Looking for an exciting new flavor to try out on your homemade kombucha? This Ginger Pepper Kombucha recipe takes classic ginger kombucha and gives it a spicy kick!
This is the first of what is bound to be many special kombucha flavors…the tulip-man editions! While I tend to stick to the classics (see Mango and Blueberry Kombucha), the tulip-man loves to go crazy with flavors when it comes to cooking.
And with his very first batch of kombucha being a major success, I don’t think there will be any stopping him now.
That’s right, this Ginger Pepper Kombucha was his first try at making kombucha, and it’s so good. It tastes a bit like ginger beer with a hint of spicy kick. It’s less sweet than the fruity kombuchas, and more something I would serve at a dinner party to make people think I’m *distinguished* (or even use as a cocktail mixer, hollahhh!)
There are two main fermentation phases when making homemade kombucha:
- First Fermentation: This is when you transform sweet tea into tart and delicious kombucha (see our comprehensive guide to homemade kombucha here)
- Second Fermentation: This is when you carbonate the kombucha by adding sugars and bottling it.
In order to make this Ginger Pepper Kombucha, you will need to have completed the first fermentation already and have some kombucha that’s ready to be carbonated!
Ingredients to make Ginger Pepper Kombucha
- Kombucha from a first fermentation: You’ve brewed your kombucha with the help of your SCOBY and it’s the perfect balance of sweet and tart (step-by-step first fermentation kombucha instructions here).
- Ginger: Ginger always works well with kombucha! Aim for the freshest ginger you can find.
- Pepper: You can use any hot pepper here, like jalapeno, chili, or habanero.
- Sugar: We’ll do a mix of honey and brown sugar to round it out with some caramelized flavors!
How to Make Ginger Pepper Kombucha
Making your own flavored kombucha with ginger is super easy. The process goes something like this:
- Puree: Blend together the ginger and sugars to form a puree. The more surface area of the ingredients that are exposed to the tea, the more flavor and fizz you’ll have in the end!
- Bottle: Transfer kombucha to fermentation bottles, adding your ginger mixture evenly into each bottle, and finishing with a few slices of pepper.
- Ferment: For 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like.
- Enjoy: Strain out ginger fibers and peppers (optional), then chill in the fridge before serving.
Can you use ground ginger for kombucha?
Surprisingly yes! You can use dry ground ginger in kombucha – about 2 tsp per 1/2 gallon. Alternatively, you can add a few pieces of candied ginger to your bottles. For this Ginger Pepper Kombucha, however, we recommend you use fresh ginger.
- ½ gallon kombucha from a first fermentation this is not storebought kombucha, 1.9 L
- 2 1-inch thumbs ginger peeled
- ¼ cup honey 60 g
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar 15 g
- ½ jalapeno, chili, or habenero pepper thinly sliced
- Puree: Add ginger, honey, sugar, and about 1/2 cup of the kombucha to a blender, blitzing until smooth. Pour through a wire mesh sieve to remove ginger fibers, collecting the juice.
- Bottle: Transfer remaining kombucha into fermentation bottles*, leaving about 3 inches empty at the top. Evenly divide ginger juice into bottles, then add pepper slices to each (about 2 slices per cup of kombucha). Seal tightly.
- Ferment: Place in a dark, room temperature area for 3 to 10 days, until it reaches the carbonation level you like. This process will go faster in warmer climates, and slower in cooler climates.
- Enjoy: Strain the kombucha to remove fibers and pepper (optional), then chill in the fridge before serving. Can be stored in the fridge, tightly sealed, for several weeks.