Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Attempting kombucha, part 2: bottling and refreshing

Yesterday was day 14 of fermentation for my first kombucha brew, and the taste was perfectly sweet and tart, like an apple cider.  The kids, who all talked trash about my gross "aliens" (aka the SCOBY) loved it!  Plus, the ph level is right at 3.0, so I figured it was time to bottle the brew for its second fermentation.

gorgeous bubbles, and healthy SCOBYs!

PLEASE NOTE:  I have never made kombucha before, and honestly, I don't know what I'm doing, other than trying to follow the instructions that were included with my starter kit.  So I'm not offering instructions on HOW to brew kombucha, but simply illustrating how I attempted to brew kombucha this time.

First, I gathered my supplies. . . .

Bottles, sanitized and caps attached (once my daughter showed me how they go on the bottles.  duh.)

Then, I prepped the fruit and flavorings I wanted to add to the bottles. . . .

lemon zest and juice, chopped granny smith apples sprinkled with 
cinnamon and nutmeg, chopped strawberries, grated ginger root

I'm second-guessing my decision to include cinnamon, because (in bread making, anyway) it's not very compatible with yeast (which is contained in the kombucha tea.)  I can't believe I had forgotten that! GRRRR.  I wonder if the cinnamon will negatively impact the batch?!?  Anyone know?

Fill 'er up. . . .

I added about 2 tsp of fruit, juice and/or zest to each bottle.

Then, I filled each bottle with the kombucha tea, leaving less than an inch of head space.


And now we wait. . . .

I placed the capped bottles in a box while they ferment a few more days.  I'm INCREDIBLY afraid of bottles exploding, so I figured a box might minimize the mess and hazard should it happen.  (And give me some peace of mind.)  I placed the box on the fridge, for warmth from the fridge, and it's also right below our heater vent (to keep it warmer at night.)  

I'll burp them daily, and in a few days, I'll place them in the fridge to slow the carbonation / fermentation.

Starting batch #2. . . .

Following the Kombucha Kamp directions, I made another batch of sweet tea, and added it to the vessel with some leftover kombucha tea and the 3 SCOBYs.

 brew a tea concentrate

 add sugar


add more purified water; cool.

add to the vessel with the SCOBYs

And start the process all over again!  I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Other stuff. . . .

I hope you had an amazing Easter, and are enjoying this Easter season!  (It's FIFTY days long!)  We had a lovely day... loud and crazy and fun. Typical.  :)  

I haven't been sewing much, as we're focusing on school a lot these days.  I'm trying to figure out the ever-elusive work / school / home balance.  
I still haven't found it.

Talk to you soon!  :)

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