6.08.2010

Time To Make Kombucha!

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!

Jessica

3 comments:

Dia said...

I've made kombucha in the past - it's fun! Nice tutorial
Recently I've been making coconut milk Kefir - yum!! I ordered kefir 'grains' from marilynkefirlady, & have been making it for several months now. It cultures in 24 hours, & I use a tin of coconut milk w/ 1/2 tin water, & a bit of cal/mag powder.
I drink several glasses throughout the day, & often make a smoothie with fruit & kefir (recently, rhubarb cooked with a handful of raisins, & raspberries from my garden)

Enjoy!!

flyabuv said...

I found a great recipe for this on Food Renegade, she actually mixes it with fruit juice after fermentation to make it sweeter for her kids.

vagabear said...

You can grow a Scoby mama from a store bought bottle! My friend found this out serendipidously when she left half a bottle of commercial kombucha in her warm room for a few days --a mushroom formed on the surface, and we've been able to brew infinite kombucha since!

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