Kombucha

Kombucha 

I got the following recipe and instructions off the internet for making my first batch of kombucha.  It worked perfectly for me, and honestly, I think my kombucha is the best I’ve ever tasted.  The only thing that I did differently is that I used 3 bags of my favorite Yorkshire Tea and one bag of the Wild Raspberry Hibiscus for a faint fruity flavor.  Since Yorkshire Tea is so strong, I only needed 3 bags in a one gallon glass container, and I allowed it to steep for barely 5 minutes.  I also used organic sugar.  The SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, was given to me by my sister.  A scoby is not a mushroom; it’s a yeast cake.

I had so much trepidation about making my own kombucha the first time.  For some reason I had the impression that it was difficult and that there was some risk that it would turn out bad and taste disgusting.  It couldn’t be further from the truth.  It was the easiest thing to make, and it turned out delicious.  The hardest part was just finding a scoby. I let my kombucha sit in a corner of my living room for exactly 2 weeks, marking it on the calendar, of course, so I wouldn’t forget.  I think that two weeks is perfect.  I was just fizzy and fermented enough; not too little and not too much.  I think it did get a little fizzier when it was stored in the frig over the two weeks it took us to drink it up, but it was still perfect.

For me and my son, a one gallon container seems to be the right amount for us that lasts almost two weeks.  As you can see in the photo furthest down, I got 3 good quarts of kombucha and then left the scoby in the gallon container with a good two cups of kombucha to start the next batch with.

The best website I’ve seen that explains about kombucha brewing and scobies is at:

www.kombuchabrooklyn.com/kombucha-brew-faq

Check it out for good information on making kombucha, storing scobies, sanitation, bottling, troubleshooting, brewing issues and more.  Incredibly interesting!

 

 

How to Make Kombucha

Brew delicious kombucha tea at home for a fraction of the cost of commercial brands!

 

Equipment Needed for Making Kombucha Tea

  • Quart-size, half gallon or gallon-size glass jar
  • Plastic or wooden stirring utensil
  • Tight-weave cloth or paper coffee filter
  • Rubber band to secure the cover to the jar

Ingredients for Activating a Kombucha Scoby

  • Active Kombucha Scoby
  • Tea bags or loose tea
  • White sugar
  • Starter tea or distilled white vinegar
  • Unfluoridated, unchlorinated water

 Container Size

Tea

Sugar

Water

Starter Tea or Vinegar 

One quart

1½ teaspoon loose teaor 2 tea bags

¼ cup

2-3 cups

½ cup

½ Gallon

1 tablespoon loose teaor 4 tea bags

½ cup

6-7 cups

1 cup

Gallon

2 tablespoons loose teaor 8 tea bags

1 cup

13-14 cups

2 cups

Instructions for Making Kombucha Tea:

  1. Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.
  2. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
  3. Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be.
  4. Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
  5. Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
  6. Add an active kombucha scoby.
  7. Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  8. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
  9. Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the scoby and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
  10. The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain.

Flavoring and Bottling

Once the kombucha has finished culturing, remove the scoby and enjoy it plain or add flavoring. There is no limit to the flavoring possibilities. For a fizzy finished kombucha, try bottling in a Grolsch-style bottle or other tightly-sealed container.

 

Health Benefits of Kombucha

What are the health benefits of kombucha?  Apparently not that many studies have been done here in the USA to prove all the proclaimed health benefits of kombucha, but there have been studies done in some European countries substantiating many of its benefits, and that’s good enough for me.  I have just started drinking kombucha and plan to do it regularly from now on, so I will be able to judge for myself in time if I think it helps or not with my particular health issues.

I found the following links helpful in understanding kombucha’s health benefits:

http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/18-healthy-reasons-sip-kombucha

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-drinking-kombucha-tea-ze0z1303zcalt.aspx

 

 

 

 

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