hibiscus-kombucha 2nd Fermentation
hibiscus-ginger kombucha (2nd Fermentation)

Although your kombucha and water kefir are super healthy and ready to drink after the first fermentation, doing a 2nd fermentation adds a layer of flavour and fizz, making these beverages even more satisfying!  This is achieved by bottling the brewed kombucha or water kefir, adding flavour and sealing the bottle which traps the carbon dioxide produced by the bacteria in the brews.


The SCOBY cultures used in making the water kefir and kombucha are sensitive to certain ingredients and need to be removed prior to adding the flavouring.  Put the SCOBY cultures aside and pour the kombucha tea or water kefir into sanitized bottles.  Add the flavour of choice and seal the bottles for 3 days to 1 week to achieve maximum flavour and fizz.  I leave my bottles in a cupboard and transfer them to the fridge when I am happy with the level of carbonation.

2nd fermentation preparation


To get lots of fizz in the second fermentation, I always add a few slices of organic ginger to all my flavour additions.  I also add a 1/2 tsp of sugar if my flavouring is low in sugar.  The extra sugar and ginger feed the bacteria, and the byproduct is that satisfying fizz created by the buildup of carbon dioxide within the closed container.  Giving the bottles a little swirl every few days to mix up the contents also helps to create more fizz.

It is essential to use proper bottles that can withstand the pressure of the built-up carbon dioxide (see container choices for your ferments for more information), and try and burp them every few days to reduce the chance of a kombucha geyser spraying you and your kitchen (happened to me last week….)


(Based on 750 ml/ 25 fl oz bottle)

There are many more possible flavour combinations-mix up the flavours and add fresh herbs -don’t be afraid to be creative!   Please note the fruit can be either fresh, frozen or juice.

APPLE PIE: (1/4 cup apple juice, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 2 slices of ginger)

  • BLACKBERRY: 4-5 blackberries or 1/4c blackberry simple syrup
  • BLACKBERRY -THYME: as above, add 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • BLOOD ORANGE: 1/4c blood orange juice
  • BLUEBERRY: 1/4c juice or 1/4 fresh blueberries
  • BLUEBERRY-GINGER-LAVENDER:  1/4 c blueberries, 3-4 slices ginger, 1 sprig/1 tsp  lavender
  • CHAI SPICE : 1 tsp chai masala spice
  • CHERRY: 1/4 cup cherry juice or 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • CHERRY-VANILLA: as above, add 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • COCONUT: 2 tbsp coconut extract, 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • COCONUT-LIME: as above, add 1/4 cup lime juice
  • CRANBERRY: 1/4c cranberry juice
  • CRANBERRY-ORANGE: 1/4c + 2 tbsp orange zest
  • CREAMSICLE: 1/4c orange juice, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ELDERBERRY: 1/4c elderberries
  • FIG AND ORANGE: 2 figs (sliced), + 2 tbsp orange zest
  • FIG AND HONEY: 2 figs (sliced) + 1 tbsp honey
  • GINGER-LEMONGRASS: 3-4 slices ginger, 1 stalk lemongrass
  • GOJI/ACAI/WOLF BERRIES: 1/4 c berries
  • GRAPE: 1/4c grape juice
  • GRAPEFRUIT-GINGER: 1/4c grapefruit juice, 3-4 slices ginger
  • GUAVA: 1/4c guava nectar
Ingredients to make hibiscus Kombucha along with two flip top bottoms and a large clear jar
Lemongrass-hibiscus kombucha
  • HIBISCUS-GINGER-LEMONGRASS:  1/4c hibiscus petals, 3-4 slices ginger, 2 stalks lemon grass
  • KIWI-GINGER: 1/4c kiwi juice or 1 sliced kiwi, 2-1 ginger slices
  • LEMONGRASS/PINEAPPLE/STRAWBERRY: 1/2 stalk lemon grass, 1/4 c pineapple juice, 2-3 strawberries
  • LIME-BASIL: 1/4c lime juice, 4 basil leaves
  • LYCHEE-BASIL: 1/4c lychee juice/diced fruit, 1 sprig fresh basil
  • MANGO: 1/4c Mango juice/4-5 mango segments
  • MANGO-PEACH: as above, add 4-5  peach slices /1/4c peach juice
  • PASSIONFRUIT:  1/4c passionfruit juice
  • PEACH-GINGER: 1/4C peach juice/4-5 peach slices, 2-3 ginger slices
  • PEACH-LEMONGRASS: 1/4c peach juice/4-5 peach slices, 2-3 stalks lemongrass
  • PEACH MELBA: 1/4c peach juice/4-5 peach slices, 1/4 c fresh or frozen raspberries
  • PEACH-STRAWBERRY: As above- add 1/4c sliced strawberries
  • PEAR-GINGER: 1 sliced pear or 1/4c pear juice, 2-3 ginger slices (careful, this flavour combo makes a super fizzy brew!!) 
  • PINEAPPLE: 1/4 pineapple juice
  • PINEAPPLE-COCONUT-“PINA COLADA”: 1/4 pineapple juice, 1/4c coconut milk
  • PINEAPPLE-TURMERIC-STAR ANISE: 1/4c pineapple juice, 2 star anise cloves, 2 slices turmeric
  • PLUM-GINGER: 1 plum (sliced), 2-3 slices ginger
  • PLUM-LEMONGRASS: 1 plum (sliced), 2-3 stalks lemongrass
  • POMEGRANATE: 1/4c pomegranate juice
  • PRICKLY PEAR/GINGER/LEMONGRASS: 1 sliced prickly pear/2-3 stalks lemon grass/ginger
  • PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • RASPBERRY/LEMONGRASS: 1/4c raspberries, 1-2 stalks lemongrass
Raspberry and hibiscus-ginger kombucha
  • STRAWBERRY/BASIL: 1/4c strawberries, 1 sprig fresh basil
  • WATERMELON: 1/4c watermelon juice

