Experimenting with different flavors is for me, the most fun part about home brewing kombucha. After trying dozens of different fruit, roots, and spice flavored kombucha, one flavor that has emerged as a favorite among me and my friends and family is mango.
Mango kombucha is kombucha that has been flavored during the brewing process of second fermentation with mango slices, chunks, puree, or juice. The mango gives the kombucha a sweet and tropical flavor that significantly masks the strong bitter, sour, and vinegary flavors normally in kombucha.
Mango isn’t called the “king of fruits” for nothing. In this article I'll talk about the great taste and nutritious benefits of mangos, and then give you an easy recipe to make some awesome mango kombucha at home. Lets go!
Why Make Mango Kombucha?
Mangos are one of the sweetest fruits you’ll find at the supermarket. If you've never tried a mango before they have a creamy, citrusy, and tropical taste.
When used to flavor kombucha, the intense sweetness of mangos masks a lot of the bitter and sour flavors in kombucha, which makes mango kombucha great for anyone who doesn't like strong booch, or has never had kombucha before and isn't used to the bitter taste.
However mangos are more than just a sweet tasting fruit. They are also packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and have tons of health benefits, such as:
Boosting immunity, helping you fight infections
Supporting healthy heart function
Improving digestive health
Supporting Eye Health
Preventing skin sagging and wrinkling and promoting healthy hair
Lowering risk of colon, lung, prostate, breast and bone cancers.
When used as flavoring, the health benefits of mangos work in addition to those already in kombucha, such as:
Controlled blood sugar
How Kombucha is Made
If you’ve made kombucha before, you can just scroll down to the mango kombucha recipe below. But if this is your first time home brewing booch, I think it’s important to go over the overall process of how kombucha is made before getting into the specifics of the recipe.
All kombucha begins as sweet tea. What turns this sweet tea into sweet and sour probiotic kombucha is a living culture of bacteria. This culture of bacteria, known as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), eats the sugar and caffeine from the sweet tea and produces acids, carbon dioxide, and alcohol.
Once it has eaten enough sugar to make the kombucha bitter tasting, the SCOBY is removed and the 1st fermentation is complete. At this point the kombucha can be drunk, but it's not carbonated or flavored yet.
The carbonation and flavor is added in a 2nd fermentation. During this stage, the kombucha is sealed in glass fermenting bottles that are filled with fruit, juice, or herbs for flavoring.
Over the course of a few days, the kombucha in the bottles develops carbonation and flavor. It’s then refrigerated and ready to be drunk by people like you and me!
Mango Kombucha Recipe
If you don’t already have some of the equipment or ingredients needed to brew kombucha yet, you can just click on the underlined item below to view my favorite one on Amazon.
You also can check out the article I wrote on The Top 5 Things You Need to Start Brewing Kombucha to learn more about each ingredient or piece of equipment.
Once you have everything you need, it’s time to get brewing!
1 Cup of Sugar 2 Cups of Starter Tea
1. Brew Sweet Tea
The very first thing you need to do to make mango kombucha is boil a 6ish cups of water. Once the water has boiled, remove it from the heat and stir in the sugar.
After the sugar is stirred in, steep the tea bags. You now have the sweet tea base necessary for making kombucha.
If you’re making a gallon of kombucha, you're going to use 8 tea bags or 2 tablespoons of loose leaf tea, and 1 cup of sugar.
If you want to make 2 gallons of kombucha, just multiply the amount of sugar and tea by two.
If you’re using an irregularly shaped container, or don’t want to brew your kombucha to the gallon, you can use the numbers below.
To make 1 cup of mango kombucha you need:
0.0625 Cups of Sugar
0.5 Tea Bags or 0.375 Teaspoons of Loose Leaf Tea
0.125 Cups of Starter Tea
Just multiply these numbers by the # of cups of mango kombucha you want to make and you'll have the right amount of each ingredient.
Although a cup of sugar per gallon of kombucha seems like a lot, remember that this sugar is food for our SCOBY. In the end, most of this sugar will be eaten and converted into acids and gases, and the finished kombucha will only have 2-6g of sugar per 8 ounces.
2. Add SCOBY and Starter Tea
Next we are going to add the sweet tea to our brewing vessel and fill up whatever space remains with water. You can use cold water to help the tea cool down faster.
Once the sweet tea it has cooled down to room temperature, add in the SCOBY and starter tea.
Starter tea is just unflavored kombucha from a previous brew that will help create an acidic environment in the tea early on to prevent mold growth.
If you bought a SCOBY online it will come packaged in starter tea. If you've brewed before and didn't save any starter tea from a previous batch you can just use a store bought bottle of unflavored kombucha or a splash of distilled white vinegar to give the brew its initial acidity.
It’s important to wait until the sweet tea has cooled down to room temp to add the SCOBY because liquid that’s too hot or too cold can shock the bacteria culture and cause long term damage to it.
3. 1st Fermentation
After the sweet tea, SCOBY, starter tea, and water have all been combined in the brewing vessel, cover the top of the container with cloth or an old tea shirt and secure it with a rubber band. This will keep fruit flies and other bugs out.
Do not seal the jar with a lid or anything airtight, since we need oxygenated air to be able to flow in and out of the container to keep the SCOBY alive and functioning.
Wait 7-10 days for the SCOBY to ferment the sugar and nutrients in the tea into alcohol and healthy acids. Remember that the longer the brew ferments, the more sugar will be eaten and the more bitter it will taste.
Taste test the brew every day with the goal of reaching that perfect sweet spot between sweet and sour. Once it has reached a bitter enough taste for your liking, the first fermentation is complete.
4. 2nd Fermentation. Lets Add The Mango!
We technically now have kombucha, but it’s not yet carbonated or flavored. Which means that now it’s time to add the mango!
You can either buy a whole mango and chop it into slices or cubes, or you can use mango juice. If you’re going to chop up your own mango, make sure that you cut it up really good since the more surface area and juice available, the better carbonation and flavor you’ll get.
Figuring out how much mango to use can be difficult and may take you a few brews to get just right. Because mango is so sweet and can easily overpower the kombucha, I would start out with only filling up the bottles with an inch or too of mango, and then adjust from there in future brews.
Once the fermenting bottles have the mango in them, transfer the kombucha, probably via funnel, from the large container into all the bottles, filling them up all the way.
If you use frozen mango, allow it to thaw before adding it to the bottles since the extreme cold can shock the bacteria culture.
Also be sure to save 2 cups kombucha as starter tea for your next brew.
The bottles with kombucha and mango will now sit at room temperature for 4-6 days. During this time you can make some more sweet tea and start a new brew of kombucha if you want. Then ideally, by the time you’re done drinking the current brew, the next batch will be finished.
5. Refrigerate and Drink Up
After the 4-6 days have passed, refrigerate the unopened bottles of mango kombucha. The cold air in the refrigerator will slow down the fermentation process and calm the carbonation, decreasing the likelihood of an explosion when you open them.
If when you open the bottles there isn't enough carbonation, you can place them back at room temperature for a few days and they’ll resume the fermentation process and develop more carbonation.
After the bottles have been chilled, it's time to drink up! Congrats on making your very own mango kombucha!