05. Kombucha – the Next Step

After quite a few weeks, I finally decided it was time to test out my first ever ‘successful’ kombucha batch. I am glad I didn’t wait much longer as I think it was probably just at the point of going a bit towards vinegar – though, I personally still found it a bit sweet. I think it will be a bit more trial and probably a bit more error before I get a final product I am really happy with, but so far I think this first batch is just fine.

As to the how’s: well I did research this time and also asked questions. I know last time I introduced bacteria due to my constant fiddling and testing, therefore this time I left my kombucha alone in a dark place undisturbed except to see how my scoby was growing.

I also learned that if/when I DID need to touch my scoby, such as when it came time to bottle the brew, I must wash my hands and rinse with vinegar before handling. Hopefully, this time I have not repeated past mistakes and my new batch will thrive.

The first step was to begin the same process as before to make another batch of sweetened black tea to start my next batch – click here for my previous kombucha post. I also made sure to thoroughly clean and sterilize some glass bottles. I ended up using some old flip-top maple syrup jars I had and also a flip-top bottle from an Italian soda the kids had last Christmas for their special dinner drink.

Now, when you read online there are a lot of people who have NOT recommended re-using bottles from the grocery store, and I have heard about explosions from the second fermentation, but I simply had to use what we have on hand and hope everything turns out well.

My second step was to remove the scoby from the top of the brew and leave in a small bowl with 2 cups of the liquid to add into the new sweetened tea for my next batch to start. Now I simply started the process of transferring the brew into the bottles. I used funnels with a coffee filter inside to strain the liquid. My understanding is this is the stage where you would add any flavorings if you wanted to such as ginger or lemon. As this is my first successful attempt, I decided to keep things simple and use the plain brew.

Now my bottles are in the second fermentation stage. I think this stage is simply to add some extra natural carbonation, or to enhance any flavors, if I added some. I am quite nervous about this stage because this is when bottles can burst due to the pressure of carbonation build up. I have read about ‘burping’ the bottles, letting a small amount of gas out, daily if needed, but I think I will just keep a close eye on them and hopefully they will be fine.

After 48 hours I will put the bottles into the fridge to stop the second fermentation process and then hopefully we can start enjoying it! Thankfully the kids seem to love it and so does Steve. I hope the second batch works out well. This time I did not use a honey and sugar mixture to make the sweetened tea as I didn’t have much raw honey left. I am interested to taste the difference! Plus, I would love to try adding some flavor as well. One step at at time though! I just want to get into the routine of it, so we always have a new batch on the go before we run out of the one in bottles.

Next week I will let you all know how it turns out! Fingers crossed we don’t have any explosions!


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