[yumprint-recipe id=’8′]

54 Responses

  1. Hi Jody,
    I used to buy Kombucha from the health food store. It was flavoured with hibicus which I loved. I am not able to buy Hibiscus petals anywhere locally. Is it ok to make an organic hibiscus tea and then add the cooled tea to the 2nd ferment.
    PS Love your website. Thanks so much.

    1. gracias por su inter?s y pregunta. Mis disculpas, no estoy seguro de haber entendido correctamente su pregunta. Creo que est?s preguntando si es necesario utilizar t? en la primera fermentaci?n. Necesitas usar t? (verde, negro son los m?s f?ciles). Puedes usar t? descafeinado. Tambi?n he realizado con ?xito lotes de kombucha con t? negro descafeinado.

  2. Hola .
    Hice una compota se ciruelas y duraznos, con algo de az?car.
    Pasdos dos d?as de estar fuera del refrigerador, comenz? a tener un olor ?cido, y a hacer burbujitas.
    Hace una semana la tengo en una botella pl?tica.
    Con tapa rosca.
    Le quito un poco de presi?n.
    Y vuelvo a cerrar la botella porque sube el l?quido muy r?pido.
    Quisiera saber si puedo consumir ese l?quido?

    1. Hola, realmente no puedo aconsejarle si puede beber el l?quido de la compota. Este fue un fermento “accidental” (parece que no hab?a planes para controlar el resultado o para evitar que los microbios pat?genos potenciales invadan la comida). Es probable que no sea da?ino, pero no aconsejar?a tomar el riesgo y beberlo.

  3. Buen?simo el blog! Dos preguntas:
    Puedo fermentar en las botellas as? como guardar en el refrigerador con las botellas acostadas?
    Cu?nto tiempo luego de terminado el proceso puedo mantener las botellas en el refri sin que las bebidas se pongan mal? Gracias!

    1. Hola Andr?s- gracias por su inter?s y pregunta. La kombucha se puede almacenar indefinidamente en la refrigerador, sin embargo, como est? “viva”, contin?a fermentando lentamente, incluso en la nevera, y se volver? m?s ?cida con el tiempo. Aconsejar?a guardar las botellas en posici?n vertical en la nevera para evitar accidentes.

  4. Oh my! I’m only on second water kefir batch ever. Apple and cinnamon, pretty good. Raspberry, delicious. Blueberry and Lime Basil… perfection! Can’t wait to try your flavor combinations! Thanks for posting this. Very inspiring. I put my Blueberry batch in an old wine bottle. It almost blew up after I forgot it for almost 24 hours. Super fizzy and just yummy. Thanks for sharing your experience and tips!

    1. Hi Maria- glad to hear the kombucha is working out for you! Be careful with the type of bottles you use. Wine bottles are not designed to withhold the carbon dioxide pressure that builds up in the bottle, and the cork cannot withstand the pressure. Enjoy!

  5. Hola Jody! gracias por compartir tanto! tengo una pregunta, para la segunda fermentaci?n se puede agregar jarabe de agave? o cualquier endulzante como el fruto del monje, que no tiene calor?as?
    Para la primer fermentaci?n tambi?n se puede hacer con piloncillo o az?car morena?

