Monday, July 8, 2013

Making Kombucha

About six months ago I was introduced to a drink called Kombucha. At first, I just liked saying the name because I thought it was funny and I love hearing my kids say it. But after I tried it, I noticed that things were changing.

I first noticed that my craving for pop stopped. I went from wanting a pop every day to suddenly not wanting it at all. I also noticed that I wasn't having random upset stomach all the time. It was cleaning up my insides.

The dictionary defines Kombucha as -

kom·bu·cha  (kom boo cha)
A lightly sparkling beverage made by fermenting black or green tea and sugar with a culture of various bacteria and yeasts.
My biggest stock pot, green tea & black tea. 
In order to brew Kombucha at home you will need the following -
Kombucha mushroom (scoby) - (I bought my starter kit here.)
Tea (I use green and black)
filtered water
gallon size jar
paper towel/cheesecloth
rubber band
Large stock pot
When I make Kombucha, I make 3 gallons at a time. I use my biggest stock pot and fill it half way with filtered water. I then add 8 green tea bags and 4 black tea bags. You can use other teas, and other quantities, it all depends on your taste preference. I have tried it with Oolong tea and it tasted fantastic. If I can ever find Oolong tea, at a reasonable price, I will most likely switch. Turn your burner on med high and steep tea for 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes, remove the tea bags, add in sugar (I use 1/2 to 1 cup per gallon, other recipes call for 1 cup per gallon. Again, personal preference). Stir in sugar until dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, I fill the rest of the pot up to about 2 inches from the top with cold filtered water. I then let it sit until it comes to room temperature. 

After it has cooled completely, I will add it to my gallon jars that already contain 1-2 cups of previously brewed Kombucha and a scoby (mushroom). I fill the jars up to about an inch from the top. I then cover the top with a paper towel, secured with a rubber band, so no pests can get in. I let the jars sit on my counter for about a week. Again, this will depend on your taste preference. The longer it sits, the more vinegary it can become. I like mine to get to the point that it has a bit of fizziness to it.  
Can you see the Kombucha scoby (mushrooms)? They are really slimy and look disgusting.

When it is done, I then transfer the Kombucha into 1/2 gallon jars and store it in my refrigerator. I prefer my Kombucha to be cold. When transferring your Kombucha, be sure to leave 2-3 inches (1-2 cups) in the brewing jar for the next batch.

There are further steps you can take. You can bottle it for further fermentation and you can also add fruit juices to make it flavored. I have not ventured that far with my Kombucha, but I know of others who have and really enjoy it.

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