03 Jul Hard Kombucha
Sometimes I just want a glass of something crisp and lightly alcoholic.
I skipped out on beer years ago; wine makes my head buzz after a glass, and cider is too sweet. But hard kombucha is just right. It’s refreshing, bubbly and dry to the edge of tart. Low in sugar and alcohol, it’s perfect for the weekday evening, or just anytime that you want to unwind without the worry of a hangover.
Making hard kombucha is surprisingly easy. First, make a regular batch of kombucha and then add in a few cups of apple and/or pear juice, pitch some yeast in, and let it ferment again with an airlock on. If you’re new to fermenting alcohol, you might need to take a quick trip to your friendly homebrew shop (or just order it online). But I promise, making hard kombucha is easy, the hardest part is being patient. The entire process can take up to four weeks.
The end result is delicious, and stores well in a cool place (like the fridge). I’ve had a batch in storage for over three months and it just keeps getting better.
I’ve had the best results with fresh apple juice that I make with my cheap juicer that I picked up on black friday sale. But I’ve also tried, and found success with apple cider from local orchards. It’s important to buy juice without any preservatives, including citric acid or vitamin C, both of which might prevent the yeast from activating.
Make sure to pick up a yeast that is well suited for cider brewing. Most brew shops carry a range of yeasts, just ask for help if you’re unsure! Or you can order it online.
Hard Apple & Pear Kombucha
- Make a batch of regular kombucha: Make Your Own Kombucha
- Once the kombucha is fermented to the point that you like the taste, strain the SCOBY out and pour the kombucha in a glass carboy that can be used for alcohol fermentation. This is a similar set up to what I use.
- Add one cup freshly juiced apple/pear juice for each gallon of kombucha.
- Add in 1/2 teaspoon of hydrated cider yeast (can be found at your local brew shop or online).
- Let ferment in a cool dark space for two weeks or until the airlock stops bubbling.
- Strain and enjoy! The alcohol percentage will be between 3-6%