Beet juice is one of the prettiest colors that occurs in nature. It is such a vibrant pink. I think when they (whoever “they” is) named the colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK, yes, K stands for black, or Key in the printing world) they were thinking of beet juice as the perfect description of Magenta. I love how it almost looks radioactive. Why I love that, I don’t know, but it seems full of drama and vibrancy.
First, I suggest you read this post, where I give you the low down on making my favorite kombucha. Then you should read this post, where I talk about the beet juice I make in the blender.
Okay, so take all those good and healthy feelings of beet juice…. and add in the power of kombucha. Wham! One-two punch.
This recipe is as easy as making kombucha, you just make the beet juice and then add it to the kombucha in the secondary (the flavoring) fermentation phase. The beet juice is blended with less water when used with kombucha, so follow the ratios in this recipe. But if you want to make a killer beet juice without the ‘bucha, go here: Restorative Beet Juice. Beet juice is great after a night of indulging, and beet kombucha is even more healing and balancing to your body.
To make this kombucha, you just need a scoby (a kombucha starter), tea, sugar and 2 small red beets. You could also add ginger, but I would suggest adding more then you think you might need (maybe a 5-6 inch piece for every 5 bottles kombucha) because the beet juice is the star here and it will overpower all other subtle flavors.
Have I told you how fun I think kombucha would be for a shower/birthday/open house? This one is especially party-worthy because of the amazing vibrant color. Don’t spill it! Beet juice kills your whites, people. You can remove it from counters and cutting boards, though. For counters, I like to use Bar Keeper’s Friend or a mixture of baking soda with a few drops of white vinegar sprinkled on top and scrub with a green scruby (nylon green pad that is slightly abrasive but not steel wool). Cutting boards benefit from a little elbow grease. With half a lemon, scrub some kosher salt all over the cutting board then rinse with hot water. This also takes off berry stains. I don’t usually worry about stains when I’m working with beets… the benefits are far more worth it to me. I hope you enjoy this beet kombucha!
- One 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)
- 2 small beets, scrubbed clean
- 6 oz water
- 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.
- To make the beet kombucha:
- With the brewed (scoby-less) kombucha standing by, chop the beets into a 1" dice. You do not need to peel the beets if you wash them well with a brush.
- In a blender, combine the beets and the water. Pulse to get the blending started, then puree on high for about one minute, until you have a puree of beets. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, but mostly blended/chopped into fine pieces is what you are looking for. The liquid will be a dark purple.
- Pour the beet puree into the brewed kombucha. You can transfer the entire mixture to a larger container at this point, if needed. 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 beets, 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 'bucha 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 them. 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.