Elderberry Booch

Elderberry Kombucha

It seems the sickies are going around like crazy.  I’ve been avoiding going out in public much because I don’t want to catch that nasty norovirus that everyone was sick with.  Now influenza is making it’s rounds here.

I’ve been in an elderberry frenzy lately, trying to keep our immune systems strong to fight off anything that might head our way.  It’s a sure tasty way to get some elderberries in you.  This mixture works great in water kefir and milk kefir as well.

A second fermentation is a great way to build carbonation and add flavor to your kombucha and water kefir.

Elderberry Booch

  • 1 tbsp dried elderberries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2″ knob of ginger, slivered
  • 1 quart brewed kombucha

Mix all ingredients in your kombucha and bottle tightly.  A flip top bottle works great for this.  Let set for about a day for water kefir and about 2-3 days for kombucha.  The warmer it is the faster it will carbonate.  Check bottles occasionally to avoid explosions.  For safety, keep in a cupboard or cardboard box.  Refrigerate once it’s bubbly to your liking.

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13 comments to Elderberry Booch

  • Leah

    How would you make this with milk kefir?

    I’m also curious, when you bottle this with all the fruit do you just drink it from the bottle without straining? That’s what I do right now but it’s not my favorite. Do you know of a way to strain it and re-bottle it but retain the nice fizz?

  • Hi Leah,

    To do it with milk kefir, I would just all all the ingredients and let set for about 8-12 hours. You can strain it or leave everything in (just pick out cloves and cinnamon stick).

    For myself, I have a smallish strainer that fits in my cups so I strain it as we drink it. When I sell kombucha at the farmers market, I do the second ferment with all the fruit for a day and then strain it and bottle it up with a pinch of sugar (about 1/8-1/4 tsp per 12 oz bottle). Seal it up and let it set for a day or two. It usually fizzes up quite nicely that way.

    • Leah

      Thank you! Do you find that the kombucha is pretty stable when you add the pinch of sugar (ie, no exploding jars)? I would be so nervous that someone would let it sit out or wait too long and have the jar explode.

      • Nope, not stable at all. Kombucha does take longer to build up a fizz than water kefir (in my experience). With flip top bottles, I test them daily. It’s also a good idea to put them in a cupboard or cardboard box to contain any explosions should they happen.

        • Leah

          So do you warn your customers or tell them to consume it within a certain amount of time?

          • I tell them it needs to be refrigerated if they don’t drink it right away and that it tastes best if drank within a few weeks. I do test each of the flavors before heading to the market and any that are highly active (make a volcano when I open them) I won’t take.

  • Anne-Marie

    I use 100% fruit juice for my secondary fermentation but I want all the sugars eaten up as I am prone to candida and do not want to feed it. How long can I leave it? I don’t mind using a drop of stevia or xylitol to sweeten for taste.

    • If you use a hydrometer, you can test the sugar levels before consuming. In the winter when it’s cold, it can take longer, up to a month or more. In the summer, 2 weeks might be long enough.

  • Great recipe! I love elderberries in my booch in the winter and in the summer the elderflower. The flowers have their own yeast which add extra fizz to your booch and give it not only a champagne like flavor, but definitely gives it champagne fizz!

  • Patti

    Do you think it would be ok to use undried elderberries? I found a elderberry bush here in London and want to try it in my booch… just wondered if it would work with fresh instead of dried.



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