Delicately Sweet and Deliciously Tart, Blueberry Vanilla is an Uncommon but Beautiful Combination for Kombucha Brewing.
Like the surprisingly delicious sample you received as a kid at the ice cream store, this Blueberry Vanilla Kombucha Recipe is reminiscent of a tasty fruity dessert with each sip, while at the same time refreshing. Imagine that scoop of blueberry ice cream with the blueberry chunks and swirls throughout that was only made better by the creamy vanilla goodness it was mixed with – now mix it with Kombucha and bottle it! We’ve taken the guesswork out and got the perfect measurements of blueberries and vanilla extract for you to make this tasty concoction at home.
PRIMARY VS SECONDARY FERMENTATION
It’s important to note that brewing homemade kombucha is almost always a two-step fermentation process. Brewing kombucha is only a one-step process for those who prefer an unflavored flat kombucha. Otherwise, the steps consist of a primary fermentation and secondary fermentation.
- Primary Fermentation: The primary fermentation is the first step of the kombucha brewing process. This is where your SCOBY transforms regular sweet tea into the tart and slightly sweet kombucha we love. At the end of this stage, you will have finished kombucha, but it will be flat and unflavored. Have you skipped this step? Then check out our guide on making kombucha at home or our guide on making jun kombucha at home. Traditional kombucha is going to yield a bolder brew, while jun kombucha is milder and a bit more tart.
- Secondary Fermentation: The secondary fermentation is the step where you bottle, carbonate, and flavor your kombucha by the addition of sugar and flavors. This step is essentially adding a bit of sugar/flavor to each airtight bottle and letting it ferment a little longer, allowing the yeast to carbonate the beverage in an airtight environment naturally. How exactly does this happen? See our post on kombucha secondary fermentation here.
Since this recipe is for the secondary fermentation, to make this recipe, you’ll need to have kombucha that has finished the primary fermentation and ready to bottle.
- Kombucha: You need kombucha that has completed primary fermentation and is ready to bottle and flavor.
- Blueberries: You can use fresh or frozen blueberries. You’ll want about 1/4 cup per 16 fl oz bottle of kombucha.
- Vanilla Extract: This is what gives that extra layer of smooth sweetness to the drink. A high-quality vanilla extract yields a fresher end product but feel free to use what you have on hand to experiment.
SECONDARY FERMENTATION PREPARATION
This recipe makes one 16 fluid ounce bottle. For a 1-gallon batch, make 7 16 ounce bottles of kombucha or times the ingredients by 7. Before beginning this recipe, you will want to:
- Reserve 12 – 16 fluid ounces of kombucha and your pellicle from your completed primary fermentation and set aside. It’s best to pour from the top of the brew jar as the bottom will have a much higher yeast concentration. You will use this as your starter for your next gallon batch of kombucha.
- With your kombucha starter tea and SCOBY placed aside, you will now have enough kombucha left to make seven 16 oz bottles. These bottles are the most popular as they are considered the best bottles for kombucha secondary fermentation, but any other airtight bottles made for carbonation will work.