Go Back
+ servings
Kombucha rests on a table.
Print
5 from 5 votes

Wild Gingerberry Kombucha

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Foraged, Foraging
Yield: 8 cups
Author: Michael Breazeale

Equipment

  • Half gallon (64 oz) glass jar, wide mouth
  • Four 16 oz glass fermentation bottles
  • Breathable cloths or paper towels
  • Rubber bands
  • Saucepan

Materials

Ingredients for first fermentation

  • 1/2 gallon clean water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 SCOBY 2-3 cm thick for ideal brewing
  • 1/2 cup starter fluid

Ingredients for second fermentation

  • 1/2 gallon kombucha from first fermentation
  • 2 cups local or foraged berries
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Fresh ginger to taste, small knobs or freshly shredded

Instructions

Making the tea

  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot and remove from heat. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour the sugar water into a 1/2 gallon-sized mason jar. Place tea bags in sugar water and steep for at least 30 minutes. Set aside to cool until it reaches room temperature (this may take several hours, but do not move onto the next step until the tea has cooled). 

First fermentation

  • When the sweet tea has cooled to room temperature, remove and discard the tea bags.
  • Pour the starter fluid in with the tea and place the SCOBY in the half gallon mason jar with it. Your SCOBY may float or sink, depending on the efficacy of your fermentation process. While most do float, there is not usually anything wrong with a SCOBY that remains submerged in its brew—this is typically just a sign that carbon dioxide is not being released at a high enough rate to keep the SCOBY floating, and your batch may need to ferment for a longer duration than would normally be required. Chilly weather can also play a role in causing longer fermentation times.
  • Cover the top of the large mason jar with a breathable cloth or paper towel and secure a rubber band around the mouth. Place your batch somewhere cool and dark for about 1 week, or until the tea has fermented to your preferred level of flavor and acidity. (Before beginning this step, remove the SCOBY and repeat steps 1 and 2. Be sure to save at least a ½ cup or so of starter fluid for your next batch. You can either begin your next batch now or keep the SCOBY stored in a large mason jar with starter fluid for later use.)

Make the flavoring syrup

  • In a small saucepan combine ½ c water, berries, honey and ginger. Mash berries and cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches a syrupy consistency. Let cool.

Second fermentation

  • Pour kombucha into fermentation bottles and distribute flavor syrup in equal amounts among each bottle. Leave 1-2 inches of air at the top. As your kombucha ferments a second time you may need to “burp” your batches, or intermittently let some carbon dioxide out every few days to keep carbonation at a manageable level.

Finishing up

  • When your batches have reached a flavor and carbonation level that suits your taste, strain the kombucha to remove excess fruit pulp. Refrigerate in airtight glass containers. Your homemade kombucha can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.
  • Serve cold with a wild game dish.