A few folks have asked for the recipe for a recent batch of elderberry kombucha. There isn’t much of a recipe – it is simply kombucha put through a secondary fermentation with fruit added. Here is the process:
I am currently brewing my kombucha using the
Once the kombucha has reached the desired level of tangyness, remove the SCOBY, and reserve a 1/2 cup or so of kombucha to jump-start your next batch.
From here, you have a few choices. The first option is starting a secondary ferment of your booch right in the jar, and starting your new batch of kombucha (with SCOBY) in a new vessel. This is how I have always done it previously – usually with lemon juice and a little brown sugar, or diced strawberries. Covered and left on the counter for a few days, it will turn into a fizzy, fruity version that my kids find quite superior to plain-old kombucha.
The downside of this is that the entire gallon is one flavor. This means you are taking quite a risk when experimenting with flavor combinations. That persimmon-molasses kombucha I thought would turn out so great? Yeah, well, that was a whole gallon none of my kids would drink. But there is another option.
A while back, I had
For some of the bottles, I picked a few blackberries from the yard, crushed them, and added a little orange juice. For some, I used my old stand-by scaled down to = 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp brown sugar. For the remainder of the bottles, I went with elderberry syrup:
For each 16 ounce jar, I added 2 Tbsp of elderberry syrup. Because the syrup already contains quite a bit of sugar, and the elderberries have a strong and distinctive flavor, I thought it might be best to start with 1/2 of Gutsy’s recommended amount of fruit juice. I was sure to leave a good 2-inches of head-space to prevent breakage, and left it on the counter, tightly sealed, for two days.
The resulting drink is a beautiful magenta color (see top photo), and has just the right amount of sweetness and berry flavor plus fizz. Of all the flavor combinations we tried, the kids loved the elderberry best (George could be heard shouting, “BOOOOCH!! More BOOOCH!!” Halfway across Sellwood Park). So, today when I bottled up another round of kombucha, every jar has an added immune-boosting dose of elderberry syrup.
A few notes of safety –
1)Raw elderberries contain some cyanide (which cooking removes), and the stems and seeds contain even more. Please follow my safety guidelines, which can be found here, and do not add raw elderberries to your kombucha.
2)Kombucha is a living food, and helps populate good intestinal flora. Begin consuming kombucha or any fermented or cultured food in small amounts (a Tbsp or so at a time). Ease it into your diet in order to avoid digestive upset, gas, etc.)