Flavored Kombucha: How to Make Your Favorites at Home

flavored-kombuchca

Today I’m bottling flavored kombucha for this weekend’s Hall Family Camp-Out in the gorge. Flavored kombucha is an easy (and crowd-pleasing) way to add variety to your basic kombucha recipe.  For my special Family Camp-Out ‘bucha I’m using a combination of two techniques. The first is bottle fermentation (or secondary fermentation) – which results in an especially fizzy brew. (I explain the details in Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha.) The second is adding flavors. There’s no need to combine the two techniques. Adding your favorite juice alone produces a flavorful, fizzy, and  refreshing brew.

Fresh, frozen, or dried fruits are delicious additions to kombucha tea. So is fruit juice. Among my favorites are frozen strawberries and raspberries, dried elderberries and incan berries, and juices of cranberry and blueberry. Flavored kombucha is also a great way to use-up the liquid from canned fruits like peaches, pears, or pineapple. Furthermore, if you enjoy the sweet hot of fresh ginger juice, it is an especially health promoting addition.

To make flavored kombucha use your you usual kombucha recipe Flavored Kombucha: How to Make Your Favorites at Homeor follow the 5-Step Kombucha Recipe, but only proceed to step 4. (In this step the tea is fully cultured and ready to drink.) Instead of proceeding to step 5 of the recipe (or bottling according to your recipe) proceed with these instructions for flavoring and bottling your kombucha.

mixed berry juice1 Flavored Kombucha: How to Make Your Favorites at Home

Flavored Kombucha Recipe:

Remove the mother and the baby kombucha mushroom from the brew. Use a funnel and pint-sized jars with tightly fitting lids (or pint-sized flip top bottles).

To make fruit flavored kombucha add to each jar: two tablespoons fruit juice, or 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen fruit (whole, sliced, or crushed); or one tablespoon unsulphured, unsweetened dried fruit. To make ginger-honey flavored kombucha use freshly grated organic ginger root. For each pint combine one tablespoon of the grated ginger with one tablespoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of water. Stir until combined. Strain the mixture into one pint-sized jar.

Fill the jars to the top with kombucha. Place a sheet of wax paper under each lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from contacting the lid.) Cap tightly. Store in the refrigerator.

To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha remove from the refrigerator about 15 minutes prior to serving. Flavored kombucha is especially prone to developing strands of culture in the bottle. Be sure to strain the tea just before serving.

grape strawberry Flavored Kombucha: How to Make Your Favorites at Home

 

This Flavored Kombucha post was shared on Real Food Wednesday, Fat Tuesday,  and at the Probiotic Food Challenge .

About Dori

I develop recipes, blog, teach, and consult about gluten-free recipes, fermentation techniques, and nutrient-dense foods. Visit NourishingFoodways.com. (Some posts contain affiliate links which help to pay for this site.)
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48 Responses to Flavored Kombucha: How to Make Your Favorites at Home

  1. Mom says:

    My favorite is Strawberry. Good post!

  2. So glad you posted this on Real Food Wednesday! I’ve played with adding fruit juice, and I’ve been trying to increase the carbonation. I didn’t realize that I needed to allow the chilled kombucha to sit for 15 minutes before drinking.

  3. Dori says:

    Hi Barb,
    Thanks for the comment. Check out the “Simple Secrets of Carbonated Kombucha” if you want to make tons of carbonation. There’s a link in this post.

  4. I encourage everyone to try making Kombucha. If you need a SCOBY I am happy to share!
    I’ve been experimenting with flavors. Just harvested my grapes, so guess what the next batch will contain!

    • Dori says:

      Yay! Grapes make awesome kombucha because they bring extra yeast to the party! & thanks for the offer to share SCOBY’s- it is appreciated!

  5. roberta says:

    sorry I forgot to add one more thing. If you don’t have purified water handy you can boil tap water for five minutes and let it cool.

    • Dori says:

      Hi Roberta,
      The answer to this question is quite varied. Basically, it depends on what exact chemicals are in your water. Where I live (Portland, Oregon) the water is treated with a chemical called chloramine (instead of chlorine). Chloramine does not evaporate from water and must be filtered out. Chlorine does evaporate from water, but I don’t recommend boiling water to force this. The reason is that while the chlorine is evaporating any other contaminants that do not evaporate (ie. flouride, heavy metals) are becoming more concentrated. When I lived in Anchorage people would allow chlorinated water to sit out and “off gas” for a few days, which decreased the chlorine taste immensely. I encourage you to find out what exactly is in your water, and then go from there. Not only for your kombucha, but for your drinking, cooking, and bathing. I hope this helps!
      Best wishes-

  6. rasalilayoga99 says:

    Thanks for your info!

