So, time has gotten the better of my ability to stay up to date here! But I'll try my best to recap on my kombucha brewing adventures at home the past few weeks. The highlights...
- I have had great success using this black iced tea blend from Rishi, and love that it is in a packet already! Easy to brew and great flavor overall, and produces a very tasty kombucha. I used this tea for my ninth batch, which is currently on the first fermenting as I type this! I used 1 packet of this tea, and just let it sit in the warm water after steeping in hot water for about 2 hours. Similarly, I used my newer growth SCOBY, Velma, to ferment the eighth batch for 8 days. I then went onto bottling and infusing for the second ferment (see below!)
- I experimented with a Rishi Darjeeling 2nd flush tea for my seventh batch, and LOVED the results. If you are into drinking un-flavored kombucha, I would highly recoomend this variety. The taste was so interesting: notes of raisin, caramel, and a natural sweetness. I used a heaping 3 TB of tea, steeped for 12 minutes, for the batch in a gallon brewing jar.
- Both SCOBYs are still going strong, although I do now notice a fizzier first ferment with the newer culture. I may have to retire Scooby, or just deal with the reduced fizz factor for another few batches, and separate the older growth in hopes for a more lively SCOBY.
- I had a great deal of fun flavoring my seventh brew! I will include my infusion recipes below, along with some notes. In contrast, I was in quite a rush when I was deciding on flavorings for my eighth brew, so just threw in some peach slices to the liter flip top bottles. And honestly, the peach + darjeeling kombucha tea combination was quite tasty! I would say I added about 4 good hunks of peach to each liter flip top bottle...I know, not precise, but hey, I was in a hurry!
- I am noticing that a longer first ferment, 7+ days, along with a 3 day infusion and another 2-3 day ferment after straining the infusion bits, all at room temperature, produces a lively, fizzy and pleasantly tart kombucha. However, this all depends on what type of tea and infusion things you add! Hibiscus, as wells fruits like pineapple, pear, melon and strawberry have been my fizziest contenders thus far. The key is to experiment, in my own opinion :)
- Random: my ninth brew was also a Darjeeling brew, using 2 heapted TB of the tea, and I only let this batch ferment for 6 days...this was for sure not long enough, so I ended up putting this batch into my SCOBY hotel where one of my SCOBYs is now resting (Scooby).
- Random #2: need to get more pH test strips (litmus papers). Or, invest in another pH measuring device! If you have any suggestions, let me know :) Ooook! I hope you go all of that. I promise to be more organized for my tenth brew, and resume a more easy-to-follow format for the post :)
The Seventh Brew Infusions, all for a 1 liter flip-top bottle, and all were allowed to infuse for a total of 3 days, after which they were strained using my Zimtal nutmilk bag in a funnel for easy transferring (see this post for a visual of this!):
- 1/4 tsp Rishi teahouse matcha
- 4 TB finely chopped canteloupe melon
- 1/4 tsp freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
Notes: be sure to SIFT the matcha! I did not, and it clumped. I did manage to de-clump by using a small spoon, pressing the clumps out in the bottle from the top, but this was a pain. The flavor of this was super interesting: green/grassy from the matcha, and musky/sweet from the melon.
- 1/4 cup freshly diced pineapple
- 2 TB pineapple juice, from chopping the pineapple
- 2 tsp hibiscus flowers
Notes: this flavor was super fizzy, and overally very balanced! Sweet, tart and the color was pretty amazing as well.
- 4 TB chopped strawberries, using frozen berries I picked last summer, slightly thawed at room temp
- 2 TB rhubarb compote, made using 2 cups organic rhubarb and 2 TB maple syrup, cooking until rhubarb was tender
Notes: I really loved the tartness of this flavor, and the fizz factor was good too. Was really tasty mixed wtih iced tea!
Pear + Lemon
- 4 TB organic chopped pear
- 2 tsp organic lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp organic lemon zest
Notes: a slightly sweet, floral and lemony flavor...with a good amount of fizz. Was great to drink over ice!
Vanilla-Coffee-Cacao (this was for a small 12oz liter flip top bottle, as an experiment!)
- 12 coffee beans (used Kickapoo Coffee Spring Blend)
- 5 cacao nibs
- 1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
Notes: do not repeat this flavor! Was not good....a very funky, musky, bad coffee flavor...but good try! :)