Yes. We are in to cooler weather this week and that makes me so happy. This kombucha is also making me extremely happy… it has the last of the summer blackberries in it! Plus a lovely FALL ingredient: fresh sage.
The smell of these two ingredients together are intoxicating.
I love the look of sage. I think I’ll keep what I don’t use and put this small jar full of it on my work desk. Aromatherapy and visually pleasing, now that’s some hardworking sage!
This kombucha goes off the method I describe here: The basics of kombucha. I also only used 1/2 a fermented gallon batch to make this because I wanted to save the other 1/2 for making another flavor. You can flavor your whole gallon of kombucha or just part of it! Just scale up or down on the blackberries and sage accordingly. I really appreciate how flexible kombucha can be to flavoring, and doing a small amount first to test a flavor is really helpful. Especially when you try something like Beet Kombucha, which I love, but it was definitely an experiment!
It is so simple to make, once you already have a regular batch of kombucha made. Just put the berries and sage leaves (torn into large chunks) in the bottom of a 1/2 gallon jar or container.
Then mash them up with a spoon, and pour the kombucha over the top. Cover with cheesecloth or anything that will keep fruit flies out, but is still breathable (no plastic wrap). Let it sit on the counter for a couple more days.
Then strain and bottle it if you want or drink it right away! For details on bottling, as well as resources, read my Green Tea and Honey kombucha post.
- One 1/2 gallon sized batch brewed kombucha (see the basics of kombucha post or instructions, you’ll need to make this 7-10 days before you can do the rest of this recipe)
- 7-8 fresh sage leaves, torn into large pieces
- 1 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 gallon jar or container
- long wooden spoon
- cheesecloth, paper towel or tea towel
- string or large rubber band
- To prepare your kombucha for flavoring (secondary fermentation phase):
- Wash your hands and remove the scoby from the kombucha. Place the scoby into a container such as a jar or pyrex bowl (glass is ideal, but plastic is okay too) and pour two cups of plain, brewed kombucha over the scoby. You can store the scoby in the fridge like this, covered, or you can start another batch of kombucha now. If you are doing a continuous brew, then add more tea and leave the scoby and the remaining two cups starter kombucha in the crock.
- To make the blackberry sage kombucha:
- With the brewed (scoby-less) kombucha standing by, place the blackberries and sage leaves in the bottom of a 1/2 gallon sized container or jar. With a long wooden spoon, gently smash the blackberries and sage leave pieces until the mixture is broken down, and the leaves are slightly bruised. Pour the brewed kombucha over the top of this, and stir a few times. Cover with a piece of cheesecloth folded in thirds, and tie a string around the opening of the container, or use a large rubber band, to hold the cheesecloth in place. You can also use a large paper towel or tea towel, as long as it is breathable (don’t use plastic wrap).
- Set the jar on your counter in a room that is around 67-70 degrees for 2-3 days. In the summer, your kombucha will ferment faster then in the winter, so just taste it everyday until it tastes like a good balance of tart and sweet to you.
- After 3 days, strain out the berries and the sage, reserving the kombucha. You can now drink it as is, or bottle it to achieve carbonation.
- To bottle, pour into smaller glass jars or bottles (almost anything works, clean used beer bottles, juice bottles, canning jars), leaving about an inch at the top (aka: “headspace”) and make sure to use a cap, cork or lid to make the bottle air tight. Set sealed bottles on your counter for another 2-3 days, and taste to see if the liquid is slightly fizzy. If they are not quite fizzy after 3 days, you may not have an airtight seal. Check your cap, or move to a different vessel.
- After the kombucha is carbonated, store in the fridge and enjoy with in a few months. The kombucha will keep changing (it’s yeast and bacteria, after all!) But the flavor change is part of the fun. You may notice some small discs floating in the bottled kombucha. These are little yeast colonies, and they are normal. You can strain them out when pouring your kombucha into a glass and serving if you want to, or you can eat/drink them along with your kombucha. If you kombucha gets a little too vinegary for your tastes, you can soften the tang by serving it with a splash of water, or with club soda.
- For step-by-step bottling instructions, check out my Green Tea and Honey Kombucha post!