Second Fermenting Kombucha & Water Kefir
Adding delicious fizz and flavor to your favorite drink!
- Editor’s note: This post was originally written for second fermenting kombucha, however these same recipe combinations are delicious for water kefir as well! Check out the basics for kombucha and water kefir before gearing up for second fermenting!
Those who have made their own home-brewed kombucha usually report back with one of two comments: “It actually tastes better than store bought!” or, “It’s kinda gross!”
Which do you relate with? Whatever your experience, a double ferment of your kombucha (or water kefir) will have you jumping for joy.
In our opinion, home-brewed plain kombucha tastes superior to store bought. But, if you’re not a fan of the original, plain flavored kombucha, you may not enjoy your home brew either. And that’s ok! But if I’ve learned anything through a traditional lifestyle, it’s this: if I don’t love the end result, I won’t stick with the healthy habit!
Double-Fermentation is the super-hero of Kombucha Land! He adds delicious flavor that even the greatest skeptics will enjoy! (Sometimes we don’t tell our guests exactly “what” they’re drinking until after they’ve fallen in love with the taste. We’re sneaky like that!)
So get creative, get fancy, and have some fun! Check out some of our favorite flavoring options below and let us know which is your favorite! These flavors work great for both kombucha and water kefir. Mix and match, try new flavors, and by all means, share your flavor creations with the rest of us by commenting below!
Each of these recipes is for a 16 ounce serving. We use these Grolsh Style Bottles when double fermenting our kombucha or water kefir. Always leave about 1/2 inch of head space in your fermenting vessel. Cap tightly and ferment at room temperature for 3-7 days (check after two days for desired fizziness). Once bubbly, refrigerate and enjoy!
- Lemon/Ginger Kombucha – Add a thin slice of fresh ginger with 1/4 cup organic lemonade (or the juice from 1/2 lemon for a no-sugar option) and top with kombucha. (I was told this tastes exactly like authentic Ginger Beer from Africa!)
- Arnold Palmer Kombucha – Add 1/4 cup organic lemonade (or the juice from 1/2 lemon for a no-sugar option) and top with kombucha.
- Cranberry Kombucha – Add 4-5 cranberries (or 1/4 cup organic cranberry juice), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, maple syrup or honey and top with kombucha.
- Strawberry Kombucha – Add 3 strawberries (slice if necessary to fit into bottles), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, maple syrup or honey and top with kombucha.
- Powerhouse “Green” Kombucha – Add 2 teaspoons greens powder, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and top with kombucha.
- Grapefruit Kombucha – Add two grapefruit sections (diced into small pieces), 1/2 teaspoon sugar, maple syrup or honey and top with kombucha.
- Tropical Kombucha – Add 2/3 cup coconut water, 2-1 inch cubes fresh pineapple (or 2/3 cup organic pineapple juice) and top with kombucha.
- Any flavor Fizzy Kombucha – Add 1/4 cup of your favorite organic juice and top with kombucha.
- Any flavor Chia Seed Kombucha – Add 3-4 Tablespoons chia seeds to any of the above, already double fermented, room temperature kombucha flavors. Stir frequently for 5-10 minutes until chia seeds are swollen and begin to gel. Refrigerate and drink within 1-2 days. (I recommend emptying kombucha into a 16 ounce glass then adding chia seeds. They can be difficult to clean out of the grolsh bottles.)
As mentioned above, we prefer double fermenting in the flip-top bottles. We did the math and realized with the savings of making kombucha at home, these bottles cost no more than buying store bought kombucha! Plus, once you’ve made 12 bottles, you’re now making kombucha for pennies!
Grolsh bottles are designed to handle the pressure of the C02 buildup which occurs during the second ferment. I’ve heard reports of people getting a little fizz using mason jars with saran wrap under the lid, or even old store bought kombucha bottles, but these jars are not designed to safely handle the pressure buildup of CO2. If using these jars, “burp” them every day to avoid the possibility of exploding glass.
Have any flavor options not mentioned above? Please share with us in the comments below!
