I don’t think I remember where I got my first taste of kombucha, but I remember the when. It was only about a year and a half ago that I was introduced to fermented sweet tea. Yum! And now I have a love affair with it ! There are so many flavors to add to it, so many delicious fruits to mix that I don’t think there can ever be an end to the experiments I’m planning on with my SCOBY and tea. I’d love to do a strawberry banana but am pretty sure that would be too mushy. What do ya’ll think about strawberry kiwi????
Anyway……This is how I made a delicious and healthy Blueberry-Lemon Kombucha fermented summer tea by testing and mixing flavors.
This summer I plan to try rhubarb lemon mint, basil mint, and even strawberry orange. Why not, right?
If you are not familiar with kombucha, briefly it is a fermented sweet tea with myriads of health benefits. While some of the professed claims of these said benefits are really outrageous, (curing cancer, removing warts, restoring hair to it’s natural color…ok, so I made that last one up 🙂 lol, and only because I wished it would really work…..) it is true that because it’s a fermented drink, there are many bonuses to the probiotics it contains.
BREWING BLUEBERRY LEMON KOMBUCHA
To start with, you will have to brew a batch of kombucha and let it do its thing for at least 7 to 10 days. This is the standard brewing time, but some people like it a bit stronger or a bit tarter. No problem just let it brew for a few more days. Remove a bit of the brewed tea (so that you can place your SCOBY in it and also have a bit of ‘starter’ for your next batch) and place it in another clean and sterilized jar. I’d say to reserve a cup to a cup and a half.
When you have your batch ready, and you have removed the SCOBY and placed it in another, jar you’re ready to make your blueberry lemon kombucha! At the risk of sounding repetitive….yum! and yum some more!
While I love fresh blueberries in season, where I live they are expensive and really don’t grow very well. So frozen will work just fine.
ADDING YOUR RECIPE INGREDIENTS TO YOUR BLUEBERRY LEMON KOMBUCHA
Start with a small heavy bottomed sauce pan and place a cup of thawed berries in your pan with 1/3 cup of sugar (or to taste) and a few tablespoons of water. Two things here…one, the juice from the berries, the melted sugar and minimal water will give your kombucha some extra food and two, the sugars will cause a double ferment in your kombucha. And because you probably already remember that this stuff needs sugar as its fuel, you’ll be able to see that it will make it even fizzier. If you are addicted to carbonation like I am, well, let’s just say this is a good thing.
Heat slowly in your pan kinda while mashing things up a bit to release more of the juices and the sugar melts. This won’t take very long. A few minutes at the most. Some people will cook until it makes a thin syrup. I’m all about what I can get done well in as short a time as possible so I figure I don’t need to take the extra time to get it to a syrup stage. I feel when it is mixed it into the current kombucha, the syrup sort of thins down anyway. So skipping this step works for me 🙂 But this is entirely up to you.
I got my first starter from these people and have never been disappointed with the quality of the SCOBY or the service. Now, I have plenty of my own, but occasionally need a fresh starter. These people are wonderful to work with.
Let this cool really, really well. You don’t want any heat to damage any of the good probiotics in your kombucha. When it’s completely cool, strain to remove the pulp from the juice. If needed, you may have to double strain. If you don’t mind drinking a bit of fruit pulp with your tea, it’s not a big deal, but if you are a purist and want the clearest looking glass of kombucha, then by all means, do a second straining.
To strain, I first pour the cooled berries into a strainer above a plastic bowl. Then I take what is left in my strainer and put it into tripled folded cheesecloth, squeeze the remainder of the juice above the plastic bowl again.
Add the juice of ½ fresh lemon to the blueberry mix. What is left is poured into the current kombucha. Stir well with a plastic spoon.
BOTTLE YOUR BLUEBERRY LEMON KOMBUCHA
You can go ahead and bottle the Blueberry-Lemon Kombucha this time, doing an additional strain if you feel your kombucha needs it. I usually leave it in my gallon jar on my kitchen countertop a few more days out of direct sunlight. Because I don’t always drink a gallon that fast, I will bottle the remainder and then refrigerate.
The gallon jugs I used are actually old pickle jars. It's difficult to get the scent and flavor out of them but after a few washes with viniegar and baking soda, the residue is light.
If the odor and flavor persist, leave this soda and vinegar combo over night in the jar. Rines thoroughy before putting your kombucha mix into it.
Just an FYI, I recently got a huckle berry bush. Even though it's not native to this area, I'm hoping it will grow and produce in a few years to get me enough berries to test. One thing I have not tested is how long kombucha can sit in my fridge without spoiling. However, this batch didn't last long around my family and the flavor was nothint if not fantastic.
You can see I have quite a bit of blueberries here. Since I don't have any growing in my yard, I look for sales and buy as many as I can, then freeze them. I have not personally noticed it reflect in any change of taste as long as the berries are used before they get freezer burned.
CAUTION! Because this is a double ferment, be careful when opening. I have had bottles explode and let me tell you, it can be a nightmare finding where it has all splashed to. I was pretty sure I had cleaned up my mess until my husband came home and asked me what was on the ceiling…oops! Guess I missed that spot 🙂 But if you find you love the taste as I do, your Blueberry-Lemon Kombucha won't even last that long.
Now, go make some blueberry-lemon kombucha, sit in your garden, and listen to the grass grow and enjoy.
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