By Brian Barth
René Redzepi and David Zilber talk us through how to make a delicious Fall kombucha from their new release The Noma Guide to Fermentation.
Juicing your own apples will allow you to use local varieties and create a blend to your liking, but feel free to use a good-quality store-bought unfiltered apple cider; farmstands often sell fresh-pressed cider in season. Because the juice is naturally sweet, you won’t need to add sugar to this recipe. The in-depth instructions for Lemon Verbena Kombucha serve as a template for all the kombucha recipes in this chapter. We recommend you read that recipe before starting in on this one.
- 2 kilograms unfiltered apple juice
- 200 grams unpasteurized kombucha or the liquid that comes with a packaged SCOBY
- 1 SCOBY
1. Pour the apple juice into the fermentation vessel. Backslop by stirring in the 200 grams unpasteurized kombucha. Wearing gloves, carefully place the SCOBY into the liquid. Cover the top of the fermentation vessel with cheesecloth or a breathable kitchen towel and secure it with a rubber band. Label the kombucha and set it in a warm place.
2. Leave the kombucha to ferment, tracking its progress each day. Make sure the top of the SCOBY doesn’t dry out; use a ladle to moisten it with some of the liquid, if necessary. Once you’re happy with the flavor of your kombucha—probably between 7 and 10 days from the start—transfer the SCOBY to a container for storage and strain the kombucha. Consume immediately or refrigerate, freeze, or bottle it.
Apple Kombucha Herb Tonic
Blending apple kombucha with fresh herbs infuses the liquid with ethereal aromatic qualities. In Copenhagen, we’re fortunate to be able to take a walk around the neighborhood and find young Douglas fir branches to make a brisk apple-pine tonic. (Whir 25 grams fresh fir needles with 500 grams apple kombucha in a blender, strain, and serve.) But you can also find plenty of suitable dance partners for apple kombucha at your local market. Use a stand blender to whir half a bunch of basil or 10 grams picked rosemary needles with 500 grams apple kombucha. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve for an invigorating pick-me-up.
Blending cooked vegetables with fruit kombuchas is an absolutely delicious way to get a little fiber (and also a great way to sneak more vegetables into your kids’ diets). Good matches for apple kombucha include spinach, sorrel, cabbage, or baked beets (which also pair well with rose kombucha). Because the vegetables are so full of fiber, they will thicken up in a blender nicely. Aim for a 4:1 ratio of kombucha to vegetable, and blend for at least a minute before passing it through a fine-mesh sieve and serving.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.