20110806

Makin' It Local - Pricky Pear Kombucha

We've been making kombucha for a couple/few years now and we are still using the same mothers. Our recipe has changed many times. At present we have a mix that is as good or better than any kombucha that's been sold in stores. The current recipe is: 3 cups white sugar for 7 quarts of tea. Tea variety: peach oolong. Added concentrate (put in at the end before bottling): organic black cherry concentrate. Today we changed things up once to create a summer variety of kombucha. We replaced the black cherry with prickly pear cactus concentrate from a recent harvest thus making it a local variety. The prickly immediately interacted with the tea. There was movement. The color is fantastic. I expect the taste will be too. We'll write again with a full taste review once the batch has had time to carbonate.

7 comments:

Burkbum said...

You mentioned "once the batch has time to carbonate"... Does that mean that after you bottle it, you cap it and leave it out at room temp for longer and allow it to get active again with the sugars in the fruit/cactus concentrate but without the mother? Or you "add carbonation"? If the former, how long is your kombucha good for once you bottle it? I commented a while ago about a mother I let "go" but I've since reestablished a good mother and am bottling about every 2-2.5 weeks. Usually though, I pop it right in the refrigerator because I don't know what else to do!?!? :) Thanks!

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne said...

Yes Burkbum, the former is correct. There's no artificial carbonation going on, just what the drink naturally does when that concentrate is added.

Adding concentrate tends to increase the carbonation too. Kombucha carbonates on it's own but much more so when a sugar is added such as a juice concentrate.

Once bottled kombucha should last months, maybe longer. We never let it sit more than a few weeks simply because we consume it before it can age further. What's most likely to happen in long term storage is that it blows it's top from pressure.

After we bottle we store the bottles in a 5 gallon bucket with a brick on top in case any of them blow their top. Refrigeration also slows the process so that should be fine too.

Burkbum said...

Thanks for that. I tried it with my most recent batch of Water Kefir, adding a bit of lemon juice, lime juice and about 1/2 C sugar (the water kefir needs a bit) and after two days capped, unrefrigerated the effervescence is amazing! I think the second fermentation + additional sugars in the form of fruit concentrate is important, and wow! Thanks for the correspondence.

Miss Meshow said...

I am gathering prickly pear fruits tomorrow and I thought I'd try to add it to kombucha. How did yours turn out?

Miss Meshow said...

Going out to forage prickly par fruits tomorrow and thought I'd try it in kombucha. How did yours turn out and what else have you used the prickly pear in?

Wendy Jehanara Tremayne said...

Ours is awesome, tastes like watermellon jolly rancher.
we add the prickly when bottling the kombucha.

Miss Meshow said...

All my prickly pear are full of huge seeds. Does this mean that I waited too long to harvest? Can I still used them?