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pickled apples with bourbon recipe
Fermented Drink Recipes Pickling Recipe

Pickled Spiced Apples in Whiskey

Spiced Whiskey Pickled Apples

Picking apples is an easy way to make use of a bounty of apples from a fall harvest or just a bunch of apples taking up space in your refrigerator. If you have bags of apples leftover from apple picking and you have made all the apple desserts your family can handle, then it might be time to give pickled apples a try.

This Spicy Pickled Apple recipe infused with your favorite liquor is a quick pickling recipe. Quick pickling is different than regular pickling because there is no canning involved, and the vegetables must be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within approximately two months of making them.

Pick your favorite whiskey, bourbon, or vodka to add to this spicey pickled apple recipe.

Spiced Whiskey (Bourbon or Vodka) Pickled Apples Ingredients:

  • 2 apples diced or sliced in small pieces, Pink Lady, Braeburn and Gala apples are great choices for quick pickling.
  • One tablespoon nutmeg
  • One tablespoon peppercorn medley
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • One teaspoon of pickling salt
  • Two-three teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whiskey, bourbon, or vodka, or even omit the alcohol, and simply increase the water!

Directions:

  • Put the spices, sugar, and the apples in a mason jar. Be sure to leave about one inch of space at the top.
  • Add the lemon juice
  • In a saucepan, combine all other ingredients. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Pour the liquid over the apples. Allow cooling to room temperature.
  • Shake it up to combine all ingredients, cover, and refrigerate.
  • This quick pickled apple recipe can be served within an hour of cooling, but the flavor improves over the next 2 weeks. Believe me, it is well worth the wait.
  • You can eat it, use as a condiment on a dish, or strain it into a glass and drink it.
slice or dice apples for spiced pickled apple recipe infused with bourbon
Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Gala apples are great choices for quick pickling
bottled_homemade_honeymead
Fermented Drink Recipes

Honey Mead Recipe

How to Make Mead: One Gallon Mead Recipe

Do you love mead? Have you ever thought about making your own batch of mead? It’s actually a straightforward process that anybody can do at home. Mead, a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey, is one of the oldest known alcoholic beverages.

People have been making and enjoying mead for thousands of years, and the simple processes used have hardly changed. I’ll walk you through how to make a simple one-gallon recipe of honey mead at home.

There are a few different ways that you can make mead. It is often enhanced by adding fruits or different varieties of spices or herbs to the fermentation process. Technically speaking, mead with fruit added to it is actually called a melomel. This was once used as a method of preserving summer fruits for winter consumption. Mead that is made with spices or herbs is actually called a metheglin.

how to make homemade honey mead drink

Whether you want to jazz it up with fruits, spices, or herbs, or if you want to just make a simple honey mead, the process is the same and will yield great tasting results. We’re going to go through a simple one-gallon recipe for making a basic honey mead. If you choose to get creative with it, just make sure to thoroughly wash anything that is going to be added. Proper sanitization is a crucial step in fermentation.

One-Gallon Honey Mead Recipe

Equipment you’ll need to make Honey Mead:

  • One-gallon glass jug
  • Large stainless-steel pot
  • Large stainless-steel spoon
  • Funnel
  • Sanitizer- recommend Star San
  • Airlock and rubber stopper
  • Thermometer

Ingredients for making 1-Gallon of Honey Mead:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. raw unprocessed honey (dry to semi-sweet) Buy here
  • 12 cups of water (Do not use chlorinated water! If you are on city water, use spring water at your local store. If you are on a well, your water should be fine unless you have a water softening system)
  • Optional flavoring ideas:
  • berries or fruit of any kind fresh or frozen, and raisins

First, you’ll need to sanitize all of your equipment. I cannot overstate the importance of this step! Failing to properly sanitize can render all of your efforts useless. The presence of bacteria or other microorganisms can ruin your mead before you really even get it started.

There are various varieties of sanitizers that can be used. Anything that thoroughly kills bacteria will do the trick (do not use bleach), but in my home-brewing, I’ve always used Star-San. It’s a simple but effective liquid sanitizing solution that can be purchased at any brewing supply store or on Amazon.

Make sure that your entire working area is clean before you begin. Often, I will use a 5-gallon bucket to sanitize all of my equipment. This allows me to easily sanitize pieces of equipment between uses as well.

The process:

Once the jug, airlock, spoon, pot, airlock, funnel, and thermometer are sanitized, you’re ready to get started.

You’ll want to put about a half-gallon of water in the pot. Non-chlorinated tap water is best, if possible. Filtering the water to remove impurities can be great, but do not use distilled water.

Add 2-3 lbs of honey and heat so that it is warm enough to stir in and dissolve, but do not bring to a boil. Stir in with a long-handled stainless-steel spoon.

Bottling Homemade Mead

While the water is warming is a good time to add to the jug any fruit, berries, or herbs that you would like to use to add flavor.

Once the honey and water have been heated into a slightly frothy mixture (the must), you can carefully pour it into the jug by using the funnel.

Then add cold water to fill the jug just above the base of the neck (leaving about 2 inches of space at the top). Put the lid on the jug and give it a little swirl to mix everything well.

“Pitching” the yeast:

Yeast doesn’t do well with temperatures over 90° Fahrenheit. The water should be cooled to lukewarm before adding the yeast. Once the water is below 90°, you can add the yeast, put the lid back on the jug and give it another good shake. This time, shake it up vigorously for a few minutes to make sure it is fully mixed.

