“Where have you been all my life?” – said you to your strawberry kombucha. You’ll never go without again with this recipe up your sleeve.
There is no better companion to kombucha than strawberries. A magical transformation begins the moment a strawberry is dropped into a bottle with fresh kombucha. Now we just need to close the bottle and let the magic happen. Strawberries have a perfect amount of natural sugar for strong carbonation and the flavor goes so well with the tartness of kombucha, it’s just a fairy tale combo 😃.
PRIMARY VS SECONDARY FERMENTATION
It’s important to note that brewing kombucha is almost always a two-step fermentation process. Brewing kombucha is only a one-step process for those who prefer an unflavored or 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 how to make 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 second 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.
- Fresh, frozen, or dried strawberries: If you have fresh strawberries, great. If not, frozen or dried work well, too! Frozen fruits are typically picked right at their peak so if it is off-season, they might be a better option for maximum flavor. Dried or freeze-dried fruits are great because of their long shelf life, meaning they can be stored in your pantry and there when you need them. Is your kombucha ready but can’t get out to the store? Bam! Dried strawberries!
SECONDARY FERMENTATION PREPARATION
This strawberry kombucha recipe makes one 16 ounce bottle. For a one-gallon batch, make 7 16 oz bottles of kombucha or times the ingredients by seven. Before beginning this recipe, you will want to:
- Reserve 12 – 16 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 STRAWBERRY KOMBUCHA
This recipe is super simple. We’ll have you enjoying your own strawberry kombucha in no time. Let’s dive in:
- Bottle: Evenly distribute the ingredients between the 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.