  6. Hola, muy bueno tu post de recetas. Hay muchas que no se me habian ocurrido.
    Te hago una pregunta: Al hacer la 2da fermentacion, habitiualmente me sale un mini scooby en la botella. Sabes de algun metodo que impida esto? (alguna manera de pasteurizarla quizas?). Mi idea es embotellar en botella con tapa tipo cerveza y no quiero tener un tapon de scooby luego. Gracias !

    1. Hola! Gracias por su apoyo!La aparici?n de un SCOBY inevitable. el SCOBY es creado a prop?sito por la cultura kombucha. Es inofensivo y una buena indicaci?n de que la cultura es saludable. Si pasteuriza la kombucha, matar? los microbios beneficiosos y ya no tendr? una bebida “viva”.

  7. Hi, on my first ever kombucha and looking forward to trying some of your combinations. My question is on the 2nd ferment if I add fresh
    Fruit to the bottles do I then strain it out before pouring or just pour straight into a glass with the fruit still in? Thank you

    1. Hi Rebecca- thanks for your interest and question! It’s up to you if you want to remove the fruit. I don’t because I don’t mind the fruit in the bottle and like to eat the kombucha-infused fruit!

  8. Thank you, Jody. My second fermentation has yielded a lot of carbonization. But the drink is a bit too tart. Any tips on how I can nudge my next batch towards a sweet-tart taste?

    1. Hi Ben- you can shorten the fermentation time to have a less tart kombucha (the sugar is the food for the yeast, so the longer your ferment, the tarter the brew will become). You can also add a bit of sugar to your second ferment.

  9. Hola! En la segunda fermentaci?n, es necesario dejarla de 3-5 d?as en botellas perfectamente selladas? Si la dejo en jarras o botellas abiertas en la nevera, pierde efervescencia? Llevo un rato haciendo pero no me sale muy gaseosa!

    1. !Hola No necesita hacer una segunda fermentaci?n durante 3-5 d?as. Si no le gusta mucho la carbonataci?n, puede hacer una segunda fermentaci?n de 1 d?a. Tambi?n puede dejar la botella abierta (cubierta con un pa?o) si no desea carbonatar

  10. Hi! I?m a kombucha newbie and super excited to try these flavors! My question is about quantities: do you add the flavors to 750ml of kombucha liquid? Or would you put the flavors in the bottle and then fill the bottle with kombucha to make 750 ml total so it fits in the bottle? I?ve never been great with spatial reasoning so I?m trying to wrap my head around 750 ml liquid plus another 1/4-1/2 c liquid fitting into a 750 ml bottle! Is there another way?? Thanks!

  11. Love some of your recipe ideas, thank you. My problem is my Scoby just keeps getting bigger and bigger allowing less and less room for liquid in the 3 litre container. Should I have several Scoby on the go and be bottling many bottles at one time, do you have a separate fridge? As I will soon have no room for anything else in my fridge!!
    Your advice as to what to do with excess Scoby would be much appreciated please.

    1. Thanks Bridget- good luck and enjoy! As you get more confident with subsequent batches, you can have fun experimenting with lots of different flavour combinations of your own as well! Cheers!

  12. Hi Jody. My kombucha is very yeasty after a 10 day brew. When I do the secondary fermentation and add more sugar, it gets super fuzzy with a strong head like you would get on beer. The yeast seems to mask the flavourings I add. How I correct for this excess yeast in the secondary fermentation?

    1. Hi Karen- it sounds like you might have an overgrowth of yeast in your brew. You can try filtering the brew using a fine sieve while decanting the brew into bottles for the second ferment. Also, experiment with not adding sugar to the second ferment – more sugar will feed the yeasts, allowing them to further multiply and create excessive carbon dioxide. You can also remove some of the excess yeast in your culture. With clean hands, use a paper towel to blot off the yeast strands (dark brown strands) that may be clinging to the SCOBY. You can also filter your starter tea to remove excess yeast strands- this shouldn’t affect the culture as enough yeast are still present (albeit not visible) in the starter liquid. Hope this helps and good luck!

  13. I made 2 types of kombucha – Grape and also Cherry. I used 16 oz bottles and added 4 oz juice and 1/2 tsp sugar. Did i ruin it? If not, any suggestions to get it to fizz? Im going on my 2nd day and burped my bottle. Instead of a burp, I only heard a weak gasp :0 oh no what to do?