My favorite way to flavor is with fresh raspberries when they are in season! Makes a fizzy and refreshing afternoon drink. And so easy too! Though I do love my homemade kombucha plain as well. I use oolong tea and it’s just sooo good!
Ooh, that does sound yummy! Thanks for sharing Alana! I actually prefer my kombucha plain as well, and also use oolong! So good!
I want to love kombucha but I think it tastes like wine. I have only tried store bought. Any suggestions?
YES! I would definitely recommend making your own kombucha at home. I think the store bought kombucha’s are pretty strong, too. By fermenting it at home you can taste it throughout the process and drink it when it gets to your desired sweetness (you can refrigerate it to halt the fermentation process). Plus, flavoring it yourself at home allows you to add the flavors that you like best. Hope this helps!
My all-time favorite flavor combo is ginger peach! I long for peach season every year so that I can make it. 🙂
That sounds amazing! Thanks Raia! I have some frozen peaches and am going to try this combo tomorrow! YUM!
We have indeed had some explosions, but the burping makes all the difference. SO many yummy flavors. Thanks!
What fun is fermenting without a few kombucha fountains!?
Love all these flavoring ideas! Thanks so much!
Of course Stacy! Happy fermenting!
Thanks for your pointers and great ideas!
I am learning more and more about Kombucha and getting closer to making more!
Yay Carol! We’re cheering you on! Once you brew it, I have a feeling you’ll wonder why you waited so long! It really is simple!
I want to start brewing again… My favorite flavor is carrot turmeric
Wow, I would have never thought of this combination! Do you use carrot juice and turmeric powder? And what ratios do you use? This is one I’m going to have to try!
I still have not made my own kombucha. I buy Health Ade and love it. It’s on my list though!
We’re cheering you on Linda! I haven’t heard of Health Ade before…I’m going to have to keep my eye out for it!
I love love love my second ferment! My favorite is just plain ginger. I have read that freezing the ginger before hand helps release even more of the amazing nutrients in this little root! YUMMY and healthy! I also love mango, a few slices of mango with Kombucha… mmmhmm. I just tried mint/ginger. My mint plant is going crazy this spring, so I thought why not?! It is refreshing and light. I just put a few sprigs of mint leaf into the second ferment with my ginger slices.
Another tip, cover your grolsh bottle with a washcloth while opening. Kombucha sprayed all over the kitchen and self; doesn’t always go over so well… yes I speak from experience.
One more thing, invest in the grolsh bottles, it is a must!
Great flavoring suggestions! Never thought about adding some mint! I’ve got mint going in my garden too! Maybe mint and lime juice? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! And totally “been there, done that” on getting sprayed with kombucha…it’s like a rite of passage!
I tried lavender/honey in the second ferment. I let it ferment a little longer than usual and ended up with a fizzy floral drink. I really liked it. I don’t think it is one that I would drink every day, but I enjoyed it enough to pluck some more lavender this eve and make 4 more bottles 🙂
Lime/mint sounds delish! I am going to try that next ferment.
Hi Kelsey????I have a question for you for some reason I find everything for 2 Nd ferment except if I want to leave my kombucha plain do I need to give it sugar and ferment as if it had fruit❓Some days I just feel like having it plain and this is a water keifer question I tried banana in one jar and an orange in another jar and it was awful I have no trouble with blueberries strawberries and juices I always have leftover bananas maybe mix it with other fruit❓I’d like to try it in kombucha too♥️
Hi Brigitte, there’s no need for a second ferment if you like the flavor of your kombucha once it’s complete. The main reason for a second ferment is for added fizz and to eliminate the sugar content that was added with the flavor. As for the fruit you’re adding to your ferments, I’d recommend staying away from the softer fruits like bananas, they’ll just get slimy and mushy in the ferment. If you really love the banana flavor, I’d blend the banana with some fruit juice before adding it to second ferment. I’ve never tried fermenting bananas in my kefir or kombucha, so I can’t say from experience if this will ever result in a nice flavor.