Fermented Cold Shrub Recipe made with Kombucha Vinegar plus Kocktails & Mocktails

Cold Shrub Recipe with Kombucha Vinegar from KKampShrubs (beyond being attractive landscaping) are a sweetened fruit syrup preserved in vinegar. Refreshing and delicious, this cold shrub recipe has delighted humankind since ancient times. Shrubbing was a crucial process to ensure that vital nutrients such as vitamin C were available throughout the leaner winter months or on long voyages across the sea.

During Prohibition, shrubs became a popular alcohol substitute. The modern “farm-to-bar” cocktail movement made them hip again. Whenever the whistle desires whetting, shrubs offer a tangy, refreshing option, whether added to a cocktail or just a plain glass of water.

Using kombucha instead of vinegar adds another layer of flavor and bacteria and yeast buddies. The cold shrub recipe process means our little friends stay alive and active. These tasty and easy-to-make syrups are sure to become family favorites, whether they’re destined for homemade sodas or for cocktails. Check out all the options below!

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!KMAMMA SEZ… Shrub is derived from the Arabic word sharāb which means “wine” (or any beverage), and shariba which means “to drink.” Originally, a shrub was a drink made of citrus juice, sugar, and rum or other liquor. The term evolved in the mid-1800s to include the vinegar/sugar/fruit cordial varieties in this cold shrub recipe.

The typical cold shrub recipe follows a standard ratio of 1 part fruit:1 part sugar:1 part vinegar. However, since kombucha vinegar is less acidic than traditional vinegars, the ratio for a Kombucha shrub is 1 part fruit:1 part sugar:2 parts kombucha vinegar. Any type of fresh fruit works — try berries, peaches, plums, rhubarb, apricots, apples, melons, cherries; you name it!

Kombucha vinegar yields the best flavor, but unflavored Kombucha can also be used as it will continue to ferment, even in the fridge. Flavored Kombucha or Kombucha Vinegar can add a layer of complexity to the final shrub.

Cold Shrub Recipe Kombucha Vinegar Drinks

To Make a Kombucha Shrub, You’re Going To Need Kombucha Vinegar

Nearly any old Kombucha, meaning Kombucha that has been fermenting for a long time (even from a SCOBY Hotel), might be considered “vinegar” due to the sour taste on the tongue. But sour Kombucha may only contain up to about 1% acids, which is tame when compared to traditional vinegars that generally have around 5% acids. Gradually adding the sugar prevents the brew from becoming overwhelmed, instead spurring the natural processes repeatedly until the acids have built up to a more powerful 2-3%. Even still, this leaves Kombucha Vinegar about half as strong as traditional vinegar, which is why we use twice as much for this recipe.Continue Reading

Valentine’s Gummy Kombucha Fruit Hearts

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They say the way to a person’s heart is through their tummy and we couldn’t agree more! These cute Valentine’s Gummy Kombucha Fruit Hearts say “I love you” in more ways than one.

Heart Shaped Gummy Candies with Kombucha and Fruit

Not only are these gummy candies bursting with flavor and made with love, but they also contain nutritious gelatin and a healthy tang from the Kombucha. And you can make them any time of year!

Gelatin is a traditional food and a sustainable by-product, rich in collagen, that is made by boiling animal bones, cartilage, and skin. Our ancestors understood the value of using every part of the animal to nourish the human body, reduce waste, and honor the beautiful sacrifice made. Flavorless with a jelly like texture, it has a range of culinary uses.

NOTE – If gelatin is not suitable, then use agar agar which is a seaweed based thickening agent. Use the same amount as gelatin – i.e. in this recipe 6 tablespoons.

Is Gelatin Good For You?

Gelatin has long been known to support healthy skin, hair and nails. Plus it contains vital nutrients for healthy bones and easing joint pain. Protein rich, it also contains glycine, an amino acid that promotes a healthy mucosal lining in the gut, secretion of digestive enzymes, controls blood sugar and improves sleep quality. To learn more about the benefits of gelatin, check our our pal Hollywood Homestead’s awesome book The Gelatin Secret.

This gummy candies recipe is also a perfect way to use up sour or older Kombucha from your SCOBY Hotel that may be too tangy to enjoy by the glass. Gelatin has a way of minimizing intense flavors so we punch it up a bit with the addition of sugar or honey in addition to the fruit. Adjust the amount of sugar based on how tart the Kombucha is. We tested the recipe from ¼ cup of sugar up to 1 cup of sugar and found that a minimum of ½ cup is needed for the best flavor.Continue Reading

Top 7 Winter Brewing Tips

Winter Brewing Tips for Kombucha, JUN, Water Kefir and Milk Kefir from KKampEven though it’s many people’s least favorite season, winter is a critical stage in the yearly cycles of most all living things. It’s not just frozen nose hairs, toes that won’t warm up and wearing 3 sweaters in the house!

