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Second Stage Fermentation

by Amber Fairweather |

When you start fermenting, you are often faced with the term “second stage ferment”. This can sometimes come as a surprise as people may never have heard of the term. 


What is a second stage ferment?

The second stage ferment is the process through which you flavor your fermented brew and encourage further fizz. This is done in a well-sealing bottle with fruits, spices and herbs to infuse flavor and trap the carbonation into the liquid. 

Second stage ferments usually take 1-4 days at room temperature, depending on your preferred flavors. 


How do I do a second stage ferment?

Drain off your fermented liquid when it is slightly sweeter than what you'd like it to be.

Once you add your fermented liquid to your bottle, you can then add in slices of fruit or pureed fruit, or you may add herbs and spices. Fruits generally get the best fizz as you are introducing additional sugars for the microbes to consume and in turn release carbon dioxide. 

It is always difficult to give exact measurements, but often a ration of 5-20% of fruit flavoring to your fermented liquid works well. It is all dependent on how you like the flavor. 

You can use any fermented liquid, including: water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha, jun kombucha, and ginger beer

We now offer an easy alternative in the form of fruit infusions. All you need to do is add 1-2 teaspoons of the fruit infusion to 1L of liquid for a yummy flavored fermented beverage. 

Once your second stage ferment has achieved the flavor and fizz you are after, you can then store it in the fridge.

If you leave your ferment out for too long it will turn to vinegar as this is very much alive. 

Some fruits give better fizz than others- generally fruits that contain more sugars. 

Once you have placed your bottle in the fridge, when it is chilled it will seem a little less fizzy than what it was when you tried it at room temperature. 

It is best to stop your first stage ferment and continue to your second stage ferment when the liquid is slightly sweeter than what you’d prefer to drink, this is because it will continue to lose sweetness during the second stage fermentation. 

Be careful with some bottles you use, if they are not specifically designed for carbonated beverages, make sure you burp them daily otherwise they can explode.