Two of our favorite ingredients, one for its flavor and one for its secondary fermentation powers, combine in this recipe: Fresh Strawberries and Candied Ginger.
As one of the most popular fruits for children and adults alike, there’s a reason we see strawberry flavored everything, from fruit snacks to sodas to popsicles: they’re delicious! And we wanted to combine that recognizable and beloved flavor with our favorite drink, Kombucha. One thing great about using fruit in secondary fermentation is its inherent amount of sugar. So not only does the fruit impart its flavor on our tasty booch, but it also has the sugar to help produce the carbonation we’ve come to love in our Kombucha. But to add even more carbonation as well as a spicy sweetness to balance out the strawberries, we’ve also added the secondary fermenter’s secret weapon: Candied Ginger. Packed with more flavor and more sugar – aka more of the good stuff. So read on and enjoy this sweet, tangy treat!
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.
- Strawberries: You can use fresh or frozen Strawberries. You’ll want about 1/4 cup per 16 fl oz bottle of kombucha.
- Candied Ginger: A secret weapon ingredient for kombucha flavoring. Candied ginger has a bit of sugar on it, which will get consumed during the secondary fermentation, and result in fizzy, flavorful kombucha! Plan for about 2-3 pieces of candied ginger (or swap out with 1 tbsp fresh ginger).
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.