Now, put some water in the airlock to the line, pop the rubber stopper in the top of the jug and affix the airlock. Put the jug in a cool, dark place to ferment.

You should see some activity happening in the airlock within a few hours, maybe just a few bubbles at first. After a while, you’ll see the airlock come to life and bob up and down in intervals of a few seconds.

The first fermentation of mead will take 4-6 weeks.

You will want to check on it daily throughout to make sure that there aren’t any leaks. Once the airlock stops moving, the mead will be ready to drink or to bottle.

Secondary Ferment of the Mead:

After a month has gone by, you can begin the process of “racking” or siphoning the mixture into a second container leaving the sediment at the bottom of the first container.

Cover again with an airlock, and let the mead sit for at least another month or even longer. This time, you can siphon the mead into bottles and cork them.

Making mead is a simple and fun process. It requires a little bit of patience, but the end result can be something really great. You can enjoy it fresh, but many people say that it gets better with age. People have been making mead using this simple process for thousands of years. Get started making your own batch today!

Before you start making your first batch of homemade mead it is important to make sure that you have all of the right equipment handy. Here is my recommendation for a great homebrew 1-gallon winemaking kit that has everything you need to help you get started on your homebrewing adventure.

Brewing good mead can be a highly satisfying experience. Just don’t expect to win any awards with your first batch or even your second one. Like anything else that’s worth doing, it’s going to take time to master the process of making mead, wine, or beer at home. But with patience, the right ingredients, the right equipment, and some practice you will.

fermented_drinks_cultured_beverages
Fermented Drink Recipes

Fermented Drinks

The Ultimate List of Fermented Drinks From Around The World

Kombucha and kefir might be the most popular fermented drinks of today, but they aren’t the only fermented drinks out there. Let’s take a look at some other exciting fermented beverages from around the globe. These drinks use ingredients that are way beyond just grapes and have a fascinating cultural history.

You may know that fermented drinks and food are an easy way to incorporate healthy probiotics into your diet. But there are also many easy to make, alcohol-free fermented drinks that you can turn to for a healthier gut.

There are countless variations of fermented drinks that exist with limitless options for brewing techniques and flavorings. In this article, I’ll break everything down and into an easy to understand guide, ideal for both those new to fermenting and expert brewers alike.

Gut-Healthy Probiotic Drinks

The process of fermentation made it possible for people to preserve food and drinks for long periods of time without spoilage.

The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast that was (and is still) used to ferment vegetables and other foods not only protect them from spoilage; it also added gut-healthy probiotics to their diet. And the enzymes that formed during the process boosted their nutritional intake.

Let’s face it; our lives are busy. There’s not a lot of time to preserve and culture vegetables and make fermented drinks such as Mead and Buttermilk from scratch. And during this time of the Coronavirus, most people are busy trying to prevent bacteria from getting on them and in them.

But did you know that our bodies are filled with “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria,” and maintaining a healthy balance between the two is an integral part of building a strong immune system?

A quick and easy way to help balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut is to start incorporating fermented drinks and foods into your diet.

Furthermore, many fermented foods contain enzymes, which help the body to more effectively extract nutrition from the food source. Whether ancient people knew it or not, they benefited in many ways from fermented foods.

So, to that end, let’s take a look at a few exciting drinks from around the world. Many of these are ancient beverages, and their popularity throughout the ages demonstrates the power of fermentation.

Fermentation is a great food preservation technique. But it’s also perfect for making tons of deliciously refreshing gut-healthy beverages! If you’re looking to:

  • Improve your overall immune system
  • Gut health
  • And mental health

These fermented drinks are perfect for adding some delicious variety to your day!

Fermented Honey Drinks

Yes! You can ferment antioxidant-rich honey.

Mead

One of the most notable varieties of fermented honey drinks is mead, which is also known as honey-wine. This ale-tasting beverage traces back through Norse mythology. And it has made its presence known throughout Ancient Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Mead is a fermented drink made from honey.

You can prepare this popular drink from the past with honey, water, and ale yeast. Experiment with fruits and spices to really make the flavor your own. It has its own distinct category, somewhere between beer and wine and you sip it like a beer, wine, or cider. Try this easy one-gallon honey mead recipe.

Fermented Milk Drinks

There are many different types of fermented milk drinks. Here are some of the super easy options for gut-healthy refreshment:

Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir

Russian shepherds invented milk kefir (also known as just “kefir”), which is a refreshing and tangy beverage. Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The “grains” in Kefir grains, merely describes the look of the culture; it does not contain any real “grains” such as wheat, rye, etc.

The kefir grains are mixed with dairy milk, either cow, goat, sheep or even coconut milk to make a refreshing probiotic-rich drink. Milk kefir is an amazing base of endless possibilities of Kefir smoothies. Try a few:

Water Kefir

Similarly, water kefir is prepared with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY). This is an excellent alternative to milk kefir if you’re dairy-free but still want probiotic benefits. Water kefir is fizzy and tastes like a mild lemonade drink.

Ayran

Ayran (paywall), is drinkable fermented yogurt and an old mainstay of the Middle East and India, where its traditional taste is savory and salty. Much different from American yogurt, which is usually full of sugar.

Ayran is a fermented drink that originated in the Middle East and India.

