Originally posted on Texas Adventures in New England in October 2012
As I continue on my fermenting and culturing journey I have found some of the most amazing, sharing, giving people. Yes, there are plenty of people selling Kombucha mushrooms or Kefir grains online but the majority of fermenters will just mail them to you or invite you to pick them up from their homes. Keeping it local is always nice and it is rarely bad to meet new people.
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.
The Happy Herbalist 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.
Jun is one of my latest probiotic beverage adventures. The same wonderful stranger who sent me the healthiest, productive kombucha scoby sent me a Jun scoby 1.5 weeks ago.
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 (though I did hear someone mention buying it in California recently).
Jun scobys are much more delicate and smooth than Kombucha scobys. They grow much slower and tend to be less readily available for sharing.
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.
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.
I admit there are the slightest differences in the appearance of the two scobys. The Jun, however, tastes so alike that I cannot tell the difference. I am confident that the probiotics in the two batches are different to some degree. The Jun scoby is smoother than the KT turned Jun scoby. Each batch I brew using the two scobys the differences seem to be minimizing. Is my KT turned Jun geniune Jun? Not really. I will always keep the two different brews labeled.
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.
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. Update: I now just write directly on the bottles using the permanent marker. It scrubs off with hot water easily.
After the second ferment is complete the bottles are chilled in the refrigerator before serving. I use a tea strainer on top of the glass when I pour Jun, Kombucha or Water Kefir to catch the wonderful floating stuff like fruit, ginger and yeast (which are nutritious but not particularly enjoyable to drink).
I hope you are enjoying this series on fermented drinks and that you are brave enough to try them. I am convinced that after 6 months drinking Jun, Kombucha and Water Kefir it has helped my Chronic Lyme Disease symptoms enough that I started back to school in January. Of course, eliminating GMOs and eating organic has a lot to do with this healing. Cheers!