Fresh herbs impart a fresh familiarity to kombucha that you can’t quite pinpoint. It is like a delicious mystery. Rosemary, in this case, rounds out the flavors in a woody, earthy way, which it does through taste and almost equally through aroma. Rosehips are naturally tart and basically anything tart goes well with kombucha. The only thing missing now is something sweet. Enter orange juice. You can use fresh-squeezed orange juice, or any store-bought juice will work just fine ?.
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.
- Rosehips: Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant. They bear the seeds and can be eaten raw but are more commonly found dried and used for teas, jams, and rosehip soup.
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is the only way to go, here. The point of the rosemary is to add fresh aromatics and you just can’t get that with dried rosemary.
- Orange Juice: Straight from the carton is best as the juice will be at its peak sweetness. You never know what you’re going to get from a fresh orange and you want the most flavor possible from scant 2 fl oz that you’re adding.
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.
HOW TO MAKE ORANGE ROSEMARY ROSEHIP KOMBUCHA
This recipe is super simple. We’ll have you enjoying your own orange rosemary rosehip kombucha in no time. Let’s dive in:
- Prepare: Boil water then add rosemary and rose hips. Turn off heat and steep until completely cool. Remove rose hips and rosemary from your pot.
- Bottle: Add orange juice and the rosemary-rosehips tea to your bottles. Top each bottle with kombucha, be sure to leave 1 to 2 inches of headspace at the top.
- Ferment: Allow your bottles to ferment at room temperature for 2 to 10 days. Burp your bottles as needed until your preferred level of carbonation is achieved. This step is mostly based on temperature; it will go faster at higher temperatures and slower when colder. More on this here, What is burping your kombucha bottles?
- Enjoy: Chill in the refrigerator before serving. Based on preference, you can serve as is or strain before drinking.