Doogh

The people of Iran have a similar salty yogurt drink called the Doogh that is thinner and is often left out for days to enhance its sour taste. It was popular in ancient Persia. (And its name derives from the Persian word “dooshidan,” which means “milking.”)

To achieve this refreshing summertime drink, mix yogurt with ice water and salt. You can garnish it with some sprigs of mint to add additional flavor.

Buttermilk

Traditionally, buttermilk was the leftover liquid in a butter churner (after the butter had been made). While traditional buttermilk is still a popular beverage in Nepal, it’s not easy to come across in most of the world.

Buttermilk

However, cultured buttermilk has been widely available in US grocery stores since the 1920s. Cultured buttermilk differs from traditional buttermilk because it’s been pasteurized. And then cultures get reintroduced to the buttermilk after pasteurization for a healthy drink containing several vitamins and minerals!

Fermented Alcohol Drinks

There are several types of fermented alcoholic drinks around the world. Here are some that are easy to make at home:

Beer

One of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world, beer traces all the way back to Mesopotamia! The essential ingredients of beer are water, barely (or hops), and brewing yeast. Many studies state that beer is actually good for heart health!

beer is a fermented drink

Sake

If you’ve ever been to a Japanese restaurant, you’re probably already familiar with this famous rice wine. Koji microbes ferment this water and rice starch mixture. And it can yield an alcohol content of up to 20%.

Wine

Wine

Wine dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome! People love wine for its intoxicating effects and high-end flavor. The necessary ingredients for wine are select grapes, sugar, filtered water, and wine yeast.

Chhaang

Chhaang is a drink that is widely prevalent across Tibet and Nepal. Mythologically it’s famous for healing properties and warding off the cold. You can make your own by pouring boiling water over barely or finger millet. Once boiled, adding yeast to the mixture allows it to ferment. The process of fermenting Chhaang does produce a small amount of alcohol which provides a warm and cozy feeling to ward off the cold during the winter months.

Chhaang

Non-Alcoholic “Beers” (Ginger Beer, Ginger Ale & Root Beer)

Ginger Beer

If you are looking for an alcohol-free fermented drink with a bit of a kick, you might try Ginger beer.

Ginger Beer originated in mid-18th-century Great Britain. The English made it from fermenting sugar and ginger root, and lemon. Ginger beer is a lot stronger than the newer and more accessible alternative, dry ginger ale.

Ginger beer is known for its robust and spicy flavors. The recipe starts with making a ginger bug first, which is a culture made from sugar and ginger. Then with a few simple steps, you can make Ginger beer.

Ginger beer’s character makes it a great drink on its own or mixed in a cocktail—like a Moscow Mule or Ginger Fizz.

Ginger Ale

Ginger Ale is not the same thing as ginger beer. While ginger beer is made to drink immediately, ginger ale (also known as ginger wine) is ginger root, sugar, and water fermented for one week or more.

Try this easy Natural Ginger AIe recipe by Wellnessmama.

Root Beer

Root beer is a classic North American fermented soda that is non-alcoholic (but can be, if you make it that way). Typically it’s made from fermented sarsaparilla or sassafras bark and molasses. It is famous for is sweet, frothy, cold, refreshing on a hot summer day bliss. Are you ready to make your own homemade Root beer?

Fermented Rice Drinks

Fermented rice drinks are common across Eastern Asia. They tend to have a well-loved comforting and nutty flavor. Here are a couple of tasty options for fermented rice drinks:

Darassun

Darassun is a millet and rice drink from Mongolia. This recipe starts with rice cakes, which you’d then break up and ferment alongside hot water, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), and yeast.

There are many different ways to adjust these flavors to your personal tastes. So you can add sweet things such as fruits or syrups or even savory ingredients such as herbs.

Fermented Fruit Drinks

Fermented fruit drinks are super refreshing and delicious for the summertime. Here are some great options that you can enjoy:

Fermented Lemonade

Sweet lemonade is a popular American beverage for the summertime. And while it gives you an excellent boost of vitamin C, you can make it even better for you by adding gut-healthy cultures into it.

You can easily create your very own fermented lemonade by mixing probiotic-rich whey with lemonade and letting it sit for a few days. This is a process called Lacto-fermenting. For the best results, use fresh lemons.

Tepache

Tepache is a Mexican fruity drink for the summertime. It’s slightly sweet and super delicious. If you’re throwing any pool parties this summer, tepache is a tasty and healthy drink to keep your guests cool.

You can make your own with pineapples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves- although this mixture alone isn’t alcoholic. If you want to add some alcohol by fermenting it, mix in some ale with yeast cultures.

Here is a Tepache recipe made with the pineapple scraps.

Apple Cider

Apple Cider

Cider is a mysterious and ancient beverage whose exact origins are unknown- although it seems, in general, to be prevalent around Europe.

Today, it is a delicious fall beverage made from fermented apple juice that’s prevalent around October and November, in particular. You can enjoy this drink directly, but you could also use it to add an alcoholic kick in various sauces and dessert items!

Fermented apple cider only takes 2-4 days to fully ferment. Here is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever tried for fermented Apple Cider.

Fermented Tea Drinks

Kombucha

recipe for one gallon of kombucha tea
Kombucha Tea

Out of all the fermented tea drinks out there, kombucha certainly has had its time in the spotlight. This slightly alcoholic, carbonated, and gut-healthy beverage most-likely originates from China.