Even in warmer climes, the changes in air pressure, humidity and of course, temperature during winter all shift the way insects, plants, animals, and yes even our homebrews behave.

The healthy yeast and bacteria, which prefer warmer temps for the best results anyway, slow down when the weather gets cooler. Unless some of these winter fermentation tips are implemented, brewing issues like mold, off flavors, and stuck fermentation are more common at cooler times of year.

Apply any or all of these tips to keep your Kombucha, JUN, Milk Kefir and Water Kefir happy and productive, even as everything else hibernates. Plus we’ve included a few of our favorite “warm you up” flavoring recipes for any ferment!

Why Does Winter Create Brewing Issues?

As experienced brewers already know, low pH (under 4.0) is the home ferment’s key protection from contamination. If the pH remains too high for too long at the beginning of the brewing process, mold in the air and other invaders such as Kahm yeast can colonize the brew. Because the good bacteria and yeast in our brews are less active this time of year, the pH may drop more slowly. During that extra window of time is when brewing problems often emerge.

Many of the techniques below work by lowering the pH more quickly. This may be accomplished by increasing the ratio of SCOBY and starter liquid to sweet tea or by maintaining the proper temperatures.

CLICK HERE to learn more about pH and Kombucha

Winter Brewing Tip #1 – Seek Higher Ground

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How to Make Coconut Water Kefir without Sugar

Coconut water kefir is a naturally refreshing beverage with a boost of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Often found at health food stores, coconut water kefir can be quite expensive. Yet many people pay handsomely because it is a wonderful sugar-free substitute for sodas, energy drinks and juices. Making coconut water kefir at home is an affordable way to create a delicious supply. Coconut Water Kefir is an easy, healthful alternative for those with serious sugar issues or anyone who wants to make a delicious beverage at home!

For some people with sugar issues, making their own coconut water kefir at home is the only healthful fermented beverage option. But most people make it because it’s delicious and fun! It’s easy to brew and can be flavored to appeal to all kinds of taste buds.

The coconut is a seed of the coconut palm tree. Inside it is filled with sweet, white, creamy meat and tasty coconut water. Over time the water transforms into the meat. This means that younger coconuts have more of the water used to make coconut water kefir. Older coconuts have more flesh making them a better choice for eating or making coconut milk.

What’s in Coconut Water that Makes it So Good?

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Kombucha Soap Recipe Using Tea and SCOBY – Cold Process DIY

One of our favorite other uses for Kombucha tea or SCOBYs is as a body and hair care aid. You can find some of our Kombucha Spa beauty care recipes here or in The Big Book of Kombucha. To this day, Alex uses Kombucha Hair Tonic in place of shampoo. Hannah often makes SCOBY and mud masks. And we both swear by Homemade Kombucha Soap. You can buy it at the link, or if you’re the crafty type, this Kombucha Soap recipe is just the fun project you didn’t know you were looking for!

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and anything you apply will absorb directly. This means all types of beauty products such as makeup, deodorant and cleansers also impact the health of the body. As we became aware of the chemicals in beauty care products, we found healthier options. Sometimes this meant a dramatic increase in cost, but other times we learned to make things for a fraction of the cost. Enter Kombucha SCOBY and vinegar, both of which are used in this Kombucha Soap recipe too!

Kombucha on My Face?

Though long known for its internal uses, Kombucha does have a wide range of external uses as well. We have used pieces of SCOBY to soothe burns, cuts and other surface wounds. We keep a jar of 30 day+ old Kombucha in the medicine cabinet for use as skin toner. Not to mention homemade Kombucha face cream! It is a natural acid peel without any harmful chemicals and this promotes circulation to the skin’s surface which regenerates the cells.

Kombucha is an acetic acid ferment, like vinegar, but with a weaker acetic acid solution (less than 1%). This mild vinegar is a natural exfoliator as the acid is strong enough to break the bonds of dead skin but not so strong that it leaves skin feeling dry or flaky. To the contrary, it leaves skin feel soft and smooth. Kombucha also produces trace amounts of beauty acids such a hyaluronic, lactic, and malic which are often found in pricier cosmetic applications and help fight age lines, spots and wrinkles. So when we happened across a Kombucha soap recipe nearly a decade ago, we needed to find some!

A simple Kombucha Soap Recipe produces high quality
Randie works the Kombucha soap cutter.

Soon after, we connected with Rand Hill Naturals from our friend Randie, and she’s been our exclusive supplier ever since. Feedback from friends and customers has been great! Many find that her Kombucha soap recipe does not irritate even the most sensitive skin. Or they find that it can also double as a great shampoo bar, especially for hair that tends to dry out easily.

A Kombucha Soap Recipe is Born!

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