"Is it possible to replace sugar with maple syrup in my Kombucha recipe, or kefir?"
We regularly get this question, so here is a little explanation followed by a delicious recipe 😊
What science says
You can use maple syrup in your fermentation, as it is composed predominantly of sucrose (same compound as in cane sugar). The yeast will love it!
However, there are several constraints:
- Maple syrup contains 1/3 of water, so you have to put more in than you would sugar cane
- Maple syrup is much more expensive than cane sugar
- Fermentation makes maple syrup flavors disappear!
So, yes you could replace the sugar with maple syrup, but it might cost you lot more than cane sugar, and don't expect the great taste to remain.
The trick to adding the maple flavor
The trick to make a Kombucha with maple syrup that tastes very good and that does not cost too much: add the syrup in second fermentation!
(The second fermentation is the step that takes place inside bottles)
You have to make a Kombucha nature (sugar + tea + mother of Kombucha), let it ferment and as soon as it is ready to drink, add syrup and a secret ingredient to give flovor.
This principle of adding flavors in the second fermentation is recommended for all flavors! The quality of the flavors is better preserved.
Kombucha recipe with maple syrup
For 3 liters of Kombucha
- 1 Kombucha Scoby (350 ml / 1.5 cups)
- 12 g (3 tsp.) of tea
- 150 g (3/4 cup) of sugar
- 50 ml maple syrup (1/4 cup)
- 2 g of fenugreek seeds (1 teaspoon)
- 2.5 l of filtered water
- Add tea to the jar.
- Pour 500 ml (2 cups) of hot water
- Infuse tea for 15 minutes.
- Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add filtered water until you reach the 3 litre level.
- Add the Kombucha Scoby.
- Cover the container with the fabric and rubber band.
This step is often called First fermentation, or 1F.
- Ferment at room temperature for 10 to 15 days
- Taste your kombucha starting on the 5th day or before
- Repeat every 2 days until you like its sweetness-sourness balance. Wait until the mixture is a little more acidic than sweet because you will add maple syrup in the next step
Preserving your scoby
- Take 350 ml (1.5 cups) of kombucha. It's for your next recipe
- Keep it in the fridge (up to 6 months)
FlavouringAt this stage, you have a plain Kombucha ready to be enhanced with a maple and bottled flavor.
Our secret ingredient is Fenugreek!
Fenugreek seeds contain large amounts of an aromatic compound called sotolon smells like maple syrup.
We use it to increase the flavor of maple syrup.
- Lightly roast the fenugreek dry seeds in a small saucepan
- Add 250 ml of water (1 cup)
- Heat by letting the water simmer for 15 minutes, then allow it to cool
- Add the maple syrup to your plain Kombucha jar
- Add the fenugreek decoction (filtered without the seeds)
- Mix well
- Bottle it, then store the bottles at room temperature for a few days
- Test the pressure once a day
- When it's bubbly (watch out for the pressure), put it in the fridge
There you go!
If you do not have fenugreek, let your Kombucha ferment longer during its first fermentation phase, in order to reduce the sugars and raise the acidity level. Then double the amount of maple syrup in order to rebalance the acidity and the sugar level.
Our source of inspiration
Want to make your first Kombucha?
Our complete kit to make this Kombucha is the perfect way to start!
It includes the equipment, a manual and the basic ingredients.
All that remains is to add the sugar, water and flavors to your liking (like maple syrup).
Enjoy your fermentation