Why Second Ferment Kombucha?

posted in: blog post, Kombucha | 0

WHAT IS 2F?

2F stands for Second Fermentation and it means that you bottle your kombucha after the first fermentation cycle which lasts normally seven to ten days, depending on the temperature of your house.  Cooler temperatures will call for a longer fermentation time and warmer temperatures above 21ºC / 70ºF will call for shorter fermentation times. Have a look at how you can make kombucha in 3 easy steps over here.

Just make sure your kombucha doesn’t taste vinegary when bottling because then there would be very little food for the bacteria and yeast to live on and your kombucha will not be as tasty or as bubbly as you may like it.

 

WHEN DOES 2F HAPPEN?

Second Fermentation or 2F is done after the initial seven to 10 day fermentation time or when your kombucha has a tangy taste, not too sour and not too sweet.

 

WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO 2F KOMBUCHA?

It’s not a necessity to 2F kombucha many people prefer drinking it as is, straight from the brewing vessel especially if they have a continues brew going.  Now see, the thing is 2F gives more dimension and adds to the flavour profile of the finished kombucha, not to mention the effervescence that comes with it. Once your culture is established you can expect quite an explosive 2F providing that there are enough sugars to live on during the 2F though.

 

HOW TO 2F KOMBUCHA

Bottle your kombucha, more about the type of bottles later, and

add flavoring or just add more sugar if you want to keep your kombucha plain and unflavoured.

Put your bottled kombucha in a cool dark place so that it can mature into a flavourful bubbly probiotic drink. Always check on your bottles as you don’t want it to explode.

 

There are a gazillion ways of flavoring kombucha! I’ve flavoured my kombucha with fruits, vegetables, simple syrups, jam, honey, juice, tea, herbs & spices, Coffee and other flavour extracts. Some flavouring tastes outrageously good and others I wouldn’t bother much with again.

The ratio when flavouring with fruit would be 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Fruit in the form of pulp, puree, halved or diced per 1 liter / 1 quart of finished kombucha

 

A WORD OF CAUTION:

You don’t want to add too much sugar as this may result in a too much alcohol producing microorganisms and will make your ferment less probiotic. It will be a good idea to stick to the ratios given.

 

Flavouring kombucha with fruit.

In this video, I show you how to flavour your kombucha with Fruit.

  • You’ll need 1 liter / 1 quart of finished kombucha and about 3 – 4 Tablespoons of fruit. That’s the basic ratio and you can adjust it accordingly.
  • Your fruit can be fresh and diced, dried, or even in the form of a pulp.
  • After bottling, find a cool dark place for your kombucha to 2F. Leaving it to mature for 3 – 7 days (@ about 24°C or 75°F or higher)  depending on the temperature in your house, in winter time it can take 14 days or maybe even longer.

 

Flavouring kombucha with jam

  • In this video, I show you how to flavour your kombucha with jam. Any jam of your choice can be used but my family loves the taste of strawberry or cherry jam!
  • The winning ratio that works best for me is 2 Tablespoons of Jam per Liter of kombucha.
  • Leave a two finger headspace between the kombucha and the bottle top to allow for expansion when opening.
  • Find a cool dark place for your 2 F to mature for about 3-7 days depending on the temperature it ferments in.

 

SOME BOTTLING TIPS

  • In order to build up carbonation, it would be a good choice to fill your bottles up to about 1 or 2 cm from the top.
  • It’s best to use plastic caps as you do not want your kombucha to react with the metal if you only have metal lids you can always use some waxed paper to protect the lid for reuse.
  • We want to create an oxygen pour environment so that the yeast that is responsible for carbonation can multiply – Cap tightly 🙂

 

HOW TO AVOID EXPLOSION

  • You can fill a plastic bottle with the same brew as you filled your glass bottles with. When checking the plastic bottle you’ll have an idea of how much pressure has built up in your glass bottles by just feeling the plastic bottle. The plastic bottle will become firmer and sometimes change shape.. by the time it changes shape it will probably be too late to save your glass bottles though.
  • Use thick glass bottles that are made for brewing.
  • Put your 2F bottles in a container or cooler box so that if something happens you don’t make a mess or create a hazard.
  • Explosions are most likely to happen during hot summer days because of the increased temperatures and this makes the fermentation process go much quicker than usual.

 

IF YOU SUSPECT A FIESTY FERMENT

Open your kombucha slowly otherwise you might just have to clean the spillage of a fizzy kombucha volcano. If you expect to have a lot of bubbling when opening your 2F kombucha it would be a good idea to open it over your kitchen sink with a dome-shaped cover that will direct the spillage into a bowl below or into the sink. This will save your ceiling and everything else that might be in the way of a spraying bottle.

I hope you’ve found this helpful, let me know about your 2F experiences and your favourite flavouring techniques.  Happy fermenting, you’ll gut will love you for it!

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