    If I add fresh fruit to my bottled Kombucha, how long can I leave it before the fruit goes bad?

    Thanks for your help!

    Rasa

    • Dori says:

      Hi Rasa,
      If you add fresh fruit to bottled kombucha, then cap tightly, you can leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days. Otherwise refrigerate it up to one month. Kombucha doesn’t go bad, it just becomes vinegary tasting. The taste will be stable for 2-3 days at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) or about one month in the refrigerator.
      I hope this helps!
      Best,
      Dori

  7. Carol Adler says:

    Hello, I’ve just started making Kombucha and love it! My favorite flavor is plum, using 2 T of organic plum juice. Reminds me a little of the cherry plum tree we had when I was a kid. My question is, how do you store the extra scobies? I’d like to collect a few to pass on to friends. I’ve looked at a lot of recipes, but can’t seem to find this information.
    Thanks,
    Carol

    • Dori says:

      Hi Carole,
      To store the extra scoby’s keep in a tightly covered jar or container. Make sure that they are covered in kombucha or sweetened tea. The extra scoby’s are active after stored for a couple of months. Thank for the question, I will update my recipe to include this info!
      Best-
      Dori

      • Heather says:

        Hi! I just started brewing my own kombucha this year and I absolutely love it! I was so excited to find your post on fruit flavoured kombucha as I’d been wondering how make it.
        I have two questions for you :)
        1) After the fruit is added, do you recommend putting it in the fridge right away, or leaving it on the counter for a couple days?
        2) You’ve said the baby scoby’s are only active after a couple months?! Can you explain this? I’ve been giving away baby scoby’s and didn’t realize this…
        Thanks for all the great info on your blog!

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  9. Lisa says:

    In regards to the water used, I find using distilled water to be the best choice for me. No thinking or wondering if there is any unwanted contaminants. Cheers!

  10. Kelly says:

    My favorite is frozen blueberries with the organic candied ginger cubes. simple to make and LOVE the flavor combo!

  11. Sharon says:

    Hey Dori,

    Can I put frozen fruits in my pint jars to flavor the kombucha or should I thaw them first so the frozeness of the fruit doesn’t kill the kombucha culture?

  12. Linda says:

    Hi Dori,
    How long can I keep reusing the scobies? Also, is there any harm if I don’t do a second fermentation process and let the kombucha sit at room temp longer? I just keep it fermenting in the jar until I’m ready for a new batch.

  13. Dori says:

    Hi Linda,
    You could re-use the same scoby forever, theoretically. I find that older mothers get thicker over time, and I like to keep a new, fresh, thin one occasionally. Really, I just keep one on-hand. I use to worry and keep backups, but now I trust it!
    You can keep the kombucha brewing after it tastes “done”, but it gets increasingly sour, tasting like vinegar eventually (quicker in warm houses). That is why I recommend storing finished kombucha in the refrigerator. At my house it rarely makes it into the frig, we drink it up within a few days of it being finished!
    Best,
    Dori

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  17. Kombucha tea is great because it contains beneficial probiotics. I’ve been experimenting with different flavors too. Thank you for sharing recipe. I always want to try something different.

  18. jenica says:

    Hi Dori,
    I have a new question for you. I have been gone for a few weeks & when I looked at my scobys today they are like an inch thick!! do you have a recommendation for what to do with them? Should I just leave it alone & see if I can separate a baby from the next batch or could I tear it in half? They just look so weird! Thanks for any advice, so appreciate it :)

    • Dori says:

      Hi Jenica,
      Thick scobys are just fine! Rip and tear to try to separate one layer and you’ll be in business!
      Great to hear from you!
      Best,
      Doir

  19. Tuesday says:

    Thx for the great blog !!!I am a newbie and feeling great already……
    wanted to make fruit ones and now know how thx to you.
    I want to ger prickly pear cactus fruits tomorrow and juice them
    and make Kombucha- wow it will be so good !!!!thx again ,peace.!!T.

  20. stace rashkin says:

    i was also wowndering about the baby scobys being active. someone is going to pass along a new one to me when their latest batch is done so i can begin brewing my own at home will i have to now wait a few months or can i use right away to begin brewing my kombucha?

  21. Diana says:

    Hi Dori, thanks for the great info about kombucha. I have a friend in another state who would like a baby from my scoby. Do you know how to successfully mail a scoby? Would the summer heat cause a big problem?

