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How to ferment fizzy kombucha?
Among fermented beverages, fizzy kombucha is one of the most refreshing ones and just perfect for hot summer days! How to achieve that perfect carbonation in your homemade kombucha? Every batch of kombucha may be different, but there are some steps you can take to make sure some carbonation is guaranteed.
CO2 bubbles in fizzy kombucha
The amount of carbon dioxide affects whether the drink you drink will be bubbly or not. CO2 forms during the fermentation process when yeast converts sugar into carbon dioxide. So the amount of yeast affects whether the drink will eventually have bubbles or not.
Kombucha culture is a symbiosis of yeasts and bacteria. You can see the yeast in your kombucha: its threads are floating in the liquid, and the darker dusty sediment that usually accumulates at the bottom of the glass is also yeast. Therefore, it is important that before pouring the kombucha, you stir it well and thus ensure a sufficient amount of yeast in the kombucha, with which you will make a second fermentation.
At what point of fermentation bubbles form?
Already during the primary fermentation, CO2 is formed in the kombucha, but it is important to focus on the secondary fermentation to increase the bubbles. In primary fermentation, air flow is important for a successful fermenting, while second fermentation is done in airtight bottles. This also retains CO2 in the liquid.
It is recommended to do the second fermentation in bottles with lids at room temperature, for about 24-48 hours, then store the bottles in the refrigerator. When you pour freshly fermented kombucha into second fermentation bottles, you also add sugar. This way, the yeasts in the liquid will be able to do their job and form bubbles, which is why you actually love this drink so much.
What kind of sugar to use in second fermentation?
It doesn’t matter so much which sugar you use, as this is consumed in the second fermentation of the beverage. Just be careful with the quantities. If you use freshly squeezed juice, then its amount should not exceed 10% of the total amount of kombucha to avoid excessive fermentation or too sweet a drink. You can also add fruit, for example strawberries are great for kombucha.
It is difficult to pinpoint the amount of this added sugar. It is advisable to experiment and thus find the perfect combination for you. Usually a tablespoon of sugar, a few pieces of fruit or 50ml of juice for 500ml of kombucha will suffice. However, the course of the secondary fermentation is also influenced by the ambient temperature and the fermentation time, as well as what kind of kombucha you fermented – whether it is more acidic or sweeter.
Capped bottles to retain bubbles in fizzy kombucha!
Airtight bottles are very important for the successful second fermentation of kombucha, especially if you want more CO2 in your drink. Bottles with a swing top are a good choice. Also make sure that the bottles are of sufficient quality. The pressure increases during fermentation and the bottles may crack. Avoid this by occasionally releasing the pressure in the bottles when storing kombucha for extended periods.
Let this post help you find the best combination for your fizzy kombucha. Of course, don’t forget to chill the kombucha before serving!