What You Need To Get Started:

  • 1 Kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)

  • 1 Cup or more Starter Liquid/Tea (brewed kombucha reserved from a previously batch) 

  • 1 Gallon or larger Glass Container 

  • 4 Tea Bags – black, green or herbal tea.

  • White sugar (I don't like to use white sugar in anything but this feeds the SCOBY and is key to its success.)

  • Distilled, filtered or purified water. Chlorinated or treated water can harm the kombucha culture. 

  • A clean piece of cheese cloth, thin cloth napkin or a handkerchief and a rubber band to cover the container 

 

How To Brew Your Tea:

  • Boil 6 cups of water and add to glass container

  • Add 1 cup sugar into water and dissolve by stirring with wooden spoon until water is clear again.

  • Add 4 tea bags and Let tea steep for 10+ minutes

  • Remove tea bags

  • Fill glass container with an additional 6 cups of COOL (not cold) water (12 cups water total). (This will help cool down the brew to room temperature more quickly.)

  • Once brewed, and the tea is cooled to room temperature, add SCOBY and Started Liquid to the glass container. Your SCOBY may either sink or float on the top.

  • Cover with breathable white cloth and rubber band around top.

  • Place glass container in a dark place out of direct sunlight, where it won’t be disturbed or moved, temperature should stay between 68-78 degrees.

  • Let tea brew for 2-3 weeks.

 

Time To “Harvest” Your Brew:

  • After a couple of days, you will see a SCOBY “baby” forming on the top of your tea. This is a great sign that fermentation is going as planned. By the time you are finished brewing, you’ll have two SCOBYs - the original “Mother” and the new “baby” which you can store or share with a friend. Your new baby will look and feel similar to a jelly fish and be thick enough to pick up with your fingers.

  • You can taste test after a week to determine how sweet/tart you like your tea. I prefer 2 weeks or so for my desired sweetness.

  • When the tea has reached your desired flavor, you’ll carefully remove both SCOBYs and set them aside in a separate glass jar submerged in 1-2 cups of kombucha.

  • Strain your kombucha slowly into mason jars. It should be carbonated so don’t be surprised if it starts to fizz. Using a plastic or non-metal strainer, catch any extra pieces of SCOBY from being bottled. (It is edible, but some prefer not to drink it.)

  • Refrigerate your jars of kombucha and it will no longer ferment.

  • If you’d like to flavor it, add fruit, herbs, ginger etc.. to the brewed kombucha and store for an additional 3 to 4 days. You may see a small SCOBY form around the fruit as it floats. The color may drain from the fruit and change the color of your tea. This is a sign that it is ready to drink.

  • You can save your extra SCOBY by storing it in a small glass jar submerged in kombucha in your refrigerator. Cover with a breathable cloth and rubber band. As you continue to brew, you’ll collect these extras in the jar creating your own SCOBY hotel. Continue to add fresh kombucha to your hotel every month or so to keep it alive. *It is very good to have extras stored in case something goes wrong with your primary batch.

  • You can repeat this process again using one SCOBY and 1 cup Starter Liquid.   

 

Useful Info:

  • Always clean your hands, utensils, and anything that might touch your kombucha with hot water and distilled vinegar. Between brews you can simply wipe glass container with white vinegar and a paper towel to clean it out and begin your next batch.

  • Only use lead-free glass and ceramic for fermenting. Kombucha will absorb toxins out of the container that it’s brewed in (much like how it pulls toxins out of our bodies). 

  • The easiest place to get a SCOBY is from a friend with their own SCOBY hotel. If you can’t find a one locally, you can purchase it on amazon.com for under $10.

  • If the kombucha SCOBY grows mold, throw the liquid and SCOBY into the compost and begin with fresh materials. This could happen if your temperature is too cold or too hot.

To see my live kombucha tea cooking demo, view my guest spot on WMTK Live on my Facebook Page. 

*Resources: Wikipedia, Dr.Axe.com Mountain Rose Herbs, foodrenegade.com

4-7-8 Breathing

Kombucha Tea, Nice and  Easy

Kombucha is a trendy drink you may have noticed showing up on the shelves of your grocery store. Well, this popular new beverage is actually over 2000 years old and roots back to the ancient Chinese.  

 

Kombucha is a fermented, carbonated tea known as a “functional beverage”, aka a drink with health benefits. It has grown in popularity for its probiotic qualities that are linked with improved digestion, immunity boost, cleansing and detoxification.  It has also been cited as a mood stabilizer for those with anxiety.

 

While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage in the US, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities, such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids (good for fighting off cancer). 

 

What I do know is that it tastes great. It can be pretty prices at $4/bottle or more, so here is an easy and inexpensive recipe to make it at home for about 50 cents per gallon.

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