Ginger Kombucha Recipe (1 gallon) and how to make fizzy kombucha!
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This is the 2nd step of the kombucha fermenting process which is called the 2nd ferment. It’s the most fun part because the 2nd ferment is where you add your flavors and increase the carbonation in your kombucha!
How long do you second ferment kombucha?
The length of time in which you allow your kombucha to ferment depends on how you flavor it and the health of your scoby during the 1st fermentation.
The type of bottles you use your fermentation also play a large role. There are other factors involved but these are the main ones.
Chunks of fruit, fruit puree, grated ginger root, sugar, etc. all intereact differently with the kombucha tea and as such you can only make an educated guess on when your kombucha will be done.
Potent substances such as ginger root will result in a carbonated beverage pretty quickly. On average it takes 3 days when using ginger root for me to have lovely bottles of fizzy homemade kombucha.
If you add sugar instead of fruit to your brewed kombucha it may take a little longer to brew. Kombucha Kamp says that natural sugar sources such as pureed fruit interacts much better with kombucha yeast.
How can I make my kombucha fizz more?
There are a variety of techniques you can try to increase the carbonation in your kombucha.
- Make sure that your bottles you are using for 2nd fermentation are airtight. This traps the C02 and keeps it from evaporating as quickly. C02 (carbon dioxide) is what those fizzy bubbles in the kombucha are made of.
- I use these fliptop kombucha bottles because they are perfect for a great fizz, open and close easily, and have that cool retro look.
- You can also use what is commonly referred to as Grolsh bottles.
- Many people will also save the bottles from storebought kombucha such as these and reuse them.
- I have even found fliptop bottles at Aldis with sparkling cider, drank the cider, and then reused for my kombucha tea!
- Add potent ingredients for flavoring such as ginger, strawberry puree, or fruit juice.
- Ingredients such as these trigger the yeast to feast like a hungry hippo and produce the lovely fizziness you desire.
- Allow your mixture to ferment for 1-3 days especially during the summertime. Keep a close eye on your bottles to avoid any explosions.
- During the 2nd fermentation process you want to be sure that your bottles are placed in a cool, dark place. I place mine in a top cupboard that is hardly ever opened but easy to access.
- I do not burp my bottles but this is because my kombucha is usually finished fermenting after 3 days. My bottles tend to overflow when I open them so I do it over the sink. However, I am perfectly fine with that because it then has in my opinion the perfect amount of carbonation.
- Remember that after opening the bottle and placing in the fridge the carbonation will naturally escape over time and become flat just like soda pop does.
- Add sugar if needed.
- Start off with one half tsp. of sugar for every 12 ounces of kombucha tea. This also helps to boost the carbonation and make your kombucha more fizzy.
- Sugar doesn’t work as well as natural sugars such as maple syrup and fruit juice.
Should kombucha be fizzy?
Technically, your kombucha does NOT need to be fizzy. The carbonation results from the natural interaction of the yeast with the sugar present in the tea and any sugar or fruit you add.
However, many people simply PREFER to have fizzy kombucha because it has what I call the “pop effect” and the bubbles make your drink feel and taste more light and sparkly.
Experiment with various combinations of fruit, herbs, and sweeteners until you get that perfect level of fizzy bubbles that you want.
What happens if kombucha doesn’t fizz?
Carbonation happens during the 2nd Fermentation process.
There are a number of reasons that your kombucha may have fallen flat and there is no fizziness when you open the bottle.
- The type of flavoring you added in your 2nd ferment.
- Fresh juice & fruit puree creates more carbonation versus sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- The temperature of the room where your kombucha tea is brewed.
- Heat tends to generate more carbonation while cold retards growth.
- Keep kombucha tea at a moderate temperature.
- Yeast was strained out of kombucha tea.
- For my ginger kombucha I go ahead and strain out the yeast (brown, floaty strings) before bottling.
- Fermented Food Lab recommends leaving in the yeast and straining just before drinking to allow the kombucha to ferment more vigorously.
- Wrong or weak bottles were used for second fermentation of kombucha.
- Use the fliptop or grolsch kombucha bottles recommended for great brewing.
Best kombucha flavor and easiest way to make kombucha fizzy for beginners
I personally think that the best kombucha flavor for beginning kombucha brewers is ginger!
Ginger kombucha benefits include a simple, straightforward flavor which is easily adjusted according to personal taste. Ginger is the perfect rhizome for adding that tasty fizziness!
As we have learned, the yeast now present in your kombucha tea grabs onto your ginger much better than using just plain sugar.
When brewing a gallon of kombucha tea, I add about 1 oz. of ginger root which I grate to give the yeast in the kombucha more surface area on which to work.
Add ginger for a delicious fizzy flavor
Believe me, the kombucha yeast will grab onto the pieces of shredded ginger and produce that lovely carbonation you want!
Also ginger works so well with other flavors such as lemon, blueberry, apples, it is the easiest way to flavor your kombucha for beginners.
I would say it’s fool proof, but I’ve been known to be wrong before! Some people like a stronger ginger taste, some like a light taste, and others like me prefer it perfectly balanced.
The ginger kombucha recipe below tells you how I flavor my kombucha with ginger, what I use to bottle my kombucha, and how long I let the kombucha tea ferment.
How to flavor kombucha with ginger recipe
Fizzy Ginger Kombucha Recipe (2nd Ferment)
- 1 oz fresh ginger
- 1 gallon fermented kombucha tea 1st ferment
- 1 plastic or wooden spoon
- 1 plastic strainer
- 1 16 oz glass jar
- 1 Cup measuring cup
Remove the Scoby from fermented kombucha tea
- Remove the lid/coffee filter from the jar of fermented tea. Using your spoon gently remove the scoby from the jar.
Separate baby (new) scoby from the mother (old) scoby.
- Gently separate the baby scoby from the mother scoby (you can use clean hands or two spoons). Discard the mother (I compost mine).
Make new kombucha starter.
- Place the baby scoby in your 16 oz. glass jar or any suitable container you are using to store your starter.Top with 2 cups of the fermented tea, cover with a plastic lid and set aside. I keep mine in my cupboard until ready to brew another batch.
Infuse the fermented tea with ginger.
- Grate your ginger using the medium sized grate. I used 1 oz for my recipe. Add the ginger back into the remaining kombucha tea. Cover with a kitchen cloth and let it infuse for 24 hours.
Bottle the infused kombucha tea.
- Strained the infused tea with the plastic strainer into a plastic or glass pitcher. Insert the tip of the plastic funnel into your fliptop or grolsch bottles and pour in your infused tea. Leave only 1-2 centimeters of remaining space at the top.
Allow the kombucha to ferment the 2nd time.
- Check your kombucha after 2-3 days. Once the carbonation has built up again it is done. Place the bottles in the fridge and enjoy your homemade kombucha!
Have you enjoyed learning how to make your own homemade kombucha? Let me know in the process and keep your eyes opened for a kombucha video I’m posting soon!
Access my original post on making fizzy kombucha (1st ferment) here if you missed it.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions of the process or any helpful feedback you have!