Pomegranates soared to popularity because of their high amount of antioxidants. The taste can range from sweet to sour depending on the variety of pomegranate and its ripeness, but as a general rule, if you like the taste of grenadine syrup, you probably like pomegranate. You can push this pomegranate kombucha recipe to the sweeter side by adding more juice or make it more sour by using less.
Pomegranate Kombucha Recipe
Makes 1 gallon
14 cups purified water
16 to 20 tea bags or
8 tablespoons (35 grams) loose-leaf black teaa
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 cups starter tea (Starter tea is previously brewed kombucha or store-bought raw kombucha with no flavoring or infusion.)
1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast is the starter culture for kombucha and can be sourced online or at specialty stores.)
4 cups pomegranate juice
Heat 6 cups of the water in a stainless steel saucepan to 212°F over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the tea, stir well, and cover. Steep for 4 minutes, stirring once after 2 minutes. Remove the tea bags or pour the tea through a colander or fine-mesh strainer into a second pot. Compost the tea.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining 8 cups of water to cool the tea to about room temperature (72°F or cooler). Add 2 cups of the starter tea and stir. Pour into a 1-gallon jar.
With rinsed hands, carefully lay the SCOBY on the surface of the tea. Cover the opening of the jar with a clean cotton cloth and hold it in place with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm spot (72°F to 78°F) out of direct sunlight and leave undisturbed to ferment for 7 days.
Taste your kombucha using a straw. Does it taste too sweet? Let it go a few more days before tasting again. Is it sufficiently tart, and you love it? Time for the next step.
Carefully remove the SCOBY with rinsed hands and place it on a clean porcelain or glass plate or bowl bathed in kombucha. This will be your culture for the next batch.
If immediately proceeding with another batch, reserve about 2 cups of the finished kombucha for the starter tea of your next brew.
Add the pomegranate juice to the fermented kombucha tea. Stir gently. Using a funnel and a spouted measuring cup (for easy pouring), fill your bottles with the flavored kombucha, leaving about 1 inch of air space in the neck of the bottle. As you pour, you may want to use a fine-mesh strainer to filter out yeast strands. Cap tightly. Your kombucha is ready to drink, but if you prefer a more carbonated beverage, proceed to the next step.
To begin the optional secondary fermentation process, simply store the capped bottles in a warm dry place (72°F to 78°F is best) for 48 hours. Be aware that the sugars present will add fuel to the fermentation action in the bottle, which will increase the pressure inside the bottles. After 48 hours, chill one of the bottles for at least 6 hours. Crack it open and pour it into a glass. If it effervesces, you’ve done it! If you want more carbonation, let it go for a few more days and test again with another chilled bottle. When you’re pleased with the carbonation, refrigerate all the bottles to end the fermentation.
Reprinted with permission from “Kombucha Revolution” by Stephen Lee, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Cover photography (c) 2014 by Katie Newburn All other photography (c) 2014 by Leo Gong. Publisher retains all copyrights and the right to require immediate removal of this excerpt for copyright or other business reasons.
Related on EcoSalon
Sweet Beet Juice Recipe with Kombucha
Kombucha Beer: Catch a Fermented Buzz!
Fermented Frenzy: 15 Different Uses for Kombucha