(You can also re-use a plastic soda bottle)
Ensure your large jar is very clean, ideally sterilised4. Juice your lemons and add them to the jar, along with sugar, salt, kombucha and water. Shake until the sugar and salt dissolves and then cover with the tea towel or muslin. Ensure it’s tightly seal with the string or rubber band as fruit flies are attracted to the smell of fermentation! Leave the mixture in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, for approximately 5 days. You will see a brown froth develop within the first few days. Don’t worry! This means it’s fermenting.
After about 5 days strain the lemonade into sterilised bottles using a funnel and coffee filter. You might find a weird lemony scoby type mass has formed on the top of the lemonade, this is a good sign, just discard it before bottling. Fill the bottles with about an inch air space at the top, you can top up with more filtered water if you don’t have enough lemonade to fill all your bottles, and add 1 tsp sugar to each. Seal and refrigerate. I keep bottles on my balcony when it’s cool out as there isn’t space to keep them upright in the fridge.
The lemonade will continue to ferment and is best left for at least 2 more days. If you’re using glass swing top bottles it’s a good idea to ‘burp’ them daily by opening them to let out excess CO2 build up. If refrigerated your lemonade will last for at least a week. Be aware that the longer you keep it the more it will ferment, so beware of exploding bottles. It will also become slightly alcoholic if left for more than a week, however due to the yeast used it will never get anywhere near the ABV of beer or wine. Keep experimenting! You can try adding herbs or other fruit. You can also use your lemonade as a starter for subsequent batches!
#makehomebrewfemme is a practice based research project by Elena Colman exploring kitchen-based, non-industrial, fermentation and infusion processes and the social role of alcohol in art events. She is particularly interested in sustainable brewing, using locally foraged ingredients; and in the connection between traditional brewing practices, witchcraft and herbalism. Elena’s practice explores the creation of temporary social spaces in order to explore concepts such as work/life balance, behavioural ethics in dating and what it means to break the binary of private and public life. She is the founder of Ladette Space, a DIY project space (which ran from 2014-2017) and publishing house (ongoing) based in her flat in South East London. She is currently studying on the MA course at the Slade School of Fine Art.