There are many brands of kombucha to chose from in the grocery store, or you can make your own at home by adding a baby SCOBY into your favorite tea. (You can acquire one of these from a kombucha starter kit.) Drinking it has numerous digestive and mental health benefits. Try our simple kombucha 1-gallon recipe.

Commercial kombucha teas contain less than 0.5% alcohol, while homebrewed kombucha teas can have significantly higher amounts. You can read more about the alcohol content of kombucha here.

Jun Tea

Jun tea is a fermented drink made from green tea sweetened with raw honey and a SCOBY, similar to kombucha. While kombucha is made with sugar and black tea, Jun is made with green tea and raw honey.

Fermented Vegetable Juice

fermented_vegetable_drinks

Drinking fermented vegetable juice is a great way to replenish electrolytes in your body. So keep it close for after a workout. These beverages have a plethora of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and probiotics. So they’re perfect for you. And they help with nutrient absorption.

Here is an excellent option of fermented vegetable juice to make:

Beet Kvass

beet kvass is a fermented drink
Beet Kvass

Beet Kvass is a fermented, grain-based beverage from Russia that is good to drink at all times of the day. Beet kvass is a great way to keep your immune system in fantastic shape. It helps prevent infectious diseases while replenishing much-needed minerals. All you need to make beet kvass are beets, sea salt, and water.

Ready to get started making your own fermented drinks?

For a fermentation beginner, I suggest trying a few simple drinks that don’t require you to buy a lot of new equipment. Here are three staples for the Fermenters Kitchen recipe box, kefir milk, beet kvass, and kombucha.

kefir-smoothie-recipe-with-bananas
Fermented Drink Recipes

Kefir Smoothie Recipe

Banana Kefir Smoothie Recipe

You really do get the best of both worlds when it comes to a banana kefir smoothie. Not only is it a deliciously creamy drink, but it’s also an excellent source of probiotics.

And the health benefits don’t stop there.

  • It keeps your digestion moving.
  • Helps support your immune system.
  • Gives your bones a boost of calcium.

In this recipe, the banana offers an excellent source of vitamin B6 and also contains Vitamin C, Potassium, and Manganese, all of which are important for good health. But most of all, bananas taste great and make delicious smoothies!

The banana kefir  smoothie is full of so many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein, and fats that it can be used as a meal substitute or smaller quantities can make a great between-meals snack.

Furthermore, because of the fermentation process, kefir is almost entirely lactose-free, making it possible for most people who are lactose-intolerant to enjoy it as well.

The health benefits of kefir are vast, and while you could drink it solo, why not kick it up a notch by adding some fresh fruit and make it a tangy taste and healthy smoothie.

Here are a few suggestions on what you can add to your next kefir smoothie.

  • Fresh or frozen strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Avocado
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Peanut butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Ginger
  • Spinach or other leafy greens
  • Dates
  • Figs 

Make it an Orange Julius kefir smoothie by adding one small orange to the mix. This will really impress your kids.

kefir smoothie recipe
Add in strawberries, oranges, kale, and/or spinach to your next kefir smoothie recipe.

 

This superfood smoothie is rich, creamy, and a real treat that’s worth waking up to.

 

Related Topics

If you would like to learn more about the health benefits of kefir and how to make it from scratch check out my post on how to make kefir.

How to make Kefir
Fermented Drink Recipes Kefir

How to Make Kefir

How to Make Kefir

Kefir is a cultured milk drink that after fermentation acquires a wonderful sour, and sometimes effervescent, taste. This tanginess brings a whole new flavor to smoothies, lassis, and other drinks just as you would use yogurt or regular milk.

What are the health benefits of drinking Kefir?

 

Milk kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented products. The probiotics aid in healthy digestion. The fermenting process also changes some of the protein structures in the milk, making it easier to digest. Some people who can’t tolerate milk feel better drinking milk kefir.

 


Ingredients for making Kefir:

 

One tablespoon of Kefir Grains

2 cups of whole fresh Milk (raw milk is the best option, however, unhomogenized is also acceptable. Never use skimmed or low fat)

Milk kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented products
Milk Kefir is full of probiotics, similar to yogurt and other cultured and fermented foods.

 

Directions for making Kefir:

 

Place both the milk and kefir grains into a wide-mouth, quart-size jar. Toss the mixture by gently shaking the jar to ensure that the grains are completely coated in milk.

Loosely place the lid on the jar and cover with a fine cloth.

Store in a cupboard for between 24 hours (at least) and two days (for an excellent sour, tangy flavor!) – the longer you leave the milk to ferment the more lactose is consumed by the grains, and the more enzymes are created.

This is the fermentation stage. During this time, the healthy bacteria and yeast in the kefir grains will ferment the milk, preventing it from spoiling while transforming it into kefir.

During this stage, it is important to gently shake the jar every now and again to ensure a proper and even fermentation.

Don’t be alarmed when your milk separates into a thick white yogurt (on the way to becoming curd) and a yellowish clear liquid (whey). This is a sign that the process is successful.

Strain out the kefir grains from the liquid: Place a small strainer over the container you’ll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir liquid into the container and catching the grains in the strainer.

The whey liquid it the finished product that you will drink or add to your favorite kefir smoothie recipe.

Once you are satisfied with the consistency of the kefir (thickness and fermentation) you can either drink it immediately in its natural state or turn it into your favorite smoothie! Check out my kefir smoothie recipe with bananas.

