This Vanilla Kombucha has a smooth rich flavor, reminiscent of cream soda. It can be made with vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract.
There are several kombucha flavors that I've made that are in my list of all time favorites. This Vanilla Kombucha is one of them.
Not only is it super easy to make, it's got a delightfully smooth rich flavor. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can make this with vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract. It is good either way.
Other Kombucha Recipes
Two Types of Fermentation
The first fermentation of kombucha is when you combine sweetened tea, a kombucha scoby, and some starter tea. You let it ferment for 7-21 days and the result is uncarbonated unflavored kombucha.
For the second fermentation you remove the scoby and take that kombucha you made in the first fermentation and add flavor. You let it ferment for another 3-5 days in sealed bottles. The result is a fizzy flavored drink.
You can ferment the flavored kombucha up to 14 days. It all depends on the amount of sugar content in the flavor you're adding, and the temperature of the room.
Warmer temperatures will cause faster fermentation, and higher sugar content will also speed up fermentation.
What Makes Kombucha Fizzy?
The second fermentation is when kombucha gets fizzy. By putting it into a sealed container at room temperature and adding a sugar source (fruit and / or sweetener), carbon dioxide builds.
How to Make This Recipe
For this kombucha recipe you'll be making a second ferment.
First you'll need some homemade kombucha, 25 ounce bottles with flip top lids, and a funnel.
Pour ¼ cup maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon vanilla bean seeds or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract into each bottle. Pour your freshly fermented homemade kombucha into the bottles, leaving 1-2" head space. Let sit 3-5 days.
Pop open the lids at least once a day. Pressure builds, and this allows it to escape so that you don't have a mess.
Should I Burp My Second Ferment Kombucha?
Yes! If you don't you could have a mess. By adding sugar to the homemade kombucha and fermenting a second time in bottles with swing top lids, you're creating an environment for carbonation. If you don't allow it to escape, you'll have kombucha all over your kitchen.
How Long Does It Take To Get Fizzy Kombucha?
It can take anywhere from 1-14 days. It depends on a few things.
- It depends how much sugar you have in the kombucha. (Sugar in the form of fruit and / or sweetener.) The more sugar, the faster you'll get carbonation.
- It also depends on the weather. Warmer temperature = faster carbonation. I've had bubbly kombucha after a day in summer months and bubbly kombucha after a week in colder months.
- Only use bottles with swing top lids! Mason jars and store-bought kombucha bottles that have the seal broken won't hold carbonation.
- Refrigerate after the kombucha is done fermenting.
- Using vanilla bean gives a stronger vanilla flavor, but it is also more expensive. Both vanilla bean and vanilla extract give a wonderful vanilla flavor.
- Keep in mind if you use vanilla bean seeds, you'll have black seeds in your bottle, which looks a little odd. I suppose you could use a cheesecloth to strain them out, but I just left them in. You'll need to shake the bottle before pouring in a glass.
- You can substitute the maple syrup with agave syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, or another sweetener, but if you leave sweetener out altogether you won't get carbonation.
- You can also make this recipe with vanilla simple syrup. I tried it with both ¼ cup and ½ cup vanilla simple syrup and both were good.
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You May Need:
- 12 cups homemade kombucha
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean seeds or vanilla extract
- Line up 4 (25 ounce) bottles with flip top lids or other air tight bottles.
- Pour ¼ cup maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon vanilla bean seeds (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract) into each 25 ounce bottle.
- Using a funnel, pour freshly made homemade kombucha into each 25 ounce bottle leaving 1-2" head space.
- Let bottles sit out (at 75° - 85°) 3-5 days, making sure to pop the lids each day to let out the pressure of the carbon dioxide. Taste each day to test its flavor and fizziness.
*Note: Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only. Different nutrition calculators give you different results.
Larry Underwood says
I looked at my Costco Vanilla extract and it says it is 35 Alcohol. Will that not the bacteria in the second ferment?
Willow Moon says
I’ve used the vanilla from Costco. Pure extract is better than imitation. You want extract that’s oil free and doesn’t have synthetic ingredients. Here’s an article that talks about adding flavors in the second fermentation: https://buchabrewers.com/kombucha-flavors-options-for-flavoring-kombucha-during-second-fermentation/