Yes, fermenting something that’s already fermented sounds a little crazy, what can I say? Inspired by my success at adding vodka to the normal kombucha fermentation process, and the ongoing batch of kombucha-fermented cider, I decided to see what would happen if I added a kombucha scoby to a bottle of red wine. Rather than a nice continuation of the vodka experiments, I mashed the two together.
I had a more detailed description of preservatives in my first cider post, and I had a related concern here. But wines use potassium metabisulfite to prevent microbial spoilage yeast/bacteria activity and oxidation, and that would probably interfere with my kombucha culture. So I needed to use an organic wine (US certified) to ensure that it didn’t contain any added sulfites. Frey Natural Red is organic, reasonable priced, and generally regarded as decent, so I used that. I simply added a scoby to 750 ml of wine.
- 12 days: pH 3.6? It was really hard to read the pH because the red wine stains the litmus paper. It still tastes like the original wine (which didn’t taste that good), but without any sweetness and more astringent. No scoby is forming.
- 21 days: pH 3.6? There was a powdery film forming on top, and it tasted much better than before. A distinct sourness appeared, and it smells a lot less like wine.
- 29 days: pH 2.8? This never produced a scoby, only a dry, thin, powdery film. This got so sour that I felt some burn as it travelled down my throat. Wow. I’m keeping this for now, maybe it will be of some use as a blending agent. If nothing else, I could use it as red wine vinegar.
To be honest, aside from acid formation, this never really exhibited any of the normal signs of kombucha fermentation. I don’t know that this isn’t the same thing that would have happened if I had simply left wine in a jar on the hot pad.
I have to wonder if there would be some benefit to augmenting a normal batch of kombucha with wine, similar to how I had augmented the kombucha ferment with vodka. Maybe I’ll try that, someday.