The good news is that as long as they stay healthy, you can reuse kefir grains indefinitely to make more kefir. The best way to keep them healthy is to keep making kefir! You can make a new batch of kefir roughly every 24 hours (the temperature of your kitchen can affect the exact time) just by putting the kefir grains in a fresh cup of milk.

Over time, the grains will multiply and you can either discard the extra or share it with friends & family. You can also take a break from making kefir by putting the grains in a new cup of milk and storing it in the fridge.

 

Want to know more about the health benefits and differences between kefir and buttermilk? Read my post Kefir vs. Buttermilk.

kombucha-recipe-one-gallon-fermenters-kitchen
Fermented Drink Recipes Fermented Foodie

Kombucha Recipe 1 Gallon

How To Make Kombucha For A One-Gallon Jar

Anybody can learn how to make kombucha at home. Follow this easy step-by-step kombucha tea recipe designed for anyone who wants to brew up to a gallon in their first batch.

The gist of it is: make sweet tea, add the kombucha culture, wait.

Homemade kombucha is the best kombucha!

How to make a one-gallon jar of Kombucha Tea

Brewing Homemade Kombucha Supply List:


To make kombucha tea you will need a few specific supplies:

-Black Tea
-SCOBY
-Large one-gallon size glass jar or ceramic container
-Cheesecloth
-Flip-top fermentation bottles
-Kombucha starter kit
(optional)

Black Tea:

Black tea is by far the best option when it comes to brewing your own kombucha. Not only is it sure to provide a delicious base flavor for your kombucha tea, but it ferments easily and will keep your SCOBY very happy!

SCOBY & Starter Tea:

The SCOBY, short for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” does all the work when it comes to making your delicious kombucha! While kombucha starts out as nothing but a sugary tea, the SCOBY feeds on the sugars, fermenting the tea and creating a deliciously fizzy, probiotic-filled beverage for you to enjoy!

If you don’t already have the starter tea or a SCOBY, you can order one from Amazon (see my recommended products below). The culture will play a significant role in the flavor of your finished kombucha so you may want to experiment with cultures from various sources and see what you like the best.

The starter tea can be either 1 cup of liquid from a previous batch of kombucha for each gallon of sweetened tea or store-bought bottled kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored).

Large glass or ceramic container:

You can’t have kombucha if you don’t have a jar! You’ll need a large, food-safe glass or ceramic container to keep your kombucha in during the fermentation process. It is best if it is able to contain least one gallon of liquid, has a spigot, and a wide mouth. Just add in your black tea and other ingredients, then sit back, relax, and let the SCOBY do all of the work for you!

Cover for the Crock:


In order to ferment properly, the kombucha needs a breathable covering; A few layers of a piece of cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels will do the trick.

Flip-top fermentation bottles:


These bottles are great for storing all of the incredibly delicious kombucha that you’ve brewed! Their tight-seal tops are absolutely perfect for keeping your beverage fresh and flavorful until you’re ready to enjoy it!

Kombucha starter kit:

Kombucha starter kits are a great way to begin brewing your very own kombucha from home, especially if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the process! No need to stress- there are many kombucha starter kits available that have most everything you need to get started immediately, without any hassle! Most are incredibly affordable, so they’re a great option even if you think you have everything you need but are still feeling a bit uncertain!

Shop Amazon for the following recommended kombucha brewing supplies:

How to Make Raw Kombucha:

To start the kombucha recipe you will need a starter kombucha, a SCOBY, plain black tea or green tea, sugar and a pot to boil water in; as well as a one-gallon or larger container to ferment in with a cloth and rubber band to cover it.

Begin by brewing a gallon of sweet tea. I use 1 cup of sugar for one-gallon (16 cups ) of tea and eight tea bags or 2 tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea (or green tea).

Once your tea is brewed, remove the tea bags and let it cool to room temperature. When it is thoroughly cooled,  add the SCOBY and starter tea. It’s essential to ensure the liquid is completely cooled when you add the SCOBY. You don’t want to accidentally cook the SCOBY and kill it.

The SCOBY may sink or float but it doesn’t matter, it will begin fermenting the tea regardless.

Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels and secure with a rubber band.

Ferment for 7 to 10 days: Store the jar in a cupboard or pantry, out of direct sunlight at room temperature.

You will notice that the SCOBY tends to move around during this period. It is normal to find it at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation.

Within a few days, a new layer of SCOBY will start forming on the surface of the kombucha. It might attach to the old SCOBY, or be separate. These are all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.

Next is the hard part: waiting.

Taste and Bottle

It should take roughly a week to 10 days to finish fermenting, but this, like pretty much every other aspect of brewing kombucha, is up to your personal preference. The longer you allow the tea to ferment, the more acidic and less sweet the final product will be.

Conversely, shorter fermentations leave more sugar unconverted and are less acidic. You want to find a happy medium. Test your kombucha every few days to see how it tastes and decide when you’re satisfied with it.

If you are following a keto diet, then check out my post on how to make kombucha keto-friendly. I share some great tips on how you can still enjoy kombucha while on a keto diet.

Avoid metal utensils when testing the kombucha, since metal can react with fermenting kombucha and create off-flavors among other problems. Use a clean glass utensil to check the taste.

The kombucha is ready when it loses its sweetness, has a tangy taste, and fizzes as you pour it.

Once your kombucha is finished fermenting, it is time to bottle it and store it in the refrigerator.

You can use a siphon or pour through a funnel, but make sure to leave around a cup of kombucha in the jar to use to get your next batch started.