    • Dori says:

      Hi Diana,
      My friend had dehydrated them (in a food dehydrator!). That might be a good option, but I might just double, tripple bag in ziplocks. I don’t think the heat will bother it….
      Good luck!
      Dori

  22. Joan says:

    Is it possible to double to make two gallons?

  23. Max Morgan says:

    Hi Dori – love the site! Here’s my question: How much kombucha do you drink on a weekly basis? I recently attended a kombucha brewing workshop where the instructor said kombucha should be considered a “medicine” and to limit consumption to just 1/2 cup, 2 -3 times a week. What are your thoughts?

    Max

    • Dori says:

      Hi Max,
      Thank you!
      I drink about 12 oz of kombucha most days – probably 5 out of 7. For me, it’s more like a “supplement” than a “medicine” – it’s nourishing and detoxifying. However, I’m not a health professional and suggest that you consult with a knowledgable naturopath about your unique health situation.
      Kombucha is highly detoxifying to the liver. By freeing up toxins previously stored – without giving your body tools to properly rid itself of them – you could easily get into trouble. I believe your instructor was on the side of caution. It can be dangerous to start a detox protocol without proper precautions. Pregnant and nursing women should not drink kombucha because of these possible effects. We live in a toxic world and even people in the most remote regions of the world have industrial toxins in their tissues. The Standard American Diet is crammed with them!
      I always advise folks that kombucha is not a substitute for water, in fact you should drink (at minimum) an equivalent amount of water immediately following kombucha consumption. The two act synergistically! Hydrating and detoxing!
      I truly appreciate the question –
      Best,
      Dori

  24. Judy says:

    I just finished my second batch of Kombucha and I am thrilled with the results. I had to throw away my first batch, it went too long and turned to vinegar. This batch is amazing it took only 6 days with a healthy scoby. I flavored the bottles with ginger and Pom cherry pomegranate juice and it tastes amazing. I am letting them sit for another day or so out of the fridge just to get some bubbles but I am afraid that it may turn to vinegar again. Do you think the second fermentation changes the kombucha flavor at all? I love how it is right now so I wouldn’t want that to change. Bubbles would be nice though..
    I have another question, what if I don’t want to make the next batch right away, can I just leave the scoby in it’s original liquid at room temp or put it in the fridge???
    Thanks, I love the information on your website!

    • Dori says:

      Hi Judy,
      Thanks for the questions.
      The secondary fermentation makes the flavor more mild. I’m not sure why… maybe it’s because the yeasts proliferate and I love the taste of yeast!
      The SCOBY will be ok for a few weeks at room temperature, just make sure that there’s some kombucha liquid keeping it moist at all times. For longer storage plave the SCOBY in a nonreactive container and cover with sweet tea. The fermentation is slowed but not stopped in the frig. The sweet tea will ensure the mother has enough sugar to eat for about 2-3 months. Check the SCOBY periodically to ensure that it is still moist with liquid.
      Thanks letting me know how you feel about the site! I really appreciate it!
      Best wishes,
      Dori

  25. sara says:

    Hi Dori, I used fruit as you recommended above in your recipe and it tasted fantastic. However I was wondering if its ok to use fruit pulp instead of juice or regular fruit? will that be ok?

    Thanks

    • Dori says:

      Hi Sara,
      I’ve never done that before – I think it’s a good idea! It seems like it would work if there was still some juiciness left in the pulp. Let me know how it turns out!
      Best wishes,
      Dori

  26. Joann says:

    I just started making (a small batch) of kombucha. Love it!! Just a few questions. Are mason jars safe for storing the brew using the plastic caps? what if I need to use the metal ones if i’m out of plastic caps? Also, when storing the scoby in the fridge in sweetened tea, is that tea fermented and okay to drink? or should it be tossed and a new batch made?

    • Dori says:

      Hi Joann,
      I recommend placing a sheet of waxed paper under any lid you use.
      I probably wouldn’t drink the storage tea – it won’t taste great.
      Thanks for the questions!
      Best,
      Dori

  27. Donna says:

    Fairly new to kombucha brewing on our 4th batch. decided to try to flavor. I think I added my flavorings too soon. Did I need to do the 2nd plain/covered brew before I added fruit? I did a weeks brew as the temps here have been cooler/but I added the fruit and covered tightly. Should I let it set out at room temp or refrigerate immediately. Thanks for your help.

  28. Gerry says:

    do people eat extra Scobys? Bake em? Dehydrate?

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