    1. Hi Kelly- don’t worry, everything sounds good. The amounts in the flavouring recipes in this article are suggestions. If you want to add more or less juice, it won’t negatively affect the ferment. Some like a sweeter kombucha, some like it more sour. Adding an extra amount of sugar will help stimulate the yeasts to create more fizz. Burping the day after might be too soon- the yeasts might not be active yet- it’s really hard to tell as these are living organisms that aren’t perfectly predictable! Wait a day or two and try burping again. Burping the ferment is a way to avoid geyser explosions- you can monitor your ferment and confirm when you have to burp it.

  14. What type of vessel do you use to brew your tea in? I keep seeing that metal and plastic will hurt it. Can you use an enamel pot?

    1. Hi Cheryl- thanks for your interest and question. I use a stainless steel stock pot to make my tea. It is actually not true that metal or plastic will hurt the culture. The type of metal you use is important as kombucha is acidic. Therefore, the best metal to use is stainless steel, as aluminum can rust and copper can leach into the brew. Plastic is also fine, as long as it is super clean. The reason that plastic can cause issues is that it can have micro tears that are hard to clean and might harbour pathogenic bacteria. To summarize, you can use a stainless steel pot or utensils, and plastic utensils that are very clean. And yes, you can absolutely use enamel.

  15. Thanks for posting your recipes! I’m brand new to this, and am just about ready to bottle my first batch. For all of these recipes, how much kombucha are you mixing this the other ingredients? The proportions aren’t clear to me, so please clarify.
    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Mike-thanks for your interest and question. It all depends on how much you like the taste of ginger. I cut ginger into approximately 5mm or 1/2″ strips- just enough to fit into the bottle I decant the finished kombucha or kefir in. I love the taste of ginger, so I put about 2-3 tablespoons.

  16. Hello! For the coconut milk, do you mean refrigerated coconut milk (similar to almond milk) or the coconut milk that comes from a can?

    1. Hi Christa- Thanks for your interest and question. I always use canned coconut milk that doesn’t contain any preservatives and fillers. I find that commercial nut milks have too many fillers and also lack in taste.

    1. Hi Roberta- I haven’t used essential oils as a flavouring. I don’t use them very often in food prep (I use them in a diffuser or in in laundry, etc). If you are familiar in the correct dosage, they would add an interesting flavour profile. Just make sure to add them in the 2nd ferment, as some essential oils are antibacterial.

  17. Love all the flavors, I have been doing kombucha for over 6 months and always try new flavors that I find on the website have never try something new that Is my invention. Now I see all the flavors you post and try a few just love them all, now I don?t know which one is my favorite. Thank yuso much for sharing your flavors. I?m converting into vegan do you have anyone who I can referred with any questions. Once more thanks ??

  18. How do you filter out the spices like cinnamon? Doesn’t it make the kombucha murky? I’ve added whole cinnamon sticks before and the flavor didn’t get as strong as the ground version.

    1. Hi Laura- thanks for your question. Good point, I would make make a “simple syrup” by briefly cooking the ingredients (whisking to incorporate) and letting it cool to room temperature before adding to the kombucha. You could also do this with cinnamon sticks and let it steep for longer to intensify the flavour. Adding the spice mixture to the kombucha could make it a little murky, but you can always strain it with a cheesecloth if you want a clearer end product.

  19. Can you use sage flower from your garden in second fermentation, how would I clean the flowers, concerned about bugs and dirt contaminating the batch

    1. Hi Barry- thanks for your interest and question. Sure, you can use sage flowers, maybe with a few stalks of lemongrass as a compliment. Sage flowers are edible, but can cause allergic reactions if you are very sensitive to pollen. I actually have a giant sage bush and have never used the flowers to flavour kombucha, but it sounds yummy! As for cleaning, I rinse my herbs and pat them dry before adding them to a second fermentation.

  20. Love the recipe ideas, I do have a question.. I love the Chai tea lattes you can get at Starbucks.. is the chai tea spice the same as that chai masale spice and can I add that to all of my favorite flavors?

    1. Hi Lori- thanks for your interest and for your question! I have never had the chai tea lattes from Starbucks, but have used chai spice in a lot of dishes and drinks. Chai spice is a masala (a blend of spices) that has cardamom, ginger and cloves. The blend varies in the different regions in India, so no chai spice blend is the same. You can definitely use whatever spice blend you like in your second fermentation for some interesting flavour.

    1. Hi Kaylee- Thanks for your input! Not sure I understand your question, but here are 2 answers just in case. 1. I let my kombucha sit bottled at room temperature for 3-5 days during second fermentation. 2. It can last indefinitely in the fridge. Remember that refrigeration does not stop fermentation, but slows it down, so your kombucha might change in flavour over a longer period of time (become more vinegary).

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