Use glass bottles only; I recommend swing-top glass bottles specifically made for carbonated drinks, available on Amazon.

Avoid using plastic bottles because they can easily be damaged, and scratches in the plastic can harbor foreign bacteria. Plastic, even food-grade may contain undesirable chemicals that can be harmful to the kombucha SCOBY.

One thing to consider when bottling is that while the kombucha remains at room temperature, fermentation will still be occurring even if no culture is visible in the bottle.

Because of the pressure, if glass bottles are kept at room temperature long enough, they can explode!

You can avoid that danger by putting them in the fridge after a few days to dramatically slow fermentation, it won’t stop completely, and will resume once it warms up to room temperature again.

Kombucha Recipe Notes & Tips

  • Metal will react badly with kombucha so do not use it. Use plastic or glass utensils and a plastic funnel.
  • Sanitize your bottle with hot water or white vinegar. I ran mine through the dishwasher with no soap, just hot water.
  • Before you remove your SCOBY, it is best to sanitize your hands with white vinegar.  Do NOT use soap because it can kill your SCOBY.

Homemade Kombucha Tea FAQ:

What does kombucha tea taste like?

Kombucha is a fizzy, sweet, fermented tea that tastes similar to sparkling apple cider, but slightly sourer. Many describe the taste of kombucha as being somewhat “vinegary”. There are many different types of kombucha, and depending on what flavors you decide to add into your batch, it can take on more of a spicy, floral, or fruity flavor! With so many flavor options for this versatile beverage, you are certain to brew a kombucha tea that will have you craving more!

How much alcohol is in kombucha?

While kombucha does contain alcohol, commercial kombucha contains such a small amount (less than .05%) that it is considered to be a “non-alcoholic” drink. However, homebrews can often contain up to 3% alcohol. There are several factors in the fermentation process that influence the alcohol content of your kombucha brew. Fermenting your brew twice or using yeast which ferments at a higher temperature can cause higher alcohol content in your kombucha tea! Make sure to always follow the brewing instructions so you know exactly what you’re getting!

What are the side effects of kombucha?

While kombucha has many benefits, including the ability to settle an uneasy tummy, it can cause unpleasant side effects if your batch becomes contaminated! Some of these side effects include nausea, vomiting, head and neck pain, yeast infections, allergic reactions, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Due to the risk of contamination, kombucha is not recommended for those who have compromised immune systems. However, if you are a healthy adult, follow brewing instructions, and exercise caution, the risk of brewing a contaminated batch is incredibly low!

What are the health benefits of kombucha?

Kombucha offers many incredible health benefits. This fermented tea is rich in probiotics, a are healthy bacteria which is naturally found in the gut. Consuming probiotics may help to improve overall gut health and is even thought to assist in treating diarrhea and even IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Additionally, studies have shown that kombucha may assist in preventing or managing cancer, heart disease, infections, liver health, and Type 2 diabetes. This miracle beverage is even believed to assist with weight loss and to support good mental health!

Can you use no-calorie sugars such as Stevia and Splenda in kombucha?

Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners such as stevia and Splenda do not ferment well, so it is not a good idea to use them during the initial fermentation process. You can, however, add them during secondary fermentation, but remember- this will increase the alcohol content of your brew. If you are wanting to add a little extra sweetness to your kombucha, and prefer to use a no-calorie sugar, you can always add them in at the time of bottling!

Can you use decaffeinated tea to make kombucha?

The SCOBY, or “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” that you will need in order to brew your very own kombucha at home requires caffeine in order to produce the kombucha; However, because of this, the caffeine level in the tea will decrease as your kombucha goes through the fermentation process. If you want to end up with a caffeine-free brew, it is recommended that you use two bags of caffeinated tea and six bags of caffeinated tea per gallon of water used to create your kombucha.

What kind of brewing vessel should I use to make kombucha? Plastic, metal, or glass?

Choosing the correct brewing vessel for your kombucha is a very important task! While there are many types of kombucha brewing vessels available, many find that the most ideal by far is a food-safe transparent glass container, preferably with a wide-mouth and a spigot, that is at least one gallon large. Traditionally, ceramic vessels were used to brew kombucha; While this method has become less popular in modern times, if you’re looking to get old school with your kombucha brewing, you can’t go wrong with a large ceramic container! No matter what, never get a container that is not “food safe”, and be sure to stay far away from containers that are made from non-stainless steel, brass, aluminum, rubber, crystal, or are homemade pottery pieces!

Should I rinse my SCOBY’s to remove yeast between batches?

If you’re new to brewing kombucha, you might be wondering if it is a good idea to rinse off your SCOBY between batches- the answer is no! When you rinse your SCOBY, you are rinsing off the microorganisms which assist in the kombucha-brewing process. Rinsing your SCOBY can actually be harmful to your brew! It is always best to transfer your SCOBY directly from one batch of kombucha to the next.

How do I store my bottles of kombucha?

Once the fermentation process is complete, you must keep your kombucha stored in the refrigerator at all times, even if you have not opened the bottle yet! Keeping your kombucha outside of the fridge can cause it to take on a foul taste and may also make you sick. This is not ideal for a beverage that is supposed to improve your health, so make sure to keep it nice and cold after bottling!

If you have decided to ferment your kombucha to get it a fizzier mouth feel, then cap bottles and store them in a warm, dark place for 2-3 days. I stored mine in the pantry.

