8.14.2011

Kombucha

Kombucha is amazing. It is fermented tea. During the fermentation process all of the sugars are turned into probiotics, enzymes, b-vitamins, lactic acid, glucuronic acids, etc. Basically, its INCREDIBLY healthy (and tasty). 

Indiana folks:  My Momma is coming down here on the 24-31st and she can bring back a SCOBY for you so you can make you own, too. Talk to her or myself about making arrangement for me to send you a SCOBY.

Mine.  Find it @ Target.
I do have a fantastic recipe. Its perfect every time. You'll want to get a 1 or 2 (I use a 2) gallon GLASS ONLY jar/container. It must be glass b/c the acids and sheer nature of Kombucha will react very badly with any type of metal or plastic. So, only use glass for brewing and bottling. And buy some organic green or black tea, but not the flavored kind. I've heard that Whole Foods sells some. Buy some organic cane sugar and use filtered (I prefer reverse osmosis) water. Its important to use all of these specific ingredients b/c you are brewing. You don't want to brew yucky things, so ensuring that the water is completely free of contaminants, and that the ingredients are organic really is the best way to do Kombucha. Also, buy a bottle of plain/original GT's Enlightened Kombucha or any other brand you have access to. This is your starter.

To make Kombucha you will boil 4 cups of water (reverse osmosis or filtered). Once boiling add in 1 2/3 cups of organic cane sugar. Stir until dissolved then place 5 bags of organic black or green tea. Let steep for at least 2 hours. (Turn off the heat.) Then, pour your sweet, sweet tea into your brewing container (glass only), add in the rest of the water (another 12 cups), now you will gently place the SCOBY (that I can send home with my mom and you guys can figure out pick up) on top of the tea. It might sink, might not. Its not a big deal. Now, pour the starter kombucha on top. Cover this container with a kitchen towel and place a rubber band around the top so nothing ooky (bugs/dust) finds its way in there. Put the whole thing into a cabinet or other dark out of the way place that is going to remain somewhat warmish/not cold. I have an empty cabinet that mine goes in and its just fine in there. Check on your Kombucha every day. Make sure that nothing weird is going on in there. I don't want to scare you, but when you look at these images, it will give you an idea of what you are and AREN'T looking for.

 
Good.  Very healthy Kombucha with a very established SCOBY that is reproducing nicely.

I know this looks weird and horrible.  But this is what you want to see.  Different colors are okay.  If you do happen to see anything on TOP of the SCOBY, fuzzy anything, anything that is green or another color, bad,  Dump it all out.  Something went wrong with your brew.  You'll have to start from scratch.  THIS is why you want all of your ingredients to be pure, organic, and make sure you take the most care in keeping everything clean.  Utensils, hands, etc.  Wash, wash, wash. 




Looks even worse!  This is PERFECTLY fine.  Its what you want to see.  You want to see that the SCOBY is growing.  This means it is working!  All those sugars are being eaten and transformed into good things. :)  I sound like a crazy person, I know.  I'm not alone though.
Once you have been brewing your first batch of Kombucha for 7 days it should be done. It should be slightly sweet, slightly sour, it might be a little fizzy, maybe not the first batch. Once it tastes good to you decant it into smaller glass containers. You can flavor it now with any pure fruit juice or fruit you like. A favorite of mine is blended blueberries with a teensy amount of fresh grated ginger. Add about 2 tbsp to the bottom of the glass bottle you will pour the Kombucha into. Once you have bottled it place the bottles back into the cabinet and do a second ferment for about 3+ days until it gets nice and fizzy. You'll want to go to the cabinet and "burp" the bottles (twist the top/lid to let the pressure out and then re-tighten the top). Make sure not to bottle 2 cups of the kombucha. This will be the starter for your next batch. Then just repeat the process and you will have a continuous supply of delicious, healthy, amazing Kombucha!

This is a perfect brew.  Notice the color and the bubbles.  Yum, yum! :)  You will only have fizzy Kombucha if you do a 2nd ferment.  Second ferments are NOT required, only if you enjoy the effervescence.  Before the 2nd ferment you may add flavor, but never before.  You want your brewing Kombucha to always be plain.  Some of the brewing Kombucha may begin to get fizzy after you've brewed a few batches, not to the extent of the 2nd ferment.



 Happy Brewing, y'all! :)

7 comments:

  1. :) My daughter is in LOVE with Kombucha. She's so cute- she calls it 'Buch or 'Bucha. Hahaha Do you drink it, too?

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  2. Gina Montgomery8/16/11, 11:22 AM

    For no particular reason I haven't read your blog in awhile but some of your most recent posts have reeled me back in! I am happy to say your blog is back in my rotation! I am interested in getting a SCOBY but thought about making one. Any thoughts or tips?

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  3. I'm glad you're back! :) I took some time off from blogging, but I think I'm back in the swing of things. I have read about people growing their own SCOBYs and I was intrigued myself, but I wanted to make sure that I started making Kombucha with a tried and true SCOBY. Now that I am brewing constantly I might give it a try. I don't know a lot about how to being doing it. I read that someone just bought like two bottles of GT's and set it in a glass container as I described above and in a couple weeks they had a baby SCOBY growing. I know it does take a little bit of time to get going, but once its stable and growing I think it would be perfect!

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  4. Ok,
    1. what glass bottles do you bottle yours in for the 2nd ferment?
    2. And I buy my tea loose now, will any harm come from me placing the loose tea in my stainless steel tea ball instead of using tea bags for the 2 hour steep?
    3. The Kombucha that Meijer sells has a pear flavored one that is awesome! I will try to juice a pear and try adding that for the pear flavor in mine. I don't know if you can juice a pear, but I will find out! Lol

    I can't wait for you to send my a scoby!!!!! :-)

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  5. Also, have you doubled or tripled this recipe? What quantity will fit into our 2 gallon glass jar?

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  6. I have a 2-gallon jar as well. I brew 2 gallons of Kombucha in it, which is doubling the recipe. :)

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