Making Your Kombucha Fizzy – With Ginger — 52 Comments

    • I’m not quite sure what role caffeine plays in making kombucha, but I’ve used decaffeinated English Breakfast tea in making my kombucha in the past and it’s worked fine. I would recommend sticking with actual teas and not straight herbal infusions. If you want to reduce caffeine, you can steep the tea for about 20-30 seconds in one pot which I understand (although haven’t tested myself) removes most of the caffeine and then finish steeping it in your water for your kombucha. I would suggest playing around with some herbal teas to add to your normal tea and see what happens. I have a friend who loves using “Red Zinger” and the flavor is great. I would stay away from teas which may have oils added, such as Earl Gray, and also teas that have been smoked. Organic is best to minimize potential pesticides and contaminants which could adversely affect the SCOBY. Good luck Ginger, and let us know if you have success with any herbal additions.

  1. I really like the flavor and fizz from the ginger. Just finished my 2nd batch using this new method and have a feeling I will continue to make kombucha this way from now on. I have not been using the tumeric, just ginger. We have started calling it “champagne kombucha” because of all the delightful bubbles. Thanks for the great tip Ted!

  2. I have made kombucha with herbal teas that worked very well.
    One of my favorites was using sassafras tea to make root beer

  3. I am so excited to learn about adding the ginger to make my Kombucha fizz. I had been told that it would fizz if I just left out the bottle for a day after the first fermentation. It did not fizz much. So this will be such a great experiment.

    One question about using a cookie jar. I have found glass containers with spouts. They are very convenient. I was wondering why you do not use that kind of container?
    Here’s what they look like:

    • I like the spout idea. I think I’ll drill a hole in my jar (wish me luck) and find a high quality spout to add to it. I haven’t tried a “continuous brew” but seems like it would work great. Once I get that process down, I’ll write up and share what I’ve learned. Thanks Alison.

      • I’m fairly new to Booch but I do the continuous brew myself. I give my scobie away every time I bottle and my booch makes a new one within days. It’s so easy and so fun! I get 2 batches for 2nd ferment every month and mix up my flavors. Try it!

  4. I’ve been making kombucha for almost a year now, and I love it. I’ve found ginger helps a lot with fermentation too. I ran across your site looking for new flavor combos to try. My current favorite is Pineapple-ginger. I’m a little nervous about trying turmeric, though I could certainly use the benefits. I will give it a try.

  5. i have a question. There was sediment at the bottom of the Kombucha i purchased. I assume this is the live cultures. Can they be used to ‘start’ new batches of Kombucha?

    • You can simply use kombucha as a culture to start your next batch. I’m honestly not certain what constitutes the sediment at the bottom. Best to use the liquid itself or, of course some floating culture from another kombucha maker. Good luck and sorry about the delay in getting back to you. Somehow missed this.

      • I have been making homemade kombucha for a few months now and most of us really like it just plan. Except my husband he wants it fizzier and loves ginger flavor…so I am very excited to try this recipe!
        I have never actually purchased ginger or handled it before so this will be all new to me.
        Curious if I slice ginger and freeze it, if frozen would work or if that would ruin the fermentation process. I ask because I don’t always have access to organic ginger near me and will most likely need to buy a lot at once. Or maybe other storage tips to keep ginger fresh longer.

        • I honestly haven’t tried freezing ginger but my hunch is that it would work. You’ll simply have to experiment.

          The other thing I’ve learned to do is to not allow the scoby to get too thick through successive batches. Leaving just the top layer or two seems to keep the kombucha in better balance and ends up more fizzy over time.

    • Kombucha is fermented tea. Its primary ingredients are tea, sugar, and SCOBY. Additional ingredients and flavors are added after the first phase of fermentation.

  6. I have a dumb question, but here goes..I want to make 2 gallons of kombucha. Can I use the 1 gallon recipe and just add water to the container with the cooled tea, and then the scabby?

    • A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. Some people refer to it as a Mushroom, but it is definitely not a mushroom or a fungus. To get a SCOBY, put the word out among people you know to see who might be making their own kombucha and ask if you can have a SCOBY from them. As you make kombucha, the SCOBY generally floats on the surface of the kombucha and continues to grow and thicken from batch to batch. It’s each to peel off a layer to give away or to cut off a hunk with a scissors. You can actually just pour a bottle of live kombucha into your sweetened tea mix and a SCOBY will naturally form on the surface over time. The first batch may not come out as good as subsequent batches but you can definitely create your own SCOBY in that way. You can search online and order a SCOBY as well, although I’ve never done that so am not certain whom to recommend. Good luck!

  7. I have a question. About the ginger. Do you peep off the outer layer before cutting it up or just leave it on?

    • Leave the outer layer on. My understanding is that there is a natural yeast which is commonly found on the skin of ginger which creates the carbonation.

        • If the ginger is not organic, it is likely irradiated for safety. Unfortunately, that also kills the beneficial microbes that cause the secondary fermentation. This is a practical reason (aside from any aesthetic ones) to use organic ginger for this purpose.

