How to bottle and flavor kombucha

In the last post, I showed you how to brew kombucha.  Today, I’m going to show you how to bottle it and prepare for your next brewing batch.  Again, I’m not an expert in kombucha or health; I just want to share the skills I’ve learned.

Once the kombucha has fermented to to your liking, it’s time to bottle and flavor it!

Wash your hands, then take the SCOBY out and put it on a clean plate.

The black stuff in there is not mold – it’s yeast strands!

 

Cover your SCOBY with a big bowl to protect it from unfriendly bacteria or mold.

Pull out your 2 cups of starter tea for your next batch of kombucha.  I like to get as many floating yeast strands into my starter tea for the next batch.

I like to keep my starter tea covered too.

Now, it’s time to bottle!  It’s easiest to use a funnel for easy pouring.  I love using these bottles because they are reusable and super easy to cap.  I tend to use between 6-8 16oz bottles per batch of kombucha, depending on how much flavoring I add.

This is the book I use for flavoring recipes and additional ideas on how to use kombucha.

kombucha-book

My favorite flavor is Lavender Limeade or Lemonade from Kombucha Revolution.  You can buy dried lavender buds here or at a local health grocery store.  Add 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons lavender buds to each bottle, then fill with kombucha.  Make sure to leave about an inch of head space in each bottle.

This one was Hibiscus Kombucha.  It turns a lovely bright pink color after a few days!  I added about 6 pieces of dried hibiscus flowers from World Market to this 32oz bottle.

You don’t have to add flavors to your kombucha.  If you like how it tastes when it’s finished fermenting, just pour it straight into the bottles!  If you like an effervescent drink, let the bottles sit in a cool dark place for a few days.  This secondary fermentation allows the kombucha to build up some CO2 and get a little fizzy.  Alternatively, if you prefer flat beverages (I personally like less carbonation), you can drink the kombucha without having to wait as long for the secondary fermentation.

If you have a little bit of kombucha left that won’t fit in a bottle, you can just pour it into a glass and enjoy right away!

Note:  When you first purchase your bottles, make sure to wash them in hot soapy water before using them.  But since kombucha doesn’t really like soap (remember, the SCOBY requires some good bacteria), rinse the bottles out with hot water and a splash of vinegar.  When I’m finished drinking one bottle and waiting for my next batch of kombucha to finish fermenting, I will rinse out the empty bottle and then fill it with some water and white vinegar and leave it sitting capped on the counter until it’s ready to use again.

 

That’s it!  What did you think?  Was it helpful?  Leave any questions in the comments, and I’ll answer them as best as I can!  Happy, healthy brewing!

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