I’ve previously made kombucha fermented on raisins. This is a minor derivation on that – kombucha fermented on zante currants. (It’s probably worth noting that zante currants actually tiny dried grapes, and are not true currants.) To make this, I added 1/2 cup of zante currants to a 1 qt micro-batch of my usual kombucha.
How will the flavor of kombucha change if raisins are added at the beginning of fermentation? I’ve seen raisins recommended for water kefir and other kitchen fermentations, and the seem to be helping my water kefir grains (which have never thrived) come back from the brink of death. I added 1/2 cup of Thompson raisins to an otherwise normal 1 quart micro-batch.
I took my normal kombucha (scaled 1/4 to a 1 quart micro-batch), and added 1 cup of hop tea. I made the hop tea by measuring 1 oz of Cascade whole dried hops into my thermos, adding boiling distilled water, and steeping for 12 hours. The tea was 200° when I closed it and 130° when I opened it. I diluted it with cold distilled water to bring it down to room temperature before adding it to the kombucha. I used the extended warm steep in an effort to isomerize some of the hop’s alpha acids, mimicking the way it acts as a bittering agent and preservative added to beer wort.
I made a 1 quart micro-batch of kombucha, following my usual recipe, except that in place of sugar I used Briess Pilsen omried malt extract (DME). Malt is a particularly interesting sugar source because a kombucha culture should be able to thrive on malt alone. In this case, malt + tea should have provided a surfeit of nutrition. Would this produce similar effects to my double-sugar kombucha?
I’ve been experimenting with adding hops to kombucha for a more beer-like experience. In brewing terms, I’m dry hopping kombucha. Dry hopping is generally done for aroma, and doesn’t generally produce much bitterness, so dry hopped kombucha should emphasize all of the ancillary hop flavors that most people probably don’t think about. But I have to wonder if the kombucha’s low pH might affect the hops in such a way as to realize some of the bitterness too.
I’ve taken notes on quite a few different batches of kombucha that aren’t yet documented in a blog post. This is one of those…
I’ve made glucose kombucha before. I made it again in hopes of stopping fermentation before all of the sugar fermented out. I wouldn’t expect it to taste sour at that point (despite a relatively low acidity), but it would probably be rather drinkable while still imparting the usual probiotic benefits to my vinegar-phobic family. If nothing else, it could be used to make lemonade, sweet tea, etc.