  8. I made a 16 oz jar of peach flavored 2nd ferment booch. I filled the bottle with very little headroom. I left it sit in the cupboard about 7 days when I saw something that stated that I need the “burp” the bottle daily. I started doing it over the next couple of days. I had a beautiful fizzy action. Over flowing. However, I chickened out and dumped it (I know… I just heard the collective gasp 🙂 )instead of drinking it. It had a “funky” flavor or I was unaccustomed to it. I have done another, larger batch of booch 2nd ferment with fresh grated ginger. I have 64 oz of booch in a 68 oz flip gurlock style jar. I “burped” after a couple of day. it had a good head of fizz. I left it for about 4-5 day and when I burped it this a.m. it was “flat”…no fizz. I put it in my fridge till I can find out if its good (it started growing a new scoby…) Did I leave too much air space? Is it bad? Should I burp the jar? Please help, V

  9. Super grateful you wrote this recipe + the easy to digest instructions! I am currently in the midst of making my first batch of Kombucha, it’s been fermenting in my growler for 12 days now – I don’t want it to be too sweet. I think I plan on tasting it today and if all goes as planned, I’ll bottle it with the ginger and turmeric (I too add this to just about everything, I love it in my salad dressing + mix in in with my greek yogurt when making tuna or chicken salad). Thanks again! I’m pinning this recipe!

    • Thanks Brittany. Just a heads up that first batches don’t always turn out quite as well as you like. Depends on the health and balance of the SCOBY. If for some reason, it’s not perfect, don’t despair. The second or third batches are often quite improved. Good luck! Excited for you!

  10. I love the idea of adding ginger to kombucha. I love the gut benefits kombucha brings in and of itself, so the idea of also adding in ginger sounds wonderful! I had no idea ginger could bring carbonation into your kombucha. I am so excited to try this! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Thank you for the great in depth explanation. I do have one question, however. When you cut the ginger into matchsticks, how do you measure out a teaspoon? How many matchstick sized pieces do you use per teaspoon? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Kenny, I’m sorry, but I haven’t counted and it’s a pretty rough estimate. The exact amount isn’t important. Just put some ginger in which as best you can tell would approximate to a teaspoon. No crime in more or less. Good luck!

  12. I recently made my first batch of kombutcha using a scoby from a friend who has been making it for several years. Although the batch was small I did try two small bottles of a second fermentation using ginger and raspberries. The raspberries were previously frozen, thawed, put through a sieve to remove the seeds leaving me with about three tablespoons of the raspberries which I added half to each bottle plus two stripes of ginger to each. Leaving space at the top of each I closed the bottles with their plastic lids and left for two days. I was pleased with final product but another time I will leave a little longer; three or four days. This did start to make a scoby on the top of each so I strained before consuming.

    • sounds great! Personally, I eat those mini SCOBYs when they appear. Sometimes I just toss them into a smoothie! But then again, I’m pretty fearless when it comes to ferments!

  13. Good info. This is my first visit to your site. Question? When using fresh organic
    Ginger, you said not to peel , should I rinse it off before putting in my booch
    Thanks Rachel
    I am new to making booch

    • You should probably give it a good rinse. The intention is to bring the natural yeasts present on the surface of the ginger into your kombucha. The pH for kombucha will get low enough so there shouldn’t be a fear of botulism. This is also why it’s important to add a half-cup to a cup of kombucha from a previous batch to your new batch (per gallon) when starting. It helps to quickly bring down the pH level to a more food safe level. Good luck.

  14. Hello friends! Don’t forget to add pepper if you want to absorb the good stuff in tumeric. Body won’t get much out of it otherwise. 🙂

  15. Hi Ted, I’ve been brewing kombucha for 9 months and love it. I do a second ferment with fruits, ginger and spices at room temp for a week or so, THEN I bottle it. When I bottle, I put in pinch sugar to get carbonation action, let sit room temp for a day or so, and then refrigerate. Am I doing too much with the second ferment? The end result tastes good to me.
    Also after reading up on brewing, I realized I was using a lot of tea per gallon (8 tea bags). Again, it worked and tasted great, so is there any reason why I can’t continue this practice? My mothers are fat and happy.
    Thanks, Diane in Massachusetts

  16. I am fairly new at making Kombucha. A neighbor gave me a scoby. I have made a few batches with decaffeinated green tea. At the store I buy ginger favored Kombucha that is a combination of black and green tea, from Whole Foods. I wanted a non caffeinated Kombucha. I had never done a second ferment to make it fizzy before. I already had a batch that was ready to be done, so I decided to try the second ferment with ginger, etc. I started that yesterday and put them in ball jars with tight lids. Now it looks like my two ball jars are staring to each grow a new scoby. The original scobys are in another jar. So what is happening?

  17. How do you feel about crystallized ginger instead of fresh? It adds a little sugar to feed the kombucha? But I’m not sure if I would get more fizz with fresh.

    • That could work but for different reasons. The fresh ginger I believe adds a natural yeast which lives on the skin of ginger. Using crystallized ginger will add a little extra sugar, which when added to a bottle before sealing can inspire a secondary fermentation in the bottle which could perhaps add a little fizz. The fresh ginger is more likely to be successful in my opinion but have never tried the crystallized ginger approach. Good luck!

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