Make your own hard kombucha!
During those quarantine times, you want to try cooking something else than bread? Here's a homemade hard kombucha recipe that will allow you to pursue your culinary adventure!
Kombucha naturally produces small amounts of alcohol. With the good process, you can achieve a homemade kombucha between 2.5 % and 3.5 % alcohol. The difference with a standard kombucha is that it takes more sugar and well-trained yeasts to produce alcohol. Here are two recipes to make it happen! The primary requirement is to ferment the kombucha between 25 ℃ and 30 ℃ and to have some experience brewing kombucha. The second alternative recipe is easier to succeed, but requires beer yeasts.
Just so you know, there is not a single recipe but many ways to brew it! Just like beer, everyone has their own recipe. We offer you a basic recipe, but feel free to take some liberties with the ingredients and become a real hard kombucha brewer!
Whatever recipe you choose, here's the basic tools and ingredients that you'll need:
3 liter mason jar
6 g of green tea/or 3 g of black tea (you can add more or less according to your taste).
225 g of cane sugar of white sugar.
1 young kombucha culture (see the standard kombucha recipe) of 750 ml with a maximum of 5 fermentation days, and which hasn’t been stored in the fridge. This is very important to have a good amount of yeast in the culture.
Recipe without additional yeasts (other than the kombucha yeasts!)
Infuse the tea in 1 litre of hot water at 85 ℃ for 10 minutes.
Pour the hot infusion into your cleaned jar.
Add 225 g of sugar then mix.
Add 1.25 litres of cold water and wait for the infusion to drop to 30 ℃ maximum before adding the kombucha culture.
Add the kombucha culture and mix well.
Cover the jar with a cloth and elastic. Leave to ferment at a temperature between 25℃ and 30℃ for at least a week. Fermentation can take up to two weeks, depending of the room temperature. Taste after a week and let ferment longer if you find the result too sweet / not tangy enough for you.
Once the kombucha is fermented, you can store it in the fridge.
Flavouring: you can add fruit juice (raspberry, strawberry, pear, etc.) at the beginning of the fermentation or even add flavoured herbal teas during the first step of infusion in 1 litre of water. You can also add ginger juice at the start or at the end of fermentation in smaller quantities and / or let pieces of ginger macerate during fermentation to have a more pronounced taste and a spicier punch.
Add sparkling: you want to add natural sparkling to your kombucha? After the fermentation, pour your hard kombucha in clean bottles and add 2g of sugar per litre. Let it ferment at room temperature 2-3 days and then keep them in the fridge. Be careful not to add too much sugar or to store it at high temperatures, otherwise the bottles may explode.
*To avoid any risk of explosion, we strongly recommend to use swing top bottles.
Tips and tricks
To adjust the sugar level: The longer a kombucha ferments, the more it allows yeast and bacteria to consume the sugars. Therefore, it will make the kombucha less sweet and more sour! It's up to you to determine which fermentation suits you best.
The temperature: The higher the temperature (between 25℃ and 30℃) the more it promotes yeasts and bacteria, therefore your kombucha will ferment more quickly. Be careful not to ferment at too high temperature (over 35℃). This has the effect of reducing the activity of yeasts and certain bacteria.
Voilà ! You have the basics to make your own homemade recipes! Experimentation is the key to having the right hard kombucha for you!
Alternative recipe for 3 litres (with beer, cider or champagne yeasts)
This way will work every time and even allows you to experience hard kombucha with an alcohol level above 3%. It is easier because you don't need to train your culture to have a higher amount of yeast, and you can ferment it at 15℃ or 20℃.
1 - Resume the first recipe but add 125 g of cane sugar instead of 250 g at the step 3. Then you can use a kombucha stored in your fridge instead of the young culture of 5 days to start the fermentation. You don't need a young culture full of yeast, because you will add yeast after.
2 - Leave it to ferment for 5 days to let the bacteria give the kombucha a tangy taste.
3 - On the 5th day of fermentation, add 2 g of yeast (or 1 / 10th of an 11.5g sachet of yeast) and 100 g of sugar, and leave to ferment for an additional week. The yeasts will take over the bacteria and make alcohol fast. You can close your fermentation jar on the second day after adding yeasts, for a faster result.
But BE CAREFUL : use a fermentation lock to let the CO2 escape when the pressure is too strong. Otherwise, your jar may explode!