It is an acquired taste for some, but I've always loved Kombucha. Kombucha is "the elixir of long life". It has a history of fighting cancer and other degenerative diseases, and since I've been dealing with cancer then I will definitely be consuming quite a bit of this stuff.
Kombucha is made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, also known as the "mother").
I bought a bunch of Kombucha on sale yesterday, but it's still pretty expensive stuff. When I got home from the store I decided to look around and see if I could figure out how to make my own, and wouldn't you know, it's actually really easy!
Before you begin making Kombucha you need to make (or obtain) a Scoby. A Scoby kind of looks like a white pancake (see photo. Taken from SF Weekly).
You can make a Scoby by simply putting some kombucha into a bowl, and covering with a towel or piece of fabric for 7-14 days. I used a large pyrex bowl and a baby bath towel.
After you make your Scoby then you can start brewing your kombucha, which is really easy, I got the following instructions from about.com:
- Boil three quarts of purified water.
- Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.
- Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black or green tea.
- Steep 10-15 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn't hurt to steep the tea longer).
- Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.
- Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add 1 cup of fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch (or substitute 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar).
- Place cheesecloth over the opening of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
- Allow to sit undisturbed in a well ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 - 15 days.
- To make sure the tea is ready to harvest, pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test.
- Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days - Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days - Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days - Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
- When the tea is brewed to your taste, remove the two cultures.
- Gently separate and place the cultures in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap or a plastic container and refrigerate. They will keep refrigerated for approximately six months, possibly longer.
- Pour the fermented tea through a coffee filter and bottle it into glass or food-grade plastic quart bottles.
- Date and label the bottled tea and put it in the refrigerator.
Viola! Easy, right? I ill take some pictures once my scoby forms!