How is Higher Alcohol Kombucha Made?
At Boochcraft, we elevate the brewing process to ensure that our hard kombucha is the best on the market. But we’d be lying if we said we’re never asked how we actually make our booch. Let’s dive into our process so you can understand how our fizzy kombucha brews are created from start to finish. Then, we’ll give you your own step-by-step guide for brewing higher alcohol kombucha from the comfort of your own home. Ready? Set? Go!
The Boochcraft Process:
First, let’s talk about what kombucha is. Kombucha is a fermented tea make with a SCOBY. Wait, what? SCOBY stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast” and is the key ingredient that makes booch booch. We start by combining a scoby with organic tea and Fair Trade cane sugar, then fermentation begins and takes roughly 2 weeks.
The finished result? A beverage that is tangy, a little carbonated, and teeming with beneficial bacteria and probiotics. At this point, the kombucha only has slight traces of alcohol. But we kick things up a notch.
After the initial ~2 week fermentation process, our brewers add more sugar and a new strain of yeast to brew buzzworthy kombucha. The liquid is then locked inside of a closed fermentation tank to prevent aerobic bacteria from metabolizing the additional yeast into acids. This secondary fermentation process takes 10-14 days and brings the alcohol content up to 7% ABV.
Now that we’ve described the Boochcraft process, let’s dive into a homemade hard kombucha recipe that you tackle!
DIY High Alcohol Kombucha Recipe:
Upgrading your typical kombucha to a fizzy adult beverage is no simple task. We have faith in you, but must warn that this recipe is moderate to advanced. So proceed with caution.
Step 1: Purchase a container for your booch. We like large mason jars or multi-gallon jugs like this.
Step 2: Get your hands on a scoby.
You can buy one online or beg a friend who brews kombucha at home to gift you one.
Step 3: Brew tea.
You can scale this recipe to whatever quantity you’d like, but for all intents and purposes, this recipe is based off of 1 gallon of high alcohol kombucha.
For 1 gallon of buzzy booch, you will need to brew 14 cups of black tea with 8 tea bags and 1 cup of sugar (we always recommend organic sugar, and Fair Trade if possible).
Step 4: Combine brewed tea (once cooled) to your gallon container. Add your SCOBY and the juices that come along with it. Secure the jar closed and let this ferment for 7 days.
Step 5: Second ferment time!
After step 4, you essentially have “normal” kombucha. Ordinarily, you would add any flavorings of choice and then distribute into smaller jars or swing top bottles. But to make your booch buzzy, you’ll need a second round of fermentation.
For the second round of fermentation, bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Once it cools, add ¾ teaspoon of champagne yeast.
The yeast and sugar mixture will begin to foam. After this, add the mixture to your gallon of kombucha.
Step 6: Wait for the magic.
You’ll need to seal the kombucha jar again and let it sit for an additional 7-14 days while the ABV climbs.
Step 7: Add flavors and bottle
After 7-14 days of second fermentation, it’s time to add flavors! Add any organic fruit juices that you’d like – fresh-pressed always (that’s the Boochcraft way). For inspiration, browse our flavors page. As a final step, you’ll want to pour the jug of booch into smaller, single serve bottles. We like glass swing tops or mason jars!