At Pearl, we’re big fans of Kombucha and love it even better when we can brew our own at home! This tasty fermented tea is typically stored in glass mason jars during the fermentation process. Here, we share our simple steps on how to bottle Kombucha in mason jars for those of you interested in brewing your own batches at home.
In this post, we give you a quick background on fermentation and how to bottle Kombucha in mason jars. If you need more detailled information on how to brew yours step-by-step from beginning to end, check out our blog post: How to make homemade Kombucha
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a special fermented beverage that is slightly fizzy and typically made from sweetened tea brewed with a culture of yeast and bacteria. This bacteria is referred to as a “SCOBY”. SCOBY is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”. While black and green teas are most popular as a base, almost any liquid with the necessary proportions of sugar added can be fermented into Kombucha.
Kombucha is made by a variety of microbes that first collectively transform sugar into alcohol, then alcohol into acetic acid (the acid you find in vinegar). As the microbes do this, they create a visible layer called the “SCOBY”. Whenever you introduce this into a sugary liquid, the yeast in the SCOBY kickstarts a process of fermentation that eventually results in your Kombucha.
Kombucha has been consumed for centuries. Countires where it is popular include Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, and parts of Eastern Russia. In recent years it has exploded in popularity across Europe and the US due to growing interest in probiotics.
Kombucha is often considered a great source of probiotics. It has been thought to boost immunity, which in turn may help you to recover faster when you get sick. Probiotics are also thought to support the health of the gut and intestinal tract, improving overall digestive health. In short, for those of you who have a hard time switching to water from your usual sodas of choice, Kombucha can offer a refreshing and flavorsome alternative to the more sugary soft drinks that you might be used to!
Bottling your Kombucha
When brewing Kombucha at home, the method is typically divided into two main processes of fermenting.
- First Half: During the first half of the fermentation process, you can store your Kombucha in a glass mason jar. While our Pearl jars have excellent sealing closures, for this part, you will need to leave the lid open and instead cover the top of your glass mason jar with some cheesecloth or a breathable kitchen towel. You can then carefully secure the cloth in place with a rubber band. Fruit flies and gnats love the smell of the acids produced during the Kombucha fermentation process and will be attracted to your Kombucha brewing. Having this cloth in place will help to keep them out.
- Second Half: Once you are happy with the flavor of your Kombucha from the first half of the fermentation process, the next step is to bottle it for consumption. First, it’s best to put on some gloves and remove the SCOBY. Transfer it into a glass mason jar that fits the size of the SCOBY and cover it with four times its volume of Kombucha liquid. You can cover this again with the cheesecloth and rubber band and keep at room temperature for a few days. If you rather wait and keep your SCOBY for the next batch, you can leave it in the glass jar inside a refrigerator.
- Once your SCOBY is out, you can strain the remaining Kombucha through a sieve with cheesecloth inside. You can either enjoy this Kombucha straight away or save it for later to drink or to add it into another recipe. To save for later, we transfer ours into a sterilized glass mason jar sealed closed in the fridge.
Interested in growing your own SCOBY? Or maybe just wondering how to take care of yours? You can find more information at the link below over at the Cooking Light, who also cover how to grow a SCOBY hotel.
Have you ever tried making kombucha at home? Tell us about your experience in the comments.