After 2-3 days, remove your kombucha from the pantry and place it in the refrigerator. If your kombucha developed a baby SCOBY in the bottle, remove and toss and then drink.

You mustn’t leave your kombucha in the pantry past the three days. It is imperative to move it to the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process completely.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar in the finished kombucha tea?

If you’re wanting to reduce the amount of sugar in your finished kombucha tea, the best way to go about that is to dilute it in some sparkling water or juice! While juice will add its own sugars into the mix, it might just do the trick if you find you’ve over-sweetened your brew! Otherwise, go with sparkling water to cut down on the sugar. While some people will ferment their kombucha a second time in order to reduce the sugar content, this can increase the alcohol content of your beverage!

Why does my kombucha taste like vinegar?

The organic acids during the fermentation process cause kombucha to take on a vinegar-like taste. However, if the kombucha you’ve brewed comes out tasting overpoweringly like vinegar, chances are you’ve accidentally let it over-ferment! As the tea ferments, it will produce more and more organic acids; The best way to find your “sweet spot” in the future is to taste a bit of your kombucha daily.


Luckily, there is plenty that can be done with over-fermented kombucha besides throwing it out; Try blending the bitter batch in with a new batch or even use it to make salad dressing!

Why does my kombucha taste like alcohol?

If your kombucha ends up tasting like alcohol, it is probably because it contains a higher alcohol content than kombucha ideally should.

It is likely that the yeast became dominant and overpowered the bacteria. For your next batch, reserve the starter liquid from the top of the vessel only and avoid any stirring up of the yeast sediment from the bottom of the jar.

However, yeast can also congregate at the top of your brew, they look like brown strands or clumps (or a brain!) So, just avoid those pieces all together.

Warmer temperatures can also potentially cause yeast to become more dominant and reducing bacteria’s ability to acidify resulting in a kombucha tea that tastes much stronger and like alcohol than previous batches.

easy-homemade-kombucha-recipe-by-fermenters-kitchen
Kombucha Recipe ~ Learn how to make this real probiotic-rich fermented drink with this step-by-step recipe! It’s full of health benefits including liver support, detoxification, aiding digestion, and it can help maintain a healthy weight. #kombucharecipe #kombuchatea #probiotics #brewingkombucha #guthealth #healthygut #probioticdrinks #healthydrinks

Related Topics:

There are many fermented drinks beyond kombucha. Check out this article that gives you an in-depth look at fermented drinks from around the world.

Fermented Drink Recipes Recipes

Ginger Bug Starter Recipe

Simple and Delicious Ginger Bug Starter Recipe

This Ginger Bug starter recipe can be used for any type of naturally fermented soda such as ginger ale and old fashion root beer or to help start out a vegetable ferment. Besides its wide range of uses, my favorite feature of the ginger bug is that is quick and easy to make.

The starter should be stored in a refrigerator when it is not in use. Remember to revive the ginger bug before it is used if it has been stored in the refrigerator. The starter should be revived every few weeks to keep it healthy.

Reviving a Ginger Bug starter

Remove starter from the refrigerator.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar

Add about 1 tablespoon of ginger.

You can keep feeding your ginger bug twice daily. Don’t forget to add filtered water to replenish whenever you take some out.  You can also store it in the refrigerate for later use. However, after a long time in the refrigerator, it might take a long time to build up the ginger bug again to bubbly status. 

 

ginger bug recipe how to make ginger bug a delicious and healthy treat with beneficial enzymes and probiotics

 

You might want to try my delicious and healthy Beet Kvass Recipe, it is one you will actually want to drink.

 

Related Topics:

There are many fermented drinks beyond ginger bug. Check out this article that gives you an in-depth look at fermented drinks from around the world.

Beet Kvass recipe you will actually want to drink
Fermented Drink Recipes Recipes

Beet Kvass Recipe you will Actually Want to Drink

How To Make Beet Kvass

Simply delicious and nutritious, beet kvass is a fermented drink made from beets, sea salt, and water. Try this easy step-by-step beet kvass recipe.

Beet kvass is a traditional fermented drink full of many probiotic health benefits, much like kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.

The health benefits of beet kvass stem from its excellent probiotic content and are often considered a tonic for digestion as well as an excellent thirst quencher. Our beet kvass recipe is genuinely a beet kvass recipe you will actually want to drink.

It is known for having an acquired taste, but in time, you will end up craving it due to the nutritional benefits it offers. In this recipe we add apples, oranges and ginger to give it that tangy, earthy, salty (and a little sweet) flavor that will leave you wanting more.

secret to a beet kvass recipe you will actually want to drink - add fruit
Apples, oranges, and strawberries are all good choices when making a beet kvass drink taste great.

 

Beet kvass is an excellent blood tonic that promotes regularity, aids indigestion, alkalizes the blood, and cleanses the liver. With benefits like that, isn’t it worth it to try a variety of recipes to find one you enjoy?

Homemade Beet Kvass Recipe

In the recipe I’m sharing today, I added one cup of chopped apples. Other fruits and spice options to consider are strawberries, orange juice, pineapples, lavender, fresh or dried mint leaves, raisins, ginger and/or cinnamon.

But, don’t stop there, get creative and add fruits that are local to your area. You can even double up on the fruit.

The secret is in the fruit. This is how I hide the dirt (earthy) taste and can wholeheartedly call it a Beet Kvass recipe you will actually want to drink!

