It's one of my favorite times of yeah, fall in New York. I live across the street from a beautiful park and botanic gardens and I've been spending a lot of time sitting on my fire escape taking in the beautiful colors and smells of the season. Nostalgic, peaceful, and also inspiring and as I was sitting on my fire escape the other day I was thinking about beer and all the pumpkin ales and brews coming out and I was reminded that it was time to bring back on of my personal favorites...my pumpkin kombucha. Contraband did this last year for our Fermentation CSA and it was a hit for our customers as well. So here is our basic kombucha recipe and how we make our pumpkin kombucha. Especially perfect if you can't drink beer.
Recipe makes 1 gallon
Bring 1 gallon (+ 1 Quart) of water to a boil. Once boiling add 6 teabags (green, black or oolong tea). Add 1.5 cups of sugar. Stir well. Cover with a lid and let steep for 8 hours or overnight. Strain the contents and make sure the liquid is luke warm to cool. Add 1 cup of kombucha liquid from a previous batch, store bought kombucha, or if you don't have these things it's ok it will still ferment. Pour into a large jar (glass is always best) and add the scoby. Cover with a cloth and rubberband. Write the date on your jar. Let ferments for 10-14 days.
SECOND FERMENT: PUMPKIN
Once your kombucha is to your desired taste you can move on to your second ferment. Remove your scoby and store in a Scoby Motel (seperate jar with liquid) and add 1.5 cups of pumpkin (roasted whole and scraped out, canned pumpkin works too). We then add 5 cloves, 2 star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks to the jar. Stir it all up well and then put a lid on and lock it tight. You're gonna let it sit and ferment another 2-3 days. This will also the kombucha to take on the flavors of the pumpkin and spices but, also will allow for the kombucha to carbonate. You'll want to be sure to release the carbonation build up from the jar once daily so you don't end up with a kombucha bomb. Once you like the taste you can filter everything through a mess strainer, bottle, and put in the fridge to enjoy.