor: Add approximately 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh or frozen soft and flavorful berries of choice like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Also herbs like rosemary, lavender, basil; spices like cinnamon and turmeric, add nice flavor and a boost of antioxidants. A handful of fresh chopped ginger is good too.
- Carbonation – 2nd Fermentation: Close bottles tightly and let kombucha ferment overnight on the countertop. Second fermentation (build up of carbon dioxide) begins as soon as you add fruit – bacteria in kombucha will start “eating” natural sugars in fruit (berries) and your kombucha will start getting some colour.
- Let Gas Out: “Burp” sealed bottles 12 hours later, and after that once a day, if it’s too hot – twice a day. This is very important step as CO2 builds up and if you don’t burp the bottles for a few days, they might explode. To “burp” kombucha, simply place bottle in the sink, cover with a dish cloth and start opening the cap slowly and letting CO2 out. It is OK if it leaks, you can just rinse it off. Just do it slowly and you will be fine.
Why isn’t your first ferment tea coloured?
It’s not flavored. Please see directions in how to make kombucha tea for first ferment before proceeding with 2nd fermentation.
Very simple straightforward instructions!
Hi, is sugar high in fermented kombucha tea? Thank you.
Probably like in regular one. Not sure.
The sugar content is going to depend i
On how completely you ferment your kombucha. I didn’t say how long, because several factors play into fermentation. I don’t know the scale, but the closer to ph of 8, the higher the sugar, the closer to ph of 3 the lower your sugar content. The yeast consumes the sugar in the process of making the tea into vinegar. Full vinegar I believe is around 3, which will have virtually no sugar remaining. For sweetness, you can add back in a non glycemic sugar like allulose or xylitol, right before consumption. These sugars are for flavor only, as they won’t aid in fermentation.
I’ve been making Kombucha for a few years but I have never stored them in the fridge. I’ve always put them in Grolsch bottles in a dark part of my kitchen (right now I have them stored in a dishwasher that I’m not using!). I really enjoyed your detailed instructions on adding fruits etc and will be trying this. I’ve learned a lot and really appreciate all the tips and tricks you’ve shared!
I am so glad you found my post helpful, Wendy!