After the beet kvass is ready to drink, pour it over some ice and mix in a little orange or apple juice to make it even more delicious. Start out with a 50/50 mix and then lessen the fruit juice amount until you come to a satisfying mixture that is right for you.

 

Why fermented foods are so good for you.

Fermented foods are full of gut-healthy probiotics and beets are considered one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables available.

During the fermentation process, the sugar is eaten up by the good bacteria (probiotics) turning it into a low sugar food while leaving the healthy stuff, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals still intact.

Beet kvass is full of beneficial enzymes, probiotic bacteria, and higher levels of vitamins.

There are many studies on how probiotics help balance the bacteria in your gut and contribute to a healthier mental, emotional, and physical state.

 

Benefits of beets:

Improve stamina

Many athletes drink beet juice before a workout because of its nitric oxide-boosting benefits which can boost stamina by up to 16%.

Beet juice including beet kvass Improves stamina
Beet juice including beet kvass improves stamina by up to 16%.

Fight cancer

Beets have a high amount of a natural chemical called phytonutrients, which is common in many fruits and vegetables. It protects them from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats.

The phytonutrients contain powerful anti-cancer properties.

When you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help fight diseases such as pancreatitis, breast and prostate cancer.

Lower blood pressure

Beets have high levels of nitrate; which in your body is converters into nitric oxides which helps naturally lower blood pressure.

Side effects of beets:

In every seed of good, there is always a piece of bad.
~ Marian Wright Edelman

 

There is no denying the fact that beets either fermented or raw have quite a number of beneficial effects. But there are several drawbacks as well.

If you are prone to kidney stones, it is recommended to avoid beets, along with spinach, Swiss chard, rhubarb, okra and more.

Beets have a high level of oxalate. The oxalates can cause crystallization and make a person who already has kidney stones produce even more.

The high levels of oxalate can also contribute to gout, a type of arthritis that develops when too much uric acid builds up in the body.

Excessive consumption of beets may result in beeturia in some people. Beeturia is a condition where your urine may appear pink or red. Don’t be alarmed because it’s not blood and is actually harmless.

With all things, moderation is the key.

It is important to note that all of these side effects generally occur when someone is consuming a large amount of beets, beet supplements, or beet juice. If you are feeling any side effects consult a doctor and immediately stop eating or drinking beets.

To learn more about the benefits and side effects associated with beets both raw and fermented visit the following links.
articles.mercola.com

https://www.rd.com

 

Eating beets while pregnant:

Beets are especially beneficial to women during pregnancy: vitamin B and Iron are beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.

Beets are rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Fiber, Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamins A, B & C, Beta-carotene, and Folic acid.

Tired of morning sickness?

Beet kvass gives a real electrolyte boost which can help support you when feeling tired or overwhelmed with morning sickness.

It’s also more hydrating than water like many lacto-fermented drinks. This comes in handy during the breastfeeding stages of raising your baby.

They also offer support for the blood and liver thanks to the betacyanin in the beets.

The high levels of folate and folic acid in the beets and the probiotic qualities make this a perfect drink for pregnant women.

 

Side effects of beets during pregnancy:

Despite the numerous health benefits, there are a few side effects of beets during pregnancy that you should be aware of.

Betaine

One compound in beetroot that causes concern for its use in pregnancy is betaine which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy.

According to studies (here), betaine has shown negative effects on animal testing. However, there are no clear studies on pregnant women to support their safety.

 

Nitrates

Beets are naturally high in nitrates which can make you feel weak when pregnant.

Its common knowledge that deli meats, bacon, sausages, and some hot dogs are high in nitrates and nitrites.

But, there are also many vegetables high in nitrates too, including lettuce, carrots, green beans, spinach, parsley, cabbage, radishes, celery, and collard greens.

Researchers believe the benefits of eating more nitrate-rich vegetables, such as beets probably outweigh the risks, as these nitrate-rich foods can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

** With that being said, it is always wise to consult your doctor first about what is a safe amount of beets to consume during pregnancy.

 

How much beet kvass should I drink every day?

Start out slowly with one or two teaspoons and gradually work your way up to 4 ounces twice a day. As always, moderation is the key.

Common side effects of consuming too many probiotics include gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then cut back on the amount of beet kvass you are drinking daily.

Your body may need a little more time to adjust to the sudden dose of beneficial bacteria. After your gut’s microflora begins to rebalance you can up the amount you drink.

Along with reducing the amount of beet kvass you are drinking every day, you should also:

  • Drink the beet kvass on an empty stomach – Probiotics can produce gas when combined with certain foods. Drinking the kvass on an empty stomach will prevent that from happening and ensures the maximum survivability of the beneficial bacteria. Drink it at least 30 minutes before you eat. If you are still experiencing problems, try drinking it on an empty stomach before bed.

 

  • Drink plenty of water – Because your digestive system is undergoing the process of detoxification, it is essential to stay hydrated. You need plenty of water to flush out the toxins, which is the bad bacteria. Remember, diarrhea is a sign of dehydration. So if you are experiencing diarrhea you know you need to start drinking more water and cut back on the amount of beet kvass you are drinking until the symptoms subside.

Cheers!

 

A little tip:

Accidents happen, but they don’t have to ruin your clothes. We all know that beet juice can leave a nasty looking purple stain. So here are a few quick tips I’ve compiled on how to remove beet juice stains from your clothes.