Why waste it when you can taste it #2: All about Kombucha

After a first article about what to do with leftovers from lactoferments & shoyu to transform them into flavor powders we are attacking every aspect of the Kombucha production this time!

If you want to learn the basics of Kombucha and continious brewing, click here

Coffee Kombucha: it only gets better with time.

At our shop we often have leftover shots from our espresso machine or grounded coffee at the beginning of our shift (to clean the « old » grounded coffee from the grinder). Because we are obsessed with zero waste we keep them for all kinds of experiments. One of the most succesful are our Coffee Kombuchas. We have two ways of making them: directly with the espresso shots or with grounded coffee. Depending the method the taste profil differs.

For 1l of coffee kombucha we would use: 30gr of espresso shot or 50gr of grounded coffee that we would infuse in a coldbrew way. We add on top of that 70gr of sugar and do a backslop of 10% of base green tea kombucha.

After a couple of weeks you can bottle it for secundary fermentation. After a couple of year we noticed that long fermented coffee kombucha is just devine. So don’t be affraid to let it sit for more then a year!

Good to know: the amount of caffeine is much lower then for regular coffee

Herboucha: the creation of the Mother project

We don’t have to lie to ourselves: tea and coffee are exotic products we consume as if they are grown in our backyard. While these products are delicious, at Fermenthings, we like to explore the possibilities of our terroir. One of the herbs growing in our chefs garden is Verbena and the challenge was to make a kombucha only with it.

In the first place we were using the basic recipe but we always ended up with oil like texture. While the smell was pleasant, we were left with a thick texture not really enjoyable. The solution: instead of filtering with a sieve you need to filter de verbena with cheese cloth. The problem was solved and we ended up with a super floral and lightly spiced up clear kombucha.

The quantities for a liter of Kombucha:

  • 65gr sugar
  • 5gr dried vervaine

Kombucha Vinegar

Sometimes it happens that your kombucha is to acid. Some people like it, but other want to throw it immidiatly away. Don’t, because you are throwing some of the best vinegars for cooking away. So when your kombucha is lowered to 2.5 pH, just  let it continue its fermentation process and keep it as a vinegar base. If you want to make other vinegars, this will work as a perfect base to do backslop (adding 10% of starter to the volume of vinegar you want to make.

Kombucha Candy

The last one.

What we are showing here are no candified pieces of ginger, but candified scoby that have the same texture as gummy bears and it is delicious! Before we came to this texture we tried to mix the scoby, cook it up, smoke it on the smoker, use it as wrapping paper,…

But nothing was as satisfying as tasting these little bonbons. How do you make it? Well the first step is to have a leftover scoby of around 1,5cm thickness and weigh it. Take a weck pot that could fit 3x the scoby, add the scoby and add 2x the weight of the scoby in sugar. Be careful that no scoby is emerging out of the sugar. Close it off and you just applied the ancient korean technique called « Cheong »

Second step is to have time, lots of time. Let the scoby ferment for at least 3 to 5 months. It will go through an alcoholic stage and even smell a bit off at a certain moment, but don’t worry time will settle the inperfections! When the scoby is candified you put it in the drier at 40 degrees for around 12 to 18h. When it lost half it weight you can start cut it in small bonbon and coat it with sugar powder. We tried multiple styles of coating and for the moment that is the best result.

  • 1/3 scoby + 2/3 sugar
  • 3 to 5 months
  • 24h drying at 40 degrees