very tightly sealed container and something with sugars like fruit juice added to make sure enough secondary fermentation is taking place.
it is the trapping of the carbon dioxide sealed in so it cannot escape that forces it into solution, carbonating the ferment, and giving it that fizz. don’t “burp” your secondary ferment or use an open container or air lock. seal that sucker up.
Thank you. It will be done. We’ve read conflicting instructions about refrigeration.
Assuming hot weather, an adequately sealed container and a preference for fizzy, less sweet kombucha, refrigerating the second ferment after 48 hours and drinking after 5 days was good, but sweet and less fizzy.
We can age it longer, but how does the refrigeration best fit in to the decision-making?
Thanks also to @cleveremi and @M_M. I do want to use some clamp sealed bottles @cleveremi. I need to look up @M_M’s vocabulary though. Sounds interesting.
you can leave it unrefrigerated as long as you want, so if 2 days (48hrs) isn’t fizzy enough, either add more sweet (make it a more active process), or more time (second ferment longer), to the second ferment. the refrigeration just slows the fermenting.
I personally like a dry fizzy kombucha or water kefir so i typically second ferment 5-7 days on the counter before refrigerating, but i’ve gone up to 2 weeks before and had excellent results.
I think we’ll keep it on the counter longer. How do you find the process changes if the countertop second ferment happens in or out of direct light … clear glass, coveted or brown or a non-transparent container?
And how did you choose two weeks as your outer limit for countertop second ferment before refrigerating? Is it too much risk of exploding the container, too vinegary, getting mold?
I use champagne yeast because it produces a lot of CO2 in a very short period of time (3-5 days). Very handy if your goal is lots of fizz with very little acidity or alcohol.
Warning: if you decide to use champagne yeast, use it sparingly and definitely use a home-brew swing-top bottle that can handle the pressure. If you use consumer soda bottles, you will be creating a glass bomb. Glass bombs are bad.
[Edit: There seems to be some disagreement among home brewers on whether swing-top bottles are appropriate for champagne yeast ferments. For sodas, the consensus seems to be that you’re okay. If you plan on conditioning your ferments, however, you’re much better off using champagne-specfic bottles that are rated for 6 atm. Just know that such bottles require a corking system using champagne corks and those metal cage thingies. This makes sense when you consider that a sealed bottle of champagne becomes a projectile weapon upon shaking.]
I use 1/8 teaspoon per liter (assuming 100-120g sugar per liter). Usually fruit juice or nectars. Longer ferments will generate alcohol but only a small amount of organic acids (acetic, malic, etc.). I don’t know why, I guess that just how champagne yeasties roll. I’ve done cane sugar ferments, but their taste is less complex.
If you’re using fruit nectars, it’s best to strain them first. If you don’t, the fruit solids will eventually form a layer at the top and upon burping the bottle, they’ll spurt out.
This, by the way, is the most crude method of making fruit sodas from champagne yeast. There are much more refined methods, I’m just too lazy to follow them.
Watch out for those. Over-priming can, like @cleveremi said, sticky showers if you’re lucky. Serious over-priming (or a stuck fermentation) can cause shrapnel. I had an imperial stout drive glass shards an inch into a hardwood bookcase. [quote=“hello_friends, post:384, topic:60404”]
I need to look up @M_M’s vocabulary though. Sounds interesting.
Sorry. Bit of a rush there and communication’s not my strong suit. at the best of times.
It’s a beer thing, but fermenting’s fermenting same-same principles so should apply to whatever. Change the bits that need changing to make sense.
Krausening’s when you reserve wort (unfermented beer) from the initial boil and use to to prime the beer before bottling/kegging. Handy if you don’t want to add sugar for carbonation.
The easy way to do this is to fill a quart mason jar and waterbath seal it keeping it in the fridge for the couple of weeks. It’s not for long-term storage, you’ll need a pressure canner for that, but it’s good enough for the short term.
Extra yeast can also be saved by keeping a bit of your starter culture in the fridge too. Use a sterile container with an airlock seal or even a plug of cotton wool. You’ll be slowing the fermentation down enough to keep the yeast viable but you won’t get any of the benefits of yeast-induced sterility, so watch out for contamination. If you’re already yeast-ranching, then follow usual practice.
For priming, just crack both, mix and pitch. If you’re kegging, put it straight into that. For bottling, siphon beer of the lees (dead yeast) into a bucket, tip wort and yeast (if used) into that, bottle from there. Batch-priming saves all that tedious fucking about with measuring and ensures even distribution through the batch, giving a consistent carbonation and reduced chance of IEDs.
I love and envy how clearly and precisely you and @M_M and @redesigned and @cleveremi — it’s a longer list — explain these ideas. Thank you. I have a lot of fun homework now!
We have talked about one set of sort of random follow up questions that’s over my learning level:
How does what happens in the first and second ferments compare? Is it basically the same and separated mainly so the scobi doesn’t grow large and conquer the earth? Has the focus of the chemical reactions changed in some way?
It’s the same thing you do for preserving stuff. Pop the Mason jar with one of those two-piece lids into a pot of water making sure it’s covered. Boil for 15 minutes. Ball website has deets. This won’t prevent stuff like botulinum from forming, so strictly a short-term measure. If you don’t have the tools, I’ve even had some success with freezing unfermented beer.
I just want to point out that soda bottles are re-usable. They don’t look half as cool as glass but in the event that you don’t exactly know how much carbonation you’re going to get, they have a failure mode that is much less penetrative than glass.
You can buy really nice brown PET bottles, or you can just reuse any soda bottle that isn’t harboring too much of a lingering smell from whatever shipped in it.
My concern about glass bombs is probably more severe than the actual risk, but I only use glass when fermentation is complete, and I’m adding a known amount of sugar on the existing yeast. New yeast or incomplete fermentation means you don’t really know how much carbonation your bottles are going to end up with