Kombucha… it’s so delicious, refreshing and magical. I love pairing new flavors with the tart base of kombucha and the results are usually unexpected and delicious.
Ginger is one of those wonder ingredients too. It’s like a little shot of healthy and happy. Some of my favorite ways to use fresh ginger root are stir fries, hot tea, and marinades for any kind of protein. We also keep a candy jar, akin to my grandmother or someone like her, but instead of butterscotch candies, it’s full of Ginger Chews. We just can’t get enough.
Here’s some of the reasons we love ginger:
- The spicy flavor. Ginger is hot, but not like a pepper, it’s heat is more mild and warming then sharp. Candied ginger offers a little sweet with your spicy if you like that.
- It’s good for your digestive system! Ginger soothes your digestive tract, helps relieve gas and bloating, and reduces nausea. It has also recently been discovered that ginger is an anti-inflammatory, boosts your immune system, and may help prevent cancer.
- Ginger is readily available, and lasts a long, long time in your freezer. Yes, you can put the whole thing in your freezer and just chop off a chunk at a time. I’ve noticed that over time, the texture of the ginger tends to get more watery (due to the freezing process breaking down the gingers cell structure) but it’s never affected the outcome of my recipes. If I’ve had a piece of ginger for awhile in the freezer, I sometimes add a bit more then the recipe calls for, just incase any flavor has deteriorated. Of course, you can also keep ginger on your counter or in your fridge, but it will go bad much faster this way (so make lots of kombucha :)
Why, you may ask, is this “super”? Because it’s for the die hard ginger fans out there! You can adjust this to have as much or as little ginger zing as you want. For the super zing version, you want to add some grated ginger to each bottle of kombucha you bottle. For a milder version, just slice the ginger root into rounds. Play around and see what you like.
To make the kombucha base that this recipe starts with, head on over to this post: Kombucha Basics. You’ll want to allow the kombucha base to ferment 7-10 days before moving on to this part where we add the flavor!
If you’ve got a continuous brew kombucha system, you are ready to make the Super Ginger Kombucha.
Start with 1/2 gallon unflavored kombucha.
Slice up two pieces of ginger root, about 3″ in size. No need to peel in this case, the pieces are large enough that we can strain them out later.
Put them all in your kombucha and let ferment on the counter, out of direct sunlight, for 3-5 days. Taste it to make sure it’s to your liking.
If you want more ginger flavor at this point, grate up another 3″ piece of ginger and add a tablespoon-1/4 cup of finely grated ginger to each bottle when you bottle your kombucha. For instructions on how to bottle kombucha, check out this post.
After a few days of fermenting with the ginger, you can strain out the solids and bottle as mentioned above, or just drink and enjoy. Be sure to leave 1″ headspace in each bottle and store your fully fermented kombucha in the fridge. Consume within a month or so.
(Photos from when I made this recipe in August of 2015.)
- One ½ 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)
- 2-3inch pieces fresh ginger root
- additional grated ginger for bottling (optional)
- ½ 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/jug.
- To make the super ginger kombucha:
- With the brewed (scoby-less) kombucha standing by, slice 2 pieces of ginger about 3" long into ¼ inch rounds. Place in the bottom of a ½ gallon sized glass jar or pitcher. Pour the brewed kombucha over the top of this, and stir a few times. Cover with a piece of cheesecloth folded in thirds (so that there is 3 layers, or just use a non-fuzzy kitchen towel), 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 ginger pieces, reserving the kombucha. You can now drink it as is, or bottle it to achieve carbonation and add additional ginger.
- To add more ginger, finely grate another 3" piece of fresh ginger (depending on how much you want to add to each bottle you may need more). Clean your bottles, and add a tablespoon of the grated ginger to each or up to ¼ of a cup.
- 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 around in the bottled kombucha. These are little yeast colonies, and they are normal (and good!). 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!
Bonus fact: Ginger root is actually a rhizome! A rhizome grows under ground or at ground level and forms lateral roots with offshoots at different intervals. A few other members of the rhizome family include turmeric, bamboo and the bearded iris.
More about Ginger here.
More about rhizomes and other types of plants here.
The Basics of Kombucha: where I explain how to make your kombucha base and talk about why I started drinking kombucha in the first place (spoiler: it started when I found out about my egg intolerance)
How to bottle your kombucha is described in detail in my Green Tea and Honey Kombucha post.