A Beginners Guide to Kombucha
A beginners Guide to Kombucha
Kombucha is a bubbly fermented drink made from black tea and sugar. After fermentation, the drink becomes carbonated and contains an abundance of probiotics, enzymes, and vitamin-B. Kombucha originated in the far east about 2000 years ago, supplying a tremendous amount of health benefits.
The benefits of kombucha:
1. Increase energy
2. Improve digestion, gut health
3. Immune support
5. Uptake probiotics
6. Weight loss
7. Joint pain
8. Cancer prevention
The bubbly tea is fermented by yeast and bacteria known as a Scoby.
What is a scoby, anyway?
It’s a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast, S C O B Y.
It’s the mother culture that brews your kombucha!
You will need:
An Organic Scoby (click the link)
1 cup organic cane sugar
6-8 organic black tea bags
1 gallon glass jar
13-14 cups purified water (Free from chlorine or fluorides)
1 cup “starter liquid” (Store bought or from a previous batch)
Cheese cloth, or coffee filter to cover fermenting kombucha
6-10 Small glass jars/bottles for bottling kombucha
*If using store bought make sure it is unflavored, the flavoring or added sweeteners will mess with the fermentation process; I like GTS brand.
*Use a pH monitor to test the pH of your water. You want to shoot for a neutral pH. This is optional but definitely a plus
*A healthy scoby: no one scoby will look the same. Inspect your scoby for mold before testing your kombucha or moving on to the second stage. If there is mold, fuzzy white or blue tint, throw everything out and start over again. You can google healthy and unhealthy scobys if you are unsure.
*Always use glass for fermenting and storing kombucha
*Try to use organic materials to cover your kombucha while it is fermenting; organic coffee filters, organic cheese cloth, organic cotton towel, etc.
PHASE I: MAKING YOUR KOMBUCHA
1. Pour half of the purified water into your gallon size glass jar, (6-7cups).
2. Bring the other half purified water to a boil in a large pot. Turn off the burner & add 6-8 tea bags to simmer for at least ten minutes.
3. Stir in the organic cane sugar to dissolve.
4. Once dissolved, add sweet tea to your gallon size jar with other half purified water. Let this cool to room temperature or at least below 90 degrees F. (If the water is over 90 degrees it will kill your scoby).
5. Once the tea has reached a safe temperature (72-90 degrees F) add your scoby & 1 cup of starter liquid.
6. Immediately cover your jar with a coffee filter or cheese cloth to avoid any dust or particles falling in; secure with a rubber band.
7. Say a prayer & send your brew some good vibes! Store your jar out of reach as it will need to sit undisturbed for 7-10 days. You want to keep room air between 68 and 85 degrees F. Store your kombucha somewhere dark, out of direct sunlight.
(If this is your first time making kombucha you are going to be tempted to peak at it every second of every day… its important to not disturb your brew during fermentation. Just leave it alone & let it do its thing).
8. After about 7-10 days, you want to taste your kombucha. Remove the coffee filter or cheese cloth covering, place a straw underneath the scoby & taste it. If the kombucha is to sweet let it ferment a few days longer; the longer the kombucha ferments the more vinegary it will be. You can let the kombucha ferment for up to 30 days. I find it most enjoyable about the 10 day mark.
PHASE II: Flavoring and bottling
9. Once the kombucha tastes to your liking its time to continue to the second phase of fermentation; the flavoring & carbonating phase.
*Reserve 2 cups of kombucha in a seperate glass jar for a scoby hotel, or starter liquid for your next batch.
10. Choose how you are going to flavor your kombucha. I recommend using 100% fresh juiced fruits and vegetables not from concentrate; a great brand is Lakewood Organic. Add about 1/4 cup juice to the bottom of your jars. Fill the jars to the top with kombucha brew leaving about 1 inch breathing room from the top. Allow these to ferment for another 2-3 days. DO NOT shake your kombucha or it will explode all over your kitchen. Carefully open each bottle to release some gas before storing them in the refrigerator.
(You can also add chopped whole fruits or vegetables directly into the bottom of the jars instead of using fresh juice but the kombucha will have to be strained afterwards to get rid of any extra chunks).
Here’s some flavors I enjoy…
*Lemon juiced + ginger juiced
*Blueberries juiced + acai powder
*Orange juice + baobab powder
*Pomegranate juiced + lime
I recycle store bought kombucha bottles.
The flavors above are blueberry-acai & lemonade.
11. Create a scoby hotel to store your scoby(s) or immediatly start your next brew(s) with your reserved starter liquid, mother scoby & baby scoby.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR SCOBY; THE SCOBY HOTEL
If you do not want to start another kombucha brew right away you can store your scoby(s) in a scoby hotel. Each time you brew kombucha you will regenerate another scoby “baby scoby”.
1. Choose a large, clean, glass container. A 1/2 gallon glass jar will hold about 10 scoby(s).
2. Place all your scoby(s) in the jar. Add a small amount of finished kombucha plus a batch of fresh sweet tea, exactly like if you were brewing a batch of kombucha.
3. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or a clean cloth, and secure with a rubber band.
4. Store in a warm dry place for up to 2 weeks, You do not want your scoby(s) to dry out, so after two weeks you will need to add more sweet tea to feed the scoby(s).
5. It’s important to take notice that kombucha stored in a hotel with many scobys ferments more quickly than normal. If you wish to drink it, it may be ready sooner than you’d usually expect.