In addition to the probiotics that grow during fermentation, the sugar in these drinks is converted to acid giving the drinks a nice tart flavor. Adding fruit or fruit juice of some kind to the second ferment creates more probiotics and more glucuronic acid which is reputed to bind up toxins in the body so they can be flushed out. The really wonderful result of this second ferment is lots of carbon dioxide creating a delightful fizzy drink.
Here is a wonderful site that lists a good analysis of what Kombucha can have in it. Jun will, of course, have different probiotics. I have been unable to find any good information on whether glucuronic acid is also produced by Jun fermentation.
|Honey, green tea (with honey already added) and a Jun scoby|
Jun is different from Kombucha. Kombucha is made from black tea or black and green tea and sugar while Jun is made from green tea and raw honey. Each will have different probiotics and complement one another. Kombucha takes approximately 7 days for the first ferment and Jun 4 days. Jun is apparently a mystery ferment, not very common. You won't find much information on the internet for some reason other than on forums asking about this mysterious brew. Kombucha is commercially brewed and sold raw but I do not believe Jun is available commercially yet.
|First batch of Jun|
I chose to use organic green tea and wildflower raw honey. After combining the tea and 1/4 cup of honey I added my little scoby and the Jun from the bag then covered with a cloth. Now I wait 4 days to try this brew that has a reputation for its zing.
First brew finished in 4 days and was perfect blend of zing and fizz. It is difficult to describe the flavor or Jun but it is like a slightly beer-like but with no grains and very little alcohol. I forgot to photograph the results of the first brew cycle.
I transferred the Jun scoby to a 1L container so the scoby can grow a little wider. Below are the results of this brew cycle.
|Jun at end up 1st ferment, 2nd brew -- notice two scobys now|
As always, I love to experiment. When I didn't have a Jun scoby I wondered if it was possible to grow one from Kombucha if I just used green tea and honey instead of the black tea and sugar. I decided to attempt to make Jun without a geniune Jun scoby before I received the Jun scoby from South Carolina. I grew a scoby from a bottle of GT Kombucha. I then placed that first, tiny scoby in a small batch of green tea and honey. I did this a couple more times using only green tea and honey.
|KT turned Jun (left) and Jun (right)|
|Kombucha turned Jun|
|Kombucha turned Jun scoby|
What is a second ferment exactly? I took the Jun from both batches and rebottled them. One I added sliced ginger and the other I left plain. I then left the bottles out for another 24 hours minimum to increase carbon dioxide content (more fizz) and give the Jun time to incorporate the ginger flavor into the brew.
|Ginger infused Jun in a Fido brand swing-top bottle |
-- I use a tea strainer to filter out yeast and ginger
|Floating sliced ginger and yeast|
I label my bottled brews using medical tape (because that is what I had on hand and this tape is too thin to be useful as medical tape) a permanent marker. What is neat about this tape is that it is reusable. I just stick it to the cabinet when I wash the bottles.
|Jun and Kombucha bottled in Grolsch swing-top bottles for 2nd ferment|
Most people have heard of kefir (kuh-FEER), the fermented milk drink available in healthfood stores, the very same fermented milk drink that would curl your toenails. I have never once really considered attempting to ferment kefir at home until I heard of water kefir. A new friend that lives in Tennessee offered to mail me some kefir grains. I envisioned wheat berries that had been soaked in probiotic milk. I was not even close. My kefir grains arrived in two zip bags the color of honey looking like applesauce. Interesting.
Following my friend's instructions I added succanat to warm water, poured the tiniest bit of molasses and one raisin. Finally, I measured two tablespoons of grains and poured them into the water solution.
Because I had heard on one of my Facebook groups that water kefir thrives in a closed Fido jar I thought I would do a little experiment.
|Experiment: Cloth covered vs. closed Fido jars|
When I strained out the water kefir grains I was pleased to find that they had doubled in both batches. What was really interesting was that the closed Fido batch's grains were a lot bigger and the brew had a richer flavor.
I flavored one second ferment with vanilla extract and the other with fresh ginger and bottled them in flip-top bottles, one Fido and the other a Grolsch. Looking forward to tasting our homemade probiotic soda.
I tasted my ginger water kefir and really like it. The kids weren't impressed with either flavor. I will definitely need to do a longer ferment since it has gotten cooler now. Going to give them 2 days for first ferment and 1.5-2 days for second ferment.
What I like about water kefir is that it is dairy free and has no caffeine. Kombucha has a much richer flavor, lots more fizz but it does have caffeine.
I drink a cup of Kombucha or Jun in the morning and evening then drink Water Kefir in between along with plenty of fresh water.