October 31, 2023

Homemade Kombucha - Second Fermentation

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When you make kombucha, fermented tea, you have the option of making kombucha tea up to the first fermentation and then enjoying it immediately with all the probiotic health benefits or you can go on to do a second fermentation, which is optional but very much recommended.  The second fermentation is an opportunity to add both flavor and fizz to your kombucha tea.  Most of the kombucha sold in stores are flavored kombucha that have gone thru second fermentation.

We have found the addition of extra flavor to really boost the taste of the kombucha.  Especially enjoyable is the delightful fizz that can be produced due to the carbonation created by the further fermentation.  A fizzy fruit flavored healthful homemade drink, what more can you ask for?!

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To get to the kombucha, second fermentation stage, you need to have fermented sweetened black tea to the kombucha, first fermentation completion stage (see photo above). 

To check out how to achieve first fermentation, check out our post on Kombucha Tea, First Fermentation.

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You will also need fruits or herbs for flavoring.  We have only tried fruits so far and the results have been pretty fabulous.  The best results, we think, in both flavor and fizz is if you use puréed fresh fruit.  The photo above shows finely chopped mango but actually we recommend to purée your fruit.  Pureeing the fruit gives the yeast in the kombucha easier access to the sugar of the fruit and thus a better carbonation is possible.  Also the mouthfeel of the kombucha is better with the puree.

We have also tried using bottled fruit juice for flavor.  That did not work so well, especially as to the fizz.  I suspect there are probably preservatives in bottled fruit juice that interfere with the carbonation.  One thing that I recently read about is adding jam to the kombucha as a flavoring.  That sounds exciting and easy and definitely worth a try.

So far we've flavored our homemade kombucha with puréed fresh mango, fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh puréed persimmon and fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.  So far our favorite by far is the mango flavored kombucha, which always comes out most delightfully fizzy and super yummilicious!

The fruit used should be quite sweet as sugar is needed to power the carbonation.  If you think your fruit is not quite sweet enough just add a bit of sugar into the mix.

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You now have fruit juice or purée and kombucha tea, first fermentation ready at hand.  It' time for kombucha, second fermentation!  First add your pureed fruit into a plastic bottle (we recycled a mineral water bottle), and then add the kombucha tea, first fermentation, leaving an inch and half space empty at bottle top for the gas.  Screw on the top tightly and then give it a good shake to mix it all up.  Your kombucha is ready for second fermentation.

Why do we use plastic bottles?  Plastic bottles make it easy to check the state of the carbonation of the kombucha. The plastic bottle will fill out with the carbon dioxide until it feels rock hard.  When it's rock hard, the fermentation is done.

Some folks use glass jars for this second fermentation but I've read that, if you're not careful, the carbonation can sometimes cause explosions that make a right mess.  So we've just sticking with using the plastic bottles.

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Your kombucha second fermentation is now flavored, mixed and ready to ferment.  It's time to place in a dark area and wait.  The fermenting time will vary depending on your mixture, temperature, etc.  Inside the bottle the sugar in the fruit will be reacting with the yeast in the kombucha and forming carbon dioxide, the fizz.  Feel the plastic bottle every day.  Once the bottle feels rock hard the kombucha is carbonated.  For us that is usually around three days.  

The flavored and now fizzy kombucha goes into the fridge.  The chill stops the fermentation and keeps the kombucha fresh and fizzy for up to one month.  See in the photo above the little bubbles fizzing up from our mango flavored kombucha?  Isn't it lovely?

I've found that achieving the kombucha carbonation can be finicky.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  So far using fresh puree fruit seems to work best.  Also apparently it's best to mix the kombucha tea, first fermentation, thoroughly before adding to the fruit puree.  The yeast, which powers the carbonation, settles to the bottom of the kombucha jar and stirring will distribute the yeast evenly before it is poured into the plastic bottles for second fermentation. 

Last but not least let me say how delicious this stuff is!  Kombucha first fermentation is nice and refreshing but homemade kombucha second fermentation, flavored with delicious fresh fruit and powered up with incredibly invigorating fizz, is out of this world!  A shot of kombucha second fermentation seems to go straight to the brain and wake you up in the best of ways! 
Homemade Kombucha - Second Fermentation Recipe
(1 liter)  Prep time: 5 mins  Fermentation time: min 3 days



Wash, peel and destone (if necessary) fruit.  Roughly chop fruit.  Puree fruit with food blender or push through a sieve. Use a funnel to pour the fruit puree into a clean one liter plastic bottle.  Add sugar if fruit not sweet enough. 

Follow the steps in our posts on homemade scoby and kombucha, first fermentation, to make the first fermentation tea.  

To make kombucha, second fermentation, start by pouring all the first fermentation tea, into a completely dry bowl, while keeping the scoby in the fermentation jar.  Stir tea thoroughly to evenly distribute the yeast.  

Note: At this point you can start another batch of first fermentation kombucha.  Scoop 1 1/2 cup of fermented tea back into the fermentation jar (the one with the scoby in it) to use as 'starter tea' for the next batch of kombucha, first fermentation.  Then follow the steps in our post on kombucha, first fermentation to make the next batch.

Use a funnel to pour the stirred kombucha tea, first fermentation, into the plastic jar with the fruit puree and sugar (optional).  Screw cap on tightly and shake to distribute the fruit.  Let sit in a dark area for 3 days or more, checking daily the hardness of the plastic bottle.  When the bottle is rock hard, the carbonation is done.

Store immediately in the fridge.  Let chill overnight before tasting.  Open the kombucha second fermentation bottle slowly, letting the gas out a bit at a time.  Note that if you've over carbonated, there might be some overflow when the jar is opened.  Therefore it's probably best to open over a large clean mixing bowl to catch any overflow.  Sometimes the overflow can be quite a bit, but catching it in a bowl makes it easy to clean up and pour back into the bottle.

Overflow, if it happens, will only happen the first time you open that bottle.  The fizz will remain in the kombucha but should be under control from this time on.  The kombucha can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.  Enjoy the yummilicious boost to taste buds and health!  Here's to the FIZZ!


  1. Interesting! I hadn't thought about making this but it looks cool. I do like drinking it.

  2. You should totally try it! It's so easy once you get it going and tastes fabulous and so much less money to spend! Our fav so far is still mango flavored kombucha.